Our IFS Support Contract - A Premium Service

At Vanilla, we don’t just offer run-of-the-mill support for IFS Applications. Our structured support contract is a premium service that not only provides our expertise when customers need it but also includes free of charge pre-emptive support. On a scheduled basis, our support analysts monitor and check customers systems for early warnings that allow us to prevent an issue arising, even before the customer realises it.

Last month, pre-emptive support allowed us to assist in averting the worst effects of a major incident at one of our support customers.

The customer in question has a large operation spanning multiple sites, and they perform maintenance at the behest of third parties. Maintenance requests from the third parties are sent to our customer’s IFS system, using interfaces that use IFS Application Messages & Connectivity to process the instructions, creating IFS Work Orders. In a “lock and key” situation, key files relating to the job are sent separately from the instruction, and then logic is used to pair the two up to create file attachments on the Work Order.

During our regular daily checks, we noticed that several jobs from one of the third parties were not being created, due to the IFS routine not being able to find the attached files. This allowed us to alert our customer of a potential major issue and investigate the situation. Because not all jobs were affected, without monitoring for “business as usual”, the effects otherwise may not have been felt by our customer until maintenance had not been carried out as instructed, which may have had a severely detrimental effect on equipment safety. In discussion with the customer, we managed to create a manual workaround, which was in place quickly, thus minimising the effects to the customer. Then, working with our customer and the third party, it was identified that the third party concerned had made changes to their environment, which was the root cause of the issue.

Pre-emptive support is set up using IFS’ Application Monitoring Console – there are a number of standard indicators already set up, however, we also add our own, based on what is important to the customer (for this customer, operating remote maintenance teams, key indicators revolve around Connectivity Messages, Application Messages, Background Jobs, and Mobile Transactions). These are checked to a daily schedule, and anything concerning is either addressed directly, where we have the pre-authorised permission to do so, or reported to the customer and investigated. We also report a clean check to the customer, providing assurance that IFS functions are running as expected.

If you are interested in finding out more about what a premium support service can offer, contact us today