Editor’s note: Veranika explains how adopting a multi-tier model of NOC design can help you create an orderly network operations center and timely resolve IT infrastructure problems. And if you consider entrusting your NOC services to a reliable provider, you are welcome to consider our NOC services.
A network operations center is an IT infrastructure management unit that has become a necessity for many companies, especially those who have to see to multiple networks on a regular basis. A NOC gives an opportunity of 24/7/365 IT infrastructure monitoring, troubleshooting and foreseeing network failures to ensure high network uptime and stable functioning of applications and databases. However, establishing an orderly NOC is quite challenging. The first step you should take is to choose the NOC’s structure that will determine your resource needs. Below, I explain how adopting a multi-tier model used in most of today’s large NOCs will help you build a structured and smoothly functioning NOC in your company.
NOC design in tiers
A multi-tier model to network operations center design helps effectively distribute responsibilities among different NOC levels, according to the skills and experience of NOC engineers and the complexity of issues they deal with.
At this level, NOC staff receives infrastructure-related requests and deals with simple network issues, such as login problems, checking proper network configurations. NOC Tier 1 specialists can use problem-solving scripts containing step-by-step instructions on how to tackle issues quickly. Problems that require a higher level of technical expertise are escalated to NOC Tier 2 specialists.
This level is represented by more tech-savvy specialists who deal with thornier network issues, which often requires a deeper understanding of the supported IT infrastructure. Some common tasks at NOC Tier 2 include resolving configuration issues, account administration, services restart, etc. If an issue involves more detailed research on the code level, it is escalated to NOC Tier 3.
Tier 3 serves as the top escalation point for NOC Tier 1 and Tier 2 specialists. Tier 3 engineers are responsible for handling issues on the code or database level and provide hot fixes. Resolving issues at NOC Tier 3 requires development skills, so you can either keep it in-house or outsource to a vendor who is ready to work at the backend level.
Build an orderly NOC
A properly chosen structure is the key to a smoothly functioning network operations center. By choosing a multi-tier model with proper escalation procedures for your NOC, you can resolve IT infrastructure issues of different complexity promptly and make your IT infrastructure truly reliable. If you’d like to entrust the design and management of your network operations center to a reliable service provider, feel free to contact my team.
Editor’s note: Vladimir shares the benefits of employee monitoring software and presents the list of the top three platforms for employee tracking. If you consider supporting your business with employee monitoring software, feel free to turn to De London Consult software development consulting services.
With the spread of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies introduce employee monitoring software. Employee monitoring software is designed to increase work efficiency and help prevent potential data breaches by dishonest employees. One of the biggest problems that employee monitoring software can help solve is the lack of employee engagement. Nearly 70% of Americans are not fully engaged with their work and 40% are not engaged at all. And employee monitoring software helps identify and motivate the most dedicated and productive workers.
- Attendance monitoring. Attendance monitoring helps track employees’ presence at the workplace, login and logout to the work desktop.
- Working time tracking. Employee tracking software can show the exact time when an employee is actively working on the computer and when they are away from their desktops.
- Data leakage prevention. Employees can voluntarily or involuntarily give access to the company’s sensitive data to third parties. Employee monitoring software helps detect insider threats from dishonest workers and prevent corporate data leakage.
- Monitoring URLs of visited websites. A manager can see if the pages an employee visits are related to work or not. It’s also possible to check when a particular page was visited and for how long. Such monitoring helps use employees’ time more effectively and improve cybersecurity.
Teramind is mostly known for its security features like data loss prevention, audits, and user behavior analytics. You can also remotely control workers’ devices if needed, and access video recordings of all employee activity. Teramind gives you an option to set rules that prevent external drive usage and detect unusual or unauthorized network logins.
- Data Loss Prevention — monitors every action an employee makes on a computer: apps opened, websites visited, files copied, etc. The manager can view the activity of each employee and control their access to certain information
- User Behavior Analytics — enables managers to check the video and audio recordings of all employee work, look at the session recordings and immutable logs as well as conduct a search through all the content employees work with.
- Insider Threat Prevention — automates risk detection and enables managers/administrators to block unwanted employee behavior.
- Starter: £50/month.
- UAM: £104.20/month.
- DLP: £125/month.
More about Teramind
ActivTrak is famous for workforce analytics. Its capabilities include website and app monitoring, activity tracking, and alerts.
