Communications Blog • 6 MIN READ

Managed Service Providers - Part 2: Ensuring success in a competitive market

In this blog series, we’re focusing in-depth on the role of Managed Service Providers (MSPs)in business continuity and the achievement of business goals in the wake of a tumultuous past year. In part 1, we covered MSP Landscape and how to achieve business agility as well as maintain business continuity. In Part 2, we partner with Ram Ojha, Global Head of Unified Communication Practice at HCL Technologies, to focus on ensuring success for MSPs, covering IT operations, remote working and the role of enterprise architecture in digital innovation.

In defining top priorities for IT by Gartner, COOs & CIOs have been issued clear directives from boards of directors to accelerate the implementation of technology to get enterprises to their business goals faster.

Successful COOs & CIOs are limiting the number of battles they choose to fight and seeking ways to apply their limited resources where they will be most beneficial  - in operational maturity improvement. SP while these executives are looking at outsourcing IT Services to achieve these goals, service providers are looking for ways to capitalise and leverage services offering to win and retain valuable clients.

Crucial but overlooked factors in IT sourcing engagements

Some tier one service providers with outstanding service portfolio and expertise are losing invaluable clients to others. Often, the deal-breaker in closing an IT outsourcing contract is not the capabilities. Our conversations with several enterprise stakeholders and key decision makers revealed areas that make a huge difference in selecting one provider over others, and those are often neglected: Service-Oriented Focus, Competitive Offering Model, Continuous innovation mindset, and Cost Management.

Service-Oriented Focus

Sixty-nine percent of boards have responded to COVID-19 with digital business acceleration, while 60% have chosen improving operational excellence through digital business — a board’s top two priorities, according to the Gartner Board of Directors Survey.

MSPs will be in microscopic focus as the quality of communication and collaboration plays direct and critical roles in both priorities, since MSPs are expected to align their services with their clients’ vision and roadmap.

MPS must also provide resources to create a required capacity. MSPs are expected to assist their clients to address their business challenges and support them throughout their transformation journey, whatever mix of collaboration and communication platforms they choose (eg. Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft Teams etc.). A multi-vendor monitoring tools will be a key piece to solving this puzzle.

Competitive Offering Model

MSPs have an unprecedented, once-in-an-era opportunity to make rapid, fundamental changes to the way they design their competitive offering model. This opportunity is forcing us to rethink how some tier one MSPs are winning deals, with successful offers considering not only their capabilities and innovative commercial model, but also the smaller factors that makes a huge difference. Most providers offer similar services and solutions to address enterprise challenges. However, competitive offering model differentiates providers and allows clients to benefit in the long term.

To survive and thrive in this new abnormal, it is imperative that MSPs consider flexibility and transformation at the core of their offering model. A key consideration is to offer a monitoring tool that supports multi-vendor platforms throughout your client’s transformation journey.

Continuous Innovation Mindset

Gartner reports indicate a clear market shift from traditional RFPs toward transformational sourcing and agile workshop deals. Enterprise organizations increasingly know the infrastructure problem to their digital innovation, but not the solution. So they turn to MSPs and screen them in advance, inviting only a few providers to co-create solutions via a workshop-based selection process. In Europe and North America, around 40% of managed infrastructure service deals are based on agile workshops, rather than RFPs.

On one hand, this shift creates a challenge for MSPs that are reactive to the market changes and display a depreciative level of innovation. On other hand, this offers a huge opportunity to MSPs that are practicing Continues Innovation Mindset. For example, some of these MSPs augment their operation with AIOps Solution that is purposefully built by integrating a multi-vendor monitoring tool with Orchestration, Automation and AI layer, in response to the market demand for Managed Meeting Room Service Providers.

Cost Management & the Role of Monitoring

Top-performing executives will never cost cut their way to enterprise-level strategic relevance, but increasingly focus on cost management.

Holistic cost management includes improve efficiency, increase productivity, and strategic value creation. Effective cost management requires balancing these three activities to achieve sustainable business outcomes.

Third-party monitoring tools play a significant role in medium term cost optimization and releasing resources for strategic value creation. Utilization and adoption reports, and the detailed data and analytics provided by monitoring tools will help organizations to make the necessary decisions to achieve digital acceleration.

In Part 3 of this series, we’ll continue to examine how MSPs are evolving to keep up with technology, and the shift to cloud-based UC infrastructures.


Ram Ojha is the Global Head of Unified Communication Practice at HCL Technologies and an MVP. Ram provides thought leadership for the continued incubation, solutioning and implementation of an innovative, robust, and secure unified communications and collaboration environment for global customers. The primary responsibilities for this team is to help customers transform their operating model, end user experience and customer journeys using cloud architecture, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning & Data Management. Follow Ram at HCL, LinkedIn or MVP.

Topics: Multi-Technology UCaaS management Real-time monitoring Service Provider

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