ExpertiseApp Managed Services
Ongoing support for the security, functionality, and performance of your application.
Once an application goes live, we are the ongoing partner to ensure the app is secure, functioning, up to date with latest technologies, and able to grow with the business it serves – make our team part of your business!
Applications are built on a framework with end user engagement in mind. They provide your customers and target audience with a unique experience to compliment your overall business objectives, but they are also highly complex and require a development partner to make future enhancements and routine updates.
That’s where we come in!
Security is the top priority of our App Managed Service plans. We monitor servers and SSL certificates, perform malware scans, deploy updates that keep your application compatible with the latest technologies, and work with your team to roadmap enhancements and new features that will keep your application relevant to your business needs.
We are your detective when trouble is afoot, your mechanic when it’s time for a tune-up, your emergency room in critical situations, your renovator to improve market value, and your consultant to talk through new ideas!
Whether your application was developed by fjorge or someone else, we can keep it growing. Below is an overview of the services you’ll find in our App Managed Service plan levels. We offer both App and CMS Managed Service plans to fit almost any budget!
Site and Database Hosting
We host with the industry leading cloud server service, Amazon Web Servers (AWS), for their reliability and premium uptime. fjorge is also an official Plesk Partner, which gains us access to server administration tools that enhance and automate many of our processes. This means our team can be more efficient when addressing server level requests and deployments. Depending on your plan level and application needs, fjorge offers both Shared and Dedicated hosting.
We have an AWS Certified dedicated SysAdmin on staff who’s primary focus is ensuring the security and efficiency of our servers, including server CPU monitoring as a proactive measure to catch spamming and other unusual activity.
Hosting services are included in our standard plan levels, and we can create custom plan levels if you have greater server needs than our standard plans offer, or if you’re happy with your current hosting partnership.
Our Uptime Guarantees are in alignment with AWS Service Level Agreements. Uptime Guarantee percentages are based on quarterly averages. An app is considered “down” if it fails our monitoring system health check. We monitor all apps covered by a fjorge Managed Service Plan, even when hosted outside of fjorge servers. However, our SLA only applies to apps hosted by fjorge.
Though there may be limitations to how fjorge can help with outages on external servers, we will work the third party hosting provider and offer assistance where possible to get a site back up.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a protocol for sending information securely over the internet. When your Web App has a valid SSL Certificate, you’ll see a closed “lock” icon next to the browser URL bar.
fjorge monitors SSL Certificate Validation for all fjorge Managed Service apps. When hosted with fjorge, we also set up automatic renewal of SSL Certificates, or work with your team on custom SSL Renewals when a certificate needs to be provided to us. When not hosted with fjorge, we’ll let your team know when your SSL Certificate Validation is about to expire so you can work with your hosting provider to ensure it’s renewal.
We also monitor for “Mixed Content Warnings” which means your SSL Certificate is current, but you have individual assets on your site that are not secure. These are usually assets, such as images, links or files, that are from an insecure source. We can work with you to resolve those types of Mixed Content.
File & Database Backups
Performing routine backups of your app files and database are especially important in emergency situations where you need to revert to a prior version of your app, or need to quarantine your current app (due to potential malicious activity) and want to spin up an older/clean version of your app so visitors don’t experience a site outage.
For apps hosted with fjorge, automated backups are performed daily or weekly depending on the plan level. Backups are saved for 30 days.
Monthly Technology Review
Applications are built using a complex makeup of different technologies, which work together to provide a unique user experience. Each type of technology releases routine updates, which need to be manually integrated into your application. These releases are essentially new code that can be added to your existing code. Any time new code is added to existing code, there is a possibility of conflict.
For this reason, fjorge Managed Services performs update on a staging environment to better understand how they will impact your application. We’ll then estimate the effort needed to manually resolve any issues, and add those recommendations to your roadmap backlog. Each month we’ll go through the following list of tasks with your “SysAdmin” plan hours:
– Update configurations
– Update packages and dependencies
– Monitor & plan for end of life schedules for relevant technologies
– Audit for security best practices
– QA Review of Application
QA Review of Application
On a monthly basis we perform a QA (Quality Assurance) Review of your application to identify glitches and security vulnerabilities, but also to find opportunities for improved User Experience. From this monthly review, we’ll create “fjorge Recommendation” tickets which can be added to your roadmap backlog for future consideration.
Note that QA Review is not a full audit of your application, however audits are a service we offer upon request. Technology best practice standards are ever changing because technology itself is ever changing. Your application is also ever changing with each update, addition of content, and requested enhancement. Using the Plan Client Maintenance Request (CMR) hours, we can scan for ADA Compliance, SEO Best Practices, Site Speed/Performance Best Practices, and other types of audits.
When you built your application, you no doubt had a big vision for what your application could some day become… but a limited budget for what you could actually accomplish in the short term. Having a Managed Service plan means that your big vision can come to life, one enhancement at a time, and be within a predictable monthly budget that makes your accounting department happy. During our monthly roadmapping sessions, we’ll work with you to dig through your backlog of “fjorge Recommendations”, urgent needs, and wishlist items, then prioritize them depending on your roadmap length.
We know that priorities can change, which is why for our larger Managed Service Plan Levels we will roadmap for 2 to 3 months out, but still meet monthly to reassess and re-prioritize based on your current month needs.
Client Maintenance Requests (CMR)
Client Maintenance Request (CMR) hours is a monthly retainer of hours that gets you direct support from fjorge Managed Services staff, plus consultation with our UI/UX and Solutions Architect teams. These hours are commonly used for the following types of requests:
– Consultation, brainstorming, solutions architecture, and roadmapping sessions
– Administration support, training or tutorials
– Remediation of bug fixes
– Frontend and backend enhancements
– Regularly scheduled checkin calls
– On-Call/Emergency Response
– Collaboration with your other vendors (like an SEO Partner)
– Best Practices Audits
Once the retainer hours have been used for the month, we can either pause until the next month retainer hours become available, or continue progress with T&M Overages approval.
Future Month Usage
Having a big vision can be both exciting, and difficult to fund, which is why some of our Managed Service Plan levels include “Future Month Usage” as an added benefit. When you know you want to accomplish a larger request in the current month, and expect minimal requests the following month, or believe it’ll be easier to get additional budget for future months (but not now), it may make sense to tap into future hours to see sooner results.
Let’s say your plan has 16 hours monthly, but you want to complete a 30 hour ticket in the current month. You could use all 16 current month hours, plus 14 next month hours, and have 2 hours still remaining next month for a small request. At that point you’ll need to either pause on work, or approve T&M Overages to keep going with other requests.
During your roadmapping session, talk through what you want to accomplish with your current and future plan hours, and we’ll help you decide if tapping into future hours would make sense. If you find yourself regularly tapping into future month hours and approving T&M Overages, your plan level may not be a right fit to meet your needs. We can discuss a different plan level that offers more predictability!
CMR Tracker Tool
The fjorge Managed Services team practices Time Tracking Transparency by way of our custom built CMR Tracker Tool. For eligible Managed Service plan levels, we provide a single link that can be used for the lifetime of our partnership. That link provides direct insights into how the CMR Plan Hours are being used each month, who’s tracking time, how much, when, and what for! The tool refreshes data each night, so each morning you have an idea of how many plan hours remain in the month for new requests.
Not only does this tool help to build trust and encourage open dialog about hours usage, it helps our clients to plan out their budget and get a better feel for how long certain types of requests typically take.
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