When I work with prospective Managed Services customers, one of the things we always talk about is what the level of interaction they can expect. This typically leads into a bit of a discussion on vendor relationships, partner relationships, and the difference between the two. You see, we don’t just aim to be a vendor to our clients. We look to be a partner. Let’s take a closer look at what that means.
Managed Services: Vendors or Partners?
First, I want to point out that both vendors and partners perform in the ways you’d expect a vendor to perform. This includes providing products and services on an as-needed basis, as well as listen to and fulfilling whatever relevant needs arise. That transactional element is present in either situation, but in the partnership, that’s not where things stop.
More than a Transaction
During those early conversations with prospective customers, I can get a pretty good idea of whether they’re looking for a vendor or a partner. And I let them know that while we fill that vendor role, the most valuable part of our services is in our partnership approach.
When we’re brought in for Managed Services, we’re brought in as a partner. This means we’re collaborating with our clients on an ongoing basis and keeping an open dialogue about strategies to improve upon what’s already in place.
A Collaborative Partnership
Being a collaborative business partner means more than just meeting today’s needs. We focus on helping our clients optimize their decisions over time. We take stock of where a client is today and how we can support their technology right now, but we also look at where they want to be in six months, two years, five years and help them make the right technology decisions to get where they’re going.
In an immediate sense, this might look like building out solutions to reduce the number of interactions their end users are having with our helpdesk. By analyzing our ticketing software, we can see what reasons end users are submitting tickets, identify trends and implement a solution to solve the greater issue.
The issue could be that the end users need more training on a program. Ticketing data can also tip us off that some technology requires attention. Either way, our strategies give us the tools and abilities to continuously improve upon how technology supports your business.
Managed Services as a Partnership
In our Managed Services partnerships, we work to understand each client’s business. This includes learning what their drivers are, where the company is performing and also where the business has opportunities to improve performance. We view it as part of our responsibility to bring suggestions that will aid them in strengthening their business and achieving their strategic initiatives.
In fact, we have feedback and recommendations built right into the offering. Every six months, we hold a client business review. During this meeting, our client reviews their account with their account manager and discusses how everything is going. Every time an end user submits a helpdesk ticket, they are sent a survey about their experience. Plus, annual client surveys give business owners and key stakeholders the opportunity to weigh in on their managed services experience too.