Thank you for considering us for your cloud consulting solution needs. Recently we joined forces with Compass Solutions, LLC of Washington DC and through this new strategic partnership are able to combine our Cloud Specific Consulting Business with their complete line of more traditional IT Consulting & Enterprise IT Services as well as adding their over 10 years of business stability as a leader in the Washington DC area.
We realize there are many options you can choose from in today’s hugely marketed & confusing cloud solutions environment and we pride ourselves in being different than the pack. Now with a combined level of executive business and consulting experience spanning over 175 years of combined real-world Cloud, Data-Center Infrastructure and Executive IT Consulting Experience to draw from, we believe with this Bold New Strategic Partnership we have obtained a substantial edge over our competition.
Our Cloud Consulting Service & Your Risk in the Public Cloud
The only real-time comprehensive & fact based CSP Risk Assessment Solution on the planet, Period
After working together on a number of projects, it became clear very early on that combined, we formulate a truly Comprehensive, Global, Strategic Consulting Platform for the Enterprise Client. Using our extremely successful combined processes we are able to provide your company with the answers it needs to make informed, intelligent & fact-based decisions regarding your specific Strategic or Tactical Cloud, Data-Center and IT Infrastructure needs. Utilizing our exclusive and proprietary consulting processes we are able to provide your company with one of our “Executive Strategic Cloud Technology RoadMaps” you for which we’ve become known for and which you may have heard about. Now however, combined with additional personell as well as the large resource pool of experienced consultants and seasoned veteran executives, we have also begun to branch out and to specialize in offering our new “Strategic Cloud Security & Compliance Framework” on an individual basis or set to be released the second quarter of 2014, our brand new joint-venture web application solution, entitled “CSPComply” (CSP = Cloud Service Provider) will enable Enterprises to evaluate every key Public Cloud Service Provider on the market today (Salesforce, Amazon, Google, Oracle, VMware, Rackspace, IBM, etc), utilizing our own cutting-edge technologies such as our own proprietary real-time big-data analytics engines & proprietary & patented mobile device real-time on-site auditing systems combined with our own independent & extremely aggressive group of professionally trained auditors who will work around the clock physically inspecting each and every CSP property, once they’ve reach the last vendor on the list, they will turn around and start all over at the beginning in a never-ending cycle of continuous and extremely aggressive auditing of every vendor who wishes to participate in our program. Every Audit will consist of inspecting. This is just a tiny sampling of what our audits consist of in order for you to understand just how comprehensive and fact-based our analysis will be. We offer the most factually based CSP Risk Assessment Solution on the planet, Period:
Physical Premise Security
- As you may or may not be aware the NSA was able to use fake badges to get into Google’s data-centers and actually splice (cut) into cables, attached wires to miniature data retrieval devices which was then able to capture the data. Apparently there was some encryption they had to break through at one point however, it was so weak it was cracked within a matter of minutes, which was when the thieves we’re quoted as laughing about how stupidly easy it was…
Employee Password Policy & Procedures
- Again, the NSA was able to pierce almost every password they encountered & along with 95% of all Breaches last year occurred from unprotected email or insecure passwords. Passwords such as “1234” which was the most common password found in all breaches combined (hundreds of millions of user accounts and passwords) in 2013….this very basic security practice takes absolutely minimal time (perhaps 30 minutes) to setup and another 30 minutes to train someone on. You tell us, why those in charge of infrastructures (whether it be corporate IT or Cloud Service Provider Infrastructures) cannot be bothered to put forth an hours worth of work to ssave their company and customers from a fatal breach of critical/personal data?
- A properly designed and built infrastructure should have at least two of every single device within the network. Absolutely Everything Must Be Duplicated/Replicated in order to be able to obtain 100% Up-time which is one of the primary reasons you never find 100% Up-time as they attempt to “build a world-class infrastructure on a shoe-string budget which, does NOT work….
- We will not only verify this as fact or fiction but make them turn off the primary device and VERIFY their “failover” solution works….It is one thing to spend the money to replicate everything 100% and quite another to be able to configure them so they actually will take-over fast enough and with enough intelligence that there is zero data-loss. There are as many different “fail-over” schemes as there are devices which is why the proper one needs to be in place and the key is that every device pair, be tested on a regular basis to verify they continue to provide the protection that you spent the money for.
