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5 Tips for Managing Outsourced Network Services

cloud networkIncreasingly, organizations are turning to third party providers to handle a large number of IT tasks. Cloud-based services, including outsourced network services, can offer a company the kind of scalability and flexibility they need without the huge investments in infrastructure that usually go with it.

There are a number of potential benefits to outsourced network services, including a reduced cost of ownership, access to significant expertise, improved performance, and more.

To make the most of your outsourced network services, however, there are some things you should be doing:

  1. Structure your contract to allow separation of services. Avoid bundling services together. You want to be able to terminate a given service that you don’t need without having to either rewrite your contract or terminate a service you do need. Separate service towers might include managed router services, data center management, contact center management, and more.
  2. Have a clear service level agreement. Service Level agreements need to cover incidents of varying severity, and address them from several angles, such as escalation, remediation, and regular reviews. There should be consequences – financial and non-financial – built in for noncompliance.
  3. Don’t focus only on price. When price drops below the appropriate level, services tend to become less effective. It’s as true with outsourced network services as anything else: you get what you pay for. Negotiate, and negotiate hard, but don’t back off on your SLAs or other requirements for the sake of cost.
  4. Keep your vendor management team in the loop. You need to make sure those responsible for sourcing and termination, contract management, compliance, risk management, and financial management are all involved in the engagement. Don’t let these functions hold implementation up.
  5. Keep internal ownership of your architecture and design. These are functions best kept in-house, and which will allow you the flexibility to switch providers if the need arises.

Outsourcing network services can make sense for many organizations. If you do it right, it can increase flexibility and performance, all while minimizing costs. Follow these tips to make sure that you get the right vendor caring for your network.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.