Communications Blog • 5 MIN READ

Managed Service Providers - Part 1: The Landscape in 2021 and beyond

Tame Mehrabi

Written by Tame Mehrabi

In this new series of blogs, we’ll be focusing on Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and how they’re partnering with organizations to achieve business agility as well as maintain business continuity.

2020 – from damage control to business continuity

The events of 2020 have caused a profound transformation in the way we do business. Huge advancements in technology have allowed organizations to rise from the ashes and turn damage control into business continuity.

There are now more complexities than ever in a unified communications (UC) environment, undoubtedly brought about by the advent of remote working. To ensure the success of all UC services including voice, video and collaboration, service monitoring and service availability are now of the utmost importance within a UC ecosystem.

To remain agile and adaptable, organizations are increasingly turning over their UC operations to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to support their teams, no matter where they're located.

MSPs – the future of IT management

During the early days of the crisis, it became evident that IT departments were under a huge strain, with more and more operations being delivered as a service, the domination of remote working, and the rapid shift to the cloud.

This prompted IT managers to re-think the way they work and turned to MSPs to fill the gaps. Some MSPs also struggled with the shift to the cloud, but those who have managed it well have flourished.

2020 was a year of rapid transformation to the remote workforce at scale. 2021 will be the year of the hybrid, multi-cloud, multi-vendor UC ecosystem.

MSPs will play a vital role in helping businesses to, not just maintain the new norm, but achieve intelligent operations and ensure business continuity in any climate. MSPs will invest more in using multi-vendor UCC monitoring tools that play a predominant role in helping businesses achieve operational efficiency, maintain business continuity and providing visibility, through things like service level agreement (SLA) reporting.

MSPs encouraging business growth

MSPs have the management tools and processes in place to bring great value to businesses and improve their bottom line, while relieving the pressure on internal IT teams.

Acting as an extension of internal teams, MSPs can simplify an organization’s IT architecture, manage their network, and provide a flexible and single infrastructure management service.

  • They facilitate remote working, and the migration of businesses processes to the cloud.
  • They can maintain hardware and software as well as databases.
  • They can manage your cloud environment while helping businesses plan for the future.
  • And importantly, MSPs are instrumental in mitigating ever-present security threats.

To accomplish all this, MSPs need to have the tools and plans in place to merge people, processes and technology. This means being able to successfully deliver hybrid UC service assurance, through real-time diagnostic information.

Challenges as a cloud MSP

As an MSP, there are growing challenges in today’s business world, including increased competition, constantly evolving technology, more complex systems, and higher expectations from customers.

Staying relevant

Cloud computing has become mainstream. To stay relevant in today’s accelerated, digitally transforming world, organizations are using the cloud to support various aspects of their business. Cloud MSPs need to adapt quickly to manage different cloud-based solutions in addition to legacy and on-premises solutions, while providing added value to their customers.

Changing customer expectations

Cloud MSPs not only need to provide support, but they must also provide guidance to help customers embrace new technologies - from cloud migration and management, to cloud cost optimization. As a service provider, the primary goal is to ensure that your customers and their customers have a great experience, every time.

Providing consistent quality service

Quality service on time and on budget is a must. This can be challenging when having to manage a multitude of complex internal and disparate systems as well as communication and interoperability complications.

Integration and service delivery

A key challenge is integration between customer applications and systems – and cloud principles. Some issues include:

  • Adapting workloads to a different working environment.
  • Making allowances for the operational lifecycle while maintaining a strong infrastructure.
  • Managing operation once it’s running off-premises.

Solutions for MSPs

Moving forward, and considering growing competition, MSPs will need to be even more vigilant in their efforts to ensure their clients’ remote and hybrid work environments are fully protected.

MSP service assurance agreements need to focus on solutions that incorporate advanced diagnostics, knowledge base data and remote access. They also need to ensure QoS and QoE management, performance dashboards and reporting for multi-vendor UCaaS environments.

How we can help

Across hybrid cloud and multi-vendor environments, IR Collaborate for service providers can help deliver deep insights, comprehensive visibility, and customer-specific reports. This adds more value, and helps you confidently meet SLAs, with the evidence to back it up, and improve customer onboarding and management.

With real real-time alerting, rapid troubleshooting, and end-to-end visibility across your entire UC ecosystem, IR Collaborate helps service providers accelerate time-to-revenue, reduce service delivery costs, confidently manage multiple customers, deliver customer satisfaction, and ensure repeat business – ultimately protecting your bottom line.

In part 2 of this series, we’ll focus on ensuring success for MSPs, covering IT operations, remote working and the role of enterprise architecture in digital innovation. Subscribe to the blog to stay up to date!

Topics: Multi-Technology Communications Reporting and SLAs UCaaS management Service Provider Cloud and hybrid UC

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