Partnering for NOC is an attractive alternative to MSPs who are serious about scaling up.
Central to your ability to scale up, and underpinning your entire managed services operation, is the Network Operations Centre (NOC). It is the bridge of your ship, monitoring and managing your clients’ IT infrastructures to keep them running smoothly and efficiently – and enabling issues to be detected and resolved before they impact client business operations.
An effective NOC, supported by state-of-the-art RMM tools, is an essential component of growth. But it doesn’t come cheap. Indeed, the investment required to set up, staff and run a NOC in-house can be financially out of reach for many MSPs.
You can scale to a certain point by bringing in extra bodies, but your clients are also looking for increased breadth of coverage and higher quality service levels – and not just during office hours.
Are you able to offer a true 24/7 NOC service with ‘always on’ monitoring, remediation, maintenance and support? Can you keep pace with client expectation coupled with the constant squeeze on your margins? Can you prevent engineer overload as pressures mount?
Many MSPs are finding it difficult to remain competitive, keep costs under control, and maintain profit margins as they grow. You may be sharing some of their concerns: is your NOC as automated as it could be? If not, how much time and money will you have to spend to get it there? Are you using your highly-skilled resources on projects appropriate to their skills or on routine (but necessary) monitoring and remediation?
It makes sense to partner for NOC
The solution to your dilemma is one that you will undoubtedly recognise from sales discussions with your own prospective clients: let a qualified third-party take the infrastructure and skills burden away, freeing up your own resources to develop customer relationships, bring in new accounts and provide the in-demand, higher margin IT services required by SMBs today.
The very same benefits you convey to your clients are just as relevant to you when it comes to partnering for NOC.
Here are just a few of those benefits:
- Your team will be increased by a whole pool of technicians, 24/7/365 if needed, who will also be available to cover holidays, sick leave and ‘double up’ during busy periods.
- And not just any old technicians, but a team of highly experienced people with up-to-date certification and training in the latest, in-demand technologies and tools.
- Partnering offers a cost-effective way of acquiring the skills and support you need to deliver high-quality service to your customers – without the cost and headache of recruiting, training, managing…and, unfortunately, often replacing staff.
- Plus, with a larger pool of technicians to draw on you are more likely to meet and exceed customer expectations – making it more likely that they do more business with you.
There really is no need to go it alone – indeed there are compelling reasons why you should not.
The most effective NOC is built on high levels of automation. MSPs often lack the time, knowledge and internal skill sets to set up and fully automate their NOC using RMM tools. It therefore makes sense to hand this work over to experts who can tick all of the appropriate boxes. It may sound strange for an outsourcing company to outsource its own NOC, but it is a model that has been shown to work – provided, of course, that you select the right partner.
The increasing number of MSPs choosing to partner for NOC benefit from lower up-front investment, a more flexible growth route and the ability to market new services more quickly.
And importantly, what would have required a major up-front capital investment if you opted to set up your own NOC becomes an operational expense that can be managed flexibly as your business grows. The beauty of the NOC partner model is that you only pay for what you use, as and when you use it.
Seven reasons to partner for NOC
1. Access to an expert team, with the skill sets needed to fully automate the NOC
2. Out-of-hours and 24/7 support, 365 days a year
3. Ability to focus on ‘value-add’ work rather than being distracted by day-to-day ‘noise’
4. A scalable solution offering resources on-demand
5. A pay-as-you-grow approach for a cost-effective business model
6. Reduced maintenance and training cost
7. Predictable, controlled OPEX
Choosing a NOC partner
Success depends on choosing the right partner, of course. Here are the most important attributes to look for in a NOC partner:
- Flexible service levels as opposed to offering an ‘all or nothing’ approach
- Focus on quality and compliance, evidenced by the appropriate accreditations
- A high level of expertise, demonstrated by technical certification and ongoing skills update programmes
- Strong SLA track record
- Capacity in terms of infrastructure and staff to meet your current requirements – and to scale to meet your future requirements
- Robust security procedures in place
- The opportunity for seamless service through service desk integration
Your NOC Partner can help you take advantage of market growth
CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2018 reports that 61 per cent of SMBs are not yet using managed services. That’s a sizeable potential market.
The same survey reports that 40 per cent of SMBs acknowledge their investment level in technology is lower than it should be. Could SMB purse-strings be loosening? With SMBs accounting for about 44% of IT spending globally (according to Gartner), solution providers scent an opportunity – particularly given the growing SMB interest in value-add services such as data management, security and BDR.
If you are facing the dilemma of how you keep your existing business running and profitable while developing the skills and infrastructure needed to deliver the new services that will ‘delight’ your customers – look no further.
I may be a little biased, but it seems eminently sensible to let a NOC partner take over the essential day-to-day tasks required to keep your service levels high and your customers happy. You benefit from predictable, flexible costs – and can focus on meeting the new customer requirements in today’s buoyant market.
Find out why US-based Dynamic Strategies Inc. selected Inbay’s out-of-hours NOC service to take their business to the next level.