Help Your Managed Network Service Provider Help You
As an enterprise, you entrust your managed network service (MNS) provider with the management of your mission-critical business services and service delivery infrastructure.
MNS providers offers a range of infrastructure management capabilities to give their enterprise customers access to unmatched expertise and superior levels of network performance and service assurance.
These services dramatically accelerate time to value, drive down costs, and bridge critical skill gaps.
In previous posts, we have addressed how to select an MNS provider to meet your needs, and what critical capabilities to look for. The focus has been on how the MNS provider can help you. But, as it turns out, there are key aspects of the engagement where you as a customer can help your MNS provider help you.
Let’s look at it from a few different angles.
Leveraging the Runbook
As part of the onboarding process, the MNS provider examines your systems and processes and develops a customized runbook aligned with your specific service and business requirements.
The runbook defines customer-specific support policies and procedures to adhere to, such as escalation processes, contact information, and change control processes. It is also used to trigger certain automations and remediation actions. The runbook will also have a section or a RACI (Responsible-Accountable-Consulted-Informed) matrix outlining your responsibilities as a customer.
It is important that you cooperate in the design of the runbook, and execute your responsibilities as outlined. This helps reduce delays in network infrastructure maintenance and management. And by constantly refining the runbook, you can achieve even higher levels of automation efficiencies.
Network Infrastructure Changes
The design of the network infrastructure is driven by the changing needs of your business. These include both tactical moves driven by a short-term need, or strategic efforts to support longer-term initiatives.
As an enterprise, your internal network operations team and engineering organizations are probably tasked with this design and change definition effort. It is typical to have a Change Advisory Board (CAB) to assess, prioritize, authorize, and schedule changes as part of the deployment process.
It can be useful to include your MNS provider as a member of the CAB. This is impactful in two respects:
- They have the expertise and knowledge to guide you from making a sub-par decision based on what your options are.
- Since they will be tasked with the real-time management of the post-change infrastructure, it gives them a head start to plan their effort to support the change and associated business initiatives.
Integration of Systems and Workflows
Your MNS providers should have its own set of CMDB and ITSM resources. Investing in the effort to integrate these with your in-house assets can lead to a faster, seamless experience when it comes to catering to your end-customer’s needs.
The MNS provider services your enterprise via its network operations center (NOC). Integrating their NOC into your workflows, support and escalation systems can drive synergies that result in superior levels of service assurance.