Increasingly, IT is being looked upon to deliver greater value to the business – whether it be via applications that help drive more revenue, or tools that increase employee productivity. In today’s hyper competitive world, taking a strategic approach to IT is absolutely paramount for the business and the survival of technology executives. But how do you become more strategic while ensuring you keep the lights on, particularly with limited people resources?
Outsourcing is now second nature for IT departments, particularly when talent is limited.
“Outsource what’s not core, so you can be more strategic” has been the CEO and CFO’s mantra for at least the last ten years.
Companies gain access to technical expertise across multiple platforms, 24/7/365 support, system upgrades, consumption-based pricing models, analytics, trends, best practices. The list goes on.
But do you dive in or dip your toes in the water? In other words, do you take the managed services path or opt for something like technical support?
Technical Support vs. Managed Services – What’s Right For Your Organization?
Who Do You Want to Be Responsible for the Management of Your Environment?
A Managed Services Provider:
For some IT departments, the team is equipped to support most areas of their environment, but they lack lack expertise in a specialized area, like with contact center systems, for example. In other cases, they can handle their entire environment, but monitoring it 24/7/365 puts added strain on the team and disrupts their work-life balance. And in yet other scenarios, IT is directed by the CFO to be more strategic and forward thinking, creating the “strategic vs. tactical” staffing challenge. The scenarios are many and vary by company – as do the expectations of IT
In the last two decades, managed IT services contracts have become very common in IT departments. They provide the constant support IT teams need, allowing various tasks to be given to highly certified, knowledgeable engineers that essentially become extensions of the IT department – from remote monitoring and management, to backup and disaster recovery, to security as a service, and everything in between. Sometimes, IT offloads management of the entire data center. Providers can do as little or as much as needed. This frees up staff to be more strategic about the future of the department and the company. Mindsight delivers such managed services for hundreds of clients across multiple industries and we’ve been doing that for nearly 15 years.
Other IT departments are completely self-sufficient. They install, update, troubleshoot, and support their own IT environment from top to bottom. And they find the time to strategize and can deliver against those strategies.
But occasionally, they run into large and intricate projects where technical support may be a good alternative to devoting key personnel time to the initiative. The client can the use Technical Support hours to complete the project without disrupting the team’s areas of focus. For instance, at Mindsight, we’ve had experiences where clients have purchased support retainers simply to have access to our teams as an escalation resource. In the event something goes wrong, clients can deploy Mindsight engineers to find a swift solution to the issue using the pre-purchased hours.
Mindsight Managed Services
Each managed services agreement includes two core aspects: monitoring and management.
Mindsight provides 24x7x365 alert monitoring for all of our managed services clients. Day or night, our team will instantly send an alert to your office so the right steps can be taken as soon as possible. You gain:
- A single point of contact
- 24×7 issue notification
- Environment monitoring
- Access to the Mindsight Monitoring Customer Portal
- Assessments of current environmens with recommendations
While monitoring exists in all managed services agreements, the level of management is flexible. If necessary, Mindsight is equipped and prepared to take over the complete management of a particular technology or even the entire data center. Alternatively, we can provide only the most minimal service or anything in between these two extremes.
- Break/fix activities
- Quality or performance issue diagnosis
- Coordination of hardware break/fix activities in conjunction with a 3rd party maintenance agreement
- Routine device configuration backups
Our Managed Services Areas
Remote Monitoring and Management
Mindsight’s Remote Monitoring and Management offering manages your storage, servers, hypervisors, network, and applications. If it is part of or supported by your data center, Mindsight can provide alert monitoring and ongoing maintenance.
Collaboration and Contact Center
Mindsight Managed Collaboration and Contact Center will manage your unified communications, collaboration, and/or contact center environments, so you can dedicate resources to other priorities. With our Cisco Master Collaboration certification, you can be confident that our engineers will manage your environment accurately and efficiently.
Cloud Managed Services
Cloud environments can benefit from the same form of monitoring and management conducted in on-premise data centers. Whether a few applications or your entire environment, let Mindsight keep your cloud-hosted applications and systems in order and performing as expected with our Cloud Managed Services.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Mindsight’s Managed Backup and Disaster Recovery Services can be leveraged as a reliable safety net for your environment. Our engineers will oversee, manage, and regularly test your backup solution to ensure your backups are ready at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, our team can design and maintain a full disaster recovery strategy. If the worst were to occur, a Mindsight managed services agreement would be an invaluable ally in responding to the crisis.
Security as a Service
To protect the cloud, you need a solution built for the cloud. Security as a Service provides network monitoring, analytics, and insight to ensure that your on-prem or cloud deployment is protected from malicious files. Explore Security as a Service and how Mindsight can help you refine or build a security strategy.
Mindsight’s Technical Support
Technical Support alternatives allow clients to gain access to engineering talent on an as-needed basis. Clients often like to have this insurance policy should things go wrong, or should specialized staff leave on vacation. Technical Support agreements are backed with SLA’s and various Technical Support options are available, from retainers to time and materials agreements.A
Technical Support Areas Include:
- Contact Center
- Data Center
- Business Continuity
- Disaster Recovery
Different Services, Same Quality of Service
One thing that remains the same between the two programs is the quality of service. Mindsight operates on three philosophical pillars: our people, our process, and our culture. Whether Managed Services or a T-Support package, our clients receive highly trained, highly certified engineers; a proven process methodology; and a culture built upon transparency and trust.
Let Us Know What You Need
Every IT department is different, and therefore, their needs are going to be different as well. To deliver value, Mindsight molds and morphs our Managed Services contracts to fit the unique needs of the client. Our customers are able to select which areas of their IT environment need the continual support of the Mindsight team and to what degree that support is needed. It allows them the freedom to customize the arrangement with Mindsight and ensure that there is no unnecessary overlap in responsibilities.
To learn more about Mindsight capabilities and how we’ve helped hundreds of clients through the years make technology an enabler of the business, contact us today.