What is the status of your relationship with your IT managed service provider? Let me guess… it’s complicated? In your personal life, there are lots of ways to meet your perfect partner: friends and family recommendations, dating sites, Tinder! For IT professionals seeking a long-term relationship with a managed service provider the options are more limited.
There is no single key to success for any relationship, but open channels of communication, an ability to adapt to changing circumstances and a shared vision of the future are good places to start.
For service providers, showing how important the client is includes more than simply providing timely access to the technical resource they are being paid for. Access to the executive team, and the executive teams of your chosen vendors, it also important. We’ve often heard service providers aspire to the position of “trusted advisor”, but how many truly deliver on this promise?
When it comes to choosing an outsourced provider of IT services, what are the key considerations? Technical competency should be a given, but the balance of skills between project and service delivery is also important. We’ve all heard of examples where a project was delivered on time and on budget, but the subsequent managed service offering was not up the same standard.
Organisational “fit” is often overlooked, but can play a significant role in long-term success. Geography isn’t much of a consideration as most services are delivered remotely. However, being the right “sized” business, and sharing common values can have a major impact.
So, what else should you look for in a technology partner? Honesty, reliability, trust, a good sense of humour? Any partnership is dependent upon a commitment to mutual success. A client should be as important to a service provider as the service provider is to the client. Neither side should be punching above their weight.
We’ve worked with many customers in recent years who have come to us for help extricating themselves from large, complex managed service or outsourcing contracts with large systems integrators. Those customers had fallen victim to the belief that working with a large organization is the best way to take your business forward and that a large organization is a “safe” option when it comes to technology.
Unfortunately, many of these businesses found that they simply weren’t as important to the service provider as the service provider was to them. They weren’t getting value for money or technological innovation, but simply being provided with “out of the box” solutions delivered to blueprint designs.
The focused partnership we have formed with those customers has afforded them the benefit of a dedicated account team, both commercial and technical, and access to executive resources to support transformation programs and to validate design decisions. These customers have been able to explore technology from a broader range of vendors, to become truly innovative and to find solutions which add genuine value to their businesses.
Larger service providers will tout their buying power and economies of scale as an opportunity to drive down the cost of acquisition. However, smaller service providers can be more flexible with their terms and offer a range of commercial models to suit any customer’s needs.
Value sits at the heart of any successful outsourced partnership. Not just value for money, but in terms of being valued as a customer and service provider. If you find your relationship with your current service provider is getting too complicated, come and talk to us. Call us on +44 (0)20 7749 0800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org - we have a value proposition for you.