Getting the Most from Managed Services

Choosing to partner with an experienced solutions provider for day-to-day management of your mission critical applications is a strategic decision that will allow you to address and prioritize your business requirements and resources, create the opportunity for your team to focus on improving operational effectiveness and efficiency at the organizational level, and address any relevant end user problems. But making the decision to work with a service provider is just the first step. Do you know what you need to do next to ensure you get the most from the relationship and from your investment?

Total Exposure
Whether you’re having your service provider maintain your entire suite of applications or just a few, be sure to provide them with a comprehensive overview of, and visibility into, your environment. What interfaces exist? What incidents and outages have occurred? How does data move within the applications? What infrastructure do your applications sit on and will any future investments impact operability?

Sharing all of these details with your provider will not just help paint a realistic picture for identifying the level of effort and expertise needed to maintain your applications. The increased visibility into the inner workings of your environment is one of the first steps in building a strong and trusted partnership.

Dollars and Sense
While pricing is an important component to aligning objectives between yourself and your service provider, any specific requirements and contract terms – including key service level agreements (SLAs) and personnel requirements – should be discussed and agreed upon up front. It’s also a good idea to ensure the contract allows for flexibility in terms of staffing requirements and capacity planning. This will allow you to adjust things as needed, increasing or decreasing resources as your requirements change so that you only pay for what you need and have the ability respond to business needs.

Getting Comfortable
Once you’ve outlined your requirements with your provider, don’t be shy about asking for some visibility into their pricing models, plans, tools, and even the resources they have available for meeting your requirements. This insight will go a long way to supporting your unique requirements and allow your provider to differentiate themselves through their resource quality, methodologies and transition plans.

Making the decision to work with a managed services provider means that you will have access to new thinking, resources, and tools that may not otherwise be available within your organization. Taking the time to build a trusted partnership from the beginning will help to ensure a strong foundation is formed to support mutual and continued success.

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