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Virtual Concierge System Pilot Project Plan

April 25, 2019


In our last article, we reviewed some of the exclusive security functions of a Virtual Concierge System. In this article, we’re going dive into:

1. System and network implementation challenges.
2. The importance of a Pilot Project Plan.
3. What a Pilot Project Plan should look like.

Virtual Concierge Pilot Project Plan

Functions of a Virtual Concierge

A Virtual Concierge system can mimic many similar responsibilities that a person might have. They provide information, facilitate services that residents want, and ensures the safety and security of tenants. However, Virtual Concierge Systems can also include data collection and control functions that go outside of a human’s physical ability. Here are just some of the various services and other control features available:

  • Front Door Cameras
  • Front Entry Call Ups to Suites
  • Door Locks – Front Entry and Suite Entry
  • Additional Cameras – Hallways, Laundry
  • Main Fire Panel – Ability to Clear and Reset
  • Water Leak / Moisture Detectors in mechanical rooms
  • Remote Access / Mobile Application for Staff
  • In Suite Smoke Detectors
  • In Suite Thermostats
  • Energy Usage Monitoring
  • Lighting Controls

System Performance Challenges

The only acceptable service speed for any application is 2 seconds. If a Virtual Concierge isn’t fast, available 24/7, and is not 100% reliable, it will be deemed as unacceptable and slow.

Determining the exact cause of why a service is ‘slow’ has become a network administrator’s biggest challenge. Network performance management includes:

  • Managing bandwidth
  • Packet loss
  • Latency

Network Admins must be able to continuously monitor in real-time across distributed global networks, troubleshoot IP-based applications, and assess network readiness for new services before implementing them. However, all of these new demands have significantly increased the workload of network administrators.

It’s also important to understand that security threats are increasing rapidly. These include DNS attacks, route hijacking, and malware targeting smartphones and tablets. Information protection has become critical; keeping a backup in your own data center is no longer an acceptable risk management strategy.

Network Monitoring Challenges

As mentioned, networks have become larger and more complicated, no longer can a network administrator monitor systems on a single screen. Automation is required to identify issues and automatically respond. Network administrators need centralized management of their IT infrastructures so they can see all of the devices on their network from a single management platform.

Without a doubt, the recent introduction of IoT devices has dramatically increased the load of traffic on a network as well as security risks. This increased demand calls for a centrally managed distributed smart firewall to provide access to the internet and dedicated VPNs to protect the enterprise.

These IT challenges paired with traditional networking challenges are requiring organizations to consider alternative ways to manage their network and infrastructure. An alternative solution is a Hybrid IT Managed service.

A Hybrid IT managed service segments the management work of the network between a traditional IT network manager, and a managed service provider. Hybrid IT is ideal for addressing the increased workload that a Virtual Concierge system places on the existing network administration staff.

Pilot Project 

Before implementing your Virtual Concierge System, we always recommend a Pilot project. Doing this will assist the design team and provide insight into:

  1. The impact on the enterprise operating model.
  2. The ability to develop a more accurate resource, time and budget requirements for the full implementation.
  3. Any issues and limitations of the Virtual Concierge solution.
  4. The volume, and variety of data and how that data can be used.

Pilot Project Plan

The following is a standard Project Plan Framework that each Virtual Concierge System should follow.

  1. LAN Setups
  • Install Smart Firewalls
  • Setup Temporary switches
  • Install Cameras
  1. Setup Gateway application and Entry System First Test Run
  • Setup Hosting Environment at FoxNet
  • Install Gateway Application and Entry system software
  • Import User information and setup Entry software system
  • Install Controllers
  • Configure data backup software
  • Launch network monitoring agents and configure the network, and system monitoring system
  • FoxNet takes over management of the environment
  • Users trained on new Gateway and Entry applications
  • Remote Access / Mobile Application for Staff implemented On Go Live Day
  • Reconfigure Printers on LAN
  • Disable Existing VPN Post Go Live (one building at a time)
  • Remove old controllers
  • Reconfigure local computers and Video Recorder appliance on LAN
  • Remove Router
  • Install Permanent switches
  • Upgrade Internet
  1. Additional Function Implementation
  • Water Leak / Moisture Detectors in mechanical rooms
  • Additional Cameras
  • Hallways, Laundry
  • Main Fire Panel
  • Ability to Clear and Reset
  • In Suite Smoke Detectors
  • In Suite Thermostats
  • Energy Usage Monitoring
  • Lighting Controls

With a Virtual Concierge system, you can provide the security and safety functions that customers are demanding and deserve. You will also be able to collect extensive data about your environment, and in doing so, improve the quality of life for your residents and guests. Make sure you follow a pilot program implementation plan, to ensure the successful launch of your Virtual Concierge System.

Our next article in the Virtual Concierge Series will cover the Technical Architecture of a Virtual Concierge System

About the Author

Bill Dupley is the Digital Strategist for FoxNet Solutions. Formerly the Cloud Chief Technologist for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Canada, Bill has provided Hybrid IT and IoT Strategic Planning advisory and planning services to over fifty Private and Public sector clients to help them migrate to a Hybrid IT Cloud Operating model. These transformation plans have helped both government and industry reduce the cost of IT, re-engineer their IT governance models, and reduce the overall complexity of IT. Bill is also a member of the Open Alliance for Cloud Adoption Team and has co-authored several documents on Cloud Maturity and Hybrid IT implementation.

[i] https://globalnews.ca/news/4271702/canada-residents-safety-gallup-survey/

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