Hopefully you’ve been following along this popular blog miniseries focusing on the Five Key Practices of a Successful Managed Services Provider (MSP), based on a TSIA research report of the same title. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, or you need a quick refresh, follow this link to the view all posts in this series.
And now, moving on to this week’s key practice of a successful MSP:
#4 – Scalable and Repeatable Delivery Organization
Managed services delivery: Regardless of how you package it and sell it, this is the product you are selling to your customer. This is what you need to convince them is better than them doing the work themselves. What are the cost savings going to be? How will your management of their technology solutions help them more quickly realize a quicker return on their technology investments? How is it more reliable? How will you help them reduce risk of complex technology operation? Make no mistake--your delivery operations are the foundational cornerstone of everything you do in managed services.
Today’s technology solutions are incredibly complex due to the massive increase in software centricity and the network dependency of modern applications and hardware infrastructure. The managed services 1.0 era was heavily focused on large outsourcing deals that implemented completely custom scope of works, mostly dedicated resources and a arsenal of tools often custom built for a particular engagement. Suffice it to say, these were not scalable operations. Non-scalable operations equates to non-profitable deals (or at least very low net margins).
However, coinciding with the complexity avalanche in today’s technology solutions, there are two fundamental opportunities to drive more scalable, repeatable, and more profitable managed services. These are process and automation. I often reference the “three legs of stability” in managed services. These are: (1) ITIL-aligned offers, (2) ITIL-aligned delivery processes, and (3) ITIL-aligned delivery yools/platforms (see Figure 1).
ITIL is the global standard for best-in-class information technology design, planning, operation and continual service improvement. An overwhelming majority of enterprise IT organizations have embraced this highly detailed, technology (application and infrastructure) agnostic approach. In my previous role as the head of global strategy and product line management for a leading communications managed service provider I witnessed the rise in popularity of ITIL from an organization objective to a mandated requirement in both internal delivery as well as from outsourced providers. Over 85% of the managed services RFPs we received required the managed service provider to have ITIL aligned operations.
In the TSIA research report from which this series is based, “Five Key Practices of a Successful MSP,” I include more detail on the benefits of ITIL alignment and M2M (Machine to Machine) automation including an example of how one TSIA Managed Services member is leveraging their ITIL aligned service automation platform to dramatically reduce resolution times, scale operations, limit human error and even proactively predict and prevent service interruptions.
Next week will be our fifth and final blog in the five part series “Five Key Practices of a Successful MSP”. As always, please let us know your thoughts on the topic and let us know if there’s any way you think TSIA could help you create a world-class managed services practice.
Read more posts in the “5 Key Practices of a Successful Managed Services Provider” series:
- A Well-Defined and Documented Managed Services Strategy
- A Standard Services Catalogue
- Specialized Managed Services Sales Expertise
- Strong Financial Management
About the Author
George Humphrey is senior director of managed services research for TSIA. He is a networking and communications industry veteran of over 20 years with extensive experience in managed infrastructure and application services. Keep the conversation with George going. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.