Tenet becomes virtual network operations centre

According to Tenet Computer Group Inc., you can’t NOC its new network monitoring solution.

Carlos Paz-Soldan, vice-president of technology and services for the Toronto-based company, says it has signed a partnership agreement

with Priority Alert to use its monitoring tools, turning Tenet into a virtual network operations centre (NOC).

“”The partnership is in essence about them subscribing to our service and utilizing it in their service delivery vehicle,”” says Brad Ahrenf, channel manager for the Mississauga, Ont.-based Priority Alert. “”What Priority Alert offers is a tool set that resellers can subscribe to to deliver a monitoring service so they don’t have to invest in the tools and infrastructure.””

The system monitors servers, databases, LAN switches and other devices over a simple network management protocol (SNMP) through a Web-based interface. (Any SNMP device can be watched.) Paz-Soldan says the technology allows Tenet to provide 24/7 technical support and address problems before the customer notices something isn’t working properly.

The system can be monitored over a virtual private network or the Web. Once a problem is detected an alert is sent out via e-mail. Alerts can be sent to one or more people and to a range of devices. No software is installed on the client site.

Paz-Soldan says the system adds up to a great deal of savings. “”It is more cost-effective to outsource the monitoring piece because the customers don’t have to buy and install, support and manage their own monitoring tools — which normally would involve a number of different pieces of software and hardware, as well as expertise.””

Tenet’s primary customers are the Ontario provincial government and mid-size companies. Paz-Soldan says it works with hospitals, various provincial ministries, law firms and insurance companies. Clients aren’t isolated to a particular vertical, he says, because the business case and needs are the same.

Priority Alerts customers aren’t as varied.

“”The sweet spot would be companies that have a support program. It doesn’t preclude any other vendors, but those that do support generally find this type of a tool valuable in meeting their support delivery mandates,”” Ahrenf says. “”This will give them a proactive problem identification as opposed to waiting for the call to be called in.””

Despite the advantages, Paz-Soldan says people tend to view this kind of service as important, but not urgent. “”Sometimes the clients either don’t either have the time to do it, or their priorities are not there — until something crashes, of course.””

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