Choosing a Managed Service Provider?

Here are 3 things to consider

Technology has progressed at a remarkable rate since the start of the millennium. Today, people and businesses are now more reliant on tech and digital infrastructure than ever, whether it’s for grocery shopping online or staying connected through email and connectivity applications for working remotely.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also underscored the importance of having a well-maintained technological infrastructure. For enterprises to survive, they needed to adapt quickly to unprecedented changes and ensure that they had the right hardware and software platforms in place to process vast amounts of data.

But how much data does the world produce? According to Statista,[1] global data has grown from 18 zettabytes in 2016 to an estimated 79 zettabytes in 2021. In more recognizable terms, “if every gigabyte in a zettabyte were a meter, it could span the distance of the Amazon River (the world’s longest river at 6,992 kilometers) more than 150,000 times,” says Cisco’s Usha Andra.[2]

Enterprises big and small contribute to this constant growth in data, with advanced cloud applications and infrastructure requiring greater network bandwidth and compute capacity than before. The demand for web hosting services worldwide has grown rapidly, with revenue from web hosting trending upwards from $59.14 billion in 2020 to a projected $79.49 billion this year, according to Statista. [3] At the current projected compound annual growth rate of 12.68%, the web hosting market worldwide is expected to reach $144.40 billion by 2027.

The enterprises that had the means to prepare well through this crisis have seen the benefits of having a reliable technology partner. However, not every enterprise has the expertise, manpower, or resources to successfully navigate and manage its own IT environment. With more enterprises going digital and moving to the cloud, having a service provider you can count on has become more important than ever. This is where a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can help.

What is an MSP and why use one?

As defined by Gartner, an MSP “delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure, and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSPs data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center”.[4] Simply put, an MSP allows an enterprise to spend less time on maintaining its IT infrastructure and services, leaving more time to focus on its core business functions. Additionally, MSPs may have their own portfolio of services that they provide in parallel, creating a customized solution tailored to their clients’ needs. In today’s digital world, an MSP is a highly valuable partner to have to ensure that your enterprise can run day-to-day operations smoothly and has a dedicated team of industry experts to help progress your networking strategies and address any unexpected issues that may occur.

While using an MSP can bring you a broad range of benefits, like flexible scalability, greater affordability, and knowledgeable industry experts taking care of your IT infrastructure, there are three essential factors that you need to consider before choosing your MSP: experience, customization, and customer service.

Experience, expertise, value

A proven track record and ample experience are important if you’re looking for high-quality service in general. This is no different when it comes to finding the right MSP for your enterprise. The team should ideally possess the necessary technical and industry experience to meet all your enterprise’s needs and have clear insight into your enterprise’s network architecture and industry. Having an MSP that has the right connections with industry-leading vendors will also ensure that you’re getting the best possible solutions for your enterprise.

In addition, the MSP should have a deep understanding of both cutting-edge technology and legacy systems and environments. This is advantageous for two reasons — firstly, it allows the MSP to ease a complex transition between legacy infrastructure like MPLS to a next-generation network, by ensuring compatibility throughout the deployment and navigating around expiring contracts. Secondly, it enables the MSP to provide support to internal IT teams who are not familiar with legacy programming languages and processes, and next-generation networking technologies. This breadth and depth of experience an MSP has gained across many deployment and management scenarios each and every year is virtually impossible for a team running one network transformation project every few years in one environment.

The right MSP who demonstrates good listening and strong consultative skills should also be able to provide added value to your enterprise efficiently. This means evolving its service offerings past administration and management to provide greater value through strategic planning and long-term optimization. Your MSP should be your strategic IT partner, not just a simple service provider.

Customization options

When you’re getting a new suit, a tailored fit will feel and look much better than the one you find off the rack. Similarly, the MSP you choose should be the one that can provide a customized service with a deep understanding of your needs, business model, and future direction, so you get the best-fit solution(s) for your enterprise. Be discerning — while an MSP with more direct and basic solutions may be more affordable, an MSP with more comprehensive and tailored solutions can complement your internal IT team so your company goals can be accomplished more easily.

On top of that, experienced MSPs should be able to provide integrated networking solutions tailored for industry verticals. Having a solid foundation and holistic understanding of the prevalent issues in your industry means the MSP already has a good grasp on what needs to be addressed. This way, you can be certain that your MSP is capable of crafting a customized strategy and developing unique approaches to tackle obstacles specific to your enterprise.

Customer support and communication

When you encounter a technical issue, time is of the essence — it’s critical to get the problem solved as quickly as possible.

However, this can be difficult if you don’t have a dedicated team to provide incident management at all times — which is why the MSP you choose should offer top-notch customer service with high levels of responsiveness in times of crisis, so technical issues can be appropriately handled and fixed as they arise. This means selecting an MSP that is available round the clock and has convenient lines of communication.

The MSP should also be able to communicate clearly with you without the use of technical jargon. While necessary at times, an MSP should be able to effectively relay important information in simple terms so that stakeholders of all knowledge levels can understand what’s going on. This is vital when it comes to establishing trust and building a partnership to reach the same objectives.

As with any effective partnership, the MSP should also have a collaborative mindset and work towards a shared goal with your enterprise, whether alongside your internal IT team or independently. This ensures that both parties are aligned in terms of the company’s vision and the steps required to reach this goal.

How Coevolve can help

Finding the right MSP for your company can be a daunting endeavor, especially when there are numerous options available. As we’ve said above, an MSP needs to bring to the table the right blend of experience, customizability, and customer support — attributes that we at Coevolve value highly when providing services to our clients.

As a purpose-built company specifically formed to embrace disruptive technologies and practices, we are determined to help enterprises adopt next-generation technologies to take the next step into the digital future.

At Coevolve, providing the highest quality service is a top priority. That’s why we have invested in developing a multiskilled global team that includes our Coevolve Response Center which provides 24/7 incident management.

Additionally, our modular Managed Services portfolio provides a customized solution to our client’s requirements. On top of this, at Coevolve we believe in providing value beyond the networking technology and we strive to achieve this through our Smart Services capabilities, adding new functionality to monitoring, reporting, and data access for our global clients such as network-wide capacity reports, path performance deviation alerts, and more.

As a pioneer in co-management and a leading provider of co-managed SD-WAN solutions since 2015, and co-managed SASE since 2020, Coevolve is constantly looking for the best ways to deliver more value through our services and to address our clients’ requirements.

If you’re looking for an MSP that can meet all your needs and provide added value to your enterprise, talk to our team today.