Introduction to Organizational Structure


Groups of computers are the basic unit of management in OptiTune.  Whenever you want to deploy an application, adjust Windows Update Settings, or view CPU usage, you do so by referencing a group of computers.  The group often contains several computers, but it may only have a single computer, or no computers at all.

In the first version of OptiTune, there was only a flat list of groups which could be overlapping.  With OptiTune 3.5, the concept of a “group hierarchy” was introduced.  Now, instead of having a flat list of groups, you can define parent-child relationships between groups, so that a child group can only contain members that are in the parent group.  Groups at the same level in the hierarchy may still overlap.  Also, with OptiTune 3.5 you can also define “group membership rules”, for automatically assigning computers to a specific group when certain conditions are met (e.g. domain name contains “XYZ”, or computer type is “laptop”).

Introducing hierarchical groups is quite helpful when managing hundreds or thousands of computers, but it still does not meet the requirements of many large IT departments or Managed Service Providers (MSPs).  For each group of computers, most organizations also want to add additional information, such as information about the business entity that the group of computers represents.  For example, one group of computers may represent the accounting department at your company.  Another may represent a client that you manage as a MSP.  Further, one client may have several sites/locations, each of which needs to be managed separately.

To this end, OptiTune includes functionality for defining your business and organizational structure, as it relates to managing computers.

Organization Structure


When you first setup your organization in OptiTune, you may want to also setup the “Organization Hierarchy” as well.  By visiting the Organization > Hierarchy page you can define the organizational structure that works best for you.

For example, if you are an IT Department managing the computers for a large company, you may define a structure like the following:

·         Acme Widgets Inc. (Company)

·         Head Office (Site)

§  Corporate (Department)

§  Accounting (Department)

§  Sales (Department)

·         European Office (Site)

§  Sales (Department)

§  Customer Support (Department)

·         Asia Office (Site)

§  Customer Support (Department)

 

The hierarchy in this example follows this pattern: Company -> Site -> Department.  However, with OptiTune, any business entity (Company, Customer, Site, or Department) can be above or below any other business entity.  You could have Company -> Department -> Site for example, or a mix of the two.

As another example, Acme IT Services LLC, is a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that provides IT services to many other companies.  It could have the following organizational structure in OptiTune:

·         Acme IT Services LLC (Company)

·         Head Office (Site)

§  Corporate (Department)

§  Accounting (Department)

§  Sales (Department)

·         ABC Manufacturing (Customer)

·         Seattle (Site)

·         Tacoma (Site)

§  Sales (Department)

§  Customer Support (Department)

·         Eastside Medicine (Customer)

·         Clinic 1 (Site)

·         Clinic 2 (Site)

·         Clinic 3 (Site)

§  Accounting (Department)

§  Lab (Department)

·         Downtown Creative Agency (Customer)

·         Artists (Department)

·         Designers (Department)

·         Mobile Sales (Department)

·         In house Sales (Department)

Notice how in this example, Acme IT Services is using OptiTune to manage their own company’s computers (under Acme IT Services LLC), as well as each customers’ computers (ABC Manufacturing, Eastside Medicine, and Downtown Creative Agency).  Each customer is further broken down into Sites, or Departments, or a combination of the two.

By allowing every type of business entity to be a parent or child of every other type, this allows the most flexibility in modelling an organizational structure.  For example, you may have a parent holding company that contains several other companies, large sites that contain other sites, or even sites that house several companies.  The options are endless.

Business Entities and Groups


Whenever you create a business entity in OptiTune (e.g. a Company, Site, Department, or Customer), a corresponding Group is also created, at the same position in the hierarchy as the business entity.  So, for example, if you create the following organizational hierarchy:

·         ABC Holdings (Company)

·         Main Office (Site)

·         Europe Office (Site)

Then, you will find the following hierarchy of groups:

o   All Computers

o   Desktops

o   Laptops

o   Servers

o   ABC Holdings

o   Main Office

o   Europe Office

So, every business entity you create in OptiTune will have a corresponding group.  When selecting a group of computers to view, you will notice that all groups with a corresponding business entity will have a unique icon that indicates the business entity type (Company, Site, Department, or Customer).

When you create a group by itself, no corresponding business entity is created.  In fact, you can choose not to create any business entities, but still have a complex hierarchy of groups for managing computers.

Business Entity Information


When you create a business entity in OptiTune, in addition to a Name and Description, you can specify many other fields that may be useful for tracking purposes, such as an Address, Website, Account Number, etc…   On the Organization > Hierarchy page, when you click on a business entity, you will see this information on the right hand side of the screen as a quick way to reference it without having to edit the business entity.