Ultima’s success is based on ensuring that customers’ underlying business needs and imperatives are addressed by improving efficiency, increasing competitive advantage, adding extra levels of security, and providing return on investment. NetIQ AppManager® provides a flexible and robust solution for helping Ultima proactively monitor and manage clients’ IT infrastructures nationally and internationally.
An independent managed services provider since 1990, Ultima Business Solutions has evolved into one of the UK’s leading providers of secure, available, and scalable IT infrastructure solutions to private and public sector organizations.
Ultima Business Solutions has become one of the United Kingdom’s top managed services providers. One key to Ultima’s success is its use of NetIQ AppManager to evolve a service management infrastructure that supports clients’ critical networks and systems.
When reviewing its services portfolio four years ago, Ultima determined that its existing service management infrastructure, CA Unicenter, could not fully support its requirements for extending and improving the delivery of managed services. This led Ultima to engage NetIQ to meet its expanding needs.
Working with NetIQ, Ultima defined and built a service management solution that utilizes NetIQ AppManager to manage clients’ server and network infrastructures, as well as security systems and key applications, including those from Microsoft and Citrix. NetIQ helps Ultima support its very diverse set of customers with ongoing assistance and support when required.
Today, Ultima’s Technical Centre monitors and manages the IT infrastructure of more than 120 clients nationally and globally. The size of these client accounts ranges from 20 to more than 25,000 end users, and all are using a range of managed services and helpdesk solutions built on NetIQ AppManager.
Ultima regards NetIQ AppManager as a highly versatile and flexible tool that can be applied to all aspects of application and service performance monitoring. For example, the company works for several online gambling companies and uses NetIQ AppManager to simulate the end-user experience on various Web sites. Scripts are written to test the performance of a site function; then NetIQ AppManager flags any incidents and provides a detailed analysis of how the underlying systems are performing.
Another example of Ultima’s service management innovation as a result of NetIQ AppManager, is the development of a co-sourced solution for monitoring the core IT services of one client: Withers, an international law firm dedicated to entrepreneurs, successful people, and their businesses.
Withers (www.withersworldwide.com) has 105 partners and approximately 650 people focusing on commercial, tax, trusts, estate planning, litigation, charities, employment, family law, and other legal issues facing high net worth individuals, their families, businesses, and advisers globally. Withers has worldwide offices in all the major centers, including New York, New Haven and Greenwich (Connecticut), the British Virgin Islands, London, Hong Kong, Geneva, and Milan.
Managing IT around the clock is essential for this international law firm. The Withers IT teams are split between the London, New Haven (CT), and New York offices. Angela Conner is the head of IT (Europe and Asia) with global responsibility for service delivery.
Angela and the Withers IT management team reviewed how to best monitor core IT services in and out of hours—and defined specific requirements. They needed a co-sourced solution that would provide them with a fully flexible 24/7 monitoring and alerting service that would be managed externally but accessible to both the UK- and US-based IT teams. The ideal solution also had to be flexible enough to meet the ever-changing needs of the business and technology enhancements, as well as able to provide the IT management team with capacity and trend analysis reporting.
For Withers, Ultima developed a bespoke state-of-the-art monitoring solution that is shared between the Withers IT teams and the Ultima Technical Support team. The solution utilizes NetIQ AppManager to proactively monitor and alert the teams to incidents globally.
Ultima designed a separate console based on NetIQ AppManager for the Withers global IT team to view and act upon incidents during daytime hours of operation. Out of hours in both the UK and US, the Ultima team takes over, utilizing its own NetIQ AppManager tools, which exactly mirror the console used by the Withers in-house IT team. All IT support calls are forwarded to Ultima’s 24/7 technical response team during both the UK and US helpdesk dark hours, to help ensure that users have a seamless experience around the clock.
The full co-sourced solution went live in early 2008 and fulfills Withers’ requirement to retain control over its IT infrastructure, without having to recruit additional staff in either the UK or US to cover “out of hours IT support.” Trend and capacity analysis reports generated by NetIQ Analysis Center provide Withers with full visibility into how their infrastructure is performing.
Ultima and NetIQ have forged a close strategic partnership that will enable Ultima to continue to set the bar high on what can be achieved in proactively monitoring and managing its clients’ critical IT infrastructures. The co-sourced managed service provider solution at Withers is just one example that demonstrates how NetIQ AppManager can be applied to enable a global managed services relationship. Ultima relies on NetIQ AppManager for the features and flexibility to serve its clients unique needs.
- Proactively monitors and alerts teams to incidents globally
- Offers a seamless experience around the clock
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