Shop News Jobs WorldWide Contact Us Search C-Byte Home Page Big Open Systems That Work


Exceptional Support
Service Delivery Model
What is C-Link?

Four Hours A Year Is The Limit

Around 40% of the major computer sites actually run 365 x 24 hour operations. Today's businesses demand system availability in excess of 99.95%. How do computer suppliers set about tackling such seemingly impossible demands?

A feature of the "new millenium" is the increased emphasis on customers' rights. Customer charters abound - both in the public and private sectors. The result is ever-increasing levels of customer service whether in banking, hospital care, travel or benefits payments. Many of these services rely heavily on computer systems. In practice, this translates into line-of-business managers demanding from their information technology (IT) suppliers that the required application is always available. Simple really.

A very large proportion of C-Byte's customers run 24 hours a day for most of the year. An increasing proportion actually run non-stop every day - including Christmas and New Year. These customers increasingly specify a maximum downtime - whether planned or not - of only four hours per annum. Quite often, there are penalties associated with every additional hour of downtime. And what they mean by downtime is now far more geared to the end users' (rather than computer experts') definitions. We have, for example, one public sector customer whose definition of major systems failure is: when half of the print capacity in any one of 40 locations are unable to print. When there are only two printers in some of the more remote locations, this presents a significant challenge.

At some point we are all end users, quite rightly expecting - perhaps demanding - improved levels of service. So how does an IT supplier set about meeting these needs? The answer lies in both long-term planning and short-term implementation of innovative techniques and practices.

There can be no doubt about the most important single step in our drive to move beyond 99.95% availability over the next few years. We are working with our designers to develop products that are not only fault-resilient but also have rapid and non-disruptive recovery mechanisms. C-Byte runs a seven stage product life cycle from conception to first customer shipment, and Customer Support is involved with both the hardware and software engineering groups all the way through. Although this is not in itself unusual, the extent to which Customer Support can control the new products design has changed radically over the last two years.

The reason for this change of heart is straightforward. Organisations more and more want to end the traditional - and highly artificial - differentiation made by IT suppliers between planned and un-planned downtime. To the user in the organisation and the customer at the bank or airport, non-availability is no more convenient or acceptable because a notice states the maintenance is planned. At the moment our goal is to have only 0.05% downtime per annum, whether planned or not. But the future of the IT industry lies in driving that figure down yet further. Why shouldn't software upgrades, for example, be installed without any disruption to the system and therefore the users?

But we all have to move from where we are now in a progressive manner to this glorious future. And the first step might seem prosaic but is in fact critical. When a component fails, there is no value whatever in remote diagnostic wizardry, logistical miracles, and ensuring on-site support anywhere in North America in 90 minutes, if the data back-up tapes are four weeks old or, worse still, cannot be found.


C-Byte Customer Support enables the success of its customers and maximises the return on their investment. It does this by understanding their requirements and by developing and delivering the highest quality services.

The technical issues involved in solving business problems through IT don?t go away when the equipment is delivered ? they simply change to become issues of support. Problem solving with IT is a continuous process. As a business changes, so must the IT infrastructure which supports it. This, in turn, means that support organisations must understand the business needs of their clients. Computer support has, therefore, become a crucial enabler for businesses.

As a support organisation, our role in life has changed from being a re-active group designed to fix problems to pro-actively ensuring that the computing solution remains available ? every hour in the year. Moreover, in an open world, all suppliers need to work together to maintain the on-going health of an enterprise?s complex solution. In this respect, C-Byte's extremely close working relationship with industry-leading companies is a great asset.

C-Byte's new range of customer support services is a direct reflection of this pro-active philosophy. Whilst we will of course continue to fix problems, we have greatly augmented our ability to move into the management of the entire IT environment.

Table of Contents | Next Page

C-Byte Company, Inc.
  Good Morning it is 4:10 am in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.    E-mail This Page  |  Digg This  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Delicious

Ask Us a Question - Call Inside US 1-800-393-5804, Outside US 1-403-770-7818, or Contact Us
Copyright © 1989 - 2017 C-Byte Company, Inc.  ::  C-Byte Privacy Statement   ::   P.R.O. Program ::  RSS 1.0 Feed
This site is protected by copyright and trade mark laws under U.S. and International law. All rights reserved.
SecurityGroup Audits Systems at C-Byte Tackling...