What to Look for in a Managed Services Provider

  • September 10, 2018

    More businesses are moving to the cloud than ever before. According to Forbes,  64% of IT leaders plan to buy cloud services in the next year. Of those leaders, 57% expect to partner with managed services providers. Partnering with a managed services providers offers a myriad of benefits from cost savings to scaling flexibility. In this post we will highlight the key characteristics to look for in a managed services provider.

    Why Managed Services

    The move to the cloud for any organization can prove to be a complex transition. Many companies find themselves consumed by rearchitecting their business and transforming their IT processes. The complexities don’t stop at the transition. It often takes significant resource dedication and subject matter expertise. A managed services provider can help you migrate legacy systems and get you off the ground as well as manage in the cloud more nimbly on an ongoing basis. At Attunix we look at the big picture and work with you to develop a cloud roadmap based on your business goals that ensures you get the most out of your cloud investment.

    Managed services allows for companies to outsource their cloud IT functionality, maintenance and management in order to focus on other core areas of your business. In recent years, managed services providers have become very successful in broadening their scope of services as well as the range of supported platforms. Over half of companies surveyed by Microsoft plan to engage a managed services provider. This raises the question, what types of service providers should your organization look to for cloud implementation and management?

    End to End Capabilities

    As we always emphasize, focus on your business priorities first and foremost. If your company needs a full-service provider from migration through management, look for a managed service provider with end-to-end capabilities. At Attunix, we can provide a wide range of cloud services from migration to full-service management. We often take it a step further for our clients by helping spur innovation in digital transformations through IoT, app modernization, advanced analytics and developing modern datacenters.

    Alignment with Terms

    We will take a closer look at managed services agreements in a later post. However, before signing on with any service provider, it is imperative to ensure your organization aligns with the terms and conditions, service level agreements (SLAs) and scope of services. This will likely require consensus among legal, management and IT leadership. Also make sure to avoid vendor lock-in.  Vendor lock-in typically results from the use of proprietary technologies not compatible with those of competitors.

    Innovation

    Disrupt, transform, repeat. Forward-thinking companies seek so much more from their cloud services than simply cost savings and flexibility. They see it as the cornerstone of their digital transformation. Why not get that out of your managed services provider? Can you match your digital transformation initiatives with the core competencies of your potential managed services provider? At Attunix we approach all of our cloud services as a way to help our clients embrace today’s digital imperatives.

    Trust

    Like any integral service provider, trust is imperative. Siki Giunta, Managing Director, Cloud & Infrastructure at Accenture defines this as offering a shared-risk relationship with pay-as-you-go pricing.

    Pricing Models

    A recent article in Information Age breaks down the different pricing models that managed service providers typically offer. Make sure the model your MSP offers works for your company.

    With per-device monitoring customers are billed a flat fee for monitoring certain devices. This is one of the most common pricing models since it provides predictability on both the side of the service provider and the customer. One of the downsides to this model is that it can get expensive as devices are added.

    Per-user pricing is similar to per-device monitoring in that the client is billed a flat fee per user. Other popular models include tiered pricing where the top tier packages include the most services provided. This is the approach Attunix takes since it is all-encompassing and allows for us to provide the most value to our clients.

    Continuous Optimization

    The managed services provider should serve as a long-term partner. In order to realize the full value of this partnership, the MSP should strive for continuous optimization. According to Giunta, continuous optimization entails providing cost controls, governance, and accountability that ensure you generate long-term benefit.

    At Attunix, we work with our clients to establish comprehensive, automated monitoring to ensure top performance. When it comes to cost management and governance, we derive the highest business value from your cloud investment. Attunix maps costs to business value rightsizes resources and enables cost control.

    Global Delivery Network

    The essential qualities of managed services providers will differ from company to company. However, for those with an existing or potential global footprint should also consider if the managed services provider offers a global delivery network. This allows for capacity to scale, migrate and manage cloud networks across the globe. One of the many reasons we partner with Azure at Attunix is for its global coverage and massive capacity for scalability.

    There’s no question that cloud computing is evolving quickly. This inherently makes it difficult for companies to keep up. Partnering with a managed services provider can help overcome the inertia of starting out, the dedication of time and resources to management and most of all, catalyze innovation. In the coming years, managed services providers will increase in significance when it comes to strategic partnerships in the digital economy.

     

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