Give Your Managed Services Provider This Information If You Want Them to Succeed

After you’ve reviewed the benefits of managed services and completed a careful evaluation to choose the right managed services provider, you’ll want to take steps to make the transition to managed services successful. Gather information about the following topics and be prepared to discuss it in detail with the managed services provider:

Current IT Infrastructure

In order to support your IT effectively, the managed services provider needs to know every detail of the technology you use. They’ll want to see a detailed inventory and diagrams of your network, servers, and desktop systems. They also need to know about the operating systems and applications you use, including version numbers. Don’t forget to include the IT technology you don’t manage directly, including any cloud services and “bring your own device” mobile technology.

Current IT Processes

It’s likely the managed services provider will change the way IT services are performed, but to make changes easier, they’ll want to understand how your team handles things now. Have documentation about the current processes for monitoring, provisioning, and patching IT infrastructure, as well as your backup and disaster recovery processes.

Business Information

Providing the right technology solutions requires understanding business needs. Be ready to speak with your managed services provider about critical business processes, how your business is succeeding now, and the dreams and plans you have for future growth or new lines of business.

Priorities

Managed services providers need to know what your priorities are so they can make sure they focus their efforts on the things that matter to you most. Have details about where you’re experiencing the biggest problems and feeling the most pain. If you’ve identified weaknesses and security vulnerabilities, share that information, too.

Along with knowing the current problems that are your current priorities, let your managed services provider know about your future priorities, too. Share your plans for changes in technology, such as increased use of the cloud. Let the provider know if you anticipate an increase in demand, either from more employees using more online systems or from a larger customer base. If you expect to change core business processes or increase collaboration with outside partners, share those details, too. All of this information will help the managed services provider make better decisions about your infrastructure.

Key Contacts

Your managed services provider can’t succeed on their own. They’ll need information and support from your employees. Be sure you’ve identified a contact for day-to-day questions, as well as a more senior contact for periodic reviews to ensure you’re receiving the services and the quality you expected. It’s also a good idea to designate an employee for knowledge transfer from the provider, too.

Ready to get started with managed services? Find out how CCS Technology Group can help you meet your current IT needs and position you for future growth.

Additional Managed Services Resources

Whatever Your IT Problem, There’s a Managed Services Solution

How Managed Services Make the Difference

Overcome the Challenges of Hybrid IT With Managed Services

Whatever Your IT Problem, There’s a Managed Services Solution

Can managed services solve your IT problem? Chances are, it can: managed services are available to help you address almost any IT need. The scope of managed IT services available includes:

Infrastructure support

Designing, provisioning, monitoring, and supporting all your IT equipment is a time-consuming effort. Desktops, servers, storage, and networks all require ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Managed services provide the routine care plus problem resolutions services needed to keep core infrastructure functioning.

Information security

Every business holds both customer data and intellectual property that’s valuable outside the business. Protecting data effectively requires staying up to date with using a wide range of tools including antivirus, firewalls, data loss prevention software, and encryption to keep data secure. Managed services help you design an effective information security strategy and implement, configure, and support the tools that keep you protected.

Desktop support

Unlike your data center staff, your business folks aren’t IT specialists, and they need ongoing support to use their desktop applications. Managed services can address their needs, including user management, patch management, and help desk services.

Backups and disaster recovery

The burden of day-to-day support can prevent in-house IT teams from focusing on issues like effective backups and disaster recovery solutions. Managed services can make sure your backup process is efficient, in terms of time and storage required. Managed services can also make sure your disaster recovery process is able to take those backups and get your business operational again after a disaster shuts down your primary data center.

Cloud support

Cloud has made all kinds of technology more available and less expensive, but using the cloud requires both an underlying strategy and ongoing monitoring and support. In house IT teams lack familiarity with the cloud’s new way of doing things. Use managed cloud to ensure your cloud provides the services and security your business needs.

Storage management

Storing data effectively requires making multiple choices about storage technology and allocating the space available, as well as maintaining the equipment and dealing with any failures. Managed services can take care of all these issues for you.

Why are managed services so effective?

Managed services are effective because they provide you with a team of experts who can focus on your technology while your own team focuses on your business. Managed services teams develop expertise and insight from working with multiple clients, giving them deep exposure to technology, its uses, and the potential problems it may develop. They know the best practices and design patterns that support effective use of the selected tools and technologies, along with workarounds and quick-fixes that get you going until permanent solutions are in place.

Ready to learn more about managed services?

Download our guide or contact us to learn about how managed services from CCS Technology Group can help your business solve your technology problems.

