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Logicalis US Advises IT Pros: Choose a Managed Services Provider Based on Skill and Experience, Not Price
Ensuring the availability of high-performance, critical IT services is a responsibility CIOs take seriously. At its most basic level, this requires monitoring capabilities and IT resources to resolve issues. But in a large enterprise, it can take years of experience to determine what to monitor and which alarm thresholds to use for creating tickets that will quickly alert the appropriate IT resources when an issue does occur. In many cases, this requires 24x7 monitoring and management, multiple tiers of support, redundant architecture to ensure high availability, and resources to continually patch, maintain, test and upgrade releases of monitoring and ITSM software and infrastructure. Building all of these capabilities in house clearly represents a more-than-significant investment, and is one reason Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider, says the use of managed services is quickly becoming a necessity among corporate IT departments.
 
"We live in an always-on society where compute, storage and network resources are expected to be available around the clock, 365 days a year, to support mission-critical workloads," says Ed Konopasek, Vice President, Cloud and Managed Solutions, Logicalis US. "To offer that type of performance and resiliency, IT must constantly monitor and maintain critical systems, something which has led CIOs to embrace provider-supplied managed services rather than trying to build out this capability in house. Today's IT resources are better invested in engaging with business operations to create competitive advantage. When evaluating managed services providers, not all firms are created equal, and determining the differences between them is not an easy task. Managed services providers that are top performers will be competitively priced; if there's a big difference in price, there's likely to be a big difference in service delivery as well."
 
To help CIOs evaluate potential managed services providers, Logicalis has created a downloadable checklist of the most important features to consider: http://ow.ly/Q8M7x. The checklist, Konopasek says, will help IT pros evaluating managed services providers compare apples to apples. Additionally, he says, CIOs should consider a managed services provider's depth of expertise, proven operational rigor, and recognition of its service excellence.
 
Three Keys to Evaluating a Managed Services Provider
  1. Depth of Expertise: When comparing managed services providers, there is more to consider than just the price tag. Examine the length of time a provider has been offering managed services, whether their support team is solely dedicated to this task, how many engineers and tiered levels of support they have, and whether they base their success on target response times or target resolution times.
  2. Proven Operational Rigor: Most managed services are built on IT service management (ITSM) toolsets; when a device has an issue, an alarm is received by the monitoring tool, which uses advanced algorithms to prioritize the incident's resolution. While possible to implement these processes in house, this isn't an out-of-the-box solution. All of the service descriptions, alarm thresholds, policies and processes have to be built. This is something which the right managed services provider will have already done, creating a framework so the client won't need to start from scratch, saving considerable time, effort and money as a result.
  3. Recognition of Service Excellence: Explore what others say about the managed services provider; have they received any industry accolades? Are they receiving appropriate vendor certification and training? Look for a track record of success and proof that the provider is consistently performing at a high level.
Published Tuesday, August 04, 2015 6:25 PM by David Marshall
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