Why Outsourcing and Getting Management for NOC Services is a Good Idea

There are many reasons why you might choose to outsource services for your IT department. Sometimes it’s more cost-effective, sometimes it’s to allow your IT staff to allocate their time to other projects. Primarily, it’s because it’s a more efficient way to get things done. This is especially true for your NOC Services. Your IT staff has more valuable work to do than to implement and maintain monitoring systems, rotating shifts to ensure someone is on call 24/7, and responding to trouble alerts that turn out to be nothing.

Not only is keeping your networking monitoring in house costing your staff their time and attention, but it is also costing you money. There are high costs of attrition and training when you lose people who don’t want to be on call 24/7. Additionally, if you are a 24/7 help desk, you will have more payroll costs for additional IT staff to cover the extra shifts. All this and you could still lose $5,600 per minute or $300,000 per hour of network downtime. Your reputation will still take a hit. Your customer satisfaction will decline, as will your employee morale. 

Outsourcing your network operating center services can save you all of these headaches. There are also other benefits to outsourcing your NOC services:

It’s more efficient and cost-effective. 

By choosing one management partner for your NOC services, you have one point of contact, one person to talk to when there are problems or you want to make changes. You don’t have to worry about payroll or hiring or retention. Rather than paying your valuable IT staff to man a NOC desk, you will be paying them to work on projects that add value to your company. 

Help is available 24/7. 

A managed services partner will supply the personnel to make sure that your NOC is available whenever your customers need them. Even if you didn’t have the bandwidth to have a 24/7 desk without a managed services partner, your managed services partner will provide it for you.

Take the burden of deployment and management off your IT staff’s plate – focus on other important things. 

Your IT staff wanted to work for you because of the incredible things that you are doing in the tech arena, not to work a NOC desk. By working with a managed services partner, they are freed up to focus on the critical projects that you need them to work on. 

Reduce training, headaches and potential downtime by giving it to the experts. 

No matter how well trained your staff is, they are not the NOC experts that you get with a managed services firm. A managed service firm can lessen the burden your NOC experiences.

There are risks and challenges that come with operating a NOC that a managed services firm can help you mitigate, and at a lower cost than operating one on your own. No matter how you calculate your IT costs, it would be difficult to find a scenario where an in-house network monitoring center is more cost-effective than hiring a partner. Now, all you need to do is find the partner that’s best for you.

At BlackFin Square, we have over 20 years of experience helping companies save money, time, and supporting CIO’s to focus on what matters most. Contact us today to learn more. 

Why Managed Global Connectivity with Financial Integrity Services is Now a Necessity

Trends come and go. By definition, they are ephemeral. However, there’s one trend for Global Connectivity with Financial Integrity services that have stood the test of time: the need for managed services. 

You may be asking yourself why that’s the case. One reason is that the full scope of Managed Global Connectivity with Financial Integrity services is not captured in the name. Better names could be “Technology Lifecycle Management” or “Communications Lifecycle Management,” depending on what technologies are being supported.

To understand why managed services are the way to go, consider that managing the full lifecycle of Global Connectivity with Financial Integrity services requires managing all of these capabilities:

Inventory Optimization: This requires a company to track all hardware, software, maintenance, services, and contingent labor for each category of enterprise communications.

Sourcing & Contract Negotiation: This requires procurement skill sets that are specialized for each spend management category covered by your enterprise communications.

Fulfillment: You have to ensure that each employee receives the correct devices, services, and documents that they have been promised.

Invoice Reviews: Unfortunately, bill formats vary widely across all aspects of global connectivity, mobility, and apps. Companies are required to handle this combination of paper, EDI, and non-standard electronic formats, along with some payment processing.

Portfolio Optimization: Where possible, it’s important to think strategically about the purchasing of MPLS, DIA and WAN services to improve productivity, while minimizing downtime and maximizing collaboration and innovation.

Carrier Optimization: Companies can increase the scope and reach of their communications portfolio to all employees while minimizing costs and negotiating pricing with current providers.

In addition to all of these responsibilities, companies also need to keep on top of contract enforcement and disputes. Companies need to keep on top of their contracts and invoices to find any egregious billing errors and have the bandwidth to walk through billing disputes, which can involve lots of red tape and stall tactics. In fact, 35% of all telecom invoices have some sort of “hidden error,” most of which are in the provider’s favor. These errors can include slamming and cramming, unprocessed disconnections, contract compliance, and multiplicity.

Organizations that have Managed Global Connectivity with Financial Integrity services save up to 22% on overall annual global connectivity spend. Beyond the money saved, organizations with Managed Global Connectivity with Financial Integrity services also save time that can be spent on real innovation and growth. Today is the day you can figure out how this can help your organization save time, save money, and experience real growth.

A Managed Global Connectivity Partner

A Managed Global Connectivity partner will not only save your company’s Global Connectivity budget in a big way but will also free up time to focus on the strategic bigger picture. At BlackFin Square, we have more than two decades of experience in helping CIOs get back to work on creating company growth through innovation. Contact us today to learn more. 

Benefits of SD-WAN Managed Services

While many companies outside of the United States have embraced managed services for their SD-WAN needs, many US-based companies, especially larger ones, have stuck to a DIY approach. Before your next SD-WAN refresh, take a moment to evaluate all that SD-WAN managed services has to offer. Working with a partner will allow you and your team to focus on other strategic initiatives, confident in the fact that your SD-WAN refresh is being handled by a team of professionals that are looking out for you every step of the way.

