One of the most significant challenges for many businesses is ensuring technology runs smoothly, efficiently and cost effectively. Service management can be time-consuming and often distracts IT staff from their strategic objectives.
The main issue with managed services is the fact it is such a broad discipline. It covers a large range of IT activities and monitoring processes. Services can include technical maintenance, network monitoring, IT security and managed visual communications. Furthermore, the results depend on what outcomes an organisation expects from its collaboration estate.
The ultimate goal should be reduced costs, fewer repetitive tasks and a reliable service for end-users. For example, when a video meeting is scheduled with a customer, delays and technical complications are the last thing anyone wants to be dealing with. It is disruptive and reflects badly on the business holding the meeting.
With a visual communications managed service, video calls can be set-up ready to start immediately. Technical glitches can be resolved prior to the call, allowing users to simply connect and start the meeting. If physical infrastructure is involved, regular proactive servicing ensures the solution is maintained to a high standard and should perform on-demand.
When choosing a managed service provider (MSP) it is important to establish a strong relationship from the beginning. Discuss which responsibilities should lie with the provider and what will remain in-house. Draw up a detailed service level agreement that encompasses all aspects of technical delivery – from regular network health-checks to the level of visibility provided to the IT team.
A successful managed services relationship should let businesses feel confident that issues will be dealt with promptly and competently. Having a team of specialists to help manage or bolster existing operational teams provides an additional layer of expertise that is otherwise costly and difficult to source.
With support provided by the external provider, IT departments can focus on core business responsibilities, safe in the knowledge that assistance is available when they need it.
Ultimately, ensure you conduct a suitable level of due diligence. The managed services sector is an overcrowded marketplace and the wrong choice could put your business’s reputation and profitability at risk.
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