HopeLab Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on the research and development of new social technologies to promote human resilience and improve psychological and biological health and well-being. HopeLab is part of the Omidyar Group.
HopeLab’s IT Department consisted of one person, David K., IT Manager. David was being bombarded with support requests daily and was unable to perform his managerial roles as well as management of his network.
No Ticketing System: Support requests were all being sent to David’s direct inbox. There was no organized way to approach the request and there were no reports or metrics that could be pulled.
Tedious Update Process: Application patches such as Adobe, Chrome, Firefox, and MS Office were only updated when users reported that such patches were available after receiving pop-up alerts.
Reactive, not Proactive: Because of the limited manpower, problems would be addressed when they occurred. There was no way to proactively monitor the network to reveal any potential problems before they occurred.
David engaged Level Up MSP as an extension of his IT department. We put systems in place that worked and automated many of these manual processes.
New Ticketing System: Freshdesk, an IT ticketing system, was deployed. David instructed staff to email Freshdesk whenever they encountered problems. Tickets would then be generated and notifications sent out to the appropriate owner. This helped offload many daily inquiries or problem requests to Level Up MSP, so David could focus more on developing his network. Reports and metrics could now also be pulled to track any ongoing issues.
Remote Management and Monitoring: A remote management and monitoring solution was put in place to assist with the management of Windows and third party software updates via process automation. Users no longer got pop-up notifications to update their software. Level Up MSP also leveraged this system by automating other repetitive tasks such as remotely managing workstations and running scripts when needed, among other functions. In addition, Level Up MSP tracked trends within the network to pinpoint potential problems before they arose.
On-Site Support: Once a week, a staff member from Level Up MSP goes onsite to assist with anything that needs physical interaction. This personalized support has proven extremely effective in putting faces to names, so staff members know who they’re working with. Level Up MSP acts as an extension of the IT department rather than as an outside contractor.
Consulting Services: As a one person IT Department, it was very difficult for David to collaborate and brainstorm on ideas. But by working with Level Up MSP, he was able to collaborate with our specialists and derive joint solutions that he likely would have never found on his own.
Dr. Huang and Dr. Ann bring over 30 years of combined dental experience into their practice. They are extensively trained in numerous areas of dentistry and are well prepared to address all the dental needs of their patients.
Dr. Huang was spending far too much time trying to maintain the practice’s computers and network. He would see patients throughout the day and also fix any technical issues as they arose. With constant interruptions to address network issues, he couldn’t focus on his real job of being a dentist.
Decentralized Network: Nothing on the network was centrally managed. Everything had to have been done manually on each computer. These tasks included adding printers, driving mappings to the server, software updates, coordinating out of sync passwords, and many other routine tasks. With 20+ computers in house, this set of tasks became a daunting challenge for Santa Teresa Dental.
Software Updates: Windows , Adobe, Chrome, Firefox, and MS Office were not up to date. Manually updating on a weekly basis was too much work and too time consuming.
Not HIPAA Compliant: Due to the nature of patient privacy and security, all patient information must be secured and compliant with HIPAA. Dr. Ann was aware of this need but didn’t know how to comply.
Server Backup: The server was being backed up to portable USB drives that were taken offsite for storage. This required staff members to take time out of their busy schedule to backup and swap drives. Additionally, the drives were not encrypted.
Dr. Ann hired Level Up MSP to revamp their entire IT network.
Virtualization: With VMware installed and the old server virtualized, we were able to leverage the full potential of the physical server. Virtualization allowed us to back up all of Santa Theresa Dental’s data locally as well as to our secure data center. We were able to validate and test all backups to ensure their functionality. Additional virtual machines were deployed for the bookkeeper, saving the office the cost of buying additional hardware that they had no room for.
Server Optimization: The server is now set up to help automate many tedious computer setup processes. Now all computers are identical and synchronized to the server throughout the office, removing the need to manually install printers or update software. In addition, everything is now managed from one single location instead of at 20+ different computers.
HIPAA Compliance: Dr. Ann wanted to be certain that no data was left unsecured in case of network breaches. To guarantee this security, we encrypted all hard drives containing patient information and automatically purged cached patient data. All backups were also transmitted securely offsite over a VPN connection, removing the use of unreliable portable USB drives for backup purposes. Now Dr. Ann has peace of mind knowing that her practice’s confidential data is safe and secure, allowing her to concentrate on developing her business and care for her patients.
Helpdesk Support: The office now has someone to turn to when they have a problem or a technical question. Now they no longer have to spend countless hours seeking a solution to an IT issue when the specialists at Level Up MSP can often find the answer in minutes. With the right technical help now on their side, everyone at Santa Theresa Dental is a lot more productive and efficient.
Global Star Design, Inc. creates unique home and garden decor for customers and retail channels. Specializing in ceramic and resin goods, Global Star Design features both seasonal and everyday trend-forward items in their showroom. They also carry a wide range of eco-friendly materials such as recycled glass, paper, and wood products.
Global Star Design outsourced their IT management needs to an independent IT contractor. The administrator at that contractor had a full time job so managing Global Star Design’s network was not a priority. Most of the support they provided was after hours or on weekends. When Global Star Design’s staff needed assistance during the day, the help was not there.
Software Updates: There was no automation or policies setup to run Windows and third party software updates. Staff would constantly get notifications that their software was out of date.
Server Backup: The server was backed up locally to a portable USB drive and to a removable drive that was taken offsite weekly. There weren’t any notifications sent once a backup job was completed. The backup jobs were also never verified and tested. Transportation of the removable drive to the offsite backup site was irregular and unreliable.
Server Group Policies: Many of the network shares, printers, and other settings were not centrally managed, making network management difficult and time consuming for the 10+ workstation network.
Remote Access: Staff often needed to access files at home or when traveling. Connecting to the existing VPN solution was too slow, especially when accessing PowerPoint or Quickbooks.
Remote Management and Monitoring: A remote management and monitoring solution was installed by Level Up MSP to automate the management of Windows and third party software updates. Users no longer got pop-up notifications to update their software. Level UP MSP also leveraged this system by automating all other repetitive tasks, We also identified trends within the network to help pinpoint potential problems before they arose.
Revamp Backup: A new backup system was installed into this newly upgraded infrastructure. Backups were done nightly with the proper notifications delivered. Replicas of the servers were also stored offsite for disaster recovery purposes. Additionally, those offsite backups could now be tested quarterly for their validity.
Setup Group Policies: Windows Server provides a tool called Group Policy that enables users to set virtually anything they want, from drive mappings, printer installations, software updates, to desktop restrictions and so on. Now, when a new computer gets added to the domain, all settings are automatically applied without the need to reinstall everything again. Changes are simply installed from the management console, and within 90-120 minutes all machines on the network are updated.
Remote Desktop Gateway: Because traditional VPN technology is just too slow , a new server was set up at Global Star Design for remote access. Now, users can securely log in to a server located within the office network from anywhere in the world. Access to resources is quick, reliable and most importantly, functional.