Uzair Sattar | Founder & CEO | ICE Consulting | Insights Success

ICE Consulting: Reforming the MSSP Industry with Agility

Organizations around the world understand all too well the importance of having a secure IT infrastructure. Increasing threats such as targeted malware, data theft, unpredictable disaster emergencies, cloud security and more have forced companies to rethink how they address these challenges. To tackle such threats and incidents, Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) have entered the picture. An MSSP’s services are considered as an organized method to administer clients’ security needs. With the growing business need for companies to move their IT infrastructure to the cloud such as AWS, Azure, or others, this presents a new and greater challenge to secure the infrastructure. Just because the infrastructure is on the cloud doesn’t make it safe, far from it. And amazingly, few IT specialists really understand the security challenges that come with cloud, let alone how to best implement these solutions to protect their infrastructure.  This is where ICE Consulting excels.

ICE Consulting is an innovative MSSP that has been providing managed IT services for mid-sized enterprises for over 20 years. The company specializes in a full range of vendor- independent, managed IT services for startups to established larger firms.

Since 1996, the company has gained extensive expertise in networking, systems and security products, and implementation with first-class hardware, software and system support to offer full-spectrum, end-to-end, managed IT services. ICE specializes in managing and maintaining IT infrastructure for its client’s so the client can focus on their core business . Infrastructure security, system virtualization, storage, Linux and Window servers, cloud services, user support, database administration, backup and disaster recovery are some of the services provided by ICE both off-premise and over the cloud.

20+ Years of Success

Throughout its journey, ICE Consulting has had to keep up with the latest technology and industry trends. To do this best, ICE implements any new technologies in-house first. Then it deploys them over the cloud to receive real-world experience on any implementation and deployment challenges before implementing at the client site.

And while Silicon Valley has prospered, ICE has kept pace by continually developintg its systems and IT experts, despite competing for talent with multinational conglomerates such as Apple and Google. ICE has done well with finding talent by growing organically through a combination of a strong culture and the challenging work it offers its team of experts.  As an example, ICE realized and identified beforehand that biotech and life-science tech was an emerging and growing market and funneled its activities toward these areas. Today, it has a strong team of experts with years of experience in this area.

In fact, ICE is the only MSSP that has been identified, qualified, and approved by California Life Science Association for providing exemplary IT managed services. The biotech and life science industries have been a sweet spot for the company as their dependency on IT is quite high in terms of various computing processes, such as in HPC (High Performance Computing) and Big Data management — another area where ICE excels.

In addition to biotech, ICE supports clients in a range of industries. It has done audit assessments for companies like Farallon Capital, the fourth largest hedge fund in the world, and has also successfully designed, installed, and maintained a data center for AT&T Big Data, contributing to about 4 petabytes of a Hadoop cluster.

A Resilient Foundation

Uzair Sattar, the Founder and CEO of ICE Consulting, started the company over 20 years ago, from his bedroom. He graduated from San Jose State University and studied Computer Information Systems. Initially, Uzair worked for a couple of years in other organizations. Speaking about his previous stints, Uzair recalls, “What I learned was how not to do things. Hence, I thought that I could do a much better job and so I started ICE.”

When Uzair started the company, he wanted it to be client focused. He wanted to build a solution based on real-world client business needs and requirements, rather than forcing a solution that might not meet their needs.

“We are our clients’ trusted IT partner. We possess a very unique proactive IT management policy and so we have developed our own preventative maintenance checklist that we go over on a weekly basis,” explains Uzair. This proactive maintenance is focused on security, firewall, switching, routing, servers, virtualization, storage, and applications. These checklists are then filled and sent to the client so that they can scrutinize what was done. We at ICE strongly believe in transparent IT services.”

Exemplifying Distinctiveness

Over the course of time, ICE has developed specialized software, processes, and procedures to efficiently and effectively manage, monitor, and analyze its clients’ IT infrastructure. ICE Consulting is a 24-by-7 company that offers live user support and network operations services.

ICE’s solutions are primarily focused on three domains: small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), biotech and life science, and data center and cloud services.

Strategic services include:

  • Comprehensive IT security and infrastructure audit, assessment, and implementation.
  • Assist clients with meeting different compliance standards such as NIST, HIPPA, CLIA, ISO/IEC 27001, PCI.
  • Design, implement, and monitor cloud security.
  • System and network design and security.
  • Storage, backup, and redundancy.
  • Disaster recovery, business continuity planning, and implementation.

Upgrade and Migration Services include:

  • System, network, and application upgrade and migration.
  • Migration from on-premise to cloud services (AWS and Azure) or Colocation (colo)
  • Data line, wireless, and telephone/video solutions.
  • Server room and date center build-out (cabling, power, HVAC).
  • Physical office migration.

