LOB POV: Working with a Managed Services Provider? Make Sure They Own Your Business Outcomes
By Frost Schroeder, VP Sales for Aspire Technology Partners
Like you, our sales organization needs immediate access to customer data like contacts, contracts, and prior sales information. They need to connect from the office, home, customer sites, and Starbucks. My guys also work odd hours; in fact, a lot of our office work is conducted after hours. I need to know that my systems are working on a Saturday afternoon, or a Sunday morning. If there’s an issue, I can’t have the excuse, “We’ll get back to you on Monday.” If we lose a day, the sales team may not get their reports turned in properly, and then come the excuses from my team and IT about why something doesn’t work.
In fact, what I want is for my IT team to partner with me and understand what I need from technology in order to run my business successfully. I expect them to be right there beside me, making technology recommendations, designing systems that work best for my team. I expect them to be able to integrate their recommendations into my current workflow by deploying the services with minimal disruption. Finally, I require my IT partner to maintain those systems so that my team can execute on their plan whenever and wherever the work demands.
Managed Services is a Partnership
We provide Managed Services as a foundational solution. To do that, we operate a purpose-built Network & Security Operations Center (NSOC) that is staffed around the clock with certified technicians. But what that really means for line of business (LOB) leaders like you and me is that we can be confident that we will always be able to do our jobs because our technology and technology support team are performing at the top of their game to deliver your desired results.
That’s the reason that you want your organization to subscribe to a Managed Services provider in the first place. You recognize that your in-house team, as great as it is, can’t possibly be ready for every contingency. Your organization may not have the resources, not to mention the expertise, to address your IT challenges.
A true managed services provider must have engineers who design the solutions, deploy the solutions, and then support the solutions. As the Vice President of Sales, I love the fact that there’s an IT team that has an intimate knowledge of what my sales team is doing and the systems they are using. The guys who designed and deployed our systems, to me, are the best guys to manage it as well because there are no excuses. If they make a mistake, they own the mistake because they own the system.
Expertise is Critical
It works the same way for our customers. In most situations, you never have to call, everything is handled quietly in the background. We have full trust in our systems and our service as we anticipate potential problems and fix them before they escalate. But some issues are unpredictable. Should you need to reach out to our IT help desk, they’re backed by a team that has intimate knowledge of your environment. Our IT Professionals follow the framework established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). By following this framework, Aspire is able to maintain trust with IT solutions. Clients tell us that it’s our methodology and expertise that they care most about. Essentially, clients rely on Aspire to jump in and fix problems swiftly so they can get back to work.
Your internal IT team possesses a high level of expertise and understanding of your business, its goals, and directions. At Aspire, our Managed Services team supports them with in-house access to the highest level-resources to make things work. The challenge for most IT teams is performing a balancing act – integrating new technology with an existing system while at the same time keeping the lights on. I look at our Managed Services like we’re a utility company: keeping things going, maintaining the infrastructure, and when there’s a problem, getting in there and fixing it right away. It’s all about the outcome.
Peace of Mind is Invaluable
Our customers like that our service is not an automated response. We actually have experts on the line ready to find a solution to your problem. When you have a technical problem, and you’re going into a meeting, you want to know that your problem will be solved. You don’t want to get a text in the middle of your meeting that says, “Thank you for your note. We’ll call you in the morning.”
It’s also a relief to talk to someone already familiar with your systems. When your IT team calls in, they’re not getting a random help desk person who’s looking at your systems for the first time, but a person who understands your network and technology. They have references and diagrams in place to fix the problem, as opposed to just being a call center that takes a number and gets back to you sometime later. That provides a comfort level, so you and your IT team know that you don’t have to worry because your issue will get resolved.
At the end of the day, you want a team that provides availability, speed, and confidence. That’s what earns your trust – that you can walk into your meeting knowing that your support team is taking care of your problem while you do what you do to run and grow your business.
Aspire Technology Partners is a Cisco Gold Certified Partner engrained in solution pillars that set us apart as a true Cisco solutions provider. We are committed to the continuous improvement of expertise and skillsets around Cisco initiatives that enable us to help and guide customers in the adoption and management of technology architectures designed to transform their organization. We hold Cisco Master Specializations in Collaboration, Security, Cloud & Managed Services and is one of only 25 partners in the US to receive the Cisco Advanced Customer Experience Specialization.