If a managed IT services company was a computer, the Centralized Services department would be the motherboard. Just as a motherboard provides connection and direction for the components of a computer, Centralized Services touches every internal VC3 department and employee and every client and computer user in one way or another. This adds up to more than 16,000 endpoints.
As a new VC3 client, your connection with Centralized Services will begin during onboarding as a Remote Management and Monitoring tool is installed on every device on your network, and tools that will be used to manage your IT systems are deployed.
Data Streams Back and Forth Between Endpoints and Centralized Services
Once all the management tools are installed, a constant stream of communication commences, going back and forth from all the endpoints and networking equipment to the Centralized Services hub. Automation plays an integral part in keeping this data traffic flowing, but it’s ultimately the engineers who are responsible for orchestrating the IT and cyber security tasks that take place as if they were “auto-magical.”
Essentially, Centralized Services receives information from endpoints and networking equipment that relays operational and security status. They send out information and directions to optimize functionality and security. When an alert signals that something is unacceptable, the engineers investigate and decide what action, if any, needs to be taken.
“I take care of the server that monitors over 16,000 devices for VC3. I do scripting and write programs so that our engineers don’t have to do repetitive tasks. The amount of things going on in the background would amaze most people. They don’t think their computer can do what it can do!”
– George, Automation Systems Engineer
Proactive and Reactive Tasks
Understanding everything that Centralized Services does would take us deep into the weeds. However, you can get a good idea of the role this team plays in both proactive and reactive IT management by looking at a few key areas of their work.
Software Updates and Patching
One of the routine tasks that Centralized Services handles is updating and patching software. Keeping software up to date is important for functionality, and software patches keep cyber criminals from exploiting new vulnerabilities as they are exposed. Most software updates are scheduled, but security patches may need immediate attention.
Cyber Security Monitoring and Response
The advanced security software tools that VC3 uses are managed by the Centralized Services Department. These sophisticated tools detect and shut down cyber intruders and keep detailed logs of digital activity so that the source of the breach can be identified and closed.
Data Backup Management
Centralized Services manages backups for both clients and VC3. Backup processes require monitoring and testing to ensure that they’re useful. When files need to be restored, Centralized Services takes care of that too.
Internal IT Support for VC3
Just as clients have an Elite Team that works on critical issues, escalated support tickets, and ongoing proactive IT management, the Centralized Services team does the same for VC3. They’re the IT team for the IT team. And if there’s a new tool that they want to test, they’ll probably give it a try on VC3’s internal network.
“My favorite part of my job is being able to put my head down for a few hours and dig into a complex technical issue. It’s so rewarding to study a problem, learn it, digest it, figure out a solution, and execute it so the problem is fixed.”
- Bradley, Systems Technician
Documentation of Networks and Processes
Documentation that records network architecture and all of the processes that Centralized Services manages is very important. Engineers keep these documents updated so that no one ever has to rely on tribal knowledge to work on an IT environment, whether it’s a client or VC3 itself.
Ongoing Education and Professional Development
Staying up to date with the latest technology trends and tools is imperative for the Centralized Services team. By keeping an ear to the ground through blogs, forums, and industry websites, they’re able to get a heads up when there’s a change they need to make. That could be something like preemptively preventing the deployment of a bad software patch or vetting a next-generation technology tool.
“The cyber world is a lot bigger and can be scarier than any other world out there because of how easy it is to be compromised and potentially lose all your data. I love learning about new IT threats and how to protect against them.”
- Anthony, Senior CS Support Specialist
Reporting and Analysis of IT Status
While the work of the Centralized Services team is behind the scenes, they are always in communication with the Technology Advisors (TA) and Client Success Managers (CSM) who routinely interact with each client point-of-contact. Their analysis of the data that is collected from client IT systems helps TAs and CSMs in their conversations about IT status, including areas of concern and areas where improvements will be needed in the future.
IT Systems Hum Along Because of Centralized Services Team
The work of the Centralized Services team might be behind the scenes, but if you’re a client or an VC3 employee, you experience the result of what they do every day when you turn on your computer and go about your daily tasks. When everything just works, it seems like there’s something magical going on, but the truth is – it’s auto-magical.