As a complete systems integrator, Keystone accepts primary responsibility for all aspects of an automation project. Keystone offers all of the products and services necessary to get the complete job done. This includes an ability to assess the client's needs and then to offer consulting services, which include hardware specification and configuration, and sourcing hardware as desired by the client. In addition to providing solutions centered around our core application software products, Keystone also successfully offers general software development and system support services to a variety of commercial enterprises, with an emphasis on our deep expertise in the IBM U2 databases.
Keystone will provide complete project administration services, hardware installation, process consultation and product fit analysis, and will propose thoughtful modifications and additions to our packaged solutions, based upon individual needs. We also provide complete training, for all types of users and system support personnel, in all aspects of the solution provided.
Keystone also offers on-going help desk support with software maintenance and version upgrades. (Server hardware maintenance is provided by the manufacturer's field service organizations.) With installation of source code on each client’s server, and high speed secure remote access, we are able to support clients in any geography quickly and effectively.
Keystone's “Client Care” department is the primary contact that our clients use to ask questions and report issues, by phone, fax or website. Keystone's support procedures, and web based issues tracking system ensure that problems are solved quickly and with good communication.
Depending on the client's wishes, Keystone is equipped to provide any or all of the following products and services for your implementation:
- Selecting, Sizing, Installing and Optionally, Sourcing Server Hardware
- Maintaining, Supporting and Enhancing Application Software Products
- Custome Software Development Services
- Software Product Enhancement and Development Services
- Converting Available Data from Existing Systems
- Training Staff at all Levels in the Use of the System, Relational Database, Application Software and Software Development Tools
- Supporting Operating Systems and Relational Database Software Products
Keystone provides on-going warranty and update support for all of our application software, as well as “first-line” support (backed by the manufacturer) for the IBM (UniVerse) relational database environment, the IBM web environment (RedBack) and our Windows Desktop component (Keystone Client).
For system support continuity, Keystone also places itself ‘in the loop” for first-line support of the host server operating system, for problem diagnosis, procedural questions, and version updates. However, we also require that our customers have a support relationship with the manufacturer, or appropriate field service organization, for on site server and operating system support.
Our structured “Client Care” Help Desk process, and automated tracking system (including optional customer web- based access) is utilized to register, track and escalate support issues. Keystone’s support personnel have access to the customer’s system to provide problem diagnosis, software corrections and version updates. (The installation of application software source code on our customer’s servers allows for software update on an immediate basis, if required.)
All software version updates released by Keystone are available to clients who are using the same product series, under the standard software maintenance agreement.
Since training is perhaps the most critical element of a successful installation, Keystone requires a minimum amount of time be ordered with each application module in order for client’s staff to become certified for production use and support service. Keystone also provides comprehensive technical training for system support personnel with classes ranging from basic database administration up to program development and maintenance skills, as desired.
Training is conducted at the client’s site, or may optionally be hosted by Keystone at our southern New Jersey offices. This training incorporates both instructor demonstrations and “hands on” use of the system, utilizing actual work examples and local data for familiarity and relevance. Class sizes are purposely limited to ensure that each person is given proper individual attention and masters the content.
The Training units are intended to provide for one complete and thorough training series for each application software product, such that individuals can end up equipped to train others within the organization if desired. It is expected that the client designate from their staff at least one person with primary responsibility in each major application area to assist with ongoing training as the project progresses. These internal trainer personnel can then also function as the first line support personnel within the organization to efficiently use Keystone’s help desk (“Client Care”) services. This approach also helps reduce the cost of future training necessitated by staff changes and increases self-reliance for some questions and support issues.
On-going training is available to Keystone clients throughout the year in the form of:
- Free classes in conjunction with the national and regional user group meetings
- General, periodic classes offered at Keystone’s offices
- Free webinars on topics of general interest
- On site, custom tailored training
As a complete systems integrator, Keystone staffs all aspects of the implementation, training and on-going support of a Keystone system.
Keystone draws on its staff-based deep subject matter expertise to fulfill the various aspects of an implementation project. These activities include:
- Product Review and Fit Analysis Consultation
- Site-Specific System Parameter Set up
- Software Modification/Development
- Data Conversion Utility, Development and Testing
- User Training
- Project Management Administration
A single Keystone project manager/point of contact is assigned to each implementation. This experienced staff member serves as the facilitator between Keystone’s employee resources and a counterpart project manager of the client’s. Keystone’s Project manager will review and send all written project communications as well as maintain the project plan.
The project plan uses procedural steps that render the project more manageable. Each application module may be on its own timetable with regard to the various tasks that lead to its production use. Typically, the actual time frame for production use of an application module (or a portion of one) has much more to do with “natural” factors such as customer staff availability, business cycles relative to use of the particular application (e.g. budgeting occurs at a certain time of the fiscal year,) and desired integration of modules, more so than any timing factors which Keystone “dictates”. The implementation schedule is first built with the timeframe for production use of a given module understood from the beginning of the implementation, with enough time allocated for the various steps required in the process.
A key aspect of Keystone’s services is the ability to offer application product experts who not only possesses intimate knowledge of the software’s functions and data structures, but extensive industry expertise as well. The Project Manager will draw upon the depth of Keystone’s industry expertise to provide subject matter experts with many years of cumulative experience in each application area in the overall implementation.