Jaco van der Lith,(IS Operational Delivery), Database Manager, MTN

"RDB assisted MTN in getting out of a resource shortfall quickly. They provided us with skilled and qualified consultants at short notice thus ensuring operational delivery to our business more

ITWeb : Does your database provider add value?

By Jaroslav Cerny, CEO of RDB Consulting.
Johannesburg, 19 Sep 2013

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In today’s age of information overload and big data, the database is the heart of any organisation. From running applications to processing transactions and storing customer and other mission-critical data, without the database, businesses simply cannot function.

A highly specialised task that requires expert skills, database administration can be a complex undertaking for companies without the requisite expertise. Outsourcing to a specialist provider allows businesses to bring in those skills as well as a multitude of experiences of similar environments that can create efficiencies and offer innovation.

“Choosing the right provider is essential to an effective database environment,” says Jaroslav Cerny, CEO of RDB Consulting. “Database knowledge is highly specialised, and since many companies have the operational basics right, these are no longer true differentiators when a business is choosing a service provider. The skills and capabilities organisations need are tied into the business requirements, and the choice of provider should be mapped to these.”

He points out that realistic service levels that align with business goals, as well as proper planning, ongoing focus and good project management techniques, are essential to the success of any outsourced model. As a result, RDB provides added value through a fixed monthly fee that includes these basics as well as a number of standard extras for clients.

“The hourly rate fee structure still employed by most service providers is an outdated approach to the methodologies and talent that are instrumental in creating an effective database environment. It’s a 20th century approach to a 21st century situation,” Cerny says. “Without a doubt, an outsourcing vendor should add value to your business. Cost-saving is an outdated outsourcing model. Today, companies can access a higher level of skills and business acumen, and a fixed price contract can help businesses make the most of these.”

RDB’s approach applies to both the full-time and part-time resources it deploys according to client needs, and in order to ensure the service delivered remains at the highest levels, the company updates its SLAs every six months. A solid SLA must fall in line with business requirements, Cerny says, and needs to be reassessed regularly in order to ensure this.

In addition, the company offers standard value-adds that ensure the database environment is always at optimal levels. These include site documentation, best practices and database standards, a network and system vulnerability scan, and index optimisation plan, a customised database performance tuning guide, a database audit report, a monthly executive summary report, a weekly database health check report, and a database security audit.

“The balance of functionality and the best possible service levels to meet the business’ needs are only the starting point. Due to the nature of business today, our value-adds are the tools we offer our clients to help them manage their risk and extract profit in a tighter environment, and allow them to deliver innovation and efficiency,” Cerny concludes.

RDB Consulting

RDB Consulting is an outsource and consulting company that specialises in five areas: relational databases, operating systems, database security, monitoring and enterprise resource planning. The company provides project management, solutions architecture, ongoing maintenance and key resource support services that cover Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, MySQL, eBusiness Suite, Oracle Application Server, all flavours of UNIX, Linux and Windows Server.

Its services are designed to provide businesses access to expert technical resources, whether full time, part time, co-managed or via remote administration. Its growing list of blue chip clients bears testament to the fact that informed businesses recognise the benefits of selectively outsourcing specialist areas within their organisations that are not core to their business – leaving them to focus on what they do best, while it does the rest.

Editorial contacts

RDB Consulting
Jennifer Mbesa
(011) 807 7663