IT Documentation - The Blog

Protection when working in external networks

March 29, 2022

For IT service providers who use IT professionals to support their customers’ networks, good documentation of the work performed is a must. Especially in complex networks with many dependencies, interventions are always associated with the risk of errors occurring, functions being restricted or, in the worst case, systems failing.

However, the cause of such complications is usually not the work performed by the IT technician. With a professional IT documentation solution such as Docusnap, you have the opportunity to optimally protect yourself against false blame and to document the execution of the work in detail.

As an IT expert, you know that not everyone has an affinity for technology to the same extent. Especially when it comes to professional IT, i.e. networks and equipment in companies, someone who has nothing to do with it professionally quickly reaches their limits.

But this is common in practically every industry. If I go to a tax consultant as an IT expert, I usually have only a rudimentary knowledge of accounting issues. Even an attempt by the tax consultant – who is a professional in his field – to explain the situation to me in great detail doesn’t really work. And even after the third hour of instruction, he will not be able to elicit more than an “aha”, “yes” or nod of agreement from me. But the important thing is that he does his job professionally and correctly.

The situation is no different in the IT industry. If an IT expert has nerves of steel, he will never tire of explaining the technical work and conditions to the people present. What then remains of the technical explanations very often has the character of the children’s game “Silent Post”.

Basically, this is not a bad thing, because no office employee has to feel obliged to fully grasp or even understand our technical gibberish. As already mentioned, everyone is a professional – in their own field.

There can be only one

Interestingly, this kind of thing can turn around very quickly. Namely, when unforeseen problems arise in IT. Then the people concerned like to think that they are IT security network hardware and software professionals. Errors are then not isolated or analyzed, but the culprit is quickly found.

“Wasn’t there an IT technician from our external service provider in the house the day before yesterday who changed EVERYTHING over?”

As an example, let’s just take a small but very effective bug out of the Microsoft Exchange drawer and see what comes up. And, of course, we send our imaginary technician to the customer shortly before.

Under the original title from Microsoft “Email Stuck in Exchange On-Premises Transport Queues” hid a small, fine and very delicate bug in the popular and often called email server Microsoft Exchange (actually it is a groupware server, because it does more than just push emails back and forth). It should be noted here only briefly that it is a problem with the handling of the date and the integrated anti-malware software of the Exchange server.

In short – right at the beginning of the year quite a few Exchange Servers refused their service and stopped both the delivery and the sending of e-mails without further ado. What was propagated at the end of the 90s for the year 2000 and was predicted as an imminent catastrophe due to the date change, has happened 22 years later. Even if it was only a “very small disaster”.

We are constructing a thoroughly realistic scenario for ourselves

Be that as it may, on December 30 of the previous year, our IT technician made his big appearance at the company in question, where he brought the IT backup system up to date, along with the appropriate software, in order to be able to cope with the increased volume of data for the next year and to ensure the corresponding security of the data.

As IT professionals, we know that there can hardly be a connection between the e-mail server (Exchange) and the autonomous backup system. But a layman cannot know that.

And then comes the 1.1.2022. Suddenly no more e-mails are sent, no more mails are received. This is accompanied by a broken monitor, a rattling computer and the disappearing icons on the Windows desktop of the colleague from the accounting department. And anyway, everything has become much slower since then, four out of five people present would even swear to that (i.e. all those who happen to be present at the moment, except our IT technician, of course). And the battery in the field service employee’s notebook has also run out of power.

Exaggerated story? I would write this guaranteed not so flowery embellished, if this scenario had not actually happened in similar form, but on another occasion. And not just once, but … often (always would now be exaggerated on my part). Fortunately, we also experience the opposite time and again. Namely, that devices or functions suddenly work again. Only by our appearance in the company. For fun, I also like to put my hand over the monitor in such situations and quietly mumble a few incomprehensible words to myself. Works, too, and triggers true enthusiasm in some.

And of course the same applies as in every great Hollywood production: The characters and the plot of the scenario are fictitious. Any similarities with actual events or living or deceased persons would be purely coincidental.

Docusnap and the Lotus Effect

As an IT service provider, one would often like to have the so-called Lotus Effect. That is, a protection that lets pretty much everything roll off. And that’s exactly what you can achieve with a good and professional IT documentation solution.

Docusnap has a special version for IT service providers, who usually support several companies completely or at least in some parts. Namely, the multi-client capable “Ultimate” variant. In contrast to the other versions, this not only makes it possible to document one’s own IT network, but also to offer such professional IT documentation to customers as a special service, without them having to become licensees of Docusnap.

And especially for the case mentioned above, Docusnap offers here an incredibly practical and safe way not only to protect yourself from false accusations, but also to provide the optimal support in problem solving right away.

As an IT services company, you are able to create an accurate inventory of all components in the customer’s network prior to the work to be performed. This records the condition prior to the measures and can be filed in report form. After the measures have been carried out by your IT professional, a complete inventory is carried out again in order to document all changes resulting from a possible modification, replacement or expansion.

Docusnap users already know it

Anyone who has already experienced Docusnap knows that, in contrast to the manual process, an IT inventory with Docusnap is a snap. Neither time-consuming nor resource-intensive, it can be done simply with the click of a mouse.

This makes it possible to very quickly determine which areas were affected by the work and where there was no impact with problems occurring later.

No change to IT hardware

If no hardware is replaced or software updated in a network, then of course no changes are found in the inventory lists. Nevertheless, configurations can be changed in individual areas.

And here, too, Docusnap offers a solution that is as ingenious as it is simple. For each device entered, be it a server, computer, switch, printer or other network components, any information can be stored. This can be stored documents or files (Word documents, PDFs, Zip files with configuration backup, etc.), as well asmanually added text information. This also makes it easy to store the maintenance work carried out on a specific system and, of course, to evaluate it by means of reports.

More than just security for the customer

This means that both the customer and you are on the safe side. Especially since the problem can also be isolated much faster with Docusnap. You also don’t waste valuable time with recriminations and justifications, but can devote yourself to the actual problem as quickly as possible. This in turn has a very positive effect on the customer, as the company can return to normal operations much more quickly.

If you would like to convince yourself of the qualities of Docusnap and benefit from its many advantages, we would like to invite you to test our professional documentation software free of charge for 30 days.

And to make sure that all your questions about installation, setup and use can be answered during this phase, we offer you full support from our team of experts for these 30 days. Also completely free of charge.