Proving service delivery achievement

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When selecting a network management tool, there’s more to consider than just what a product can technically monitor.

As part of a holistic managed services offering, you should be looking for the ability to monitor, and report in real-time, the extent to which you are adhering to contractual service obligations. The ability to articulate this information to your service consumers will mark you out from many of your competitors.

As an intrinsic part of your existing business model, and plans for growth, the right tool should scale up and out in sync with your business needs.

When drawing up a list of criteria, you should consider a solution that meets the following requirements:

Quick and effortless deployment

As well as speedy initial commissioning, the product should also on-board new devices and customers in double-quick time so as not to be a barrier to profitability. Agentless solutions win big here as there is no initial software rollout, and nor is there any ongoing agent updating.

Support SaaS or traditional on premise implementation

Depending on your, and your customer’s preferences, the tool should be capable of being deployed as a pure SaaS offering or as a more traditional installed application. The look and feel of both deployments should be the same so that hybrid implementations are supported

Flexibly adapt to manage a variety of infrastructures (in both breadth and scale)

The solution should scale out from a single implementation to meet some of the largest environments.

Mange your client’s server estate

The chosen tool should have good technological coverage of both hardware and software. It should use industry standard communications methods when performing management tasks. The vendor should be tested for their ability to work with customers to develop the product.

Notify your customers of service outages

Proactive monitoring should in an ideal world pre-empt outages but, where they are unavoidable the tool should alert affected users through meaningful alerts to mitigate against your helpdesk being overwhelmed.

Generate rich, recipient specific reports

Too often, monitoring tools are developed to have as wide a variety of hardware and software supported as possible. Many times, large portions of this functionality are never used.  In addition, this is often at the expense of easy and meaningful reporting. You should be looking for a tool that can generate customised reports that deliver real business benefit instead of just aggregating the monitor metrics for a reporting period.

Demonstrate that contractual service commitments are met

Service delivery oriented reports are what you and your end-clients are going to be interested in. The technical details should be left to the technical personnel.

Ensure that technical resources are used effectively and costly service penalties are avoided

By enabling you to prioritise issues which affect the most customers (be that most important, or in terms of sheer numbers) your valuable technical people are assigned to work on issues that affect your bottom line.

Maximise the value of your operational services

By ensuring that the services you deliver are valued by those who depend on them, you make yourself indispensable to both your client base and your organisation.

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