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Managed IT Support services – Build up for change

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 Technology heavily dictates the technical support. With the advancement of technology at an increasing pace there has been various paradigm shifts. In the recent years, the changes in the technical support have been immense with the all-time increasing and diversifying technology trends, not only limited to business clients but also for consumers. The way technical support is being delivered had been impacted to a great extent from the time of BYOD (bring your own device) to the use of smartphones and tablets.

A new app or a new cloud based solution for this is been developed each day. The challenge for the most savvy tech support person is also challenged with the swift change is Information Technology. But the same representative is expected to complete the task of providing user friendly IT technical support to those customers who need help with their devices. This required every minute updated expertise with an awareness of the customer’s expectations. Precisely, with the constant upgradation in Information Technology over the years the job roles of tech support guys have also gone through change that needs to be in par with the changing technology.

So hiring a Managed Service Provider to assist your company with your IT technical support needs is little time consuming but it’s not a tough job. Countless companies are there in the market who provide the usual services that you expect for your IT needs and that will allow your business to function, but one needs to do complete research while collaborating with companies as only a handful of the companies will help you grow and stand out.

Shopping around for your IT support company is time-consuming but should not be a tough task. Countless companies provide the usual services that will allow your business to function.

However, only a handful will give you the edge that will make your growing business stand out.

A Managed Service Provider like Flightcase assists clients with different levels of support in order to meet the requirements saving the IT staff from the herculean task of remaining updated with the changing technology. Trouble shooting is performed especially for high level critical issues. Such issues that needs trouble shooting is generally urgent as well as time consuming. It can be all hands on deck activity but at the same time other tasks at priority falls to the side. A Managed Service Provider focusses on trouble shooting, reporting and communicating the status to the internal staff so as to achieve prompt and appropriate resolution.

Also, the service of a Managed Service Provider is not limited to a time, its offered 24/7. In today’s progressive business world there lies no concept of normal business hours as they have to be available all the time. Managing networks is a service that needs attention round the clock. Hence, quick response and proactive security must be available at all time of the day. Any efficient Managed Service Provider like us needs to have sufficient resources in order to assist their clients with remote management and first call support on a 24X7 NOC Monitoring basis. So either all the issues need to be handled around the clock or they need to have alternative backup for the internal staff at the time in case they are not available. Another added advantage a Managed Service Provider can offer is the multi-language support. This way they can help their customers get on the fast track of overcoming the language barriers for internal global users or to meet the demands of the various customer segments.

Reducing the Cost of Adoption of Managed Services

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The most dominant factor in the managed service market currently is the price. The customers’ judgement is majorly driven by the price at the time of choosing the best service providers for themselves while choosing their services. In fact, many of the consumers go ahead with the service providers with whom they manage to be affordable or cheap compared to the rest of the providers.

The trend of engaging with a partner with cheap packages has negatively affected the current market as some of the consumers make decisions blindly getting attracted to substandard packages. At the same time this is also leading to the increased competition amongst the various service providers who in turn are constantly reducing the cost of adoption of managed services.

It is expected that the consumers will soon break away from the price battle going on and the selection of the service providers would be more focussed on the quality assessing the actual specs, features and benefits rather than pricing

Based on the current trend, the industry has come up with the below mentioned three predictions for 2016:

  • The popularity of Managed Service Providers will increase

Any SME being smaller in size in terms of their internal staff lacks the time and skills to manage complicated office technology. The technology is changing every moment and coping up to those technological advancements gets on difficult for SMEs. Hence, they opt for outsourcing their IT support services to a Managed Service Provider.

Getting engaged with a Managed Service Provider for contracting the company’s IT support services will enable organizations to oversee their day-to-day technology maintenance needs along with recurring problems and will direct to the ways to strengthen company’s IT infrastructure. There is an added advantage with the collaboration with MSPs that the company can benefit from their knowledge of industry trends and experience with new technologies.

For any kind of service, companies need to have thorough understanding in that particular domain and this can only be achieved from the number of years of experience in the IT industry. Since the Managed Service Providers have been in this industry since their inception, they have clear understanding, experience and technical knowledge to meet the client’s requirements. They can also suggest for the amendments to be made in the company’s requirement for smooth functioning. In addition to helping businesses comprehend the complexity of contracted services, MSPs can also assist in making companies aware of the regulatory rules and how to meet those requirements.

  • Compliance overlay of management is critical

As discussed earlier, the technology is on the constant roll to change. Hence, when it comes to compliance, businesses often face challenges in keeping up with respect to those changes. Undoubtedly there are several aspects to cope up with, so at times it gets pushed to take a back seat.

