In this episode of The Disruptive Enterprise, host Marcus Holloway, President & CEO at MTM Technologies, and his guest, Pete Madsen, Vice President and General Manager of the Professional Services Group at MTM Technologies, discuss how organizations can use technology assessments designed to help them review and evaluate the capacity and capability of their technology infrastructure so they can increase and improve the performance of these environments.
How a Technology Assessment Can Help to Improve Your Enterprise IT Performance
Marcus Holloway: Hi and welcome to our podcast, I’m your host, Marcus Holloway, president and CEO of MTM Technologies. We’re deep into the crisis as we record this podcast. And many organizations are now implementing hybrid plans for some employees to work from home, some employees to come back into the office, and in some cases, a mix of working from home and in the office on alternating schedules.
It’s a bit of a logistical challenge, of course, as organizations attempt to provide a safe, healthy work environment while remaining operational and productive. One thing that hybrid work environment exposed and stressed is your underlying IT infrastructure, while your organization may have, may do or accommodated with what you thought might be necessary for the temporary situation, it’s apparent now that the new normal may be permanent.
So, the big question for I.T. professionals is, is your I.T. infrastructure up to the challenge? And that leads me into the topic of today’s podcast, how to assess whether your enterprise, I.T. infrastructure is capable of providing the performance necessary to survive and thrive in today’s hybrid, remote and on prem workspace environments. Today on the podcast, I’m pleased to introduce Pete Madsen, our vice president and general manager of Professional Services Group here at MTM. Pete, welcome to the podcast.
Pete Madsen: Thanks, Marcus, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Marcus Holloway: Right, so, Pete, what is the issue facing enterprises right now, as best as you can see it?
Pete Madsen: Well, organizations need to know whether they have the right infrastructure and applications in place to support their workforce, no matter where they are physically located, they are considering how to extend on site applications into the public cloud. And they’re concerned about doing that securely. And they want to make sure their employees can be more than just productive. They want them to be able to be innovative and build new value and revenue streams.
Marcus Holloway: So, what’s the problem?
Pete Madsen: Well, the problem is that most organizations really don’t have a good view of their IOT systems, policies and procedures from the outside. They’ve become used to looking at these systems in one way from the inside out with little ability to consider the disruptive impact of new technologies or worldwide events like Covid.
Marcus Holloway: Speaking of tell us how your team and you are helping customers consider these disruptions and you know what is what is what are you recommending?
Pete Madsen: We created a series of technology assessments designed to help customers assess and evaluate the capacity and capability of their technology infrastructure, and then we provide our recommendations for increasing and improving the performance of these environments.
Marcus Holloway: It does sound like general assessments; do you provide targeted advice as well in there.
Pete Madsen: Sure, at a general level, each of our technology assessments reviews the current health of a customer’s enterprise infrastructure, and we make recommendations for improvements and provide a roadmap for the future. But at a more granular level, we do take a deep dive into the individual solution areas and provide best practices and procedures for improvement.
Marcus Holloway: Can you highlight a couple of examples of these assessments?
Pete Madsen: Yeah, sure, we offer a series of technology assessments and a couple that we could talk about today, if it’s all right, is our Cisco collaboration, solution assessment and our wireless network assessment.
Marcus Holloway: They sound like great ones. Go ahead.
Pete Madsen: Sure, so during our Cisco collaboration assessment, we work with the customers IOT team to understand and evaluate their Cisco cloud based or premise-based collaboration environment and their Web services. We review the Cisco Unified Communications Manager, inventory, hardware and software lifecycle and the level of business continuity in place. We’re looking at best practices in all areas around their collaboration solution with an eye toward helping them understand the condition of their infrastructure today and providing them with a roadmap for the future.
Marcus Holloway: Well, that sounds like a great service. What are the deliverables that a customer could expect out of something like this?
Pete Madsen: We provide them with comprehensive documentation for our engagement, including an overview of the overall health of their unique Cisco collaboration environment with specific recommendations based on our knowledge and experience, high risk areas will be highlighted as well as recommendations for improvements.
Marcus Holloway: So that’s Cisco collaboration assessment sounds really good. Could you also now, you know, take us through the wireless networking solutions assessment?
Pete Madsen: Sure, so like our Cisco collaboration assessment, we use the wireless networking solutions assessment to provide our customers with the information necessary to help them maximize the performance and coverage of their wireless networking infrastructure.
Marcus Holloway: Now, you’ve done a few of these lately. What are some of the concerns you’re hearing from customers about their wireless network?
Pete Madsen: Well, customers know that the physical environment of their organization is ever changing and the impact of Covid has caused an acceleration of this as customers rethink their office spaces and potentially downsize space or relocate their offices further away from cities. The challenge is to map their wireless infrastructure to match their new requirements in many things, including new office design, new warehouse layouts, changes and inventory level, and an ever-increasing number of wireless devices. And IOT can all impact the performance of an organization’s wireless network. And in the case of larger buildings, where there is currently a huge amount of tenant disruption. Neighboring companies can install wireless networks that substantially interfere with your wireless network performance.
Marcus Holloway: Wow, so how can you help the network administrators after you’ve done the assessment?
Pete Madsen: Well, we can help IOT administrators by helping them plan and support their wireless network infrastructures because they often lack the necessary tools and experience to measure and understand wireless network performance. So that’s why we design our wireless networking assessment to provide a series of different assessment types for planning for new spaces and pinpointing existing areas of networking performance lags and issues. So, we offer four types of wireless assessments, which we often call surveys. The first one is a predictive survey. There is a passive survey, an active survey, and then something called access point on a stick or a pause where we temporarily stage access points on tripods throughout the workplace to survey performance across the location.
Marcus Holloway: Well, that’s interesting. Are you providing some of the same kind of deliverables you did with the Cisco assessment?
Pete Madsen: Yes, exactly, so like the collaboration assessment, we provide comprehensive documentation for our engagement, for the predictive assessment, we develop a predictive map based on a building floor plan indicating the recommended locations and quantities for AP placement. And this would be ideal for any new office space in the passive assessment. We use software tools to walk through the space and provide a heat map report indicating throughput and coverage, along with specific troubleshooting recommendations. Based on our assessment, the active and passive assessments are really much more sophisticated assessments, and they’re designed for businesses and some government entities that have compliance requirements to load test or stress tests that or wireless networks.
Marcus Holloway: So, Pete, are you finding these assessments, you know, really interesting things for IT professionals to do now when some of their strategic projects may have been deferred during this period of uncertainty due to Covid-19?
Pete Madsen: Yeah, that’s exactly right. We follow all safety protocols if we’re on site and we can, as they reconfigure their offices and maybe downsize or maybe have new tenants move in next to them, we can come in and walk around with our tool sets and help them assess their current wireless network.
Marcus Holloway: Well, that’s great, Pete, thanks for your time today. How can people get more information about these, these and other assessments?
Pete Madsen: For more information, visit us at MTM.com, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 866-383-2867.
Marcus Holloway: For MTM Technologies, this is Marcus Holloway. Thank you.