How to substantially increase performance and quality of IT work by rejecting e-mail communication

How to substantially increase performance and quality of IT work by rejecting e-mail communication

How to improve the effectiveness of project implementation and completion?  It is simple – give up e-mail communication. Sounds like a heresy? At a first glance it may seem that without e-mails everything will end up in an absolute chaos and the project will fail.

How to reconcile all the stages of service performance, from planning, through programming and testing, to implementation and maintenance? How to make teams communicate effectively and quickly as well as improve their performance instead of reducing it?

Corporate e-mails? No, thanks!

Until recently, specialists taught effective e-mail communication. Arrangements, conditions, plans, discussions, setting tasks and goals – all this in writing, in black and white. This used to be the way. E-mails reigned and were much more convenient than telephone arrangements or notes from meetings. They WERE.

This is a thing of the past. Now it is time to introduce better service and project management systems as well as a new and more effective work methodology. At INDEVOPS, we replaced e-mails and the whole related mess, among others, with Easy Redmine, a project management system. It is a powerful tool which considerably simplified the performance of even the most advanced and complicated services.

The Kanban board allows us to divide each project into single tasks which we perform in a given time (the so-called sprints). We have been testing this product since 2017, and there is virtually no chance for a holdup, somebody failing to receive something or some information about each stage of the project gone missing. This does not happen.

Easy Redmine helps us to visualize tasks within the project on a timeline. We can easily plan, set project milestones and subtasks, assign tasks and add notes to each performance stage. A short glimpse is enough to understand what the project is about and how advanced the works are.

This is what the work based on DevOps methodology and Scrum process looks like.  Not only is it agile, but also exceptionally effective for both the development team and the customers.

Endless irritation

We all know that effective communication is in 80% responsible for any successful implementation and even more in providing continuous services. E-mails did not meet our needs. We plunged into chaos.

This was not the way we wanted to serve our customers. After all, knowledge and experience are all part of the success. Available tools which ensure better work performance, safety and transparency also matter. We want to improve our everyday work in order to provide our customers solely with the best quality.

When we analyzed our projects, it was difficult to find the moment when things went wrong. E-mails did not give us such possibility. Our frustration kept growing and this sparked a permanent change. And for the better.

In 2017 we gave up standard communication methods such as e-mails. We use e-mail boxes only for occasional external and customer communication.

Which engine do you invest in at your company?

Particular tools serve as components of our company “engine”. When taken together, they make INDEVOPS a fast, safe and premium class car. You know – better performance, faster acceleration, fewer breakdowns and… lower costs. Nothing but benefits.

On the other hand, you can endlessly invest in repairing old, unreliable methods and wonder why projects contain errors. Sometimes things go lost, or there is a data leak, or somebody does not receive things on time. Costs are growing and the customers are even more frustrated. Is this was we aim at?

Fast or well? Maybe both?

In everyday work we combine carefully selected tools and work methods with our skills, experience and positive approach. This configuration guarantees quick and effective performance of tasks, exchange of knowledge between departments and learning. The perfect communication.

Quick sprint to reach the goal

The Scrum framework is our guidepost. It consists of individual sprints of our teams which resemble a task relay. Each stage is carefully planned and discussed.

Thanks to this approach we are able to complete many tasks at the same time, communicate effectively and quickly solve current problems. It gives us comfort and flexibility to work more effectively and achieve more.

Appropriate project management means an efficient team

Each project includes a set of tasks, and each of the tasks is combined of activities which we list and complete step by step. Classic customer service management methods highly limit communication and creativity.  As a consequence, you lose precious time and find it difficult to meet the deadlines as you constantly fight errors and omissions.

In traditional companies one project is usually performed by a single person. If an obstacle appears, they have to ask for help, explain and describe the entire process. It takes time and causes irritation.

INDEVOPS – simply efficient

Such frustration almost never happens here. By using appropriate tools such as Scrum and Easy Redmine, each team member has insight into all tasks, subtasks, milestones, deadlines, explanations, activities and notes, which show our way towards the goal. If needed, they can quickly join the process and help.

We do not waste time on explanations, meetings or calls. Everything is clear and easily available in the form of notes in the project management system. Each team member may follow progress and activities performed on an ongoing basis.

Also the project manager’s task is easier. They do not have to ask such questions like: “What stage are we at? What has already been done and what is to be done yet?”. Everything is updated in the system on an ongoing basis.

It also ensures a more effective customer communication. When they call to ask about the progress of the project, a quick look at the information in the system is enough to find out the answer. This is why we are so effective as INDEVOPS and our customers obtain high-end quality services without wasting their time.