Regular Scheduled & Unscheduled Fail-over Testing
- Proper ongoing and regular as well as unscheduled (surprise) testing of fail-over/redundancy testing is crucial to maintaining a 100% up-time environment which again is why 99.99% of hosted environments or enterprise environments never obtain the 100% up-time mark and in fact many believe it to be a unreachable and unattainable goal (A Myth) when the truth is it ONLY TAKES A LOT OF HARD WORK AND DEDICATION TO PROPER PROCESS AND PROCEDURE to maintain 100% up-time which the majority of infrastructure departments are just not interested in putting down their donuts long enough to accomplish….But we WILL test for all of these and report the facts of what we find as well as the true up-time percentages via our own dedicated monitoring of every vendor and each of their networks.
- Service Level Agreements (SLA), Vendor Contracts (For example hardware & software support contracts, hardware on-site replacement policies, etc.) Subcontractor Contracts, Certifications, internal audits, employee contracts, etc., ITIL systems, Internal Documentation Policy & Procedure as well as systems used for managing all that information such as knowledgebases, CRM dashboardds, inventory & contracts management systems, etc…
Both Ongoing and Previous
- Lawsuits against the vendor or any of its employees and the details of each, Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints and current standing and their resolutions, if any,
Operational Infrastructure Efficiency
- A Solid Operational Infrastructure is the basis for any decently run data-center. Everything from Encrypted Password Database (You might be surprised how many enterprises use excel spreadsheets, sticky-notes, word documents, to store their passwords in without any safety precautions whatsoever), Crisis Management Policy & Procedure & Training, Change-Management, Monitoring/Alerting/Reporting systems and policies, escalation policy and procedures, IP Management, Inventory Management, Data-Center Automation, Backup & Restore Systems & Policies & Procedures, Ongoing DR Training, Regularly Planned & Unplanned Systems Testing (redundancy/failover testing, complete system/partial/single file restore tests, penetration tests, syn-flood tests, performance tests, etc.)
Processes & Procedures
- Every Process & procedure will be evaluated for inefficiencies and deficiencies
Employee Turnover Ratio
- Frequent turnovers means a non-conducive environment for things such as happy employees, attentive employees, passionate employees, hard working employees, etc. large and frequent turnover of employees means employees will most likely be angry and likely to not only be rude on the phone with you but not give a damn about their job or employer which translates into not caring whether the job gets done properly or even gets done at all (this could easily include your backups, file encryption, forgetting to turn your systems back up after an outage or system freeze or a hundred different other things which could critically damage your business), it will also mean without a doubt much worse trained employees who do not pay attention during training and could care less…We feel strongly that especially in a Service Oriented Business Employee Happiness is a Key Indicator and should most definitely be a Critical Key Factor in your Decision Making Process! As absolutely every survey over the past 20 years has shown unequivocally, considering the (not the wealthiest but the MOST SUCCESSFUL, there is a huge difference in that one gets there through honorable means while one arrives through ANY means) every successful business person who has been able to successfully obtained fortune 500 status in one of the extremely competitive and difficult services sector, has stated unequivocally that their
Number One #1 Contributing Factor of their Success is “Happy Employees”
- who basically never leave…..they have absolutely zero turnover ration other than for medical or reasons unrelated to the actual business environment.
Cloud Security & Compliance Risks for the Enterprise
2013 is being hailed as the “Year of the Cloud Breaches” or the “Year of the Internet Breaches” and for good reason. Hundreds of Millions customer accounts we’re compromised, including the IRS, ObamaCare, NSA, Target, Ebay, Forbes, Amazon, Facebook, just to name a few of the high-profile successful hacker attacks last year…and 2014 looks already to be an even worse year for successful breaches. Look for hackers to target the cloud more and more as more of the data they want becomes stored there.
Articles to read
Do not take our word for the risk your facing with the Public Cloud, we strongly encourage you to go ahead and take the time to educate yourself and your staff by reading the fact-based articles and reports listed below:
Enterprise IT Consulting Services
To find out more about our Full Line of IT Consulting Services including our largest market segment “Healthcare IT” please visit our Compass Solutions website HERE
Our Proprietary Six Stage Solution Approach, developed over 25 years and through over 75 years of combined experience is leveraged to provide you with the information you will need to make informed and intelligent decisions regarding the best use of cloud technology for your company & consists of the following:
Cloud Services Menu
- Strategic Technology Road-Map Report – After Stage Five which typically takes between 6-10 months (depending on the size and scope of the project) you will receive your very own report entitled “Strategic Cloud Technology Executive Road-Map”presented in a unique and one-of-a-kind format consisting of a hand made leather binding, raised bands, hand-tooled and with your Company Logo embossed in 24kt Gold Leaf by one of the worlds foremost Master Hand-Binders. This will be a treasured keepsake presented to the CEO. This is presented along with a set of more traditional printed copies of the final road map report, one for each stakeholder.
