Managed Services Provision
i-Valley’s goal is to create an open-access managed ecosystem for rural smart community development, through the delivery of tailored solutions selected from world-best technologies and practices, in order to provide optimal broadband service combined with rural community engagement.
In this role i-Valley is a partner with the community or region, in delivering the best Managed Services platform for the creation of Smart Community development, by combining the most knowledgeable consulting advice with specifically selected vendor-neutral hardware and software solutions aimed at the rural and remote sector.
- Manage the day-to-day running of the network, on behalf of the community or region;
- Manage repairs and upgrades;
- Ensure the maintenance of subscriber volumes and customer service quality;
- Do the invoicing and processing of payments, if required; and
- Set up a strategic plan for the continuing expansion of the network.
On behalf of the community or region, i-Valley uses this specialized expertise in rural and remote Managed Services to drive the development and adoption of the “Broadband Utility”.
i-Valley’s Managed Services capability means that very high professional standards will be applied to the operation and maintenance of the rural network, at a level at least equal to that obtained by telecommunications carriers in urban settings.
|Aspect||IT Application example||i-Valley MSP application example|
|Provision of an “Information Utility” where nothing exists||Various co-ops in the U.S.||Communities where commercial service is inadequate|
|NSC Network, f6|
|Strategic benchmark framework||Support call metrics, downtime metrics - industry comparisons, relevant technology trends, business impact||Smart Communities benchmarking, ICF criteria, marketing, business impact|
|“Closing the gaps” plan||Work with community to identify priorities||South Shore REN|
|Opinion Leadership||Bring experts to Nova Scotia||Speaking Tours with David Sandel, Gigabit Neighbourhoods, St Louis, and Dan Mathieson, Mayor of Stratford, ON|
|Best practices framework – what is business impact of a technology decision?||Replacement of end-of-life server||Upgrade of fibre transport|
|Upgrade of bandwidth for IT users||Upgrade of bandwidth for last mile|
|Return on Investment||Models from other communities around the world||Estimates done for Hants Counties, Kings Municipality|
|Network availability||Network is down - fix||Network is down – fix|
|User cannot connect to network - fix||Household cannot access Internet - fix|
|Network optimization||Efficient use of installed assets||Smart Town Hall in Berwick, NS, uses smart systems for building management.|
Benefits of Managed Services
Town or Region
The Town or Region benefits by having a broadband network created specially for their community, and run and managed according to their preferences. Profits from the network can also add to the community’s coffers, to help with development of the future network or to help with other projects.
Residents and Businesses
Residents and Businesses gain a broadband network that is responsive to community needs and financial capabilities. The network administration can adapt data plans to individual organizations, if needed, while maintaining an overall plan that works to the general benefit of the public.
Because the network is an “Open” system, encouraging use by all interested data carriers, it can offer competitive rates which will drive down user costs. Carriers will also be competing on service levels as well, ensuring that content is exemplary.
Enterprise and Industrial Benefits of Managed Service Provision
Managed Services are especially useful for larger firms operating in rural areas, which often need individual attention.
Big Data is a commonly-used business tool in most areas; in rural areas, the advent of adequate Internet service means that analytics can be on-hand for valued industry sectors. Only a network with special programs administered by locally-aware Managed Service providers can keep up with the demands of Big Data. In combination with Acadia University, for example, crop-viewing drones are capturing information from the vineyards about soil conditions, fertilizer use, ripeness, and moisture levels, and feeding it into analytic programs that optimize the use of resources and minimize pollution. With more extensive Internet coverage, more farms and agricultural related industries such as Elmsdale Landscaping – a large sod producer with thousands of acres – can be involved in this program, and reap the benefits that accrue to connected areas.
Resources-based industries are by their nature rural, and many local enterprises would benefit from improved Internet access for management and monitoring. Elmsdale Lumber Company has forestry holdings throughout the rural Annapolis Valley. Internet and Mobile Technology can be used in the Forest Industry to assist in harvesting, habitat protection, real-time monitoring, and productivity gains. Shaw Resources operates a substantial global export manufacturing business from its aggregate and aggregate-related products operation. Shaw and other enterprises like National Gypsum which operates the world’s largest open-pit Gypsum mine would be able to explore technologies such as remote health monitoring, using driverless trucks, and monitoring operations to establish predictive maintenance and mine safety.
Cox Brothers Poultry, an industrial-sized egg producer in Selma already leverages technology in energy efficiency initiatives in their large egg producing operation. Improved Internet access would help in their regulatory obligations, business communications, and competitiveness. As well, high-tech cheese production enterprises like that recently launched by Italian immigrant Ciro Commencini in South Rawdon can use high speed connections to remotely ensure environmental controls are robust and dependable to ensure quality and efficiency.
Export companies, like Jeff Miller Auto Parts in Noel Shore, are currently hitting the limits of the limited internet service in the area. Vastly improved Internet capability is likely to directly improve profitability in web-based export retailers such as Jeff Miller, and encourage others to follow in their success.
Internet of Things (IoT) applications can be populated when adequate Internet coverage is available. Arrangements have already been made with regional Chambers of Commerce and the Valley Regional Enterprise Network, to hold instructional workshops for enterprises on how to use IoT tools to manage, assess, coordinate and change products and services. Process- and customer-focused applications are being featured. These will enable local enterprises to achieve IoT world standards, and allow regional companies to compete on an equal footing with international rivals.