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

What about you?

If you’re interested in seeing what CCS Technology can do for your company, let’s get the conversation started. Just fill out the form below and a friendly member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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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

What about you?

If you’re interested in seeing what CCS Technology can do for your company, let’s get the conversation started. Just fill out the form below and a friendly member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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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.

What about you?

If you’re interested in seeing what CCS Technology can do for your company, let’s get the conversation started. Just fill out the form below and a friendly member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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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

What about you?

If you’re interested in seeing what CCS Technology can do for your company, let’s get the conversation started. Just fill out the form below and a friendly member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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Client Testimonial: 25N Coworking

 

“The biggest thing that was for me is that they can handle everything—
you know, a single source solution.”

– Mara Hauser
CEO & Founder, 25N Coworking

What about you?

If you’re interested in seeing what CCS Technology can do for your company, let’s get the conversation started. Just fill out the form below and a friendly member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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How managed IT services helps SMBs fire on all cylinders

What separates a good company from a powerhouse performer? How are some organizations able to consistently outperform the competition? Is there a quality that launches a select few to legendary status while others simply make ends meet?

The Excellence Factor

John W. Gardner is credited with saying, “Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” If there’s a secret ingredient to success, that’s it – the pursuit of excellence.

While there are dozens of ways an organization can double-down on the pursuit of excellence, IT solutions are often an untapped resource. And yet, in today’s business climate few things make or break a company like how you use technology.

Your Untapped Resource

Each year, the SMB Group researches the most compelling technology trends for the next 12 months. Their 2017 report includes this stunning assessment: “72% of SMB decision makers say that technology solutions can help them significantly improve business outcomes and/or run the business better.”

If you’re looking for ways to make your business better, technology is an area you can’t afford to ignore.

Managed Services Make The Difference

One of the most powerful ways you can start giving yourself an edge is by working with a managed services provider.

In IT-speak, “managed services” simply means partnering with an industry professional for the maintenance and upkeep of your in-house network. Whether your company has a dedicated IT department or not, a managed services provider can help you leverage technology in ways that give you the upper hand.

Top 4 benefits of an MSP

A recent article from Forbes highlighted four specific ways managed services transform small and medium-sized businesses: “improved operational performance, reduced operational risk, cost avoidance and accelerated innovation.”

Said another way, managed services give SMBs a way to operate leaner while taking advantage of the very same technology tools big business uses each and every day.

And if cost savings and ROI aren’t enough to grab your attention, how about this? Partnering with a managed services provider will make your life easier, too.

The Managed Services Advantage

Working with a managed services provider is like calling in a superstar pinch hitter. You get all the benefits of the MSP’s expertise, but without the cost or growing pains of building out that level of support in-house.

The benefits are compelling. For example, consider the negative impact of network downtime. If your systems go offline, you’re dead in the water. Your people can’t work. Every minute you’re down is money out of your pocket.

When surveyed, over 40% of employees report a significant amount of wasted time due to technology related frustrations. It’s difficult to overstate the value of stability.

In contrast, a reputable MSP can ensure uptime. By taking care of updates and upgrades on your behalf, your MSP partner is actually solving problems before they have a chance to slow you down. Managed services keep you in top performance mode.

Wasted Time Stat

What’s more, managed services can be customized to suit your needs with ridiculous precision. As you grow, your MSP can facilitate equipping new employees with the right technology. If you need additional storage space, no problem. Upgrades can be handled by submitting a ticket. Whatever your IT support need, you’re covered.

If you already have IT personnel on staff, working with an MSP is still a smart move. The MSP can focus on the monotonous (but necessary) task of keeping your network up and running while your folks tackle more innovative (and ultimately, more profitable) projects.

Freedom to Focus on You

Partnering with a managed services provider is about making your life easier. That’s certainly the philosophy behind how we work at CCS Technology.

Your IT solutions should always feel like an asset. At work, technology tools should enable you to do your job without getting bogged down. And when you’re away from the office, the last thing you want is to put out fires because there’s been some kind of IT emergency.