- Workload Management — helps track the productivity of each employee in real time, make comparisons across the team, and identify over- and underutilized employees.
- Productivity Reports — collects attendance data, visited apps and websites from all employees, and composes detailed reports on each criterion. Managers can see total working hours when employees were active or took a break.
- Real-time User Activity — allows a manager to track team performance and engagement in real time.
- Alarms & Website Blocking — enables managers or administrators to make a list of dangerous or suspicious websites, and either put them on the alarm list or simply block them on all connected computers. ActivTrak has pre-built alarms but users can always create custom alarms based on any combination of conditions.
- Premium: £75 per/month.
- Enterprise: custom price.
More about ActivTrak
Hubstaff is well-known for its productivity management and time tracking. This employee tracking software provides project management and task tracking options for managers and teams.
- Time tracker — allows tracking employee hours and automates tracking for accurate employee timesheets.
- Timesheet — enables managing team schedules and provides teams with automatic detailed timesheets on a daily basis.
- Starter: £14/month (paid monthly) or £11.66/month (paid annually).
- Pro: £20/month (paid monthly) or £16/month (paid annually).
- Enterprise: custom price.
More about Hubstaff
How can employee monitoring software help your business?
The way working processes are established and managed is changing as more companies are making a shift to the remote or hybrid work models. For these processes to function successfully, a company needs to know its employees and their activities well, and employee monitoring software can help with the task. If you consider the implementation of employee monitoring software for your organization, ScienceSoft can advise you on the features that will meet your specific needs, implement and support a tailored employee tracking solution. Just let us know.
Editor’s note: In this article, Boris explains the concept and principles of operation of smart building technology, describes its features, and presents its use cases in different domains. If you need a deeper insight into smart building technology or help with its implementation, De London Consult is happy to offer its IoT development services.
In the digital era, it is no longer enough for buildings to provide space, keep occupants warm, and please the eye. New demands require the digital market to offer advanced complex solutions like smart buildings.
A smart building is a structure based on IoT technology that uses hardware, software, and connectivity to manage HVAC, lighting, security, etc., and create a comfortable and safe environment for occupants. The above elements interlinked form a complex solution that collects and analyzes building operation data in real time and improves building upkeep and maintenance as well as the experience of its occupants.
- Comfort for occupants due to controlling lighting, temperature, humidity, and other parameters and allowing for personalized comfort settings.
- Automated control of a building’s HVAC, electrical, lighting, shading, access, and security systems based on collecting and analyzing data on environmental conditions, occupant behavior, and more.
- Cost optimization due to analyzing building usage patterns and making adjustments to improve a building’s upkeep, optimize HVAC operation, match occupancy patterns to energy use, enhance space utilization efficiency, and more.
- Reduced environmental impact due to analyzing indoor and outdoor environment conditions, occupants’ behavior, and other data to optimize energy and water consumption patterns and reduce emissions.
- Integration capabilities due to which there is no need to construct or move to a new building to benefit from the smart technology. Modern smart building solutions can be embedded into older structures.
- Preventive maintenance due to analyzing real-time and historical equipment data and detecting patterns leading to a potential failure.
- Enhanced health and well-being due to supporting physical distancing efforts through space optimization and access control systems and improving indoor air quality through efficient HVAC operation, and more.
Smart offices like the Edge in Amsterdam, Netherlands, or Capital Tower in Singapore use smart building technology to adjust building operations to workers’ needs and enhance employee satisfaction and productivity. Occupants of these buildings can book available office spaces, have seamless access to location information and personalized comfort settings. Building managers can handle maintenance and sanitization requests and get space and energy efficiency optimized.
For example, with the help of a special app, the Edge knows the routine of each of its occupants: it books workplaces based on their business schedules, knows which cars they drive and takes care of parking arrangements accordingly, remembers each occupant’s lighting and temperature preferences. Every aspect of building operation from energy use to coffee machines is monitored via its central dashboards, which helps optimize building resources and cut upkeep costs whenever possible.
Smart offices are also capable of addressing global challenges like air purification or fighting extreme temperatures. For example, with its five air purification systems, Glumac’s Shanghai office, China, ensures the best indoor air quality in Shanghai. And Hindmarsh Shire Council Corporate Center in Melbourne, Australia, has a series of underground thermal chambers and a ventilation system to maintain a comfortable indoor climate.
