The Orange Book
Is your business’s server room a rat’s nest? Or is your “server” an old desktop tower running Windows XP? Is your business susceptible to hacking and malware? Can you answer any of those questions definitively? If you can’t, or if you can but don’t like the answers, I have the solution for you.
If anyone or any business wishes to improve, to be bigger, better, stronger they must first understand themselves as they currently are. “Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them,” said Albert Einstein. Self-reflection is the key to growth in any venture. So, if a business is looking to grow and improve it is imperative to take stock in their current infrastructure.
Often though, executive level employees as well as supervisors and managers may not always know the extent of their IT infrastructure, or have the technical pedigree to understand what they have versus what they need. And employee turnover and failures in oversight can mean that information about a network or system can slip between the cracks.
That’s why Atomic Data offers the Orange Book. The Atomic Data Orange Book includes information on: current and future state network diagrams, project and upgrade road maps, recommendations to meet fiscal and compliance needs, detailed cost summaries, verbose hardware reports, security policy assessments, client risk reports, Microsoft Exchange usage, permissions, and distribution list reports, mobile device reports, and share permission reports. The Atomic Data Orange Book then, is a comprehensive overview of a business’s IT infrastructure. A roadmap, if you will, of where the business currently is and where it wants to end up.
We bundle all this information, plus an executive summary, in a document and sit down with the Client to discuss what has been discovered by the Atomic Data Orange Book team. The Orange Book team is comprised of Engineers from all of Atomic Data’s departments that have a role in the business’s objectives. This could include Architecture and Implementation, Systems, Network, Software, and On-Site.
The executive summary is written not only with the organization’s executives in mind, but also the Atomic Data team in order to better understand the Client—especially if the Client decides to move forward with more Atomic Data services. The summary details the business itself, from origination, ownership, and revenue to what is driving the business to improve and what they’d like for their future state.
If the Orange Book is something that a business is interested in, and why wouldn’t they be, the process starts with the Client and a Solutions Consultant. After the relationship is underway, the Solutions Consultant, Project Manager, and On-Site Manager will meet with the Client to discuss short and long term goes, discuss pain points and immediate issues, and a general direction the Client wishes to go.
Once the order comes through for a new Orange Book, resources are assigned and a kickoff meeting is scheduled to get the project off the ground. This meeting brings together every department involved, including the Project Manager, to give an overview of the Client, determine roles, and schedule times for data collection.
Then the Engineers get into the meat of the project—data collection. Atomic Data Engineers will travel on site to document all software and hardware—from databases to Office licenses, and IP phones to servers. Everything is documented and a master list of all products is created. With all that information Engineers start creating a meticulously detailed network diagram of the current state of the Client’s network.
With data collection complete, Engineers will meet and review all the information to decide what would be the best future state that fits the Client’s budget and the Client’s needs. After deciding the best future state each Engineer will set to work on recommendations. Each Engineer will use the information they gathered to recommend hardware, software, and configuration upgrades to the Client’s infrastructure that will move them to that future state.
The team will then go over their recommendations and network diagrams for accuracy and compatibility. Once everything is agreed on, the recommendations and diagrams are compiled with quotes to form the Orange Book to submit to Clients at the presentation meeting. This presentation meeting is just as valuable as the Orange Book itself. The expertise of the managers and consultants adds context to the Engineer’s recommendations and enhances the Client’s understanding of the Orange Book. Atomic Data’s Orange Book team will answer any questions the Client may have and explain the options the Client has to achieve their goals.
Now, one of the best aspects of the Orange Book is that the Client can do whatever they want with the information provided in the Orange Book. The breadth of information that is given in the Orange Book can be used as a guide for making changes in-house, stashing for later use, or, of course, the Orange Book can be the first stepping stone in a lasting relationship with Atomic Data as we handle all of a company’s IT needs. The Orange Book is a great and versatile tool.
So, if you’re looking to improve, to get up to speed with the latest technology, give us a call. We’d be more than happy to help you get to know your business with an Orange Book. We’re always growing to meet our Client’s needs, and we’d love to help your company grow too.