Additional Managed Services Resources

Overcome the Challenges of Hybrid IT With Managed Services

5 Tips for Getting the Best Results from a Managed Services Provider

Overcome the Challenges of Hybrid IT With Managed Services

There’s no doubt your data center is a mix of technologies. Hybrid IT is the way the world works today. It’s not about hybrid cloud, though that might be a part of it—it’s about choosing the right environment for each application, whether that means public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, or purely in your data center. It means having multiple cloud providers as you match each workload to the most appropriate service. It means complexity that allows you to deliver tremendous business benefits but can leave your IT team struggling to keep the environments under control.

Challenges of Hybrid IT

Some of the challenges of hybrid IT come simply because the complexity means there are more choices and more decisions to be made. When you use a single technology, when the business comes to you with a request, you know the tools you’ll be using. When you support a hybrid environment, you need to spend additional time understanding the business requirements in depth so you can deploy it most effectively. This means spending more time talking with the business before you start implementing their technology.

Hybrid IT means you’ve got to develop a multitude of data migration strategies, one for each environment. Although the environments may be isolated, it’s likely they’ll need to share data, so migration, or at least synchronization, isn’t a one-time effort either.

Keeping the data secure and in compliance is also challenging, because each of your different environments has its own controls. Bringing them all into alignment with your own policies can be time-consuming. Assuring consistency across the environments requires ongoing monitoring and the assistance of automation to promote policies.

With multiple types of technology in use, it’s harder to keep an eye on costs. Usage statistics and spending details come from multiple providers and offer differing levels of granularity. Hybrid IT can result in silos that hide the overall spending picture. Consider using tools that bring multiple bills into a single dashboard and make it easier to monitor spending. Analytics can identify opportunities to reduce spending through consolidating and shutting down instances.

Monitoring multiple systems is difficult, too, again because it’s hard to get an overall picture of how your infrastructure is functioning. You also have to manage multiple vendors, track multiple contracts, and interface with multiple contacts to resolve issues. It’s difficult for your team to have the expertise needed across all platforms to keep your entire infrastructure operating at a high level of performance.

Managed Services Address Hybrid IT’s Challenges

Hybrid IT is unavoidable; there are too many benefits from having the ability to tailor each workload’s infrastructure to match its requirements exactly. Managed services can help you get control back over this complex infrastructure, bringing in a team that’s experienced with all the technologies you use and overseeing daily operations. Contact CCS Technology Group to learn how our managed services can help you take better advantage of your hybrid IT infrastructure.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of partnering with a managed services provider? Check out our guide How Managed Services Make the Difference.

Additional Managed Services Resources

5 Tips for Getting the Best Results from a Managed Services Provider

Choose the Right Managed Services Provider for Your Business

6 Big Benefits from Using Managed Services

5 Tips for Getting the Best Results from a Managed Services Provider

There are many things to think through when you choose a managed services provider, and hopefully you select a provider that’s a good fit for your business. But don’t stop thinking about your managed services provider once you sign the contract. Think through how you’ll work with the provider so they can succeed in delivering services that help your business succeed.

1. Make sure you get the right services from the right provider

There are two ways to think about this. The right services are the services you need to address your business’s IT problems, whether it’s help with your network, cloud, desktop support, or security. You want to make sure you get the services you need from a provider that’s got the skills and experience to deliver them effectively. If your provider doesn’t have a background in a technology or service you need, you’ll be better off contracting with a second provider who does have that expertise, even if it means you add complexity to managing your providers.

2. Get clear about service delivery

It isn’t likely you’ll completely eliminate your internal IT team, so carefully define the boundaries around the work you’ll do yourself and the work you want the managed services provider to handle. If the contract didn’t define a detailed set of deliverables, have a meeting when the contract starts to spell out your expectations and address concerns. Along with this, carefully define the communications process so both you and the provider know how new requests will be handled and how you’ll work to resolve any problems.

3. Set metrics

You should have a plan for how you’ll evaluate the effectiveness of your managed services arrangement. Define metrics before the contract starts, and be sure to let the provider know. That way they can focus their efforts on the concerns that really matter to you. Don’t wait until the end of the contract to let the provider know if they aren’t measuring up. Do a periodic assessment and bring your concerns to them when there’s still time to make changes and get a positive result.

4. Treat the managed services provider as a member of your team

The more the provider knows about your business, the better they’ll be able to tailor the services they deliver to your business needs. While you may not want to give them all the details, if you give the provider information about your business problems and strategies, they’ll be able to give you better support that helps you meet long-term goals.

5. Let the provider do their job

Pay attention to what the provider delivers, but let them figure out how they want to provide the service. Managed services providers support many businesses, and they’ve most likely found a way of working that works for them as well as the clients they support. As long as they’re not doing something illegal, unethical, or disruptive to your business, you should focus on their results and not how they’re getting them.

CCS Technology Group is dedicated to providing top quality managed services to our clients. Contact us to learn how our team can help solve your business information technology challenges.

