Whakatane moves forward with Eagle’s managed services
Since engaging with Eagle Technology to provide managed services in 2005, Whakatane District Council has been able to significantly improve the availability of WDC’s ICT services, respond faster to events and move ahead with innovative technologies such as virtualisation and storage area networks. But more importantly, WDC has been able to achieve these benefits for approximately the same total cost of ownership as ‘going it alone’.
“The value of Eagle’s managed services is not in simple cost savings,” says David Gatland, Director of Corporate Services at WDC. “It is in the breadth and depth and accessibility to skills that provide the real benefits. Eagle has consistently provided support for day-to-day operations – the availability of WDC’s ICT services has improved markedly since Eagle took over – and has been instrumental in offering advice to move forward.”
When Eagle first contracted to provide managed services in 2005, WDC faced with a number of issues. Their array of servers were nearing the end of their warranties and running outdated operating systems, their PCs were underspecified, patches were not up-to-date and there was no clear roadmap for future upgrades. Extended outages were not uncommon. To help them alleviate their shortcomings, WDC awarded Eagle Technology a three-year contract with provisions for extending the relationship on a year-by-year basis after the initial period. WDC has renewed the contract every year since.
Gary Langford (CEO, Eagle Technology), has been closely involved from the outset. “Our first task was an audit of WDC’s ICT infrastructure so that we would have a benchmark,” he says. “We immediately identified – and successfully addressed – a number of security risks and production bottlenecks. Once we had the most pressing challenges under control we were able to work with WDC to create an environment to fully support their ICT requirements in the short, medium and long terms.”
This initial audit has evolved into regular 18-month ‘Technical Architecture Reviews’ (TARs) which provide a summary of existing infrastructure and a recommended blueprint for WDC’s future directions. “Eagle’s TARs suggest a way forward,” says Gatland. “Eagle has ensured that WDC maintains a balance between the cost and disruption of software and infrastructure upgrades and the benefits of having improved hardware and supported releases of the most up-to-date software.”
Eagle also provides service desk support for both end users and ICT staff. “We have our entire organisation at WDC’s disposal for any and all support issues,” notes Langford. “We have a dedicated 0800 number direct to our service desk and escalation policies in place so that any issues are addressed immediately.”
For WDC, the decision to engage with Eagle for their managed services has paid concrete dividends. Not just for the day-to-day operations but also for moving forward and providing specialist services when required. “In terms of the TCO, the cost of having our own team would be near the contract price,” concludes Gatland. “But WDC would struggle to source these skills locally. Eagle leverages its wider and in-depth skill sets to maintain our infrastructure platforms for optimal productivity.”