NC2, subsidiary of Visiativ Group, reinforces its commitment to clients by making Centreon EMS a standard feature of managed services agreements.

NC2, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that is part of global group Visiativ, has made the IT monitoring solution Centreon EMS a standard feature of all its service agreements. Counting over 15 years of existence, NC2 chose to reinforce its service offering to include tools developed by software publisher Centreon and by focusing on providing clients with the transparency they need. Through a dedicated portal, NC2 clients can visualize in real time the health status of their hosted services using Centreon EMS’ robust cockpit, dashboard and reporting features. With such user-centered approach and practices, NC2 is bolstering clients’ confidence level, improving proactivity and significantly enhancing the value of the IT solutions they’re recommending, as a means to respond to the strategic challenges of the organizations they serve.

The Context

Business challenges:

  • Finding an open and efficient solution to integrate standardmonitoring into a client service portal.
  • Adding value to the service offering at zero-cost to the client.
  • Innovating while curtailing IT development requirements for optimal time-to-marketand to seamlessly scale the solution as clients’ IT systems evolve.  
  • Acquiring the capabilities to provide clients with professional, custom monitoring solutions for business applications.

The solution: 

  • Centreon EMS.

Benefits:

  • Internal teams are more proactive and can leverage an improved value proposition.
  • Healthy reduction in the number of on-site interventions and service tickets (-15%).
  • Improved levels of trust and clarity for clients.
  • Significant competitive advantage and reinforcement of the brand reputation.
  • New lever to generate sales and build business relationships.

NC2: Supporting the ambitions of SMEs

NC2 shares the same objective with its parent company, the Visiativ Group: helping SMEs and mid-size businesses ace their digital transformation to truly align IT with business strategy. The firm designs, develops and deploys IT solutions and applications that meet the full range of business challenges, from HR, to production, to supply chains and more. With 30 years of experience, 850 employees and some 15,000 clients, the Visiativ Group is particularly active in the distribution, industry and service sectors. “The group has developed a unique methodology called High-Speed Digital Transformation (HSDT), which allows us t o co-develop with the client a step-by-step roadmap to a successful transformation,” explains Christine Ruggiero, NC2 Commercial Director. “NC2 is fully dedicated to supporting the IT needs of clients, providing consulting and technical expertise as well as managed services to ensure that their IT system is well aligned with their specific strategic challenges.”

Customer-oriented services and portal to build trust and transparency

In 2013, NC2 embarked on an ISO 27001 certification process guaranteeing clients the quality and security of its information security management systems.

The company develops managed service packages to match clients’ expectations and needs, with the option to host part or all of their IT system. “In 2016, we decided to set up a single customer portal integrating a wide range of services, as an extension of our customer-centric vision,” recalls Christian Villain, NC2’s Technical Director. “We wanted to include IT monitoring as a standard offering in our service packages, but to accomplish this we needed to look at new solutions. Our homemade monitoring and ticketing tool had reached its limits in terms of technology and precision.” The NC2 team started their search for a solution that would be compatible with a managed service model and which could be delivered through a client portal.  “Most important to us was to provide a standardized solution that could easily be integrated and scaled to all service agreements without any additional cost for clients, no matter the evolution of the equipment or perimeter they would decide to entrust us,” adds Christine Ruggiero.  “With Centreon EMS we were meeting all of our criteria: being able to pool services and adapting to ever-changing perimeters and the multiplicity of equipment. We were selecting a standardized solution, one that was supported by an entire community, and that required little specific development. As a bonus, Centreon EMS also allowed real visibility into costs.”

“Centreon’s business model and their extensive plugin library were important assets that increased our confidence as we were managing the financial and technological aspects of the new service offering.”

Only 4 days of development, a high-performance time-to-market

The main challenge for NC2 was to limit as much as possible specific development requirements for portal personalization while simplifying the management of constantly evolving equipment. In other words, they wanted to avoid having to develop probes. Choosing Centreon EMS allowed NC2 to build a service offer based on a standard and complete solution, supported by a large community that guaranteed the product regular improvements. It did not take long for NC2 to comprehend the added value in adopting a solution fully supported by a software publisher. As Christian Villain emphasizes, NC2’s role is “to host information and manage systems, not create monitoring solutions.” “The world of IT is moving faster and faster and we did not want to risk lagging behind on the market.”

