How to Add Value to Your Business: Selecting a Managed Services Provider

By Mike Hanks, Director, Managed Cloud Services

Just a few short years ago, it wasn’t all that uncommon for corporations to employ a team of IT professionals to manage all of the company’s telephone systems. Fast-forward to today and you get a very different picture.

Given the fact that technology is changing and evolving at a dizzying pace, it has become nearly impossible for an organization to keep its dedicated support personnel up to speed on the latest technology. How does a company decide where to allocate its technical staff?  Many companies ask the question, “Should we dedicate our staff to manage our different technologies? Or should we employ these minds to work on specific initiatives that will make us more competitive?”

Continuant, for example, employs highly skilled software developers and database administrators who are focused on developing proprietary software that manages our customer base and makes us more competitive in the marketplace. While this team could certainly manage Continuant’s day-to-day operations, our company has decided that their highest value lies in focusing their talents on improving our competitive position. This is a huge value to our customers.

We have learned that most businesses have adopted this same approach; the primary justification is to reduce the expense associated with managing corporate networks and communications systems. Gartner research supports what we believe: That when an organization partners with the right managed services provider, costs typically fall between 10 to 20 percent. While reducing costs is important, a managed services provider must also deliver value in improving operational and technology performance.

Customers must receive a tremendous value from their managed services provider for the relationship to be effective. Value is amplified when a customer trusts the service provider and when a customer receives consistent, immediate response and restoration of incidents. A customer must be confident that the managed services provider is assessing the technology and wider ecosystem of the affected resources, workflows, and processes.

Continuant’s Managed Services offering includes a portfolio of Infrastructure Performance Management products, which are a way to examine performance issues across a customer’s total infrastructure, not just the server upon which the application resides. Through these products, we can thoroughly examine the path a particular issue takes, and then we can predict where problems could arise.

Infrastructure Performance Management for voice applications includes real-time fault management on the application’s equipment, as well as detailed analysis and recommendations on call flows, stress testing, and simulations, helping to predict where issues may develop.

Through our Account Managers, we strive to understand the strategic technology objectives of each customer. If a customer’s objective includes video conferencing across multiple locations to reduce travel costs, these infrastructure performance reviews can help that customer identify and assess what must be done for implementation and service delivery. This may include equipment modifications, enabling network QoS, bandwidth requirements and other such requisitions.

Continuant aims to be a trusted advisor to its customers. Effective managed services providers help customers implement, manage, and continually improve the technology that allows them to meet their business objectives and improve their competitive advantage in the marketplace. This, to us, is the benefit of working with Continuant Managed Services.

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