If you are in manufacturing, your inventory data, customer & prospect records, and all other databases on your server, are probably the most vital commodity to you, after what’s actually out on your shop floor. After all is said and done, you want to sit back, relax (term used very lightly in manufacturing), and not have to worry that your extremely important server could crash from under you, and without warning. Unfortunately, like any other tangible good, this can happen without proper maintenance. These unexpected crashes are even more common in those manufacturers that are small to mid-sized (SMBs) who do not have the luxury of an IT (information technology) department and/or IT director. There is good news, though. There are opportunities to outsource professional services that can monitor your company’s technological behavior, on a daily basis, for tens of thousands less than it would take to hire a full-time staff member.
ProfitKey International, a leader in ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for over 33 years, has developed a very high-end, yet affordable, IT service plan for those using an Oracle database, one of the most common in the industry. ProfitKey’s (or PKI) Annual Oracle Services Contract gives you priority access to PKI’s IT staff, and puts you at the front of the line when it comes to receiving upgrades and fixing notifications and system improvements, on top of configuring your Oracle backups with the web-based Enterprise Manager. ProfitKey conducts live monitoring of Oracle alert logs and system messages (low server disk space, Oracle metrics, and Oracle errors) via e-mail notifications directly to our IT Department. It is the equivalent of having an IT staff member watching your system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! PKI will create daily zipped Oracle Export files on the storage device of your choice. These files are ready for you to send to PK Tech Support if they request your database in-house. Weekly automation sends those Oracle Export files directly to ProfitKey’s FTP (file transfer protocol) site for Off-Site Storage/Recovery and availability for PK Tech Support. On a weekly basis, PK IT staff will physically examine your installation via remote internet connection to ensure that it is performing optimally.
ProfitKey will keep your PK software up to date with the current release. The main differences between the 3 offered levels of Silver, Gold, & Platinum are the number of pre-paid IT days and lower hourly IT rates.
RFR Metal Fabricators, located in Oxford, NC, has chosen PK’s Oracle Silver Services Plan as its Oracle Support. They recently did a major overhaul of their network, servers, and added new workstations with thin clients. A couple of very scary previous hardware crashes made them aware of how bad things would be if ProfitKey was not available to run their business! With an on-site visit from PK IT staff combined with RFR’s hardware support team, a workable plan was quickly drawn up and implemented. The new hardware running virtual servers will increase the PK activity that was mediocre at best with their older hardware mix. Utilizing thin clients with a 2008 R2 terminal server has greatly increased their workstation capabilities, makes updating and maintenance of multiple clients much more cost effective. Also, as customer of PKI’s Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) ERP, RFR recently upgraded to the latest version, 7.6.7, and is still learning all the new bells and whistles that have enhanced the PK experience in the last few years.
When all is said and done, you might never know how important a properly maintained server can be until you, or someone you know, experiences a crash that could temporarily shut down your entire business. Be smart, be safe with your data, and let ProfitKey assist you in getting on the right track!Posted by Alan Kreifels, MCTS Sr. IT Consultant / Oracle ProfitKey International