Connectria Hosting provides managed and cloud hosting to more than 1,000 customers in over 30 countries worldwide. The company is also a four-time winner of the IBM Beacon Award for its unique on-demand business solutions, ingenuity, and emphasis on customer satisfaction.
So, how does Connectria provide responsive, personalized IT services to over 1,000 customers?
It’s simple. Connectria uses a central monitoring solution to keep track of its entire entourage of IBM i servers: QSystem Monitor and QMessage Monitor from CCSS, a division of HelpSystems.
Dave Wiseman, Connectria’s Director of IBM Technologies and Facilities, says he cannot imagine how much staff Connectria would need to add without the HelpSystems products. “I would need to double or triple my staff. Basically, I would be in manual mode.”
Connectria chose QSystem Monitor and QMessage Monitor because the company needed a multi-tenant monitoring solution. Dave explains, “As a hosting company, we have multiple tenants under the same umbrella, and we wanted a single monitoring solution that was tailored specifically for the IBM i operating system. We needed a single view of all of our customers’ systems.”
Connectria now relies on the flexibility that HelpSystems products provide. Dave uses QSystem Monitor to monitor performance, cache battery, jobs, and events on hundreds of IBM i systems from a central dashboard.
“We also have customers with custom monitoring needs, such as monitoring a certain job and sending an email alert based on that job’s status. QSystem Monitor and QMessage Monitor make it easy for us to accommodate that.”
“We were up and running and configured right out of the gate without a lot of work.”
Transitioning to the monitoring products was a smooth process for Dave. With HelpSystems support on-site at Connectria’s St. Louis office to assist with the initial configuration, Dave was running QSystem Monitor within a few days.
“We had an initial demo where the QSystem Monitor reps came out and showed us how the products work. Honestly, it was pretty intuitive and we just started using it. It was fairly straightforward and simple,” Dave says. “We were up and running and configured right out of the gate without a lot of work.”
That was nearly ten years ago. Since then, Dave says, “These tools have become a very key piece of what we do.
“Prospective clients always ask what products we’re using for systems monitoring, and we tell them. Even the people who don’t end up coming to Connectria are interested in learning about the tools from HelpSystems.”
Flexibility to Meet Customer Needs
In addition to systems monitoring, Connectria also provides message monitoring for their customers, whose needs vary widely. QMessage Monitor allows for custom message automation where Dave can assign rankings to messages and alerts for each customer.
“I can structure a customer’s message delivery to alert them directly on specific types of messages,” Dave explains. “A customer might say, ‘Hey, if these messages come up, we want to handle them this way,’ and then Connectria works to put those settings in place.”
This level of customization can be challenging, but QMessage Monitor helps Dave provide the solutions each customer needs. “We work with customers individually to build a custom escalation process. Some shops don’t know exactly what they want, so we begin with the default settings and build customized processes over time.”
Planning for Future Growth
Connectria has grown steadily since first adding QSystem Monitor and QMessage Monitor, and Dave anticipates adding increasingly sophisticated options from HelpSystems in the future. “As a service provider, the multi-tenancy piece is a big thing for us,” he says. “I can segregate my customers and I can group things and do reporting on individual customers as opposed to having everyone under one massive umbrella or a whole bunch of different ones.”
“These tools have become a very key piece of what we do.”
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