Situation

SNS worked with Merit Contractors Association to complete a systems audit. The company sought a fresh set of eyes on their IT environment. Merit Contractors Association and their sister company Mercon Benefit Services maintain a call centre where they service over 30,000 people across Canada. Mercon Benefit Services administrates full benefit packages to employees in the construction trades.

SNS Technologists came in with a team of senior techs to interview and review the environment and systems. It quickly became clear how leveraging a company with multi-skilled technicians could benefit Merit. One of the primary tasks identified with the partnership was to develop their Business Continuity Plan.

SNS Sytem Audit & Disaster Plan

SNS’ Process

Our process identified a few areas requiring improvement:

  • It was important that we worked to ensure a disaster recovery plan was put in place. Merit already had a great internal IT system with good uptime.We worked with their IT Manager to develop a plan for near real-time replication of their core servers to an off-site location. The SNS colocation facility in downtown Edmonton was chosen as the host of this important data. In the event of a disaster where their building is no longer accessible, the recovery of their core systems can be done within a 4-8 hour window.
  • SNS also created a plan for the client’s call centre It was decided that, in the case of an emergency, Merit call centre staff and managers can use some office space inside of SNS to keep their operation going.
  • Having the plan in place allowed us to offload more tasks from their in-house IT Manager. This individual can now handle day to day support of their desktops/network/servers. The additional time afforded by the plan also allows for projects like Office 365 Migrations, application updates and security patching with Microsoft System Center to be done internally.
  • SNS also noticed the client had some pain points in the communications department. We were able to alleviate some of these issues using a resource within our own

Resolution

SNS is a proud partner of Merit and Mercon and we look forward to our work in the future. The client can now be fully confident that in the event of a disaster scenario, plans are in place for the safe recovery of their data so business can continue.

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