Does your Managed Services provider help you reach outcomes faster? This is obviously beyond basic technical competence. Many have outsourced their IT service and receive service level Agreements (SLA), monthly maintenance/patching, monitoring, backups and help desk support. This article shows three proactive steps you should expect from your managed service provider.
- Solution Consulting
- Purpose based service
- Integrating multiple systems
Solution Consulting and planning around your business.
Your managed services provider should understand your business. Likewise, they offer alternatives and help you solve problems. Also, they are expected to explain how they help reduce risk to your business. “Best Practice” is not about using the best hardware money can buy. But rather, ensuring the return of investment and risk mitigation expenses are appropriate for a client’s business.
An example is to take the heap of manual paperwork generated by leave forms, expense claims or annual reviews and turn them into a paperless workflow. Another is implementing a CRM portal for your mobile sales, marketing or service/field staff. Furthermore, maybe it is just simple advice on integrating accounting, ERP or payroll packages with your cloud-based Servers. As IT becomes more complex, there is a need to hire a managed services provider who offers services beyond “the help desk”.
To achieve outcomes faster, your managed service provider should fix problems before they occur. We call this a “purpose-based service”. After servicing clients for ten years, you get good at anticipating common problems and implementing automated solutions. At a minimum, we aim to solve common problems before they occur or before the client knows there is an issue. This borders on intuition. Good service recognises problems and fixes them. Likewise, excellent service realises issues before the customer discovers the problem exists. Some examples,
- Set up scan to e-mail. This is easy to do on most modern printers. Our technicians see something not set up, and they do it!
- We are standardising security and password complexity for all staff. In addition, we provide advice on security, blacklists and password policies.
- Is the backup working? On the surface, yes. The backup could be “working” but backing up corrupt data. Our backup protection service goes about three steps beyond basic backup. Moreover, we actually “mount” back up daily to see if files can be restored and manually check the backups regularly to ensure they are working. Without these steps, you could be backing up corrupt data.
- Automatic fixes and restarting. Rather than wait for the eyes and fingers of your IT person to solve the problem, why not ensure the problem fixes itself, then notify you? We have invested and written over 50 automation tasks into our offering. As a result, your common e-mail and other joint problems are invisible to you.
Integrate Multiple Systems.
Companies with multiple divisions or acquired businesses often have a significant issue managing various systems that generate “data islands”. Data islands, as implied, are not connected to the mainland or other islands, which often means multiple places to enter and track data. For example, when data is in multiple places and processes are not coordinated, how can management get the data it needs to run the business? Connecting multiple systems, therefore, includes streamlining your data and maximising the use of your capital assets.
The information you need to run your business is everywhere — in people’s heads, e-mails, files, application programs, and on paper. Hence, finding a way to ensure you are not doing double work is a management priority as this efficiency leads to a competitive advantage, higher profitability or both.
In conclusion, solution consulting, a purpose-based service and the ability to connect multiple systems more efficiently are three areas that help achieve better outcomes from your managed service provider.