IT Consulting

General Info - Assessment, Planning, Design, Deployment

American Frontier general consulting engagements focus around four key areas; assessment, planning, design, and deployment, or APDD.

The assessment stage answers the basic question "Where are we?" Assessment engagements may be approached from a wide variety of angles, and can be either general or specific in nature. A general assessment might evaluate an existing outsourced email system against business needs. A specific assessment might evaluate access controls in the context of the PCI DSS. Regardless of the exact nature of the assessment, it is important to always establish the baseline "Where are we?" as the first step in any change plan.

The planning stage answers the basic question "Where do we want to be?" This stage evaluates the business needs in context with the assessment.Various solutions are explored, and a general solution is chosen. For example, the planning stage may determine that a new Microsoft Exchange Email system is the best option to solve the business needs in light of the assessment findings.

The design stage answers the basic question "How do we get there?" This stage typically defines the in-depth technical details of the new solution. To continue the previous example, this stage will determine the number of Exchange servers, the roles of those servers, storage requirements, and the like.

The deployment stage actually takes us from where we are to where we want to be. It is during this stage that the new solution is built and brought online. To continue the previous example, this stage will involve the actual provisioning of hardware, software, storage, and user accounts, as well as the transition from the old solution to the new.

Network

American Frontier has been providing network consultation services since 1995. Network engagements encompass the physical and logical network, from layer 1 to layer 3. Typical engagements may include:

  • APDD of physical cabling plant such as when moving into a new office or adding onto an existing one.
  • APDD of wireless systems.
  • APDD of network hubs and switching equipment including proper segmentation for performance and security.
  • APDD of routing equipment, protocols, and topology.
  • APDD of WAN links.

Security

Security engagements focus on measures necessary to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of customer networks, data, and systems. Every security engagement is customized based on the needs and risks associated with the customer's business. Security assessments may be performed pursuant to industry-specific compliance initiatives and regulations, or to support general best-practices. Remediation plans are developed, and then security solutions are designed and deployed.

American Frontier supports the full line of products from Cisco Systems as well as select products from Juniper, F5, Barracuda, Dell, HP, Symantec, Kaspersky Labs, SonicWall and Watchguard. Additionally, a full range of SOHO-type security devices from manufacturers such as Linksys (Cisco), D-Link, and Netgear are also supported.

Business Systems

American Frontier provides assessment, planning, design, and deployment services on a wide variety of business systems including email, collaboration, communication, database, and accounting systems.

Critical Infrastructure

Critical infrastructure includes support systems typical of datacenter or computer room use. This includes environmental controls, power conditioning and distribution, backup power systems, and cabling. American Frontier has extensive expertise in critical infrastructure and has supplied assessment, planning, design, and deployment services to numerous corporate datacenter projects including ground up construction. We support major manufacturers such as APC (Schneider Electric), Liebert (Emerson), Powerware (Eaton), Caterpillar, and Kohler.

Telephony

American Frontier offers assessment, planning, design, and deployment services for telephony systems. Our solutions feature VOIP-based terminals and terminal adapters from from Aastra, Grandstream, Cisco, Linksys, and Polycom. We offer custom VOIP PBX systems based on the open-source Asterisk suite as well as systems from Barracuda Networks.

Policy, Process, Procedures

The IT Industry has entered the age of compliance. All major compliance initiatives have core requirements for the establishment and enforcement of certain policies, processes, and procedures. American Frontier and its partners can assess the customer's policies, processes, and procedures to ensure adherence to compliance initiatives such as:

  • Payment Card Industry - Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)
  • Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA)
  • NIST Special Publication 800-42
  • FBI/SANS
  • ISO 17799

If deficiencies are noted, a remediation plan can be developed, and the necessary policies, processes, and procedures can be designed and deployed within the organization. Additionally, if the customer's business needs to not require adherence to a specific standard, evaluation can be performed against industry best practices.