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Video: Overview of SAS

SAS Overview

Here's a short video where Simon, our CIO presents an overview of SAS.


Hello a very warm welcome to this SAS network services presentation, it's my pleasure to take you through the SAS service proposition and how we differentiate ourselves within the marketplace. My name is Simon Cranford, I'm the CIO at SAS, I've been with the business since 1994, prior to that I was actually a network engineer, working in large network infrastructures, hopefully this gives me some background towards being both a service provider but also previously as a recipient of services from other providers.

I'd like to just take you through a few stages of our service proposition starting with an overview of SAS, then very much focussing on the network platform, how we use hybrid network technology to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace of providing connectivity to diverse sites around the globe. I then want to take you through our managed services, in basic terms, how we approach a project, how we implement a solution through the design, delivery and then hand over to the support and management teams and in particular with that I'd like to focus on our service and management platform, our next generation monitoring tools, finally I'd like to cover off some additional capabilities we have within the portfolio and how they augment the overall SAS service proposition.  

So briefly an overview on SAS, basically SAS differentiates ourselves in the marketplace by having a hybrid network offering and we like to see ourselves as a world leading service management organisation. We focus within three key areas that we use to basically deliver our complete offering.

Within hybrid networking, first of all when we talk about networking we extend beyond the wide area network into the local area network, into wireless local area networks, internet connectivity, private WAN connectivity and often increasingly more and more using cellular 4G LTE type technology. When we talk about a hybrid network we're often talking about using multiple technologies, different carriers, sometimes augmenting them all together and often and increasingly even having tertiary type connectivity. Often this design also enables us to offer a software defined, an SD WAN proposition, whereby we can use different types of connectivity to direct traffic in a different way.

Our focus is around the performance of a network, not just it's availability but ensuring that our monitoring and management platforms actually show what the end user experience is like, so how the applications are actually flowing across those network paths, how they are being delivered, what the actual performance is and providing very detailed and analytical reporting on how the network has been performing throughout it's use. Finally there is the service management around that and a real differentiator of the SAS proposition, we're always focussing on how we can do things better and service is absolutely the ethos of the business and everything that we strive to do and thats both through the dual disciplines of how we implement any solution and that could be from a large transition where we transition a customer from their incumbent to a new solution offered by SAS or even at a micro-level where we're just making a simple move, add or change, the service approach to the project delivery is always consistent and always the same, equally there is then the service and management of the network in-life so offering those performance management tools to our customers so they have a transparent view of what's happening across the network is key to us, what we see is what you see and also ensuring that when events do occur, issues obviously do arise, we activate them and then get onto them as promptly as we can, proactively and on a 24x7 basis. 

SAS has been established since 1989 so it's 29 years old in the industry we have a good deal of experience as you can imagine in deploying similar solutions that we're proposing, we're very very proud to now be monitoring over 25,000 network elements, it gives us obviously a vast amount of the experience and visibility across global estates of what's occurring in customer's networks. 

We have an extremely high proactive incident rate our own network operation center is responsible for proactively detecting and alerting customers of over 95% of all incidents and when you take into account some tickets are often raised by the customer as a request for information what we would categorise say as a P4 information request, actually that percentage of proactivity is even more impressive. To date we've actually deployed over 5000 installations of 4G cellular WAN technology and that's an increasingly growing area of usage and there's a number of different scenarios that I'll take you through where that could be of benefit to your organisation and of particular interest obviously is as we begin to move towards 5G technology in the future, you'll see within the wide area network space that becoming a more and more prevalent way of providing the service offering. 

We have a very diverse customer base, we're extremely proud of our customers and also they are testament in the fact they will all give us advocacy and offer us a reference for our offering, we also have a very diverse customer base which we think is key within network infrastructure if we were offering say an application solution or a CRM solution you would probably look for an organisation that has experience within your own vertical market. Within network infrastructure we actually see that diversity of customer base key because each customer has different requirements that actually lead us onto the next technology, the next generation of solution that we're able to offer and then actually we find service propositions within those offerings that we've developed for a particular reason or particular client that actually then fulfils requirements in other organisations as well.

Part of that service offering is SAS's very very key on our quality and our accreditations, we don't just do the accreditations for the sake of them, they are not a rubber stamp to get us through to the next step of the tender, we do take them extremely seriously and have a continuous service improvement program in place to ensure that when incidents do occur, if there is something we could have done better, if we could have done it in a different way, then that's absolutely what we will ensure we do going forward. The service proposition around SAS is very much based around the people, the processes and the technology and tools that we use to deliver it and i'm extremely pleased to say that we even have high levels of standards for example our ISO 22301 for business continuity very few organisations within the UK have that. Our Prince 2 project managers don't just follow Prince 2 project methodology for the sake of it, they are very personable, experienced, technical project managers but again equally they still apply those methodology of Prince 2 to ensure a project is delivered safely and securely, on time and in budget. 

We have a number of key strategic partners that we work with, one of the main ones being a network service company is Cisco however we do actually work with a number of other manufacturers, we will for example happily deploy HP ProCurve switches as well as Cisco catalyst switches we also work with a specialist manufacturer called Peplink who give us our 3G/4G bonded cellular technology offering and a number of network service carriers as well, we have extremely close relationships with all of them and that's absolutely key to our service offering that we basically provide the end customer service but we fully have strategic key tier one partners behind us to provide part of the offering and solution. 

So in terms of how we actually provide that service offering, we basically augment and split down a network solution into three key areas, the actual network, the infrastructure on which the network is being carried and then the applications that are being carried over that infrastructure. We then have developed a number of tools and system in place so some people will be very familiar with Orion Solarwinds which is the basis for our monitoring and management platform that we actually through our own in house team of developers then extended our monitoring and management tools into what we call our next generation monitoring application and have developed a number of other areas to provide a truly world leading management and monitoring solutions and I'll take you through how that works in a lot more detail shortly to explain how we ensure that we're delivering that end customer experience not just a service level agreement about uptime or availability, its uptime, availability and guaranteeing how the network is performing and showing absolute transparency how that is performing as well.

I'd like to say that that is our network operation centre, unfortunately it's not, thats the AT&T global network operation centre in the USA, we do however have an absolutely outstanding team all in house resource based in Sussex in the UK available 24x7 to monitor and manage our customers real time. The key thing with our network operation service team as well as being excellent network engineers all with first point of contact onto your equipment, your network infrastructure and with our monitoring tools the ability to have visibility of how its performing, they are also excellent service management people with personable skills that you need to ensure that if an incident does occur, you know you're in a safe pair of hands, the engineers are proactively dealing with it and you know you're going to be quickly getting a response and an update on how it should perform.


Thanks for watching!

You can watch the full video series here: SAS Managed Networks Video


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