- Final Analysis Slide Presentation – In addition, you will receive a professionally developed Slide Presentation of our final report which will be presented by all the consultants who worked on your project.
- HD Video Report – And finally and most unique of all, we provide a fourth version of the final analysis in a professionally developed HD Video (DVD) presentation, in a professionally designed DVD case, for each of the executive staff and board members. Produced along with two of our marketing and video production partners, it is sure to “wow” even the most hard to please, and best of all, unlike a traditional live presentation via slide or poster-board, you will be able to always and simply replay the video at anytime in the future, keeping the vision alive and your teams focused.
During this phase we take all the information gathered during the previous 5 phases and implement the the final design for you. We’re not finished until you have a complete working production environment EASILY capable of providing you with 99.99% up-time reliability
Option #1 – Hire and Staff your environment
Option #2 – Train your staff
Option #3 – 24×7 On-Call Escalation Support
- Typically building a complete Data-Center from scratch is an 18 month project. Adding a NOC easily extends that to 24 months. Obviously smaller projects will take less time as will more simple integration solutions.
We can also perform individual analysis in each of the following areas in order to give you insight into your current infrastructure and/or technology strategy and suggest improvements. At the end of each job we present a complete report outlining the following:
Your current state for the individual area we are analyzing includes the following:
- Initial Needs Assessment – We will perform a needs assessment first, so as to perform the analysis with specific targeting of your companies needs & requirements as our focus
- Initial Analysis – How efficient your current solution is
- Current Solution Benefits and Liabilities – Any deficiencies and/or problems or concerns we discover from the analysis as well as the current benefits you might be seeing from the current solution
- Risk Analysis of Current Solution – What the consequences could be if none of the issues are corrected vs. any risk involved with implementing a new solution or solutions
- Innovative Solution Approach – Our experts will attempt to come up with innovative one-off solutions to resolve any of the issues we find, thereby enabling you to choose to keep your current solution, while still resolving any outstanding issues it might have.
- Cost benefits Analysis – We’ll detail the costs and benefits of all the solutions we propose, so that you can make an informed and intelligent decision on how to proceed
- Strategic Analysis Report – This is a final report which combines all the above along with our recommendations and the steps we feel should be taken to best meet your needs and requirements in a cost effective manner and with the least amount of risk
Individual Component Analysis
- Server Hardening
- Hardware & Software Encryption Key Analysis
- Identity Management
- Access Management
- LAN Hardening
- WAN Hardening
Compliance Audit Readiness
- ITIL (Information Technology Information Library Systems)
- RIM (Secords & Information Management Systems)
- ISMS (Information Security Management Systems)
- Basically how much risk your current infrastructure places your company in, with regards to extended outages, loss of data, security threats, performance issues, process inefficiencies, employee frustration, & capacity overload.
Process & Procedures
- Release Engineering
- Test Automation
- Change Management
- Monitoring & Reporting
- SWAT Teams
- Crisis Management
- Knowledge Management & Dissemination
- Trouble Ticketing
- Root Cause Analysis & Detection
- Basic Troubleshooting
- After Action Reports
- Threat Detection
- Disaster Recovery
- WAN & LAN Outage Response
- Data Retention
- Data & Network Security
- Physical Security
- Reliability Testing
- Misc. (any other process and/or procedure you need analyzed, as this is one of our fundamental areas of extreme expertise)
We will analyze your current data-center automation solution(s) (if any) and provide you with a detailed and comprehensive report based on the procedures outline above.
DR – Disaster Recovery
We will analyze your DR solution(s) (if any) and provide you with a detailed and comprehensive report based on the procedures outline above.
