The less room available in cabinets, on racks, and in cages, the greater the occupancy rate and profits for colocation facilities. Consequently, the ability to access a real-time inventory of every asset in a colo — down to the last spare port — and accurately assess available “stock” is a sales team’s dream.
For those responsible for marketing space on behalf of Bezeq Intl., it is a reality.
The Israeli telecommunications giant accelerated sales processes at five of its data centers through the procurement of XpedITe, a next-generation data center, network, infrastructure, and operations management solution that federates previously disparate systems and environments to create a single source of truth.
Delivered as a managed service by automated infrastructure specialist RiT Tech, the tool has been integrated with Bezeq’s customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, enabling those selling data center capacity to do so with a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute picture of available space and power.
In addition to negating the need for sales staff to contact, query, and wait for a response from a colo manager before fulfilling an order, XpedITe has expedited communications and improved the ability to accurately identify any additional space for new and existing clients.
While the constantly refreshed record of remaining stock it affords is an obvious advantage, Bezeq is also benefiting from the tool’s detailed auditing of the stock being consumed. This knowledge ensures colos do not pass up on previously unclaimed revenue, according to Daniel Simis, who is responsible for strategic project management at the company.
“XpedITe’s application programming interface talks to our CRM, which means every action related to payment is tracked,” he said. “We know how space is used by customers and can bill them accurately today rather than having to chase money for any unseen and unexpected charges months down the line. Previously, tedious audits — of thousands of pieces of equipment and services — were needed to synchronize the billing possess, which led to significant losses in revenue.”
Increased productivity results from advanced algorithms that problem-solve and plan, generating automated work orders to deploy technicians in an efficient manner.
Additionally, Bezeq can customize the client-facing, self-service portal to suit the needs of specific customers.
As well as providing a panoramic porthole through which clients can manage assets in the racks and monitor the health of their digital real estate, the remote access offers a greater degree of control and connection to customers than was previously possible.
The self-service portal gives customers an advanced means to directly communicate with data center staff and the ability to quickly action everything from standard trouble tickets to requests relating to remote “hand and eye,” firewall changes, back-up and restore, and physical access.
A ticketing system diarizes all approved visitors, preventing the disruption posed to colo staff of having to host multiple guests at any one time. External engineers, for example, are only granted access to the site following approval of their identification on the portal by a customer manager.
Similarly, any changes in configuration, such as the addition or removal of servers, are automatically captured and reflected in the system.
“This is a huge advantage — for both Bezeq Intl. and its customers — as it keeps the record of in-rack assets up to date,” Simis said. “This, in turn, helps us to manage requests, such as a remote reset of a specific server, and eliminates the need to use Excel spreadsheets to help customers visualize their system setups and allocation. Instead, they can instantly see the power and space used and what is available to them.