This is a question that we hear a lot. Our prospects haven’t heard the term before and our existing customers need it redefined. It’s no surprise that these questions come up…. Centralized Services are nearly invisible. Like most things in IT, if they are working great then you will barely notice them.
So, what are they?
Similar to the word ‘Cloud’, the term means different things to different people. Different companies have their own representations of Centralized Services and they all define them differently. You can’t simply Google it and expect to understand it, because the context will be different. But who cares about that? You’re reading this to find out how Smart Dolphins defines the term.
The simple version is this: a Centralized Service is a service which we provide to more than one customer (usually all of them) to ensure a fast, efficient, smooth and secure computing experience. These services happen behind the scenes, and are Centralized in that we can administer them across our entire customer base with a few clicks of the mouse.
Here is an example, using antivirus. Smart Dolphins deploys one antivirus product, whenever possible, to all of our customers. It’s included with every single Smart Dolphins contract as part of the monthly fee. Our antivirus product (on your machines) receives all of its configuration settings from a computer at Smart Dolphins, and it also reports directly to a dashboard of ours whenever it finds a virus. If we want to schedule virus scans at 2am for our entire customer base, we can do so effortlessly. If a customer’s computer still gets infected with a virus, our central dashboard will tell us. This allows us to keep things consistent and it ensures that we can jump on problems quickly. We don’t have to ‘check’ for problems, because the problems come to us.
For comparison, here is how de-Centralized antivirus would work. We would need to configure every single customer individually, probably by connecting to their network remotely and apply our configuration changes to each customer one at a time. We’d have a hard time being consistent, and we’d definitely have a harder time keeping on top of infected machines because we might not see the virus infections unless we went and looked for them.
I’m not intending for this blog post to be a sale, but a few examples never hurt anyone, so here is a list of a few more Centralized Services that we provide to our customers.
- Email Antispam and Email Backup
- Offsite Backup
- Windows Patch Management
- Plus a few more.
Of course, not every single customer fits into the same box and we make exceptions all the time, but we love our standardization and our customers get better service because of it!
I hope this sheds some light into what is a seemingly black box for a lot of people. The next time you hear us touting how great our Centralized Services are, you’ll know what we’re talking about.