HA – High-Availability
We will analyze your current HA solution(s) (if any) and provide you with a detailed and comprehensive report based on the procedures outline above
We will analyze your current consolidation practices and provide you with a detailed and comprehensive report based on the procedures outline above
We will analyze your current release engineering process and provide you with a detailed and comprehensive report based on the procedures outline above
Vendor Management & Selection
We will analyze your current Vendor Management & Vendor Selection process (if any) and provide you with a detailed and comprehensive report based on the procedures outline above
We will analyze your current software test automation solution(s) (if any) and provide you with a detailed and comprehensive report based on the procedures outline above
We can analyze your current SaaS, IaaS, PaaS or other application architecture platform solution and in some cases we’ve been able to increase performance by 500% overall
Stage – 1: Initial Needs Assessment & Scope of Work (SOW)
- This step of the process normally takes approximately 2-4 weeks depending upon the size of the company and scope of work and involves a lot of meetings with stakeholders, reassurance through Q & A sessions, brainstorming sessions and a bit of PM work. Each of our consultants has been certified in both International Project Management & Master Project Management
- During this phase we meet with every single stakeholder and are taking copious & detailed notes during the interview
- The primary reason we perform the “Needs Assessment” prior to the initial “Infrastructure Analysis” (as many other consulting agency’s do) is so that we can perform the analysis with specific areas of targeted focus, based on your company’s unique needs & requirements rather than just a general focus like most consultants will perform. We firmly believe each client is unique, and so we adapt our process specifically for you and your needs.
- This enables us to drill down in greater detail in just the specific areas of need while still providing a good general analysis of everything as a whole but not wasting our time or your money (through the common practice of “padding” – billing you for useless billable hours) in areas which may not be that much of an issue. In other words it allows us to customize our focus based upon your needs.
- The first step of this phase consists of interviewing every “stakeholder” which means anyone who will come in contact with or utilize your infrastructure in any way. During these interviews we will ask a series of questions designed to extract the needs and requirements of each stakeholder with regards to their specific role as regards the company infrastructure, and their use of it. *We can even setup and perform customer surveys for you if needed to determine externally facing customer needs & requirements*
- Regular Employee Stakeholders – Obviously we cannot interview every employee so in the case where each employee within a company will be utilizing the infrastructure in some way (a stakeholder), we will perform a random sampling of 2-3 people from each team and/or department as well as the department heads.
- Management Staff Stakeholders – We will interview each of your management staff as in one way or another they’re lives and work will be affected by the infrastructure either directly or indirectly and therefore it is important that they feel empowered and their concerns and needs be listened to if not addressed directly.
- Executive staff – It is critical that we have access to your executive team members on a private one-on-one, individual basis, at least for a minimum one-time interview of at least 30 minutes. It is helpful, the more access we are allowed to your executive team as only then can we gain a true understanding of your strategic makeup or what we call the “strategic company vision” which your executive team is (whether they know it or not) presenting to the rest of the company. This is crucial, possibly the most crucial part of the whole service we perform for you in that it gives us a tactical overview of how well your organization is focused and where the inconsistencies are which, will need to be addressed for you to have and present, a unified front to the rest of your employees. Some key issues we see in the majority of executive teams are; lack of cohesiveness with regards to differing strategic goals, inconsistent messages, inconsistent priorities, egocentricity/God complex, Segregation by departments/departmental wars. All of these can make a company dysfunctional in the extreme and extremely inefficient at a minimum and although not our primary purpose one of the things we are good at is feeling the “pulse” of a companies culture and environment, and one section of our final report will detail our findings for you in these areas for you to do with as you see fit. We are also able to help address these issues, with innovative solutions, if requested to do so.
- This phase ends with a final report we provide to you entitled “Initial Needs Assessment & Scope of Work”
- ETA – This stage typically takes some time as it is critical we gather as much information from as many “stakeholders” as possible. It is extremely important that everything is analyzed properly and all stakeholder needs and requirements be gathered and during this phase we will need to work around everyone’s busy schedule. ETA 2-4 Weeks
Stage – 2: Initial Infrastructure & Operations Analysis
- After interviewing each person involved in any way with your current and future network & operational infrastructure, one of our infrastructure & operations experts, all of whom have a wealth of not only consulting but more importantly real-world experience designing and implementing world-class network & cloud infrastructures, spends time evaluating your current IT, engineering infrastructure & network operations departments and physically examines and performs many tests which are required, on the complete physical systems architecture, in order to produce the detailed data required to enable us to move to the next phase in the process. Details such as Security, Overall Network Performance, Release Engineering Process, Test Automation Process, Compliance Readiness, Disaster Recovery Readiness, Identity Management, Sound Operational Infrastructure Foundation, IDS/IDP Solutions, High-Availability, Infrastructure Redundancy, Data-Center Automation, Business Continuity, Overall Network Design, Server Hardening Practices, Kernel Customization Practices, Ticketing Systems, Customer Satisfaction, SLA Percentages, Application Architecture, Security Patching Process, Escalation Practices & Procedures & Swat Team/Crisis Response Readiness, Knowledge Utilization, Vendor Contracts Management, Storage, Overall Application Performance, Back-end Database Performance and Fail-over Process, Data Retention & and most important Monitoring, Alerting and Reporting are investigated, (While this list is far from comprehensive it gives a good idea of the types of things we can analyze however, we try to perform a custom targeted analysis on those specific areas identified in stage 1 as this will save us time and you money, unless directed to do a complete detailed analysis regardless of specific needs and requirements).
