In part one of this five-part mini-series outlining five key practices of a successful managed service provider (MSP), I discussed “A Well-Defined and Documented Managed Services Strategy.” Any business without a well-documented business plan is a “bad experience for all involved,” just waiting to happen. A critical part of strategy execution is knowing exactly what product you want to bring to your customers. Hence, the #2 practice of a successful MSP is “A Standard Services Catalogue.”
The historical view for managed services is, “Whatever the customer wants to buy.” Having a highly customer-centric solution is, of course, a good thing, but creating a different service solution for every customer would be akin to building a custom salesforce-automation application for every individual customer. Software-based fragmentation is the number one enemy of all software development programs. Shouldn’t the same principle apply to services-centric solutions?
Here’s an excerpt from the full report upon which this blog miniseries is based: “Five Key Practices of a Successful MSP”:
“Over the past couple of decades, managed services have gone through a fairly dramatic transformation. In the mid- to late 1990s and into the mid-2000s, three types of service providers typically offered managed services: Tier 1 and Tier 2 communications carriers, global system integrators, and IT outsourcers. These companies had tens of thousands of service delivery resources and massive network operations centers (NOCs). Their core value proposition was total cost of operation (TCO) reduction, a.k.a. “your mess for less.”
Figure 1 shows examples of standard managed service offer categories. For a deeper look into standard definition and service catalogue approaches for managed services take a look at the recently published TSIA Service Insight document “Defining Managed Services.”
Post Date: April 2, 2014
Figure 1: Managed services offer categories.
Clearly, much more can be said about building a standard services catalogue but the key point is that having a solution that is easy to understand for your customer will help facilitate the deal closure process. Having standard pricing and costing to go along with a standard service catalogue will significantly help your internal governance of your managed services business as well.
Hopefully this will get your wheels spinning with thoughts of the improvements you can make within your own managed services portfolio.
Don’t forget to stop back each week for the next three weeks to hear about the additional key managed services practices. As always, feel free to reach out to me directly to learn more about managed services and how TSIA can help your MS business.
Read more posts in the “5 Key Practices of a Successful Managed Services Provider” series:
George Humphrey, is the vice president of research, Managed Services, for TSIA. He is a networking and communications industry veteran of over 20 years with extensive experience in managed infrastructure and application services. Throughout his career, he has held several leadership positions in managed services, including global strategy, product line management, marketing, operations, and client management.
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