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Customer case study: OST
McLean, Virginia based OST is an award-winning managed service provider and systems integrator offering services to large organizations in industries as diverse as healthcare and manufacturing. It specializes in advanced technologies such as smart, cybersecurity, cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics, and data visualization.
- Lack of insight into customers’ IT environments, making it difficult to identify and resolve issues before customer impact
- Monitoring wide range of client systems: AS400, mainframes, OpenVMS, on-premises legacy systems, and cloud-native application infrastructure
- Needed support for Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) through automated monitoring
- Need for enterprise-grade scalability and support
- Single pane of glass visibility for a wide range of legacy and digital systems including diverse cloud systems
- Scalability for customer running thousands of servers
- Better reporting for customers by enabling quarterly reviews of their IT infrastructure use, capacity and service levels
- Improved accountability and faster incident response through direct integration of Opsview into the OST ticketing system
- Improved customer trust/relationships with IT operations monitoring helping them to maintain reliability
OST improves customer success with Opsview
OST has improved visibility of its customers’ IT by using Opsview infrastructure monitoring; helping to prevent incidents before customers are aware of any issues.
Customer satisfaction is absolutely key to systems integrator and managed service provider OST’s success, but it was difficult to secure without comprehensive insight into its clients’ IT environments. OST has a relatively small customer base of large organizations in sectors as diverse as healthcare and manufacturing — each of which may be running between 1,000- 10,000+ servers.
This required effective IT operations monitoring and automated response covering a diverse range of legacy and digital environments. That way OST could identify and resolve issues before the customer even knows something is wrong.
Another challenge was the breadth of different client systems OST needed to support. These include: AS400, mainframes, OpenVMS and other decades-old but mission-critical systems; a dozen different on-premises storage system brands; and cloud native application infrastructure.
OST was also looking for an IT Operations Management (ITOM) provider to partner to assist with its adoption of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) to create highly scalable, ultra-reliable IT infrastructure. This Google-developed methodology requires a high degree of automation in IT monitoring and is now the core element used by major cloud providers to run their organizations.
OST initially chose to partner with Opsview a decade ago, with a free version of its ITOM tool. As the company grew, it migrated over to Opsview Monitor Enterprise, which added support and extra modular features such as reporting, a data warehouse, and plug-ins to third-party platforms like the service desk. Opsview offered everything OST was looking for in an ITOM provider: A full feature set at approximately a quarter of the cost of rival enterprise tools.
OST has scaled its business with Opsview over the past seven years without having to consider different systems, according to OST’s MSP manager, Matt Glenn. Over that time, as OST’s adoption of the SRE methodology became more important, Opsview seamlessly stepped in to support the insight, control, and automation it required. Its support for open source Nagios plug-ins was also key, helping to provide visibility into a broad range of legacy and modern IT platforms.
Another key reason for choosing Opsview was because it supports such diverse infrastructure which is crucial for any MSP monitoring the enterprise space.
A significant number of OST’s customers were undergoing digital transformation initiatives and rearchitecting applications to the cloud for cloud native deployments. OST found Opsview’s single pane of glass IT overview invaluable in ensuring that all applications running were performing well.
Because Opsview has developed integrations to the cloud monitoring platforms from AWS, Azure and Google, all metrics could be seen from a central environment.
OST felt a strong cultural affinity with Opsview. “Opsview is somewhat similar to OST and we like having partners that we have a cultural connection to,” said Glenn. “We are both organizations that put our employees first, and that resonates with us personally.”
OST hasn’t looked back since implementing Opsview for ITOM. Automation is key to the value of Opsview Monitor: It enables monitoring and remediation of any issues before they have been noticed by the customer. In total, this has generated time savings estimated at around 40%.
“When an incident is detected and there is an actual outage, our response time to those tickets is typically under five minutes and in a lot of cases it is within one minute. That is because Opsview immediately creates the incident in our service desk, then our paging system immediately pages someone and allows them to acknowledge it directly from their phone,” said Glenn.
“When they acknowledge the ticket, it is then communicated to the customer. On average, most of the incidents created out of Opsview are resolved in 10 minutes.”
By automating and spotting incidents early on, OST is also able to drive cost reduction. The money saved is reinvested in the company to further improve service levels and drive growth.
“In driving down costs, we can have one person supporting a much larger number of systems than we could before,” said Glenn. “This means that we can hire more knowledgeable and skilled people than before to drive customer satisfaction, enabling a great balance and growth.”
Having come so far already, Opsview is right behind OST as it continues its growth journey.
“We are a smaller organization, and we provide services to organizations that are much larger than we are. So, we must go to them and operate at their level,” said Glenn. “Opsview represents to them an enterprise tool set with enterprise capabilities. It shows them that we’re enterprise ready.”
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