- During this phase in most cases we will need to physically inspect and perform standard testing on all of your current infrastructure, including any offsite/offshore infrastructure such as collocation facilities, remote data-centers, offshore development sites, etc. Occasionally we can discuss systems and infrastructure with an offshore location in enough detail to meet our requirements.
- This phase ends with a detailed report entitled “Current Detailed Infrastructure & Operational Analysis Report”
- ETA – This stage is typically one of the longest, as it is extremely important that everything is analyzed and tested in order to analyze current operational effectiveness and to set a base operational effectiveness level to measure future improvement from. The testing of your systems is very important and will never interrupt your production environment. The tests performed are all standardized and industry accepted tests which, should be happening on a regular basis within your environment anyway, if they are not, we can train your staff to do so on a regularly scheduled basis as this is critical to knowing where you are and where you need to go and what strategic decisions you’ll need to make moving forward. Without the data from these tests you are driving your business blindfolded. 90-120 Days
Stage – 3: Research & Development
- During this phase our team of experts does an amazing amount of research. Utilizing our massive database as well as the internet and our impressive network of technology resources it is our job to match each need and requirement with between 3-6 of the best solutions available on the market. We examine both commercial and open-source as well as hardware and software based solutions and are strictly vendor neutral. We do not partner with any vendors to sell their products and have trained our staff to be 100% objective when it comes to solutions. Our goal is to provide you with suitable solutions to meet your needs based upon your requirements, period.
- “Needs Met Report – A List of Technology Solutions to Meet Your Currently Assessed Needs & Requirements”
- ETA – Typically we can wrap this stage up fairly quickly within 1-2 weeks
Stage – 4: Head-to-Head Tests & Final Solutions Selection
- During this phase we develop, either on-site or in our own dedicated facility, a lab whereby we can begin testing each of the 3-6 solutions for each need/requirement which were identified during the previous stage.
- Based upon a proprietary set of criteria we begin running head-to-head tests. Based upon those criteria we will determine which of the solutions best meet your needs.
- At the completion of this stage you will receive a complete report entitled “Head-To-Head test Results“
- ETA – This stage typically takes 1-2 weeks
Stage – 5: POC or Proof of Concept Stage
- During this final stage we work hand-in-hand with your product engineering and infrastructure operations/IT departments as well as the executive team to verify all needs and requirements have been met and or exceeded.
- Finally you will receive a complete, extremely detailed, leather bound executive report which you can use to implement your Strategic Cloud Solution well into the future. The report is unique and will only be found through our company and is entitled “Executive Strategic Cloud Technology RoadMap” it will have your company name and logo embossed on the front cover and will serve you well for moving forward with the strategic decisions you will need to make, in an enlightened and informed manner.
- ETA – Typically this stage will run from between 60-90 days
Overall the completed process takes from between 5 – 10 Months to deliver the completed report however, we thrive in high-intensity and high-pressure environments and are always willing to compress the time-frame for clients who need something more urgently.
Stage – 6: Design & Build-out
- We also offer to continue on after you receive your report in order to manage the complete design and build-out/implementation of the actual solution. At this point you have the decision to keep us on to perform the actual work of you can take the knowledge and data step-by-step instructions we’ve provided and do it yourself.
- ETA – This phase obviously depends on how big the actual implementation project will be. If its just installing BMC Bladlogic Suite or an EMC storage Solution it may only take 3-4 months. A complete data-center built from scratch normally takes 18-24 months so this stage runs between 3 – 24 Months depending on the scope of the solution we’ll be implementing for you.
Finally, it is important for you to know that we offer a completely modular service structure. As we’ve stated, no two company’s needs/requirements are exactly alike and so we realize you may only require help in a single phase or maybe two or three phases. How many and which phase(s) you need, is for you to determine, if you need help determining that we can absolutely and many times do help our clients with exactly that, free of charge. Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we would be happy to discuss your company’s needs in detail and help put together a plan and package you can live with. Our ultimate goal is 100% customer satisfaction and with that being said everyone of us is here for you.Give us a call today, don’t wait until its too late!