In early May, NWN’s own Doug Syer was asked by Zenoss, our IT monitoring and service analytics provider, to participate in a keynote panel at its second annual user conference, GalaxZ 16. As Vice President of Managed Services at NWN, Syer is our resident expert, offering plenty of expertise and experience when it comes to monitoring projects and solutions. He teamed up with representatives from two other long-time Zenoss customers: Huntington Bank (Kyle Kopp) and Rackspace (David Mills)
The main takeaways from their discussion? When it comes to implementing a new monitoring system, it’s all about streamlining, strategy, and plenty of communication.
Tip #1: Streamline and watch out for tool creep
Does this sound familiar? Over the years, the Managed Services department has slowly taken on a variety of tools, from multiple vendors, which now number in the tens or even hundreds. In the quest for better monitoring, it’s easy to be wooed by the newest, fanciest, shiniest. But a hodge podge of monitoring tools and processes is the result. Hence the term, tool creep. The system becomes a cluttered backend backup. The solution out of this backlog is to edit, edit, edit. Combine, cut,
eliminate, and decommission until you are down to a single process. One monitoring platform and a single pane of glass on your end can ultimately heighten customer experience, increase the useable data set, and optimize efficiency. An added perk is that often, streamlining your process can provide a cost-savings that could be used to fund the transition.
Tip #2: Without a master plan, all is lost
To overhaul and recreate an effective monitoring system, it is paramount to go slow, plan, gather data, gather more data, research, analyze and assess what is really needed. All three speakers noted the importance of strategic planning over the technological details of the monitoring system. With all of the options and possibilities out there, it is easy to get carried away. Serious strategic thinking is in order to determine what is essential. In addition, when it comes time to convince your execs to make major changes and/or investments, articulating the overarching strategy can help seal the deal.
Tip #3: Communication is key to success
Implementing a new monitoring system or simply modifying the current one, involves change, which can be hard. The best ways to get your organization onboard is to model the process yourself, train your staff adequately and often, and to enlist the help of your partner vendors to provide extra support. Defending the monitoring solution is a reality. The best way to convince others to buy in to the desired methodology is constant, unrelenting education.
For a more in depth look at the keynote panel, read Zenoss’ sum up of it here.