“Centreon EMS is specifically designed to accelerate the deployment of a monitoring project. It took no more than 5 man months to plan and build the project settings, including reintegrating all the sites that were monitored by our previous tool, plus only 4 days of development to implement the solution and create the dashboards and custom reports for our entire monitoring efforts.”

Cockpits, dashboards and reporting: the full means to share in real time the IT system’s health report and to develop a long-term vision.

Each customer now has a simple web browser access to their own personalized portal providing a full, transparent view of the monitoring data relating to their managed services. User-friendly pictograms (i.e., full sun, overcast and thunderstorms) make it easy to comprehend the essential information on the performance and availability of their IT system.

On top of being able to retrieve their data in real time, clients can automatically generate three monthly custom reports (equipment management, SLA lists, and availability), feeding various user profiles within the organization with the vital decision-making information they need. “We use Centreon MAP to visualize data, Centreon BAM to manage SLAs and Centreon MBI to generate reports,” explains Christian Villain. “While infrastructure managers will be looking at top CPU / RAM indicators and system or network administrators at bandwidth and alerts,  CIOs will be fully empowered to focus on SLAs and on maintaining a high-level vision of their IT system through Centreon MAP.”

“Our Centreon EMS monitoring perimeters covers 1,200 services, 8,000 Centreon services, 840 verified backup jobs and 120 personalized portals. Every month, the Centreon EMS data visualization tool automatically generates 400 reports.”

Clients were provided with a customized user manual and were quickly comfortable navigating the easy-to-use solution. Managed hosting clients with over 100 pieces of equipment benefited from an onsite Centreon EMS deployment to ensure no blind spots were left uncovered. They were also provided with local access to the monitoring data, complemented by the WAN link retrieval.

Improved proactivity + increased availability = reduced service costs

It did not take long for Christian Villain to realize the advantages brought by Centreon’s unique capabilities for visualizing critical alerts in real-time and for anticipating failures and incidents. “We’re empowered to detect the early warning signs before the problems become noticeable on the client’s side. It’s a huge leap of progress for us, because Centreon EMS is giving us some predictive capabilities.”

“When you anticipate more, you don’t waste your energy putting out fires. Since implementing Centreon, service tickets have dropped by 15%. Our service teams do better, our clients do better, everyone wins.”

Yet another strong point of the solution is the automatic report generation feature (a minimum of three per month per client), which does not require any manual intervention on the part of NC2. Automatic reporting equips their sales teams with a powerful, proof-based communication tool to familiarize clients on the system and SLAs to which NC2 has committed.

Not just an excellent monitoring solution, supports decision-making too!

Reports generated with Centreon EMS are presented to clients and discussed during operational meetings, helping to ensure NC2 is delivering services that are on par with expectations. The visualization of monitoring data can be done anytime and from anywhere, in near real-time, with refreshed views every 5 minutes. The level of quality Centreon EMS offers, coupled with its standard integration into service agreements at zero-cost also help the sales team in elevating discussions on the real issues that the client’s business users face, rather than focusing purely on pricing issues.

“Delivering Centreon EMS through a customized portal has not only afforded our clients with a transparent view into the monitoring services we provide them, it has proven to be a fantastic platform to enhance the trust clients place into NC2 and to build strong partners relationships,” rejoices Christine Ruggiero.  

“From the moment we were able to go over and discuss the data generated by Centreon EMS, we’ve initiated conversations that revolve around the issues that are truly crucial to clients, in other words, their core business challenges.”

“Our recommendations to evolve the client’s IT system are based on concrete and shared data — we’re able to develop added value services that align with their business strategy.”

Creating value: A potent competitive advantage

After the implementation of the V1 in January 2018, the NC2 teams immediately started working on version 2 which will offer clients new customized IT monitoring options, such as personalized application scripts, visibility into back-up solutions, indicators for dedicated SLAs, and more. These enhancements all serve one core purpose: facilitate decision-making for clients and provide CIOs  with the proof points they need to highlight the value they are contributing to the business.

Everyone at NC2 is in agreement, from sales teams to technical experts: integrating Centreon EMS into NC2’s standard service bundle has become a major differentiator.

“Centreon EMS is not offered to clients as an option. The solution is integrated to all our managed services agreements. Anytime they wish to, our clients are enabled to confirm that NC2 is true to SLA commitments. This is a significant competitive advantage for NC2, allowing us to build client engagement and more generally, to grow our brand.”

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