In Part 1 we discussed: what delivery model is your managed services provider (MSP) using? Dedicated, shared,on-demand? The dedicated delivery model will cost you a multiple of the other, leveraged, models, potentially 2 to 3 times, but may still best suit some organisations. All delivery models offer different sets of pros and cons, but the need for core managed services to be delivered locally is diminishing.
Next, let’s talk about a key MSP behaviour that determines the value-add they bring to your organisation, by asking: how often does your MSP initiate improvements and innovations to drive down your ICT service costs or to deliver a better bang for your buck?
This will really test your MSP’s alignment with your business and their commitment to a long-term relationship. Many see this as a dilemma for MSP’s – after all, doesn’t driving down your ICT costs, or giving more for the same dollar conflict with an MSP’s financial objectives? Most companies want to at least maintain their revenues, and an expectation of growth by their shareholders is never far away: revenue (and margin!) is king. This is particularly challenging for listed MSP’s.
Yet most organisations that engage MSP’s want and need them to bring the benefits of their engagements across their client base to add value. Organisations often have some unique ICT needs, but many ICT needs are common across organisations, geographies and industry sectors. There’s a real win-win opportunity for MSP’s to proactively bring ideas, innovations and / or lessons learned to their clients: project revenues for the MSP, technology or system investment ROI for the client.
What sorts of improvements or innovations are we talking about? It could be anything. For example:
- You should expect your MSP to exploit modern technologies and platforms to improve end-user experience, delivery costs, security or other service dimension.
- You should expect your MSP to apply lessons learned from previous, similar project delivery experiences, to optimise project delivery costs and better manage risks.
- And at the operational, service desk level, you should see cost and/or service improvements as their knowledge base of your ICT environment expands over time.
Hopefully you’re seeing one or more of these benefits from your MSP. If you’re not you need to ask your MSP some hard questions. Or renegotiate your contract. Or think again.
A trusted advisor, that lives and breathes the MSP world, to help you with this challenge is well worth considering. Hello!
Stay tuned for the rest of Steve’s Series, published weekly here and on his LinkedIn page.
About Steve Richards, General Manager
Steve is an experienced General Manager with over 35 years’ experience, and a demonstrated history of delivering outcomes. He bring extensive experience to the Frontline Services Executive team, particular in the information technology and services industry, as well as Finance and Oil & Gas. Skilled in Sales Management, Change Management, General Management, Program and Project Management, Steve’s breadth of knowledge makes him a welcome leader for our expanding team.
View the full series: