When Contingent Network Services went looking for a network management and monitoring tool to replace their outdated software, they never imagined it would be WhatsUp Gold. “We were already a WhatsUp Gold customer,” says Ryan Collins, MSP Manager for Contingent. “We had Version 8 running – the staff here said it was unstable. No wonder. We were trying to do things with the software that it wasn’t designed to do.” In reality what had happened is that Contingent had doubled or tripled the workload of the intended capacity of the older version of WhatsUp Gold and had let their support agreement lapse. “I felt that we were lucky it was even running,” says Collins. “We did everything you’re not supposed to do with the application.”
Contingent specializes in providing complete network solutions including WAN, LAN, and Wireless design, deployment and support for various types of infrastructure solutions for clients throughout North America. The company is dedicated to providing world- class information technology products and services with a focus on exceeding customer expectations, so they depend on their network management platform to keep everything running smoothly and without interruption.
Collins was asked to spearhead the search for a replacement to the older edition of WhatsUp Gold. “We needed solid ROI – a low cost per seat, a quality product, and strong support staff for when we hit technical barriers. We looked at two other solutions and the newest versions of WhatsUp Gold, and after about 45 days we determined the best avenue,” explains Collins.
“The competitors’ feature sets just didn’t gel with what we needed. The installation was so much simpler with WhatsUp Gold - so I could dive in and develop test scenarios as opposed to spending time installing the software. When you install WhatsUp Gold it’s installed. Period. With others you had to install Microsoft® SQL Server® Express and then synchronize it. With WhatsUp Gold we could quickly migrate and not miss a beat.”
Collins also expressed his pleasure in dealing with the Ipswitch sales team. “The solution team at Ipswitch was such a good fit,” Collins explains. “One competitor made a huge push to sell us their product but didn’t listen to what we needed. The other competitor’s sales team was largely unresponsive. Ipswitch was fabulous in helping us understand all of the features and functionality of WhatsUp Gold – the team separated themselves and WhatsUp Gold from the other products.”
Today, one WhatsUp Gold configuration resides in the Contingent data center as the primary server. To make the accuracy and performance more efficient Contingent has seen the benefit of giving WhatsUp Gold a dedicated internet connection. True to their name, Contingent also has a backup server in their corporate office; if the primary server goes down for more than two minutes, WhatsUp Gold will failover to maximize uptime for their Help Desk and customers.
Contingent has about 70 employees and they sell a large number of technical solutions. They needed a mature, flexible solution with automation and reporting capabilities in order to manage multiple customers simultaneously, while maintaining the security and privacy of their infrastructure and data. “I could go on for days and days about the capabilities that I like,” he says. “The database configuration makes WhatsUp Gold much more flexible. Something really simple that works well for us is the customizable attributes for a single device. When you create a device in WhatsUp Gold it gives you contacts, location and preferences. We also added our own attributes. Now we can determine outage calculation percentages, availability, and maintenance so we know when we’ve met our SLA’s to our customers and when we have not. For that alone I’m such a supporter of the application.”
WhatsUp Gold’s flexible deployment models ensure that Managed Service Providers can monitor simple to complex customer environments. WhatsUp Gold's scalable architecture can handle a virtually unlimited number of locations, infrastructure components and users ensuring that Contingent’s management capabilities will grow with its business. “I think any of the concerns Contingent once had about the older version of WhatsUp Gold have all gone away,” says Collins. “My colleagues don’t ask what its limitations are anymore – they only ask: ‘What else can WhatsUp Gold do?’”