It’s a myth that quality of service suffers with Managed Services. The key is in defining your Service Level Agreement (SLA) with your Managed Service Provider – expectations, roles, scope of services, etc.

Managed Services have become critical for most IT businesses in the last few years because they offer a convenient, fast, superior, seamless, and cost-effective way to manage IT infrastructure and applications. The coming together of people, processes, and tools, Managed Services enable businesses to grow in a more agile way regardless of how the technology gets delivered.

As digitization becomes the norm and businesses become more competitive, the demand for Managed Services will continue to increase. However, skepticism regarding the benefits of outsourcing IT operations to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) acts as a roadblock to the adoption/implementation of Managed Services. Questions around the loss of control over IT systems and higher costs of Managed Services add to the difficulty.

SLAs: Anchor for efficient Managed Services delivery

One way to address these challenges is to create Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with MSPs so that both the MSP and the customers (businesses) can clearly understand the expectation and mutually benefit from the partnership.

To maximize the benefits, Managed Services should not be mere cost arbitrage-based solutions where quality is a variable. Rather, quality must be constant and articulated in a clearly defined industry-standard agreement, covering critical issues, governance, and reporting.

While it is true that all MSPs (including the support players offering break-fix solutions) work with well-defined SLAs, MSPs that go beyond break-fix solutions need to create accountability frameworks or governance models that clearly indicate all processes and metrics that explain what ‘needs to be done.’

The same must be conveyed to both parties clearly so that it aligns with the business plans and gets executed. This, in turn, will help drive collaborative interactions, provide feedback mechanisms, and help get a better understanding of how MSPs contribute to business improvement.

Customers (businesses) must insist on a clearly defined SLA to correctly understand the MSP’s obligation, commitment, and responsibility so that there is no ambiguity. Such an SLA will help monitor the quality of Managed Services delivered vis-à-vis the agreed scope, availability, performance indicators, and response time, and determine if any deviations have occurred.

Benefits of Managed Services SLAs

SLAs help MSPs conduct a preliminary assessment of the customer’s expectations and understand the urgency and expected quality of service delivery. This will also help ensure that high-priority issues are resolved at the earliest. A clear SLA will help an MSP maintain continuity in the customers’ IT environment by ensuring the platform, application, and software used by the customers are up to date.

With their initiative-taking monitoring system, MSPs can anticipate problems and take preventive measures to save their customers from expensive and damaging application downtime. Thus, governed by a good SLA, Managed Services can assure customers of consistent application uptime and quality of service. Other benefits include:

  • Application and assessment of regular updates
  • Automated testing to speed up new releases into production
  • Custom reviews of new functions and features coming to the products
  • Alerts on upcoming releases that could negatively impact an environment
  • Quick route to small updates/configuration changes/training on new features
  • ‘One-stop shop’ to maintain smooth running of enterprise business applications

sa.global focus on SLAs

sa.global focuses on maintaining and delivering the highest quality Managed Services. Our robust worldwide capabilities rely on strong teams and local consultants who leverage and share best practices across similar customers. Learning from over two decades of experience, sa.global has refined processes to ensure consistent quality in Managed Services delivery.

We insist on a clearly defined industry-standard SLA that sets clear expectations regarding expected services. Tracking SLAs is done through transparent weekly, monthly, and quarterly governance with KPI reporting. Access to strategically located Global Service Centers that provide follow-the-sun support (24x7x365) is another benefit.

For each account, we have a committed account manager who ensures clear communication and coordination throughout the relationship. This also helps us ascertain the root cause of recurring issues to improve the quality of service. All Managed Services plans are offered depending on our client’s stage of growth and scale of requirements so that they can choose the one that suits them best.

To know more about enhancing your business performance with Managed Services, contact us.

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