A company that is constantly learning

Thanks to this model of internal communication we constantly learn from each other and exchange experiences at INDEVOPS.

By sending project messages and analyzing each stage of the process, we quickly discover potential errors and failures. In this way we create a pool of good practices and our own solutions.

Solutions not for everyone

Scrum and DevOps offer an effective approach towards project completion, but not for everyone. Open and honest team communication is necessary.

If you inspire a rat race and create an atmosphere of constant competition, these tools will be of no use. Conservative e-mails and formal arrangements will do better. And the competitive spirit will simply prevail over the good of the team and customers. Ultimately, it is the promotion to a higher post that matters the most.

Only real and open team work with people who are able to both share their knowledge and accept criticism constitute conditions under which you may to set ambitious goals. You cannot achieve your greatest goals and dreams on your own. This may happen only in a team.

Tools are not everything (but without tools everything fails).

They help to improve work. They increase safety and automate processes. Shorten the project cycle. But without a knowledgeable and skilled team, they are only tools. They are worthless.

Therefore, at INDEVOPS we care mostly about people. Both the employees and the customers. Before each project we carefully examine the customer’s needs. We try to establish the root cause of the problem. What we offer to our customers are not regular services that are easily available on the market. These are professional solutions which provide measurable business advantages.

The tools are to serve us, but the key aspects are skills, approach and willingness to work in a team. No system or program can replace over 10-years experience and knowledge in IT monitoring and automation that we have.

If you want to check how effective we are, let us know how we can improve your IT activities. Regardless of whether you need monitoring or consider automation. We will be happy to help contact us! >

In solidarity with Ukraine!

In solidarity with Ukraine!

We don’t like to break the silence on our Social Media. However, nowadays it is more important to help people in need and set a good example. We encourage our partners and the companies we work with, to provide long-term support.

As a gesture of solidarity with Ukraine:

  • We donated 5000 PLN to the account of Polish Humanitarian Action.
  • Countless kilograms of food, chemicals, bedding, blankets and other useful items were donated to local collections. And they still get there.
  • There were also people from our company who “dropped everything and went to help refugees across the border”, just a few days after the war broke out💗💪.

We call to all SMB – help as much as you can ❤💪

Automated cost allocation in IT environments

Automated cost allocation in IT environments

Access to data on fees for the use of IT systems allows you to answer the question “How much does it cost?”. But with the help of a module, where you can find reports and billing statements, you will also be able to make key decisions about your IT environment. The module will prove equally invaluable when looking for savings, planning a budget or when you want to compare offers from different suppliers.

Why is it worth accounting for costs in IT environments?

The answer to this question is simple. Each participant in the process wants to know how much and for what exactly they are paying. It can be assumed with a high degree of certainty that the question “How much will it cost me?” is going to be raised at some stage of decision making (e.g. budget planning for a new system). It is important to determine at the outset whether migration to a new environment will generate savings for the business.

Cost allocation in IT environments can be considered from two points of view: from the IT infrastructure owner’s standpoint and from the perspective of the end user or the ordering party.

Benefits to owners or suppliers of infrastructure

What will the owner or supplier of IT infrastructure gain thanks to the implementation of the VMware vRealize Operations Manager (vROPS) module and a payment policy in VMware vRealize Automation (vRA)?

The most important benefits include:

  • Defining a pricing policy flexibly – it can be individually negotiated, while also taking into account the type of application, environment (production, test, development), as well as location.
  • Options to verify the current pricing policy based on financial performance.
  • Access to reports which allow you to identify entities generating the highest costs.
  • If the contractor has access to official price lists of other cloud providers, it is possible to perform comparative simulations for a single application or a given client.
  • An option to generate reports and statements of charges which can be attached to end-of-month invoices.
  • Fees for using a virtual machine are automatically determined based on the costs associated with the cloud infrastructure (e.g. for internal entities that use the same infrastructure).

Benefits to end users or purchasing entities

How can a company ordering or using a cloud environment take advantage of access to cost information?

End users can:

  • make informed decisions on whether to continue using or to opt out of services based on quantified cost and fees data, such as reports and detailed views;
  • check accounts on an ongoing basis in any time interval, e.g. daily, monthly or yearly;
  • compare charges over a given billing period, e.g. annually;
  • estimate its daily or monthly cost when planning a new system;
  • easily plan the budget for the coming months;
  • analyse the fees for cloud environment and compare them with the official price lists of other providers;
  • look for savings on the CPU/Memory/Storage level if it turns out that the current architecture of the environment is overestimated in relation to the actual needs;
  •  easily control expenses at the level of a particular, internal entity or application thanks to constant access to statements of current charges.

