Keeping watch Featured

11:55am EDT March 11, 2004
Antares Management Solutions understands pressure.

As a provider of business processes and information technology outsourcing solutions, the company's customers expect their networks to be running all the time. They need access to their information, and if they are paying Antares to handle that aspect of the business for them, they have little tolerance for excuses.

As a result, Westlake-based Antares takes a proactive approach to try to prevent problems before they occur.

"We work with IntelliNet, and what they provide us with is network monitoring of our systems for our clients and ourselves," says Kenneth Sidon, Antares president. "We guarantee a certain availability and uptime to our customers, which is the reason why this issue is so critical to us. They make sure our lines are secure and monitor to see if there is a problem happening. If they find something, they alert us, and we work together to make the changes and fixes before it becomes a problem."

IntelliNet, a Richmond Heights-based provider of managed services for enterprise networks, monitors the systems remotely. In most cases, Antares' customers never see any disruption of service when a problem is identified.

"One of our primary service-level agreements is availability," says Sidon. "If their systems and services are down, they're losing money and opportunities, and we are not providing the quality services we guaranteed them. Since our company is based on the high-quality delivery of product and services, it's vital we are working.

"When a potential customer asks to talk to a customer, we don't just give them a few names, we give them the whole client list and tell them to call whoever they want. If we're delivering that kind of quality to everyone and that's what we are made of, then anyone we work with, whether it is a partner or vendor, needs to be in the same mind frame we are in order to ensure that we successfully meet our goals."

IntelliNet monitors activity on each server and continually checks for problems -- a potential equipment failure, line failure, a high volume of activity on the line or a lot of noise on the line.

"Many times, these types of problems would go unnoticed until something failed," says Sidon. "This way, we see something developing before it causes a problem and we can replace the equipment or redistribute the load. Now people never even know we had a situation that would have caused an outage in the past. This is going on 24 hours a day.

"Everything has to be clicking -- the network, lines and volume all have to be balanced. It allows us to sleep at night and focus on what could go wrong on the other 60 to 70 percent of the business that would lower our service level to our customers. When you are working in a highly technical arena, it's hard to get a true appreciation of what a company like IntelliNet is performing for you. It's like turning on the TV and expecting it to work. People don't understand all the little things that had to happen to have that TV work.

"Without them, we'd be filling a major hole some other way. With them, it allows us to focus on what we do best. The technology is always changing, and they have to stay up on that. It is a costly environment to try to take on yourself." How to reach: Antares Management Solutions, (866) 268-2737; IntelliNet, (216) 289-4100