Whilst working for Safe Hosts Internet LLP I was tasked with developing a platform which could allow clients to manage all aspects of the service. All existing systems had previously existed in several different locations, and most of them weren't fully suited to work in the best possible way. Therefore, with advice from other engineers about what would make their job easier, I drew upon my years of experience of working in a data centre environment to develop a central management platform.
The platform would be used for streamlining the day to day processes of the data centre. In particular, managing a complete list of customers and companies, a site access diary, a ticketing support system and a delivery management logger.
Data centre staff would have access to the administrative side of the system, and have the ability to manage all clients and companies which are entered into the system. Editing specific data would prevent clients from submitting requests to the system, such as raising a request to gain site access, submit support requests, or to authorise a delivery to site. Such a restriction is used particularly when a company was not up-to-date with billing, or if the management of a particular company did not authorise specific employees to have access to site, but were authorised to make delivery requests, or vice versa, for example.
Clients would have access to log in to a client-side portal and would have the ability to manage their company details, such as name, address, contact emails and telephone numbers. They would also be able to raise site access requests, which would generate a random access code which had to be presented upon arrival otherwise the client would be turned away from site and be refused entry. A delivery management system was also implemented, where clients would submit an entry to notify data centre staff about a delivery which would be made on behalf of the client. A support ticketing system allowed authorised clients to make support queries to first, second and third-line support staff members at Safehosts.
The system was built using PHP, with a MySQL database. The Portal was also built on top of the Twitter Bootstrap framework so that clients and staff members would be able to access the system and be fully able to use it on any device. The project was started in August 2016, however, it is an ongoing project with new features regularly being added.