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Managed Services for Semiconductor Manufacturers December 3, 2007

Posted by Mike Lazich in Business.
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The Serus Managed Operations Services program provides outsourcing services for managing enterprise solutions and processes involved in semiconductor manufacturing operations.  This document describes the services that Serus can provide to manage such solutions.

Serus can provide a range of services necessary for successfully managing mission critical applications.  Customers can select any combination of services either within a service category or across categories depending on their needs.

Managed Operations Services

Serus Managed Operations Services are organized into three categories:

  • Business Services:  focused on realizing the value of the Serus solution
  • Applications Services:  focused on the operation, management and monitoring of the Serus solution
  • Support Services:  focused on maintaining the Serus enterprise solution in an efficient and effective manner.

Managed Services Pyramid

Business Services

Business Services are concerned with the business-related and functional aspects of the Serus solution deployed and how it is being used to deliver value to the organization.  These services are focused on maximizing the ROI a customer receives from the deployed solution and are critical to ensuring that a customer is getting the most out of their investment with Serus.

Business Services are designed to assist the client with:

  • Master data modeling
  • Financial valuation/cost modeling and tracking
  • Coordination between Product engineering and Manufacturing
  • Operations process coordination
  • Supply chain planning activities and best practices
  • Application change requests
  • Exception management and root cause analysis
  • SOX compliance and audit support

Serus Business Services teams work within existing client organizations to:

  • Increase adoption of the Serus solution by users
  • Provide ongoing recommendations to the customer’s business planning process
  • Review and evaluate the quality of results generated by the Serus applications in the overall solution
  • Make recommendations to improve the quality of the results and assist in implementation of quality improvements
  • Monitor relevant business metrics (e.g., customer service levels, inventory levels, supplier performance)
  • Provide “what-if” analysis to help decision making processes
  • Help interpret generated reports and query results for functional and business users
  • Generate specialized reports to facilitate further analysis of business data
  • Make incremental changes to Serus application models in order to address changes in the business model
  • Champion incremental changes into Serus applications in order to provide better results from the customer’s Serus solution
  • Facilitate, assist and drive business change management.

Project Management

Project management services are concerned with providing in part or in whole the management services needed to ensure the availability and usefulness of a Serus solution.  These services are intended to assure the customer that the best project management techniques will be used by individual contributors and project leaders to manage the customer project.  These services range from providing project leadership to managing day-to-day administrative tasks.  Project management services include:

  • Gather and communicate project requirements like:  outage windows, project organization, milestones, sub-projects, etc.
  • Building, executing and monitoring tactical or strategic plans to improve the operating environments of the Serus solution or to meet customer requirements.
  • Conduct project meetings and ensure the proper communications within the project team and with other teams
  • Define track and report on service levels and/or key performance indicators.
  • Report in projects and Serus solution status.
  • Coordinate and allocate assigned resources.
  • Conduct quarterly audits of the project (by someone outside of the project team).

Change Management

Change management is concerned with managing and controlling changes to the Serus solution in the Development, Test, Staging and Production operating environments.  Change management services ensure customers that changes to their mission critical application will only be made in a safe and controlled manner.  Change management services include:

  • Define and/or administer change management processes
  • Scope, prioritize, schedule, communicate, and coordinate changes to the Serus solution.
  • Make requisite changes to the Serus solution
  • Ensure initial configuration documents for the Serus solution are provided and updated as necessary for each change request
  • Regular reporting on change request status

Application Services

Application Management Services are concerned with the typical day-to-day operation of Serus applications within a customer’s environment.  These are essential technical services that are required to properly support mission critical enterprise solutions.  Improper management of such applications can negatively impact the availability, performance, and scalability of the solution.

An enterprise-class business solution consists of a variety of applications that must be managed in a coordinated fashion to ensure proper operation and availability.  Because of the extensive number of technical tasks needed to manage an enterprise solution, Application Management Services are divided into the following categories:

  • Capacity Planning and Systems Management
  • Serus Applications
  • Enterprise Application Integration Management
  • Third-Party Software

Specific functions performed by the Application Services team include:

  • 24×7 application monitoring / trouble shooting
  • 24×7 supplier b2b monitoring / troubleshooting
  • 24×7 supplier txn monitoring / troubleshooting
  • 24×7 txn processing monitoring / troubleshooting
  • High performance it system consulting services
  • Upgrade and patch management services
  • RDBMS performance monitoring and tuning

Capacity Planning

System Architecture and capacity planning services are concerned with the performance, scalability, reliability and availability of Serus solutions in the customer’s environments.  System architecture services are focused on how the server environments may need to be changed to achieve the customer’s objectives for availability and performance.  Capacity planning services are focused on how the server environments may need to be augmented in order to achieve the customer’s objectives for future scalability.  These services include:

  • Periodic review of application performance to identify performance or capacity limiting resource constraints
  • Recommend, design and implement system architectures to increase availability or performance
  • Forecast storage for models and transactions
  • Given appropriate benchmark data, forecast server capacity requirements over time
  • Hold formal capacity evaluations based on forecasted volumes

Systems Management

Systems Management Services are concerned with providing services to manage a set of servers and their underlying network.  Through partners, Serus can provide a wide range of system management services for Serus solutions, in either an in-house or hosted environment.  System management coupled with Serus Basic Managed Services delivers a fully managed solution.  System Management services are broken out into the following categories:

  • Process management
  • Hardware management
  • OS management
  • System Monitoring
  • Security management
  • Network management
  • Physical database management
  • Storage management

Serus Application Management

These services are concerned with the operation and technical configuration of Serus applications within a solution.  These services include:

  • Create or change application user profiles or user permissions
  • Define processes and procedures for solution startup, shutdown or restart
  • Maintain Serus application configuration files
  • Restore and verify application to functioning state after backup or outage
  • Install product patches or minor releases
  • Manage application log files and directory structures and disk space usage
  • Test system integration of Serus applications with third-party software patches
  • Define, write, debug and/or support automation scripts or custom programs for batch processes, application startup, application shutdown, and application re-start
  • Automate generation of specialized reports

Enterprise Application Integration Management

EAI management services are needed to support the integration between the Serus solution and other corporate, legacy or ERP systems.  Application integration may be provided using ad hoc techniques or by using industry standard tools.  The services provided include:

  • Define and/or maintain job schedules
  • Using scripts or integration software, execute and check data extracts and/or data loads from/to legacy and/or Serus systems
  • Resolve problems with data mappings
  • Extend or enhance data mappings
  • Maintain documents describing data mappings and how to verify correct operation of data mappings

Third-Party Software

There is a wide array of third-party software that is required to support any enterprise class solution.  Such software includes database servers, web servers, application servers, LDAP servers, policy servers, etc.  Third party software services are concerned with the operation and technical configuration and maintenance of these applications.  These services include:

  • Logical database management
  • Design and deploy highly available database configurations
  • Provide detailed schema and database configuration documentation
  • Provide monthly reviews of database monitoring and performance reports and make specific recommendations for database modification to optimize Serus application performance
  • Verify database business function after restore
  • Assist in the development and implementation of disaster recovery plans
  • Tune configuration, log file analysis, configuration changes
  • Archive web server log files for troubleshooting, analysis or tuning purposes
  • Tune web server configuration and recommend OS/network parameters
  • Periodically analyze web server log files and report on application usage
  • Specify, implement and test highly available web server configuration as agreed upon.
  • Implement recycling schedules for log files
  • Tune application server thread, memory, etc. settings
  • Design, implement and maintain highly available application server configuration, as agreed upon.

Application Monitoring

Application Monitoring services are focused on monitoring the availability of the Serus solution at an application level, and detecting problems that arise in its operating environment.  Application Monitoring is an important service that provides the customer with the peace of mind that any interruptions to their business process will be detected and remedied before any damage can occur.

Automated Application Monitoring

Automated application monitoring goes beyond any server and network monitoring.  It will detect problems like applications hanging that cannot be detected by server or network monitoring.  Application monitoring is accomplished by up/down monitoring of selected Serus and/or third party applications critical to the proper functioning of the Serus solution.  These services include:

  • Define customer’s application monitoring requirements
  • Design, implement and maintain monitoring points needed to meet customer requirements
  • Provision, setup and maintain monitoring tools and infrastructure
  • Generate reports of alerts on a monthly basis

Operator Monitoring

Operator Monitoring involves a human operator overseeing the operation of Serus solutions.  It is for mission-critical environments that require immediate intervention in the event that a component fails or is delayed.  Operator Monitoring services include:

  • Monitoring scheduled jobs within the production environment and taking corrective action when necessary.

Upgrade Services

Upgrade services are used to take an existing Serus deployment and upgrade that deployment to a later version of Serus product(s).  Upgrade services are very similar to implementation services, except that the existing business process and business model do not need to be designed.

Like implementation services, upgrade services are outside the scope of Serus Managed Services.  If there is an existing or new managed services team, they may assist the upgrade efforts, but only in the context of providing managed services to the customer.

Support Services

Support Services focus on Serus component and solution validation within the maintenance phase of Serus solution support.  These services cover all facets of quality management from customer education and training to solution test suite development, test suite maintenance and execution, and test case automation.  These services provide the resources, tools, and methods needed to validate and ensure the quality of Serus solutions within the customer environment.

These services ensure that the customer solution is fully tested using industry standard tools and proven methodologies to support on-going solution maintenance activities.  Selected test suite deliverables will be brought into the Serus solution test suites for upstream validation as part of the Serus Quality Management Program.