4 Benefits of SD-WAN Managed Services

Eliminates Risk

Your team is undoubtedly great at their jobs but, odds are, they are not SD-WAN experts. When you decide to implement an SD-WAN solution, or are looking to upgrade or refresh your current SD-WAN, finding a managed services partner ensures that you are working with SD-WAN experts who have a world of experience in designing and implementing SD-WAN solutions. A managed services partner will have done many, many more SD-WAN deployments than your team, and has more experience with the obstacles and problems that can crop up during the deployment of new technology.

Access to More Vendors & Solutions

Working with a managed services partner allows you to avoid becoming locked-in to a single vendor or technology solution. Your partner will design an end-to-end custom solution for your company’s SD-WAN needs. They will also have existing relationships with many vendors and a greater understanding of their offerings, and how they would best serve your needs. A traditional RFP process won’t necessarily bring in the best vendors for your needs. Same for a vendor search conducted by your company. A managed services partner that has been working in the field will have a deep knowledge of vendors and their products that you need to find the best match.

Quicker Implementation

This quote from a recent Networkworld article on SD-WAN and managed services sums it up the benefits of quicker implementation perfectly:

“Harrison Lewis, CIO, and chief privacy officer at Northgate Markets, settled on an SD-WAN deployment. After evaluating the pros and cons of the do-it-yourself (DIY) option versus a managed service, Lewis decided that a managed approach was preferable for multiple reasons, with speed at the top of the list. “We had a compressed timeline,” he says. “We didn’t have the luxury of saying, ‘Let’s take our time with it.”’ 

The managed route is simply faster, as you only have to manage one vendor selection process and implementation can begin almost immediately.

End-to-End Management

Or no more balancing multiple vendors. Your department is probably already managing multiple vendor contracts and vendor relationships. You don’t need to add more on top of it with a new SD-WAN infrastructure. By working with a managed services partner, there’s only one point of contact. Your partner will also manage any needed updates, routine maintenance, required service, and the other minor nuisances that can come with new technology. They will also ensure that all pieces of equipment are optimized for the best performance. 

Managed SD-WAN services are an ideal way to implement the latest in SD-WAN technology for your company. They can save you time, money, and headaches while freeing up your time to focus on other strategic initiatives. Contact us today to learn more. 

Managed Telecom – A Chief Information Officer’s Best Friend

As you and your team have moved toward a telecommunications service suite that is more digitally enabled and service-focused, you may have had the thought that not all telecommunications tasks need to be done in-house. Maybe, if you had a trusted partner that could handle the day-to-day details of your telecommunications tasks, you could focus on more strategic, bigger picture initiatives as Chief Information Officer.

That’s where managed telecom comes in. With a managed telecom partner, you have an on-call team available 24/7 to help solve problems which means less worry for you. You have someone working proactively to save you and your company money. You can remove yourself from the detail-work of handling contracts and vendors. 

Why a Chief Information Officer Needs Managed Telecom

Going beyond the day-to-day task management, a great managed telecom partner will work with you throughout the deployment process, providing value-added services such as:

Sourcing (pre-order)

As a Chief Information Officer, your managed telecom partner should be fully equipped to manage the RFP process for any new telecommunications program, big or small. Their sourcing process will include inventory capture and comprehensive assessments to ensure that no redundant products are purchased and you are getting the biggest bang for your buck out of every contract. They will conduct scorecard completions, as well as manage the procurement and legal process throughout the project.

Project Management (post order)

Once the sourcing process is over and your order has been placed, your managed telecom partner is still working hard. They will take the lead on planning kickoff meetings for your team and other stakeholders to present the project and let everyone know what’s coming down the pipe. Additionally, they will provide detailed migration plans that cover the project from start to finish. A single point of contact will be assigned to coordinate between you and all of the providers, so you never have to worry about who to call with a question or concern. Finally, they will manage all the paperwork from contracts to porting to LOAs, letting you focus on the bigger picture.

Tenacious Client Support (post order)

A managed telecom partner is just that: a partner. That means they are there even when the project is over. They will provide you with a dedicated client account manager that will be there whenever you need something. They will provide first invoice reviews so you don’t have to worry about accurate billing. They will also use their many years of expertise to provide strategic advice and recommendations on how to best reach your goals.

Now that you know all that a managed telecom partner can help you with, what should you look for in a great managed telecom partner?

Service/Order Deployment

Your managed telecom partner should provide complete project management for the deployment of the services. They should work closely with all suppliers involved in the deployment to guarantee the smoothest deployment possible, with the fewest hiccups. They should also ensure that service is delivered to meet your time commitments. 

Account Management

Your managed telecom partner should provide reactive support and escalation for all your service needs. They should give you access to a complete communications inventory provided via secure web access. They should also be on hand to provide strategic advice and recommendations as needed throughout the partnership.

Trouble Ticket/Service issues 

Your managed telecom partner should provide reactive support when customers and employees need help. They should serve as the project manager for the identified issue and engage with the vendor and others as needed to resolve. They should remain involved until the issue is resolved, the root cause is understood, and actions are taken to mitigate the issue going forward. They should also communicate with all appropriate and requested client personnel. BlackFin Square is engaged when a service issue/trouble ticket is identified and works as Tier 2 escalation with end-user by leveraging carrier & partner relationships and escalation processes. 

Chief Information Officer + Managed Telecom Partner

A managed telecom partner may be the answer to all the questions you have as a Chief Information Officer about how to free up time to focus on the strategic bigger picture At BlackFin Square, we have more than two decades of experience in helping CIOs get back to work on creating company growth through innovation. Contact us today to learn more.