CCS Technology clients get what all of us want: freedom.

orange rocket

Freedom to focus on revenue-generating projects instead of maintenance and upkeep. Freedom from the headaches of downtime. Even freedom to enjoy true work-life balance.

If you’re interested in experiencing that kind of freedom, perhaps it’s time to find out first-hand how managed services can benefit your business. CCS Technology can walk you through every step of the process. We’ll help you find the perfect balance between cost savings and innovation.

The experts at CCS Technologies are ready to hear how we can introduce you the freedom of managed services for your IT support.

 

The advantages of working with IT pros

Some seemingly good ideas come with wildly inconvenient side effects. Like the time a corned beef sandwich almost ruined a NASA mission.

In the 1960’s, NASA was in an all-out race to put a man on the moon. The Gemini 3 mission was a significant step forward. It was the very first two-manned mission to achieve orbit. Astronaut John Young was one of those two men.

Not one to pay too much attention to pesky rules, Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich onto the spacecraft by hiding it in his suit. But when crew-mate Gus Grissom took a bite, crumbles scattered throughout the cabin.

Because of the lack of gravity, crumbles could easily get into the circuitry, potentially leading to disaster. As it turns out, NASA had good reasons for regulating the food available to astronauts during missions.

The lesson? Some projects legitimately warrant expert input.

Paving the Way for Growth

IT spending is an undeniable part of the cost of doing business. Not only that, but IT spending is on the rise. 42% of small businesses expect to increase their IT related expenses this year.

But while additional IT spending should result in improved efficiency and reduced costs, that’s not always the case. To illustrate the point, consider this alarming statistic: 55% of small business owners suspect their current technology solutions are actually holding them back.

Business owners clearly see the value of investing in IT solutions for everything from customer acquisition and retention to process automation. There’s obvious benefit to harnessing the power of available technology – if you choose the right solutions.

Choose the wrong solutions, and the technology might only get in your way.

Choosing Wisely

Making strong IT decisions for your organization is easier said than done. A quick Google search will reveal literally dozens of options, even for basic IT solutions like cloud-based storage.

When it comes time to tackle an in-house IT project, how can you be sure the solution you pick is the one that will work best for your company? After all, you don’t want your business to be yet another organization whose growth is limited by the very tools that should make you more efficient.

Thankfully, there’s a way to tap into expert knowledge without becoming an expert, yourself.

“Professional services” is the industry term that describes outsourced IT project management. Companies of all sizes routinely rely on professional services when analyzing and upgrading their technologies. Even organizations with robust internal IT departments find value in utilizing professional services firms.

The Case for Expertise

There are three compelling reasons to consider working with a professional services provider.

First, expert input helps businesses identify the best solution for their needs. Sure, you might be able to limp along with a solution that mostly works. But why put yourself through that? Why not instead find the solution that perfectly matches the demands of your specific business?

Second, working with experienced professionals expedites the upgrade process. IT changes are rarely fun. There’s an inevitable adjustment period, even if the change is small. The sooner you can push through the growing pains and reap the benefits, the better.

Finally, a professional services provider can help lower costs in the short and long terms. When it comes to project management, few phrases sound as pleasant as “under budget.” Short term savings come in the form of finding the most cost effective solution possible.

Long term savings come in less tangible forms, but the impact on ROI is just as real. Improved efficiency, employee satisfaction and customer experience each profoundly affect your bottom line.

Your Professional Services Provider

The professional services team at CCS Technology is serious about making your next IT project a raving success. Each team member has a minimum of five years of experience. Our clients always work with someone who knows the industry.

We’re certified in the most high-demand areas of specialization, like Acumatica, Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon, VMware, and EMC. We also pride ourselves on maintaining a student mentality. We’re always learning and growing in our expertise.

What’s more, we have a proven track record for IT implementation. We’ve even taken on existing projects that were behind schedule and over budget, bringing them to successful completion.

If you have IT projects on the horizon, we have the professional services know-how to help. Contact us today to find out how we can guide you through the process, saving you both time and money.