Netshield Consulting Services helps local companies better build, manage and deploy data centres

Inus Dreckmeyr

Leveraging a Consulting Services team with over 32 years’ experience in the ICT industry, Netshield South Africa, a Westcon-Comstor Southern Africa company, is able to provide local businesses with affordable, agnostic ICT and Electronic Consulting Services for a customer’s end-to-end data centre needs.

“Our Consulting Services division will design and build an entire data centre and all aspects around it from flooring to cooling to access control and more, on behalf of the customer,” says Inus Dreckmeyr, CEO at Netshield.

“This offering includes the design, specification and bill of quantity development for all technology related to the data centre. In other words, if an end customer is planning a new building development or an expansion of their existing IT infrastructure then our consulting division would assist the client in developing a detailed scope of work that they can then send out to the market for tenders.”

According to Dreckmeyr, the benefit of using Netshield Consulting Services to do this as opposed to the customer’s incumbent IT supplier, is that Netshield will base the designs and specifications on a client’s actual business needs, and not a specific product bias. This provides the end customer with a product agnostic and independent assessment of their unique requirements.

The Netshield Consulting Services team are experts in various areas right from electrical, to engineering, IT infrastructure and software, meaning they have the skills to design and create robust data centre environments.

The team has completed projects for the Department of Health KwaZulu-Natal in several hospitals, structured cabling infrastructure and data centre design for a rewards company’s new building in Durban, as well as server room, data (wired and wireless) and voice networks, public address/emergency evacuation system, CCTV and access control, smart board education system and an audio visual system for the Department of Education also in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The Netshield Consulting Services offering is unique for a number of reasons, one of the most beneficial aspects for clients being that it is product agnostic and vendor independent. Our team has extensive ICT and electronic knowledge and skills and in excess of 32 years’ experience in the ICT industry. The team includes a Certified Data Centre Expert (CDCE) and our successful track record on various projects also speaks for itself,” says Dreckmeyr.

The Netshield Consulting Services “build environment” project life-cycle has six stages:

  1. Inception – Includes a detailed User Requirement Analysis (URS) conducted with the client to determine the exact user requirements from an ICT perspective. This forms the basis for the development of the project brief and scope of work.
  2. Concept and viability – Includes the preliminary design report and preliminary project estimate.
  3. Design development – Includes the final detailed design report, design development drawings, draft specifications and estimated bills of quantity. Where required the necessary design documentation is submitted to local authorities for approval.
  4. Documentation and procurement – Includes the preparation of procurement and construction documentation, namely final construction drawing, detailed specifications, prices and un-priced bill of quantities and preambles/compliance requirements. This stage must include the final coordination of services across all disciplines.
  5. Contract administration and inspection – Includes the management, administration and monitoring of the construction contracts and processes including preparation and coordination of procedures and documentation to facilitate practical completion. Routine and practical completion inspections carried out and detailed snag lists compiled and managed. Drawing registers maintained and updated as and when new drawings are issued.
  6. Close out – Includes the inspection and verification of defects. Receive, comment and approve payment claims and completion certificates. Facilitate the compilation of as-built documentation; the ICT as built documentation pack needs to include not only the as built drawings but also product warranty certificates, cable scans and test reports (copper and fibre), product configuration files and network diagrams.

Based on client requests, Netshield Consulting has developed a range of “packaged” consulting services including Align IT, Secure IT, Architect IT, Design IT, Strategise IT, Continue IT and Manage IT. Each package addresses a specific set of client needs within the business.

In addition to all this, the Netshield Consulting Services team also offers ICT project management services that includes planning, organising and delineating responsibility for the completion of an organisations’ specific ICT goals. For an ICT project to be successful, time, cost and scope – often called the Triple Constraints of Project Management – must be in equilibrium, and that is exactly what the ICT Project Management offering helps clients achieve.

“Locally, I would say that Netshield spends the most time on design in this specific area, meaning we bring significant expertise to any Electronic or ICT project. We also charge in rands, which is not something most vendors can say. Our extensive experience in projects like these have developed our alternative approach to the building of data centres, which focuses on actual client needs and the result is not only a solution that truly works but one that is affordable to the customer,” says Inus.