How do we do it at INDEVOPS?

Defining a pricing policy

Formulating a pricing policy underlines our operations within vRealize Automation. This is the very policy that enables us to settle entities precisely. It includes rates for CPU/Memory/Storage and any additional services (such as the use of licenses or IT support).

In the case of complex systems with very large budgets, an approval of senior management is often required on the part of the client. In such situations, we define a pricing policy which subjects the deployment of a new system to its price.

Cost dashboards for infrastructure owners

We utilise vRealize Operations Manager as a cost, reporting and billing module. All expenses that the owner of cloud infrastructure incurs in connection with its maintenance are entered into the cost module. These may include licence purchases, charges for electricity used e.g. for cooling servers, insurance, IT support services, purchasing software and additional applications, creating backups, renting space in the server room, etc.

The reports we prepare contain a summary of costs per single virtual machine, host, cluster, data center or location. Service providers can quickly see what the profit-to-cost ratio is, which allows them to measure and analyse business profitability and make informed decisions about further investments.

Billing information for final users

Final customers using the vROPS module have access to statements where they can check the current amount of fees on an ongoing basis. In this module, they can also view the number of systems currently running, along with the costs generated by them.

Billing statements are also very helpful when systems have been overestimated at the design stage and savings are required. The module gives end customers access to historical data, thanks to which they can compare charges from different settlement periods.

This part of the module also includes official price lists of the largest cloud providers operating on the market, such as Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), Google (GCP) – this is a valuable source of information for people who want to compare service offers.

Do you already know why allocating costs to virtual machines is one of the most important aspects of IT automation? If you have any questions about it, please get in touch.

We will be happy to help!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a joyous holiday and a wonderful, healthy and peaceful year ahead that is filled with good friends, lots of sunshine, and fantastic times!
May the coming year 2022 be full of grand adventures and bursting with fulfilling and exciting opportunities that bring you much success.

Why should you automate your IT?

Why should you automate your IT?

A company without IT has no chance of development – it is supported both by simple solutions such as cash registers and extensive infrastructures with an international reach. However, development means an increase in the amount of tasks related to IT maintenance. Check how to replace manual work with automatic tools that will give your company new development opportunities.

Is it the right time to implement automation in your company?

In the growth of any organization, there comes a point when manually operating systems becomes too time-consuming.

Single simple but tedious tasks are not a big problem for administrators. However, if they start doing this work for dozens or hundreds of employees, it may turn out that they lack the time for implementations that allows the company to grow.

Your company is planning to introduce new products or increase employment? This is a good time to select areas that can undergo IT automation.

From tedious work to one click – how does automation improve the work of IT administrators?

Administrators spend a large part of their time managing employee accounts. Setting up such an account requires a number of steps: logging into many websites, e.g. to an internal account database, teleconference or chat services, e-mail, training platforms, and a platform for supporting benefit cards.

Increasing the disk capacity for the application server can also be such a time-consuming task. The administrator must log in to the virtualizer, manually increase the disk capacity, log in to the virtual machine separately, and then enter the command appropriate for the operating system.

What does the performance of these tasks look like once automation has been implemented in the company? From the administrator’s side, it only requires clicking the “Submit” button. All the work they had to do manually until now is done somewhat behind the scenes, based on predefined procedures.

Use automation where you need it

Looking to streamline processes in your company? Here are some examples from different areas:

  • IT support – providing virtual desktops without manual intervention – help for employees who are not technically advanced.
  • Information flow in the company – introduction of the approval system: the order of goods is prepared by the warehouse worker, but to be placed, it must be approved by the manager. The decision-maker no longer has to define the parameters on his/her own – they are loaded from the prepared order.
  • Creating a “world management center”, i.e. a common interface – such a solution makes it easier to use different environments, for example when configuring virtual machines at different cloud service providers.
  • Placing orders – automatic systems allow you to order goods from suppliers who currently offer them at the lowest price.

Discover the benefits of IT automation for your company

By automating IT processes, you free up corporate resources – Your administrators can focus on implementing innovations, instead of spending the lion’s share of their work on performing other simple and repetitive activities. IT automation is also a way to optimize costs – the current team is enough to operate IT systems, without the need to appoint additional human resources.

By using tools that replace the manual work of your IT team, you can also ensure consistent standards across the company. Then you avoid, for example, problems with missing accounts for employees or differences in partition format on virtual machines.

Check how we remove obstacles to development by implementing automation tools. Contact us and we will present our solutions to you!