  • 24×7 helpdesk services
  • Application training

Support Services include:

  • Provide custom training for regular and “super users” so they are more effective in their use of the Serus solution
  • Conduct on-site workshop to educate customers about test plans, acceptance criteria, and associated impacts
  • Review acceptance criteria and ensure that they cover all major components of the solution design.  Major components should include:  UI workflows, model functionality, integration, and performance-scalability-reliability elements.
  • Maintain test suites by adding, modifying or consolidating test plans to cover acceptance criteria.
  • Establish standard test execution reports
  • Conduct training for end-users to maintain test suites and associated tools
  • Execute acceptance tests using reference data sets prior to promoting any releases (major, minor or patches) to production.
  • Submit and monitor Serus Support Cases related to issues found during customer test management activities and acceptance test execution.

End User Help Desk

End user help desk services provide customer branded, help desk services to all of the end users of a Serus solution, including internal end users as well as trading partner end users.  Serus-provided help desk services will not be needed for customers with a well established, corporate-wide help desk.  However, Serus help desk services are appropriate when there is not an existing corporate help desk, or when a help desk that can be used across firewalls is needed.  Help desk services include:

  • Provides a reliable and centralized single point of contact for all end-user issues
  • Author and maintain basic FAQs on the solutions
  • Provide basic information on how to use the applications in the Serus solution
  • Verify and replicate user interface issues
  • Provide issue reports on a monthly basis
  • Create and manage user profiles for the help desk system
  • Modify part attributes, item numbers, prices, etc.

Problem Escalation and Management

Problem management is concerned with the identification, diagnosis and resolution of unanticipated problems that arise in the operating environment(s) of a Serus solution.  Problem management services are ensure that problems will be resolved in a timely and organized fashion, and provides the customer with escalation paths should they not be satisfied with the status of or resolution of a particular problem.  Depending on severity, problem management is conducted 7×24 in a production environment and 8×5 in all others.  Problem management includes:

  • Define and/or follow problem management processes.
  • Logging and/or acknowledgement of receipt of a problem and assignment to a member of the Serus Managed Services team to resolve the issue.
  • Triage of a problem to determine if it is to be corrected by the Serus Support team, or routed to another Serus team or third-party.
  • Keep the reporter of the problem updated on the status of a problem as appropriate, depending on problem severity.
  • After resolution of the problem, provide root cause analysis indicating how the problem was resolved, or otherwise isolated to sources outside the scope of the Serus solution.


Excluded Services

There are several service areas that are explicitly excluded from the set of services provided by Serus Managed Services. 

Customer Support

Serus offers customers maintenance support to assist with problems they may encounter with their Serus solution, and to provide development support for resolving application defects.  Escalation procedures exist for escalating serious issues encountered by the customer.  Maintenance support entitles the customer to hot fixes, patches and ongoing software updates for all products that a customer has licensed.  These patches and releases do not include fixes for a particular customer, but fixes for issues encountered by other customers.  These support and development services can be so important that maintenance support is mandatory for the first year.

Problems a customer may encounter include:  modeling issues, product defects, user misunderstandings, environment problems, solution configuration issues, performance issues, etc.  If after a reasonable effort a customer cannot identify the source or cause of a problem, the customer can escalate the issue to Serus customer support.

Serus customer support provides services for Serus applications, and any third-party software bundled with these applications.  Customer support provides services to:

  • Answer questions on how to use (or not use) functionality in the application
  • Help determine if the cause of a problem lies in the application, in the customer’s environment or customizations for the Serus application, or is a user misunderstanding.
  • For Serus application problems, verify the problem and communicate the problem to Serus development, so that Serus development may resolve the issue and provide a fix to the customer.

Customer support services are provided to assist the customer with questions and issues about their Serus solutions and with development to provide product fixes and patches.

It is the sole responsibility of the customer to operate, fix, and manage their solutions.  The Serus Managed Services program allows a customer to delegate management and operation of their Serus solution to an organization that is exclusively focused on managing Serus solutions.

On the other hand, Customer Support services are intended to assist the customer and entitle the customer to development support, patches, and new releases.

Tasks falling under the purview of Serus Managed Operations Services are customer responsibilities that have been delegated to a Serus Managed Services team.

Customer Support is an organization that assists customers and facilitates escalating product issues to development.

Deployment and Integration Services

Once the customer buys one or more Serus products, deployment and configuration to model the customer’s business environment is necessary.  Designing, building and deploying Serus solutions are outside the scope of the services provided by Serus Managed Operations Services.  If there is an existing managed operations services team working for the customer, this team may assist the deployment team, but only in the context of providing the managed services to the customer (e.g., IT environment promotion services).

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