[OT] IT Remote Site Issues

1). Used to do it alone, but found person training to be a PC specialist
so I use her talents frequently at remote site - a real benefit to both
of us! Best thing, though, was to upgrade everyone to XP and put a new
file/print server with Win2k. Just 2 months ago, hired a DBA when new
ERP system came online.

2). About 5% of time, but I can VNC to PCs and train users when issues
arise. Not much time is spent on server or LAN/WAN issues

3). Not much time, but we have Point to Point to our facility and all
outbound traffic comes through Corp HQ. Most LAN/WAN hardware setup is
set it-forget it.

4). Average about 1-2 weeks per year (5-10 days). I prefer summer trips
to Wisconsin. However, now that we are consolidating, I spend about 1
week every 2-3 months. Your actual mileage will vary.

5). 1 per 25, but 90% of her duties are office support (see #1). In my
site, it is me for about 80 PCs, 12 servers, all telecommunications
(phones, wiring, hubs, switches, routers, cell phones, contracts,
copiers, etc.)

6). I do all setup of PCs, or train person in remote site.

7). No, but wanted to. Was going to do a poor man's VOIP, but costs got
cut. We take our PBX and forward adjunct extensions to remote site -
transparent to incoming caller (@3.5 cents/minute, it isn't bad). Need
to weigh costs of long distance / minute and total cost of VOIP. For
us, regular long distance won out.

8). File/Print for remote site, email (12 clients) go over T1 to Corp
HQ, all Internet into Corp HQ and monitored/restricted. Corp HQ has
Central Virus Admin console.

9). V8 did not require Citrix, but V8 does need beefy PCs. I got rid of
Citrix to remote site (12 machines) when V8 was implemented.

10). Site was already up. But, we are consolidating 2 sites into 1.
Mostly logistic issues with bringing equipment to NJ (Packing up, where
is it going to go when it gets here).

11). May the Force be with you if you do it w/V8.





Steven Comeau

Manager, Corporate IT Systems

Main Tape

1 Capital Drive, Suite 101

Cranbury, NJ 08512

800-718-8273 x332

_____

From: Todd Caughey [mailto:caugheyt@...]
Sent: Monday, January 09, 2006 10:32 AM
To: Vantage@...
Subject: [Vantage] [OT] IT Remote Site Issues



I am writing a "white paper" for our management detailing remote site
issues. As our management transitions to a younger more growth oriented
generation our long term strategic plan includes the possibility of
acquisitions and this has been a one-site company for 64 years. Before
I get blindsided with the need to support a remote site I want to be
sure the people making the decisions are "informed" about issues they
might not otherwise consider. Mostly IT and telecom related but also
the productivity "drag" on managers traveling back and forth.

I came here from a company with 8 very widely separated sites (from
Anchorage to Phoenix) so I do have exposure to remote site operations
but, then, I had (at various times) from 4 to 8 employees too. As a
one-man IT shop already doing 10-12 hour days supporting even one other
site by myself, especially if not local, could be stretching it a bit
thin. So I am building the case for adding IT staff if we expand.

So for all you IT managers supporting remote operations (either one or
many).....
1. Are you doing it alone? If so with tradeoffs or costs in terms of
tech initiatives?
2. How much of your time (%) is spent on pure remote related issues?
...That is, issues unrelated to if those people were more local people
but just related to them not being on-site
3. Overhead tasks for telecom and communication....how much time, % wise
4. Travel....how often do you need to visit the remote site(s)?
5. Remote site IT staff? A guess as a ratio of size to support staff
needed? 1 per 100? 1 per 200?
6. Do you use outsourced support for workstation setups? Hire Geek
Squad or someone similar?
.... OR, rely on a local "tech savvy" person
7. Do you link phone systems...ala VOIP?
8. Separate remote server and storage infrastructure or networked to
central data center?
9. Any hardware or software specifically required to make Vantage work
remotely?
10. In acquisitions how much (%) of your time was involved in
integrating or converting systems?

If you can please add some demographics for your company such as #
sites, # employees, Avg employees per remote site, etc....

#1 fear right now....the owners find the ideal acquisition right in the
middle of our V8 upgrade in 2007 and expect both to happen.

Any insights, opinions or other considerations would be much
appreciated.

Thanks,
Todd Caughey
Harvey Vogel Mfg. Co.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
I am writing a "white paper" for our management detailing remote site issues. As our management transitions to a younger more growth oriented generation our long term strategic plan includes the possibility of acquisitions and this has been a one-site company for 64 years. Before I get blindsided with the need to support a remote site I want to be sure the people making the decisions are "informed" about issues they might not otherwise consider. Mostly IT and telecom related but also the productivity "drag" on managers traveling back and forth.

I came here from a company with 8 very widely separated sites (from Anchorage to Phoenix) so I do have exposure to remote site operations but, then, I had (at various times) from 4 to 8 employees too. As a one-man IT shop already doing 10-12 hour days supporting even one other site by myself, especially if not local, could be stretching it a bit thin. So I am building the case for adding IT staff if we expand.

