Dear Managed Services Provider, We Need To Talk!

29, November 2016

Maintaining a good relationship is difficult. It involves lots of intuition, goodwill, and concern. Now, if that doesn’t happen, then it’s time to call it quits. After all, it takes two to tango. Noticing the signs, therefore, is crucial. Not just in our personal life, but in the business world too. For instance, nurturing an effective engagement with your Managed Services Partner (MSP) can be no bed of roses, if there is no chemistry.

But how do you decide when things aren’t great between you and your managed services provider? Where did it all go wrong?

There are many critical and unresolved issues

Managed services providers use sophisticated systems to monitor, detect and resolve any outages/problems before they interrupt with your business. Issues are not common and can be forgiven if the impact isn’t great. But if these issues become regular and if there is no proper backup plan or system in place to take prevent them, then it can create a hole in your pocket.  Relationships that continue to face unresolved conflicts and differences don’t have a long-term future. It’s time to check and see if your MSP has the capability to

(a) Predict incidents and prevent them before it affects your business.
(b) Provide on-demand & real-time based monitoring and health statistics of your contact center
(c) Provide real-time and utilization statistics of key contact center resources
(d) Provide information that you don’t already know

There is a sense of disconnection

Often times, there is a significant disconnect between the services that MSPs provide and the issues that you feel are critical to the success of your business. A good MSP should be able to support objectives in line with your business need and growth. They should be able to discuss these things with you and draw up a technology roadmap based on your needs. If there is a growing sense of disconnect and you feel that they fail to understand your business objectives and instead provide what they think is necessary for you then it is time to start looking for alternatives.


Bad behavior, bad excuses

Typically, in today’s scenario, a contact center solution consists of products from multiple vendors. Your MSP should have a good understanding with other vendors associated with your account, and they should take responsibility when things go wrong, even if it is not their mistake. If on the other hand, your MSP is constantly blaming other providers for issues, then it is time to tell them ‘Sayonara’. Check if your MSP can manage the complete multi-vendor solution and provide a one-stop support.

Your needs are constantly not being met

Initially, when you started the contract everything seemed nice and cool but of late, it’s not even cooling off – it’s turned ice cold. Your business is undergoing a make-over and you expect your MSP to take care of your complete transformation including your infrastructure and applications. You expect your MSP to help your prioritize and plan for additional expenses so that it can be budgeted. Can your MSP transform the solution from one platform to another while still supporting your business needs? Nowadays, everybody is jumping the bandwagon of cloud, can your MSP offer cloud-based support solution to manage your contact center infrastructure and applications? If your MSP cannot keep up with changes, then it’s time to for you to call the shots.


Too many ‘surprises’ in spends

Unlike romantic relationships where money doesn’t matter, the relationship between you and your MSP can become strained if expenses keep creeping in. You thought managed services to be a one-time investment with only a few extra spends. But if the charges keep escalating and you do not know why and where the money goes, it could cause strains in your relationship. To avoid those petty grievances, accountability is really important. A good MSP will actually tell you what is covered and what is not. It would be advisable to know if your MSP can support different commercial models like Pay by User Model, Pay by Outcome, or Pay by Performance. If your MSP cannot and your invoices is full of unexpected charges, its time to make a change.

Lack of transparency and visibility

Like any other relationships, the relationship between your MSP should be transparent and open. They need to provide you full visibility of what is happening, which areas are of concern, and what measures you can take. For this, they should be able to provide:

a) Cradle-to-grave standard and customized reports across multiple platforms
b) Multi-dimensional data presentation of contact center metrics related to business and operations
c) Metrics related to business operations like capturing trend analysis, insights with drill down capacity

Recognizing that your relationship with your MSP has major flaws means that you need to stop investing your time and energy in what isn’t working your way and instead pull the plug and move one. Remember, when you select a new MSP ensure that they have deep skills and experience in the field, provide a proactive, technology-based approach, adopt industry best practices, support multi-vendor environment, and provide a broad portfolio of services

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