Telco Embraces Growth, Relies on Proactive Management for Extensive IT Infrastructure
Dialog Telekom, a publicly listed company and subsidiary of the Telekom Malaysia Group, is the largest mobile communication service provider in Sri Lanka. The company has 4,500 employees and serves more than 4.5 million customers. Following the success of its cellular services, Dialog Telekom expanded operations to include Internet and data services, mobile satellite services, fixed-line voice and broadband services, and digital satellite television to provide multisensory connectivity to individual and corporate customers.
With new lines of business came growth. In an 18-month period, IT infrastructure expanded from 40 to 150 servers. Consequently, IT staff faced operational challenges. They lacked a holistic view into IT health and resorted to logging onto each server to monitor it. In addition, the company had insufficient tools to monitor service levels or gain visibility into core Microsoft products and technologies, such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Active Directory, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management Solution.
Adding to this challenge, Dialog Telekom has an expansive IT infrastructure, consisting of eight data centers, 20 help desk staff, and more than 3,500 desktops dispersed across 80 locations, including business partners, branches, and franchises. Since 2006, the company has added 60 to 70 computers a month, in addition to new locations. “Growth put the IT department into a reactive mode,” says Gayantha Mendis, Chief Manager of Group IT Infrastructure Management for Dialog Telekom. “It was becoming difficult for us to know if there was a service outage until someone called.”
To support growth, business leaders required the IT department to establish proactive systems monitoring and service level agreements to ensure that the company could control its IT infrastructure without the need for additional staff.
Dialog Telekom supplements the talent of its IT team with Microsoft Services Premier Support and a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement through Microsoft Sri Lanka and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Millennium Information Technologies Limited. When Dialog Telekom deployed its core IT infrastructure, this agreement laid the foundation, enabling the team to work directly with the enterprise account management team of Microsoft Sri Lanka. This agreement also encapsulated a meticulous deployment schedule for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. When business leaders from Dialog Telekom mandated proactive systems monitoring, the company was quick to turn to the Service Management Optimization engagement from Microsoft Services. Dialog Telekom understood that the engagement would ensure a successful deployment of System Center Operations Manager and would help establish proactive monitoring and capacity management for systems, applications, and services.
Working with a Familiar Team
Through the Service Management Optimization engagement, Dialog Telekom worked closely with Microsoft Global Services India. The companies planned for and deployed System Center Operations Manager in accordance with Microsoft best practices and lessons learned from previous engagements with enterprise customers.
Before deploying System Center Operations Manager, however, Microsoft Services provided architecture and design guidance. Past engagements with Dialog Telekom helped streamline the entire process. “We have worked with Dialog Telekom on a number of occasions, including the deployment of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003,” says Gayan Randeny, Senior Consultant at Microsoft Global Services India. “As a result, we are very familiar with their IT infrastructure and operational pains.”
Deploying the Solution
In only three months, Microsoft Global Services India tested and moved System Center Operations Manager into a production environment. During this time, Microsoft Services deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2005 in a clustered-server configuration, provided operational guidance, and assisted Dialog Telekom in mapping out critical services, including its dependencies and components. By mapping out critical services, Dialog Telekom distributed the responsibility of monitoring different services across IT staff members. Members of the IT staff used the role-based user interface of System Center Operations Manager to quickly view the services assigned to them and add additional services as needed.
To help Dialog Telekom formalize service monitoring, Microsoft Global Services India provided incident matrices, escalation paths, and a major problem review process to help determine the cause of incidents. Microsoft Services also deployed a scorecard tool to help Dialog Telekom report service levels to business management.
Through Service Management Optimization from Microsoft Services, Dialog Telekom has established proactive service monitoring and ensured support for the company’s continuing growth. Says Mendis, “Microsoft Services provided us with the planning, guidelines, and tools, which we required to complete the projects on time and manage operations properly.”
Experience Proactive IT Management
With the help of Microsoft best practices and operational guidance combined with System Center Operations Manager, the Dialog Telekom IT department is now in a role of proactive IT support and management. Says Mohamed Muyees, Assistant Manager of IT Infrastructure Systems Operations for Dialog Telekom, “With System Center Operations Manager, we are alerted to any issues and can fix them before the user even notices.” Rather than logging onto each server, IT staff can quickly monitor services through a single console. To monitor distributed applications, IT staff members use System Center Operations Manager to carefully define the components that compose a service. With management packs, Dialog Telekom has continued to extend the functionality of System Center Operations Manager to monitor e-mail queues on Exchange Server 2003 and hardware dependencies.
Support Business Objectives
With the new ability to report on performance data, Dialog Telekom can take the first steps toward defining service level agreements for critical services. After service level agreements are established with business managers, the services will be monitored and recorded in the scorecard tool. “By analyzing and reporting on services, we will be able to use the scorecard to plan ahead, better serve our customers, and meet the needs of business,” says Muyees.
Establish a Foundation for Growth
Because System Center Operations Manager aggregates performance data, Dialog Telekom can predict and plan capacity for future growth of the IT infrastructure. In addition, the centralization of service monitoring eases the IT workload, enabling the company to grow without adding IT staff. “We are quite happy with Microsoft Services,” says Mendis. “They understood our needs and came up with a good solution. They knew about our operational issues from the very beginning and looked at both the business and operational angle of our company, helping us ensure that we completed the project successfully and had a solid infrastructure.”
For More Information
For more information about Dialog Telecom products and services visit the Web site at: www.dialog.lk
Document published June 2008
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