Avoiding A Delta Outage Disaster

ARTICLE

Written by David Kaparis on 2/1/2017


Avoiding A Delta Outage Disaster: Do You Have The Right IT Support?

When it comes to mission-critical applications, support is a vital factor in minimizing the cost of disruptions. Delta Airlines recently suffered a massive system outage that not only cost them millions of dollars, but tarnished their reputation. Back in 2010, something similar happened when Virgin Blue airline's online booking and check-in systems went down. Suffice it to say, the clean-ups following these disasters were time-consuming and expensive for both companies. This just comes to show how much our businesses rely on having functional IT systems in place.

This got me thinking about the manufacturing industry, with which we work and consequently where the same reliance on IT exists today. Manufacturing IT systems are relied upon to keep production running and productive. Manufacturing IT is involved along the entire manufacturing process, from product design to production execution to shipping. PLM software systems are in place to manage engineering data like 3D models, Work Instructions, and process plans. You also have MES/MOM systems for managing the production lines, robotics, ovens, conveyers, etc. LIMS systems manage quality. CMMS systems manage maintenance. The list goes on and on. This means that when Manufacturing IT systems go down, the impact can cost millions of dollars of lost productivity.

Manufacturing IT is complex and requires intimate knowledge of the system to root cause issues and provide solutions. Sometimes the problem is in the data, other times it’s a bug in the product, while other times it’s a user error. Having the right support is key to resolving issues quickly and keeping production running smoothly. You may be thinking, I have that covered, I have a dedicated IT guy and/or an IT help desk? Your IT guy may know a lot, but you (like many other manufacturers) are relying on a single person to support your production. Even the best IT guy cannot possibly know the vast majority of complex systems involved in your automation network, nor know and be able to resolve every issue quickly to prevent costly interruptions. When it comes to IT help desks, they are great for fielding user calls on how to use the system in a broad generic sense, but once you get past that, you need application support by dedicated, trained people who know that product and your business.

This is where Customer Software Maintenance & Support comes in. What is Customer Software Maintenance & Support for manufacturers? The service provides your users a multi-tiered trouble-shooting approach by having personnel with extensive technical knowledge available to support Manufacturing IT issue resolution. Plus, if Hyla Soft’s team also implemented the system for which you need support, you get the added benefit of having professionals that intimately know your specific manufacturing process and needs, details about the deployment, as well as your critical use cases. Another benefit of receiving IT Support from your system integrator is knowing that you are getting backed up by not only application experts, but an entire company and team. In other words, you go to bed being reassured that your plant is being handled by professionals that guarantee to keep your systems up and running smoothly.

Why Hyla Soft?

Hyla Soft’s Customer Software Support is provided by a group of professionals with industry expertise and real project experience deploying solutions. Our program comes down to two levels of support:

  • Application Support is support for your specific software configurations. This is critical to ensuring optimal uptimes. Application Support is guidance and teaching users how to use the system correctly as well as how to evaluate its performance.
  • Software Support is support for core software bugs in which our team works directly with the software vendor of your application. Our support technicians are also application experts who know exactly what information to collect in order to best convey the problem to the vendor and facilitate fast resolution. This expedites support ticket lifecycles. This also simplifies your life, as you only need to interact with one support agent.

Support Includes:

  • Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for IT interruptions
  • Ticketing system to log tickets online
  • Phone support
  • Computer or software consultations
  • Problem resolution
  • Root cause analysis for any incident (PLM, MES/MOM, etc.)
  • Problems related to interfaces (communications)
  • Problems with database (data integrity, connections, etc.)
  • Adjustments for master data (configurations)
  • Opening/tracking tickets with software vendor

I have deployed many projects, and even following the most robust training, clients always needed help in using their applications. Manufacturing applications are complex systems that work with complex data sets, and without proper IT support, misunderstandings of how the application works, bad data issues, and occasional vendor bugs are unavoidable. Thanks to our Customer Software Support & Maintenance program at Hyla Soft, our customers are able to close issues quickly and keep production running smoothly. We’re proud to be able to offer this valuable service to our clients.


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