It’s often said that a communication breakdown with the government is to be blamed for the way some of the businesses are struggling in order to efficiently responding to the regulatory changes. To deal with this challenge, some businesses are deliberately creating positions for dedicated regulatory program managers.

Also, companies start thinking that the senior management lacks integrated responses to regulatory reform. Hence, when it is a matter of compliance, it is essential for all business functions to mesh. If only a part of the departments are considered compliant, the entire business functions stand to be still noncompliant.

Companies generally seek for outside help when their businesses struggle in order to manage large amounts of data, stay up-to-date on regulations, retain in-house risk management experts or sync their business’s goals with regulations.

Getting engaged with a Managed Service Provider that is familiar with the specific industry can help companies manage effectively the growing amount of data; monitor regulatory changes and help companies develop a cohesive risk management strategy.

  • Management of private and public clouds will separate.

Due to the commoditization of the colocation market, the public cloud providers are facing challenges within the market.They are working towards the split up of the management of private and public clouds in order to diversify their serviced offerings.

As from a managed services perspective, the current colocation businesses have initiated to certify their engineers for public clouds.As far as their own Data centres are concerned, they are looking at adding their own private managed services within the same. To be precise, the new strategy for them is now to transition from a commoditised colocation provider to a hybrid managed service provider with the usage of various services within their own data centres.

Considering all the above mentioned predictions, 2016 could be a big year for the booming of the managed service providers and their clients business.

The Growing Trend of Managed Service Provider

 

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The year of 2016 is expected to be very promising for the entire IT channel. There is a continuous upcoming of the innovative solutions and the businesses are getting more and more dependent on information technology in order to achieve advanced competency. From a Managed Service Provider’s perspective, below are the three top trends in the industry that would lead to the advancement of Information Technology:

1.The increasing Desire for Managed Services

Employing an IT team for one’s business can be easy. But the challenge remains to have a fast, efficient yet responsive IT department and at the same time meeting the company’s budget. The major concern for companies is to manage the extra time and capital in order to maintain and upgrade their existing infrastructure. Thus, majority of the companies agree to the benefits of having their entire IT department taken care by a professional engineering team. Hence, they tend to shift their IT outwards and assign their infrastructure to an experienced and efficient outsourced managed services provider.

As per a research, there seems to be a growing trend in the desire for companies to partner with Managed Service Providers. As far as economic fluctuations are concerned, the managed services industry has always been rather stable. The increasing demand in the near future is likely to boost up the industry at a more rapid rate.

2. Heavier Emphasis on Cloud Backup

For the year 2015, the managed services provider were successful in managing their clients under a so-called Cloud Economy.  According to a recent research, maximum percentage of the companies have strong belief on the fact that their data is valuable for their business and needs to be secured as its confidentiality is the most common concerns for the business. Cloud is an economical and eco-efficient solution to solve the storage concern. However, we all would agree to this that in order to ensure the high security level and protect confidential data, we need to have backup essentially at all times. As many managers do realize the significance of the maintenance of the valuable data, the emphasis on the backup on the cloud is expected to grow in the coming future and this is termed as Cloud Backup.

3.Security will always be high in the priority list

The concern that every company has in order to protect its confidential data is very crucial for every business. Nowadays all the companies, irrespective of whichever industry they belong to are dependent on the Internet to connect with their partners, clients and prospects constantly. In case of any business, a large amount of corporate information is exposed to the public, and businesses struggle to fight for different types of cyber threats. In order to deal with this cyber threat in 2016, the concerns for cyber security would not only be shown under government mandates, industry regulations and corporate policies, but also be indicated through individual awareness for each corporate employee. This will also be followed by employee trainings and information sessions, and proper IT management and active monitoring will be of utmost significance for any company.

Until recently the market has shown an upward trend in the usage of managed service providers. Till a very recent time, all the MSPs were generally contracted by companies in order to assist them with their technical and equipment issues.

As per Information Technology, 2016 could be a big year for managed service providers and their clients.

Building and Operating a Network Operation Center: It’s Easier Than You Think

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In today’s highly competitive business environment, all the running enterprises depend on sophisticated networks and technologies to protect their critical data and provide better service quality to their customers. In order to derive maximum benefits from their existing infrastructure, every organization is increasingly depending on the service providers to manage their tools and process with skilled and experienced resources at an optimal cost, allowing the companies to concentrate on their core business and smooth service delivery thereby increasing efficiency and productivity within the organization.