So for all you IT managers supporting remote operations (either one or many).....
1. Are you doing it alone? If so with tradeoffs or costs in terms of tech initiatives?
2. How much of your time (%) is spent on pure remote related issues?
...That is, issues unrelated to if those people were more local people but just related to them not being on-site
3. Overhead tasks for telecom and communication....how much time, % wise
4. Travel....how often do you need to visit the remote site(s)?
5. Remote site IT staff? A guess as a ratio of size to support staff needed? 1 per 100? 1 per 200?
6. Do you use outsourced support for workstation setups? Hire Geek Squad or someone similar?
.... OR, rely on a local "tech savvy" person
7. Do you link phone systems...ala VOIP?
8. Separate remote server and storage infrastructure or networked to central data center?
9. Any hardware or software specifically required to make Vantage work remotely?
10. In acquisitions how much (%) of your time was involved in integrating or converting systems?

If you can please add some demographics for your company such as # sites, # employees, Avg employees per remote site, etc....

#1 fear right now....the owners find the ideal acquisition right in the middle of our V8 upgrade in 2007 and expect both to happen.

Any insights, opinions or other considerations would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Todd Caughey
Harvey Vogel Mfg. Co.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Hi, Todd.

Good luck with your paper!

1) I am the only IT person for all 4 sites.
2) I will guess I spend 5-10% per week on pure remote issues
3) Nominal (1-2% per month)
4) I should visit more than I do! I try to do everything by telecom and
email, so I don't visit that often. However, I do pay outside consultants
to go in there when something is needed on site, so those costs add up as
well. (Approximately $3,500/year).
5) NOBODY onsite!!! It's very frustrating . . .
6) See #4
7) Not yet, but considering VOIP this year. However, the technology isn't
available for our remote sites! (Something else to consider; owners like to
build a business in remote sites where they get decent tax breaks, but lousy
technology)
8) Vantage DB server located at corporate headquarters with remote sites
using TS; local is done through a point to point LAN
9) Decent Terminal Server and internet provider (Satellite WILL NOT work!!!
Dial up was faster than satellite. Satellite views TS as VPN. Currently
using SDSL for one site, DSL for another site, and Integrated T1 for third
site.
10) Underestimating at 65-70%

Demographics: 4 sites/150 employees total. 3 Remote Sites: Site 2 has 15
employees, Site 3 has 70 employees, Site 4 has 7 employees.

Hope this helps.

Rebecca



-----Original Message-----
From: vantage@yahoogroups.com [mailto:vantage@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
Todd Caughey
Sent: Monday, January 09, 2006 9:32 AM
To: Vantage@...
Subject: [Vantage] [OT] IT Remote Site Issues

I am writing a "white paper" for our management detailing remote site
issues. As our management transitions to a younger more growth oriented
generation our long term strategic plan includes the possibility of
acquisitions and this has been a one-site company for 64 years. Before I
get blindsided with the need to support a remote site I want to be sure the
people making the decisions are "informed" about issues they might not
otherwise consider. Mostly IT and telecom related but also the productivity
"drag" on managers traveling back and forth.

I came here from a company with 8 very widely separated sites (from
Anchorage to Phoenix) so I do have exposure to remote site operations but,
then, I had (at various times) from 4 to 8 employees too. As a one-man IT
shop already doing 10-12 hour days supporting even one other site by myself,
especially if not local, could be stretching it a bit thin. So I am
building the case for adding IT staff if we expand.

So for all you IT managers supporting remote operations (either one or
many).....
1. Are you doing it alone? If so with tradeoffs or costs in terms of tech
initiatives?
2. How much of your time (%) is spent on pure remote related issues?
...That is, issues unrelated to if those people were more local people but
just related to them not being on-site 3. Overhead tasks for telecom and
communication....how much time, % wise 4. Travel....how often do you need to
visit the remote site(s)?
5. Remote site IT staff? A guess as a ratio of size to support staff
needed? 1 per 100? 1 per 200?
6. Do you use outsourced support for workstation setups? Hire Geek Squad or
someone similar?
.... OR, rely on a local "tech savvy" person 7. Do you link phone
systems...ala VOIP?
8. Separate remote server and storage infrastructure or networked to central
data center?
9. Any hardware or software specifically required to make Vantage work
remotely?
10. In acquisitions how much (%) of your time was involved in integrating
or converting systems?

If you can please add some demographics for your company such as # sites, #
employees, Avg employees per remote site, etc....

#1 fear right now....the owners find the ideal acquisition right in the
middle of our V8 upgrade in 2007 and expect both to happen.

Any insights, opinions or other considerations would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Todd Caughey
Harvey Vogel Mfg. Co.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



Useful links for the Yahoo!Groups Vantage Board are: ( Note: You must have
already linked your email address to a yahoo id to enable access. )
(1) To access the Files Section of our Yahoo!Group for Report Builder and
Crystal Reports and other 'goodies', please goto:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vantage/files/.
(2) To search through old msg's goto:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vantage/messages
(3) To view links to Vendors that provide Vantage services goto:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vantage/links
Yahoo! Groups Links