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How To Ensure A Managed Service Is Adding Value



A managed service brings value to a company in several ways:

  1. Cost efficiency
  2. Process improvement
  3. Innovation opportunities

To add even greater value, look for ways in which a managed service can improve your business and surpass the bare minimum expectations. At Spur we maintain consistent leadership involvement on each managed service engagement we run to constantly look for ways to provide greater value.

We help our clients run all their business processes better. Achieving bare minimum is never the goal – exceeding that bar is where Spur sets our standard.

Involving our leadership ensures insight into everything our client is doing – how they allocate their team members, manage their budget, organize projects, etc. With this high degree of visibility we’re able to explore and identify how we can help them improve these processes.

Always have a transition in place

A critical component of any managed service is the ability to roll resources on and off at any given point in the managed service life cycle without causing friction. We know life happens: promotions, burn-out, personal conflicts. Transition processes need to be built ahead of time and executed quickly and efficiently, even at a moment’s notice so that your managed service continues to run smoothly, no matter what.

Imagine: you work for a large tech company and you have decided to bring on a vendor team to help you keep things running properly so you can meet your goals. But one of the lead members on your vendor team has a family emergency and must take an immediate leave of absence. That person had the majority of their ideas and notes on scattered papers or in their head. They were the only person on the team that knew the processes well, but didn’t document any of those details.

What now?

Document everything

You never want to be in the position of asking “what now.”

It’s the responsibility of the managed service provider to ensure disruptions - anticipated or not - don’t jeopardize the work and client relationship.

Here are some basic guidelines to ensure you’re never left in the lurch during your managed service engagement:

  • Make sure every step is documented. If the lead member from our example had documented what each service process involved, a replacement could have easily filled in, picking up where things left off.
  • Understand how your MSP brings resources on and off. It’s crucial to understand how to distribute resources logically and efficiently. Is there a team with idle members? Reallocate them to an area with greater need. You can always move those members back later if you need.
  • Look for improvements. Your process may be good, but could they be better? Improving processes ensures that resources are being used most effectively and that transitions will be cleaner. Transitioning will be difficult if the processes are ineffective and unclear.

With the growing demand for managed services, you have the benefit of being selective when choosing a provider. If you are considering a managed service engagement, pick the company that is willing and able to drive efficiencies, and demonstrates smooth process transitions to deliver value beyond just meeting SLAs and KPIs.

Keys to unlocking a managed service

1. Align on your scope of work

The first key to unlocking a managed services potential is setting up the sandbox within which it will execute. This sandbox defines the operational borders. Everything outside of those borders is out of scope. Take the time to figure out what services to manage, the duration of the engagement, and the work effort it will take to be successful. A project with undefined scope is unwieldy which is not good for anyone involved.

2. Determine points of accountability

Define who is on the team and what their roles and responsibilities are. You need to do this for both your company and the managed services team. These points of accountability make all the difference.

3. Identify clear change orders

A smart leader knows when to change strategies and the channels to go through to implement the requested or required modifications. Figure out how changes will be handled, who can approve, the documentation required, and the timeline in which this will be completed.

What’s next?

Unlocking the door is only the first step; over the next few weeks I will continue to look into managed services and what makes them truly successful. The end goal is to enable you to identify what is going to work for you. Now is the time of managed services.

Randy Karr

Randy Karr

As CEO Randy sets the vision for the company, building strategic partnerships, and ensuring the Spur culture thrives. Randy has been with the team for over 14 years and has been instrumental in growing the business and developing our people. Prior to his time at The Spur Group, Randy held leadership positions at JP Morgan Chase, T-Mobile, CenturyLink and had a stint as a professional soccer player. A Seattle native, Randy has a BA from Seattle Pacific University.