Additional Resources

6 Big Benefits from Using Managed Services

How Managed Services Make the Difference

Choose the Right Managed Services Provider for Your Business

Once you consider the big benefits of using managed services and understand how they’ll help your business, you can confidently make the decision to use a managed services provider to handle your information technology. Next you need to select the right managed services provider to get the best results.

There are many factors you’ll want to consider, including:

  • Cost. There’s no denying that opting for managed services is often driven by cost considerations, so you’ll definitely need to understand how much you’ll pay for managed services. Don’t simply compare the numbers you’re quoted, though. Different providers have different pricing models, and their quotes may include different levels of service and support. Look for a package that offers the services you need at a price you can afford, while providing flexibility to add additional services if you need them.
  • Expertise. Technical expertise is the second most important factor to consider; there’s no point in paying for outside help if they aren’t as competent as your own internal team. Your managed services provider should hold current certifications in the technologies you use in your data center.
  • Experience. The expertise referred to above can come from book learning. Another aspect of expertise is learned through the experience of applying that knowledge in real-world situations. Your managed services provider should have a track record you can evaluate; this track record shouldn’t be reflected simply in the company’s longevity but also in the experience of the specific staff who will provide your support.
  • Industry knowledge. Every industry has its own specific challenges, and understanding how to use technology most effectively in your business requires understanding your industry. Look for a managed services provider who has previous experience delivering IT solutions in your industry.
  • Good references. Don’t rely on a company’s word that they deliver excellent services; make sure you get the names of some other clients and talk to their references to learn about their experience with the provider.
  • On-site services. Remote services are a good solution for addressing many problems; however, there are some issues can’t be resolved without a hands-on presence. Make sure your provider can deliver services on-site when required.
  • Creativity. Standard solutions solve standard problems. Look for a provider with creativity that can develop innovative solutions designed to meet your specific needs.

Download our guide to managed services to learn more about how managed services can help your business. Then contact us to learn why you should choose CCS Technology Group for your managed services provider.

6 Big Benefits from Using Managed Services

As the world has become more complex, there’s an increased emphasis on specialization. Businesses rely on outside firms to provide the functions that aren’t part of their core business. For many organizations that aren’t in the information technology industry themselves, IT is too complicated to successfully handle with an internal team. Relying on a managed services provider solves their IT problems and provides many business benefits.

Top Business Benefits from Using a Managed IT Services Provider

The chief benefit of working with a managed services provider is more reliable IT. This comes in different ways, including a proactive approach to maintenance and problem solving, better technology selection, and improved monitoring and backup and recovery procedures. Other benefits from working with a managed services provider include:

1. Improved information security

The threats to information security are constantly evolving. Managed services providers are more able to keep current with threats and solutions and evaluate their impact on your technology. Managed services providers also implement effective patch management strategies to ensure your systems remain protected against all known threats.

2. Effective use of new technology

Cutting-edge IT solutions become obsolete rapidly. It’s difficult for internal IT teams to get up to speed on new technology and ensure it’s implemented in a cost-effective way. Managed services providers develop expertise in new technology through close vendor relationships as well as their experience working with multiple clients. This makes managed services providers an ideal choice for introducing unfamiliar technology, such as cloud, into the data center.

3. Cost-effective IT expertise

Hiring and retaining experienced IT personnel is difficult for non-IT firms. As technology changes, it’s difficult to provide training to help staff upgrade their skills. Working with a managed services provider is a cost-effective way to access IT talent with experience and expertise in the latest technology.

4. Focus your IT team on business value

By using a managed services provider to handle your routine IT support and maintenance, your own internal IT staff are freed up to focus on strategic work. They can leverage their IT knowledge and combine it with their insight into your unique business needs and opportunities to identify ways to apply technology to strategic projects that truly add value to the business.

5. Manageable spending

Technology costs are highly variable, but a contract with a managed services provider makes that portion of your technology spending highly predictable.

6. 24×7 support

It’s a 24×7 world, and technology support needs to be 24×7 too. Managed services providers are available around the clock to address IT problems as soon as they occur.

CCS Technology Group provides managed services to meet the needs of your entire technology infrastructure, whether on premises or in the cloud. Contact us to learn how to get the benefits of managed IT services working for your business.

Client Testimonial: Canino Electric

 

“We’ve been with CCS for a little over 10 years now, so that speaks for itself that we’re really satisfied.”

– Katie Canino
CEO, Canino Electric

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Client Testimonial: JA Watts

 

“I definitely think CCS Technology goes above and beyond in terms of customer service.”

– Cynthia Yang
HR Generalist, JA Watts

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Client Testimonial: Reinke Supply

 

“They got all the hardware for us. They changed our server. We now have a whole new email system.”

– Kathryn Rosanova
CFO, Reinke Supply Co.

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Client Testimonial: Inventrust Properties

 

“CCS has definitely helped with increasing . . . its partnership with my internal business.”

– Dipesh Shah
Chief Information Officer, Inventrust Properties

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