For integrator Control Group, strategy takes discipline

In order to free up its technical team for more meaningful client interactions, the New York-based IT consulting firm opted for a cloud-based management platform from Panorama9.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

What IT management service is your integrator -- or one that you are considering as a partner -- using to monitor your environment? It obviously behooves you to ask.

That's because behind every well-run IT solution provider, you are bound to find great IT management tools and services that are helping its team keep tabs on hybrid environments on behalf of their customers. And the more process and discipline that an integrator is able to build in behind the scenes, the more value it can actually bring to an engagement in terms of business process consulting and strategy.

Such is the case with New York-based Control Group, a strategic consulting firm that has worked on projects for Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Colbert Report, Reed Elsevier and New York City's MTA (for which it is building digital subway kiosks). As the 100-person firm became more successful, it became more difficult to provide the level of client support that it was accustomed to promising using the systems it had built up over the years. 

So, in order to spend more time on strategic process consulting and business strategy, Control Group adopted a cloud-based management service from Panorama9 to build ongoing support into its multi-environment, hybrid installations and solutions. The company officially became a managed service provider (MSP) for the service in February 2013, and was able to get the solution up and running for its ongoing account based by April. 

"We have a plethora of clients for which we use the platform to monitor switches, workstations and so forth. We use it to track all the assets and receive alerts when systems go down. It has made us far more efficient," said Alex Perez, a Control Group systems analyst.

There were several reasons Control Group chose Panorama9, including its ability to manage hybrid cloud and on-premises infrastructure, and its cross-platform support on the client side of the equation. Another big factor was the service's close integration with ZenDesk, which the consulting firm was already using to manage incidents, Perez said.

Ultimately, Panorama9 enables Control Group to stay focused on what's important. "A client recently wanted to review every piece of software one every machine," Perez said, in a published case study about his firm's use of the platform. "Before Panorama9, an engineer would have needed to walk around the office to each machine taking a manual count. But with Panorama9, we can pool all that data quickly, without stepping foot on the client's location."

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