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    Analysis and Strategy

    Why Consolidate?

    As companies continue to invest heavily in IT systems, the complexity of integration increases along with the need and cost of ongoing maintenance.

    • Server sprawl is a challenge faced by many IT departments as organizations expand and grow.
    • Branch offices have created a distribution of data and systems at multiple locations giving birth to a plethora of business information challenges. One of the leading reasons for IT consolidation and IT rationalization plans of large enterprises is support for remote offices.
    • New technologies and multiple vendors have added to the patch-and-grow dilemma.

    IT consolidation can help reduce the complexity of existing IT infrastructure in a number of ways:

    • Increased system availability. High availability, reduced downtime, and optimal disaster recovery.
    • Improve responsiveness. A flexible and scalable IT environment that can quickly adapt to future growth.
    • Reduced costs. Reduced licensing costs, centralized storage, streamlined centralized operations and management of workstations, servers, and networks.
    • Improved security. Less endpoints for attack and greater management control with centralized data systems.

    IT consolidation is not just about the hardware. Applications and database consolidation can improve performance and streamline resources by eliminating redundancies and combining multiple applications and databases into a cohesive IT environment.

    IT consolidation analysis and strategy are the first steps to streamlining your IT management and improving the decision making process at your organization.

    Through a methodical analysis, the ENS-Inc team helps you develop an IT consolidation strategy that will obtain maximum optimization and utility from every single IT asset while substantially decreasing operational costs. We can help you achieve a timely return on your investment, implement the strategy in low-risk phases, and empower you to reap the benefits and savings into the future.

    Strategic Consolidation... Holistic Approach Realizes Greater Benefits

    In a 2010 report, Forrester Consulting stated that, "Companies that took a holistic rather than a piecemeal approach to their virtual infrastructure were able to dramatically increase infrastructure consolidation gains and improve their flexibility, responsiveness, and resiliency – at a cost they could afford." It was also found that "the incremental cost saving achieved through tactical deployments will not save nearly as much as those who take a strategic approach to virtualization and consolidation."

    • Companies who fail to plan for consolidation will spend more for their remote branch offices and will not be able to respond as rapidly to change.

    ENS-Inc helps you move beyond point solutions and address complete infrastructure opportunities that will yield the greatest benefits to your organization.

    ENS-Inc helps you fully analyze and understand your unique organizational needs and the potential advantages of consolidation before beginning your IT consolidation. This step is crucial to success. It is important in your consolidation strategy to take an end-to-end enterprise view.

    We help you look at all aspects of your IT environment:

    • The technology.
    • The people.
    • The processes.

    ENS-Inc utilizes strategic Project Management Life Cycle and Product Life Cycle (PLC) processes to deliver enterprise analysis and strategy development, architecture validation, and design and implementation for your IT consolidation along with leveraging best practice methodologies.

    ENS-Inc can deliver of full portfolio of IT consolidation technologies addressing your entire infrastructure including:

    • Server consolidation
    • Storage consolidation
    • Database consolidation
    • Application consolidation
    • Email consolidation

    PLUS, our engineers can perform a network assessment at the front end of your project, making sure your network infrastructure is ready to support your changing IT environment.

    Through our strategic partnerships with industry-leading vendors, ENS-Inc is able to recommend the best virtualization and consolidation products for your unique organizational needs.

    Standardizing your infrastructure and reducing the number of vendors is a blueprint to a more optimal environment.

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    A Well Planned Beginning Yields a Productive End...Management Tools and Constituent Buy-in

    It is important at the very beginning of your IT consolidation project to ensure that consolidation systems management tools and infrastructure policies and procedures are included in those plans. Failure to do so can put the success of your project at risk and offset the benefits that can be achieved through IT consolidation.

    The adoption of standard operational procedures, naming conventions, and automation of manual processes can support enterprises in realizing maximum value and flexibility.

