“Previously we provided basic types of services such as script writing, custom reports, and some database integration,” Varco says. “In the past 12 months we have begun expanding our Professional Service offerings to include not only integration of security and other disparate systems (for example, human resources/card access), but we have also added virtual security and services historically provided by IT integrators, such as disaster recovery planning and solutions; database management, integration and segmentation; system audits; and network monitoring.”
The Actualization of Quadrant Four: Professional Services
Moceri describes Convergint’s Professional Services as “an enabler” of the move to Quadrant Four offerings. “We have always been a strong service-based integrator. In the early days of Convergint, our offering focused on being the best service provider in the industry. This meant preventing problems, fixing systems if they broke, upgrading them.
“Fourth Quadrant solutions focus more on solving customer business problems. So we don’t just put video in for forensic analysis; today, we help our customers prevent problems, stop risky situations in process instead of after-the-fact, and help them to manage their operations more cost-effectively. Card access today is used as much for regulatory compliance as it is used for managing the movement of people,” Moceri points out.
“As we move more towards helping our customers manage their businesses more effectively, this requires higher levels of integration. Our Professional Services Group delivers these integrated solutions in a fast, cost-effective manner. This group started with a small team of IT and customer-savvy colleagues and today has spread virtually across the entire organization.”
An example of Professional Services is found in one of Convergint’s recent projects, described below, involving a manual server database disaster recovery tool.
Challenge: To maintain enterprise business continuity in the event of a disaster, a major technology customer had a need to manually initiate a command to reconfigure their Lenel system to use a redundant server located at another data center.
Solution: Convergint Technologies developed a disaster recovery tool that allows the customer to manually reconfigure their access control system to use a redundant East Coast server in the event of a catastrophic West Coast disaster. Developed using C#, the application takes advantage of network technologies that include site-to-site VPNs, a SQL cluster environment and name aliases.
Result: Disaster recovery procedures are essential to ensuring a resilient enterprise security system. This disaster recovery tool solution improves business continuity and sustainability by reducing the risks associated with a single enterprise card access server or database failure.