Education

Live Maps allows you to monitor Active Directory for thousands of students, education applications like Blackboard, and student portals, improving customer service levels

Education providers are going through a rapid digital transformation. As traditional face-to-face services move online to respond with the modern student tastes, service delivery is becoming critical. IT departments are being expected to innovate continually with custom online applications being supported by a hybrid cloud environment. Common requirements are:

  • Services delivered via multiple online channels
  • Increasing levels of student expectations for paid servies
  • Fast innovation with changing business models to become profit centers
  • Limited IT infrastructure budgets means doing more with less

Savision works with universities, professional education providers and not-for-profit schools and colleges around the world. Most education providers have a core Microsoft technology stack to deliver services such as Active Directory, Office & Office365 including Exchange for their thousands of students which is delivered by Microsoft System Center. Student portals for content delivery such as lectures and exam preparation are delivered via public clouds such as Azure and AWS. Service desks respond to thousands of student requests to consume content, receive their exam results and provide feedback. Levels of service towards students are now measured via centralised organisations that rank education providers against each other.

service dashboard new
CIO dashboard
Custom Dashboard Map

Live Maps helps move IT administrators from monitoring servers to services. While 80% of SCOM alerts are non-critical, our solution helps prioritize issues that are affecting the end-users (students) over those that can be fixed later. Live Maps shows the relationship between services.

For example, many services are highly reliant on Active Directory working correctly in a university. If students cannot log-in to a student portal it doesnt necessarily mean that the portal is down. If the Active Directory forest has turned red, then Live Maps clearly shows where the focus for issue resolution should be aimed. Giving IT teams this information means faster problem resolution and more uptime for students, equalling higher customer satisfaction.

“Live Maps exceeded my expectations and we are now highly proactive in how we manage incidents and problems at Northumbria. The solution gives me peace of mind that we have everything under control.”

Assistant Director (Infrastructure), Northumbria University

CORRECTLY PRIORITIZING ISSUES AND MEASURING IMPACT

SCOM Management Packs such as Active Directory (AD) provide huge amounts of alerts and state information on thousands of different monitored objects. If a single object turns red, the health rollup of AD means that the whole service shows as red, when in fact, end-users are not affected at all. Live Maps’ AD out-of-the-box service fixes this inflexibility by sub-grouping all of the objects into three different perspectives: Infrastructure, Application, and End-User. The end result is that issues can be prioritized correctly and the real business impact can be assessed as alerts come in, meaning that SLAs can be created and effectively managed to benefit the business.

MONITORING SAAS APPLICATIONS

One of the challenges for a SaaS environment is how to monitor this using SCOM and Live Maps, which is primarily used for on-premise monitoring. Live Maps focuses on the End-User perspective as a critical signal for any business service, this can also be applied on SaaS and web-based applications. Building some web tests and transactions in .Net, Live Maps is able to measure the uptime and SLAs of Azure or AWS environments alongside on-prem delivered applications.