Network management services are generally defined by the customer, and include scheduling and performing software updates, providing help desk support for employees and customers, as well as monitoring, analyzing and responding to alarms. The team performing these activities is termed as NOC staffsthat schedule on-site support as needed, and work in conjunction with front line maintenanceand global service center if necessary. The NOC also provides 24/7/365 monitoring, ticketing system, disaster recovery and contact with a live person, not a touch-tone menu.
A GNOC is nothing but a NOC (Network Operations Center) that operates for multiple networks across various geographies from one central location.

Monitoring network devices, from different vendors, and network interconnections is crucial to any organization. At Flightcase, it’s our responsibilities to allow our customers to discover all these devices efficiently, optimize network management and performance, and understand alarms and events.
GNOC connects with telecom networks, Operation Support Systems, Element Management Systems, and multiple NOCs and operates out of one centralized location. It works as a large delivery center for network support, fulfilment and readiness. All alarms, customer complaints, service requests flow into the GNOC as input, engineers at the GNOC process the inputs and generate corresponding outputs. With a GNOC, a network provider can achieve scale and improve service efficiency, quality and flexibility.

The benefits from a GNOC are mentioned below:

  • Quality Consistency: Since at a GNOC tasks are repetitive in nature, it leads to better knowledge accumulation from actual operations and scope for improvement.
  • Better Traffic Management: GNOC goes through a 24/7 work model, it allows for the constant view of the entire network with proper data visualization in place. Network providers can therefore monitor, manage and maintain geography-wise service levels at all times.
  • Lower Cost: It leads to the streamlining of the operational processes.In case of a GNOC, IT infrastructure costs are contained and high levels of automation leads to a considerable cost reduction.
  • Higher Security: With the centralization of the NOCs, providers can actually invest well into the different standards of security, such as physical security, data network security and information security.With so many upsides lined up for a GNOC, there is little or no space for network Managed Service Provider providers to think otherwise than invest in one.

Network Monitoring is a term that can encompass both active and passive monitoring systems that handles anything from intrusion detection to Internet and protocol analysis, network troubleshooting, application performance ratings, access control, VoIP analysis, IPTV service assurance, and on and on. In terms of IP Communications, a great deal of ‘network monitoring’ has to do with maintaining a high Quality of Service — checking for packet traffic congestion on the network along with any accompanying physical infrastructure problems.

Strategic Ways To Outsource, And When To Do It

 

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The concept of outsourcing Services is not a recent phenomenon in the industry. Companies have been outsourcing their non-core services or functions to the specialists in order to get their work done faster and in a more effective and cost efficient way. The ideology of outsourcing of IT management functions started in the late 80’s and since then it has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. At the initial stage, the key driver for outsourcing was to have a direct control over the operational expenses. However, over the period of time several other factors have come into picture that are equally prominent such as flexibility in control of investments and resources, risk sharing, acquisition of special skills and competencies, revenue sharing, establishing long term strategic relationship, etc. The decision of outsourcing attaches special significance in the strategy formulation in the company or any operation.

As far as telecom operators are concerned, it has been observed that the decision of outsourcing is based on a said set of parameters that is not different from the rest of the industry standards. In the recent past, it is been observed that telecom operators have extended this model by outsourcing management of network infrastructure, management of towers, billing systems, marketing, etc. This is creating new working models and relationships.

When a company outsources, it eliminates the cost associated with the hiring of new employees such as management oversight, training health insurance, employment taxes, retirement benefits, etc. Since it’s impossible for every company to be a specialist in all domains, so outsourcing lets companies focus on their core competencies. The company’s ROI increases when they outsource their functions to their outsourcing partner that is specialized in the required area as instead of gaining knowledge of just one person being hired, company can actually capitalize on the collective experience of the team of IT managed service provider for professionals who generally are well trained and certified.

Outsourcing helps companies to retain employees for their highest and best use, rather than wasting their time on things that may take them longer than someone who is trained in these specific areas. It helps to hire resources on contractual terms that falls within the budget and that is efficient enough to perform the task to the highest customer satisfaction. When a company plans for improving their costs, quality, service, or speed, the core business functions are pushed aside, but they still remains important and are essential to be handled with same conviction.That is the time when outsourcing plays a vital role and helps companies to focus on their restructuring without hampering their core business functions that is taken care of by the outsourcing partner. Though its taken care of by the outsourcing counterpart, but companies generally ought to look into the same by showcasing their involvement and that would help companies to grow with their partner.

By outsourcing non-core business functions, companies can spend their capital funds on items that are directly related to their product or customers. With the advancement of technology, it is very expensive and time consuming to cope up with the changing technology. Since IT Outsourcing Partners work with multiple clients, they remain updated about technology and hence are able to suggest the best solution. This kind of knowledge and experience dramatically reduces company’s risk of implementing a costly wrong decision.