Proactive Maintenance and Support Services:

  • Complete IT maintenance with 24/7 monitoring, notification, and live-tech support.
  • Network, security, and system design and implementation (Windows Server, Linux, firewall, switches, and routers)
  • Design, implement, and manage cloud infrastructure on AWS or Azure.
  • Manage and maintain all cloud services.
  • Virtualization and storage area network, cloud services (VMware, Hyper-V, NetApp, EMC)
  • Design, implement, and manage storage.
  • Email solutions.
  • Single sign-on (SSO) and Multifactor Authentication (MFA).
  • Desktop and CRM support.
  • Desktop support (Windows, Linux, Mac).

Cloud Infrastructure Services

ICE carefully reviews the different variables before selecting the right cloud services and makes sure that they fit clients’ business requirements. It designs all aspects of the system, network, and security, and then recommends the appropriate hardware, software, and connectivity.

 “Most companies think putting servers and applications on AWS or Azure is safe but that is incorrect. Cloud infrastructure providers only give you space to host servers and applications. It is YOUR responsibility to secure them with the right network configuration, installing a firewall, and implementing a WAF (Web Application Firewall) to name a few,” explains Uzair.

 

ICE has a team of highly experienced engineers who can help with these issues. The team handles IT migration to the cloud with an emphasis on planning and careful execution. The company offers complete solutions for cloud services, including options from a private and/or public cloud model.

ICE’s Cloud services expertise includes:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform
  • Cloud security
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Manage and maintain different cloud services
  • Different cloud-based, backup solutions
  • Implement SSO and MFA

Data Center Offerings

ICE recognizes that a data center may be one of the biggest expenses of clients. Whether one has a few servers or hundreds of servers along with hundreds of terabytes of storage, the company’s managed IT services offer the capabilities needed, which include:

  • Select the data center that meets your business requirements
  • Assess and analyze power requirements
  • Assess and analyze network requirements
  • Assess and analyze ISP and connectivity
  • Storage infrastructure
  • Server and data migration
  • Data center monitoring
  • Data virtualization
  • Infrastructure consolidation
  • Backup and disaster recovery

The company’s Managed Services make managing IT easy and efficient and provide clients with the peace of mind needed to focus on their core business.

Following are the services inclusive in the Managed Services package:

  • Provide weekly proprietary Proactive Preventative Maintenance Checklist (PM) on network, servers, storage, and applications.
  • PM Checklist on network, servers, storage, and applications.
  • Technical Manager assigned to the account that participates in monthly IT meetings to review state of IT affairs and make recommendations and provide solution.
  • Director, IT services.
  • Deliver comprehensive, monthly IT report.
  • Enhance transparency through regular IT meetings.
  • Have primary and secondary engineers on all engagements – not only does this provide consistency of service, but offers you built in redundancy and specialization.
  • Provide dedicated support staff along with account manager.
  • Monitor IT 24x7x365.
  • Offer 24x7x365 ‘live’ help desk support and NOC (Network Operation Center) services.
  • Document all IT issues — details entire IT infrastructure, provides up-to-date information.
  • Provides experienced client success group to provide quote on all hardware, software, and to manage and renew all hardware and software warranties and licensees.
  • Manage vendors — everything from vendor selection to negotiations to purchasing.

 “We at ICE strongly believe in transparent IT services, therefore all work performed by ICE is recorded, documented, and auditable. We are ahead of our competitors when it comes to cloud offerings, infrastructure audit, assessment, and deployment. We also have a strong linux team which most of our competitors don’t provide,” says Uzair.

Customer service is a top priority for ICE Consulting. The company does an extensive audit assessment to understand what the business objectives, processes, and goals are at the onset of the project, and based on that it provides a solution. Those solutions are then discussed and with the client’s consent they are implemented and maintained.

Empowering Progress

While expressing his views about the MSSP industry, Uzair states, “I think most companies today recognize the value of outsourcing instead of building in-house capabilities — an expensive, time- and resource-intensive process. This is our value proposition to our clients.”

Uzair believes that ICE Consulting plays a vital role in a client company’s success: “We have clients that started as a 20-person company and have since grown to 300+ employees, and some have resulted in billion-dollar buyouts. We are proud to have played a key role in their success and growth.”

“The companies we work with are innovators. They’re creating new technologies and cutting-edge solutions, and in some cases lifesaving innovation. We are helping them to focus on building their solutions while we’re taking care of their IT infrastructure 24×7,” adds Uzair.

What many don’t realize is that the MSSP industry often has a direct impact on a firm’s success. If the IT falls behind, it hampers productivity and creativity.

Source :-The 10 Best Performing Managed Security Service Providers 2018

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