What role does Managed Services play in Intershop APAC?
We service our customers in the Asia-Pacific region daily to ensure all our client sites are operational at all times and are running optimally in terms of performance. Incidents and requests may originate from the client, end-user or internally, and can range from basic tasks to high priority issues.
Managed Services is the daily client-facing team of our organization, as such, we pride ourselves on clear communication skills and putting the customer first. In addition, we also provide clients and the company with input into the future direction of the underlying IT infrastructure and assist with IT compliance.
Intershop relies heavily on Managed Services in terms of the service benefits we offer. What do you think is the key differing aspect of your team from our competitors?
Our APAC team have staggered work times as well as a 24 x 7 on-call support due to differing time zones of our customers.
One key factor is that the majority of our team are well-versed across both the Intershop Commerce Suite and the underlying infrastructure, regardless hosted on-premises, Azure, or AWS (Amazon Web Services).
Our Managed Services team also encompasses Database Administrators, DevOps Engineers and Senior Application Developers. We focus on operational efficiency so that the client can focus on their core business.
The Intershop Application has many servers and applications operating concurrently. How do you ensure it functions 24/7/365 along with client systems?
As many of our implementations are customized, we have specific monitoring setups for individual clients to ensure functions such as overnight batch jobs and order processing generate immediate alerts if any issues are encountered.
We also regularly monitor the resource usage on our client environments, and are currently in the process of moving a large proportion of these over to Microsoft Azure to improve scalability, security and high availability.
What has been the greatest moment during your time in Managed Services?
A moment would have been the adoption of cloud services to complement Intershop’s Commerce Suite. Having been at Intershop for 7 years now, I have observed that many of our client’s needs have evolved in response to the growth in consumer spending online, which has facilitated the need for a highly scalable solution in both B2C and B2B markets.
What plans do you have for the Managed Services team in the future, in terms of more technical integrations or for example, AI automated responses to tickets?
My team has been working on our internal APAC application named “Rick” which currently runs automated deployments, views the state of all servers and suggests how to resolve problems as they occur. It interfaces to a SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunk that actively routes support calls to ease call management and provides updates via Slack that our team uses for real time messaging. Rick is also integrated with Azure to provide a full network topology which is used for monitoring, deploying and replacing VMs (Virtual Machines).
We are also able to spin up Intershop demo environments within 10 minutes without any need of technical staff intervention.
For the future, we are looking at the better use of historical data to resolve problems where AI can be used through Rick to both advise and take preventative action where necessary.