    ENS-Inc has established a reputation of trust and excellence when it comes to training and knowledge transfer. We work with you every step of the way and develop and document policy and procedure that will ensure the long-lasting benefits and cost-savings of your IT consolidation.

    Communication is the key to constituent buy-in.

    Consolidation involves changes to key business processes along with a long-term commitment to maintaining and developing processes, products, and services within a common framework. It is important to gain early buy-in from management and users before implementing your IT consolidation.

    Managers and users need to recognize the perceived benefits to them:

    • Less downtime.
    • Up-to-date applications and services for users.
    • Reduced risk of data loss.
    • Business value. When users can see the impact on the bottom line, they better understand the business value and are more likely to be on board.
    • Effective and efficient IT management. IT managers in remote offices can focus on forward-looking projects that actually help users get more work done in less time instead of spending time on repetitive maintenance-related server tasks.

    Through the process of an effective consolidation analysis and strategy, the ENS-Inc team will help you clarify your change and risk management strategy to empower constituent buy-in.

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    Redundancy, Resiliency, Recovery... Key Components of a Consolidation Plan

    At the core of your IT Consolidation Analysis and Strategy plans is the consideration for resiliency. Because users, especially at remote locations, are more dependent on the WAN and central data center, resiliency of the architecture needs to be carefully considered. Downtime affects the entire organization.

    With centralized data and applications, users in branch offices will be more dependent on WAN connectivity. A WAN outage will have a severe negative impact on user productivity so WAN redundancy strategies must be an integral component of the overall consolidation plan.

    It is easier and more cost-effective with a consolidated IT infrastructure to provide backup because everything is centrally located.

    It is sensible to implement backup systems that enable immediate failover for mission-critical systems. New plans are required for reliably replicating information from the primary to the secondary environment, ensuring consistent failover in the event of an incident. The determination from both a pragmatic and political perspective regarding the location of the backup systems must be made – primary datacenter? secondary data center? or off-site facility?

    So what solution is right for the unique needs of your organization? Through our methodical approach, proven experience, and close collaboration with both client and vendors, ENS-Inc is strategically positioned to help you formulate your resiliency plan... at the centralized datacenter and in relation to multiple locations.

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    Approaching Your Consolidation Analysis and Strategy

    So where do you begin? The ENS-Inc team, through a collaborative and experienced approach to IT consolidation analysis and strategy will help you address the following considerations:

    Phased roll-out?

    How well can offices be supported in the initial phases of the project? Do you first look at those who can be easily units with on-site support staff or that are relatively close to the IT hub so any difficulties receive immediate assistance? Or do you address the smaller sites first so that in the event of unforeseen difficulties, fewer people are affected?

    Applications consolidating phased?

    There is a lot of history and best practices established for consolidation of file servers, exchange servers, MS-SQL databases, and web applications. Do you start with these underlying girders or do you begin with less-widely deployed systems such as document management servers, tape backup systems, time and billing applications, and accounting packages?

    Consolidate everything?

    You may need to have some servers left out of the package. Large offices with support staff and high utilization of certain applications that require the full resources of an application server may need to keep that server onsite. There are also some vendor applications that do not support consolidation.

    Other challenges to be addressed in your IT consolidation analysis and strategy include:

    • Determining the best technology approach - for example, should applications be stacked on a single server or virtualized?
    • Identifying areas of low utilization and opportunities for highest ROI.
    • Ensuring application performance is maintained in the consolidated environment.
    • Reducing risk and maximizing benefits.
    • Is it time to upgrade? Is it advantageous to consider new technologies?
    • Do current and planned IT business objectives require a vendor change and different equipment?

    In all these considerations for your IT consolidation strategy, ENS-Inc will assist you in analyzing desired performance levels, efficiency gains, and cost savings.

    ENS-Inc delivers proven reliable IT consolidation solutions that will be on time, on budget, and within scope.

    ENS-Inc will develop and deploy your IT consolidation solution and provide the onsite training and knowledge transfer to empower success.

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