Smart hospitals can bring better treatment outcomes, enhanced staff productivity, and cost-effectiveness, as proven by the Ankara City Hospital, Turkey, or the Sint-Maarten Hospital in Mechelen, Belgium. These hospitals are intelligent ecosystems with a central building management platform that controls the subsystems. Smart building hardware and software are used to lower infection risks, optimize the use and maintenance of medical equipment, facilitate patient and visitor registration, provide individual comfort settings for patients, improve energy use, and more.
Smart data centers prioritize uptime, energy efficiency, physical security, and fire safety. They use smart building solutions that operate 24/7/365 as in NxtGen Data Center in Bangalore, India, or Interxion Data Center in Vienna, Austria. They leverage smart power supply systems that provide power independently from the public power grid, smoke detectors that identify incipient fires and activate response measures, and security management systems that ensure perimeter protection, intrusion detection, and visitor management.
Smart life science facilities face unique challenges like biosafety hazards or intellectual property loss and use specialized smart solutions for cleanrooms, laboratories, and critical storage facilities to address them. For example, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Develco Pharma use tailored smart building technologies in their production buildings in Saint-Prex, Switzerland, and Schopfheim, Germany. The solutions they use provide security monitoring via smart surveillance systems, control airflows, detect and protect the buildings from fire, and share building operation analytics through real-time dashboards.
Upgrade Your Building with a Smart Solution
Modern buildings are not just meant to provide a roof overhead. They have evolved into smart facilities with a connected infrastructure that make life and work easier, safer, and more comfortable and help reduce the impact on the environment. Smart building technology is nowadays applicable to various domains. If your company needs help in implementing smart building technology, ScienceSoft is ready to provide its assistance, just let us know.
Editor’s note: In this article, we review features and benefits of eSourcing software. If you’re looking to improve the speed and efficiency of sourcing activities in your company, you are welcome to turn to De London Consult software consulting assistance for a roadmap to implement a fitting eSourcing solution.
eSourcing software equips procurement teams with digital tools to streamline and optimize all parts of the sourcing process, such as supplier onboarding and qualification, sourcing events management, contract management, and more.
What is offered within eSourcing software: functionality and benefits
The core features of eSourcing solutions include:
- Supplier onboarding via configurable registration forms, commonly available to suppliers as a self-service option, automated supplier pre-qualification against compliance requirements, and setup of supplier approval workflows.
- RFx management via collaboration tools to establish product or service requirements and decide upon the best-fitting suppliers together with involved stakeholders, RFx templates, automated scoring and cross-comparison of supplier proposals.
- eActions management with template-based creation of eAuction events, setup of nomination criteria (assigning weights to cost, quality and capacity criteria, etc.) and bidding conditions, real-time eAuction monitoring and update notifications to participants.
- Contract management with centralized contract repository, contract templates, automated contract routing for approval of internal stakeholders, alerts on contract expiry. Access to contract information can be limited based on user roles.
- Supplier data management with supplier profiles storage, supplier product or service catalogs creation, a search engine to easily retrieve necessary data, and self-service capabilities for suppliers to update their information.
- Supplier performance monitoring against pre-defined KPIs.
With eSourcing software implemented, your company can reduce sourcing cycle times, negotiate lower prices for products and services, and minimize supplier compliance risks.
op eSourcing software products
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management (Procurement & Sourcing Module)
The product centralizes all supplier information, enables setup of automated approval workflows (for new supplier registration requests, etc.), RFQ management, bids assessment and collaborative supplier selection, creation of approved supplier lists for particular products or services.
Pricing: starting at £180 per user/month.
Oracle Supply Chain Management: Procurement
The product has intuitive tools for collaboration on supplier requirements gathering, side-by-side comparison of supplier proposals, dashboards for monitoring progress on sourcing activities and tracking sourcing KPIs, a unified contract repository and contract expiry alerts.
Pricing: starting at £400 per user/month.
SAP Ariba: Strategic Sourcing Suite
The product offers automated approval workflows for sourcing projects, simple RFx event creation and management via user-friendly dashboards, centralized bid monitoring, award optimization via bids analysis, supplier performance management through scorecards and qualification matrixes.
Pricing: by request to the vendor.
If you see the need to strengthen your supplier network and sourcing decisions with eSourcing software, the next step is to identify the right product. Our consulting team is ready to select eSourcing software that would address your strategic sourcing objectives and integrate well with existing sourcing workflows, or design and plan the implementation of a tailored custom solution. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your project.