How to ensure control and transparency in outsourced IT operational environments.
A typical use case:
The customer had outsourced their mainframe and midrange (Windows and Linux) to a service provider. The invoice from the outsourcer was higher than budgeted and steadily increasing. They could not get a clear answer from the outsourcer as to why. The only reporting provided by the outsourcer was a very high level monthly report. When the customer asked for details, they were a long time in coming from the outsourcer and often just raised more questions. The customer was frustrated by the lack of transparency and the outsourcer was frustrated by the number of hours they spent trying to dig up data for the customer.
The customer implemented ITBI for z/OS and ITBI for midrange. For z/OS this meant simply asking their outsourcer to send SMF data from the mainframe to SMT Data’s cloud environment (ITBI as a Service or ITBIaaS). Since the outsourcer had historical SMF data available it was possible to start out with a view back into the last few months’ worth of data. Nothing needed to be installed in the customer’s environment and the solution was up and running in a matter of days.
For Windows and Linux this involved setting up a collector program on a server in the customer’s environment. The program gathered capacity and performance data from the servers and sent it on to ITBIaaS. No agents or programs needed to be installed on the individual servers.
Consultants worked with the customer and the outsourcer to tailor the reporting to reflect the cost models in the outsourcing agreement.
During the first six months after the introduction of ITBI, the costs to the outsourcer were decreased by 17%. And due to the achieved transparency, additional cost saving potential was discovered.
Some of the initial savings were based on these findings/changes:
- The outsourcer’s actual billing model for mainframe usage was different from the one in the contract
- The outsourcer’s own MIPS calculations gave a higher MIPS rate than industry standard MIPS calculations
- Some of the workload that the customer was being billed for was actually the outsourcer’s own workload, that should not have been billed to the customer
- The customer was still being billed for a number of servers that had actually been terminated or should have been terminated
- The actual configuration of many of the servers (cores, ram, disk space) was different from what was being billed
- The outsourcer was not living up to its SLA regarding capacity management with the customer
While these findings initially created a challenge for the outsourcer, they came to regard ITBI as a win-win. ITBI delivers the ‘one truth’ that the outsourcer and the customer can agree on: saving a lot of time for both parties and increasing customer satisfaction.
Fact-based dialogue and a clear baseline now provide impetus for continuous infrastructure rightsizing!