Only the largest MSPs have technical staffs that operate 24×7. These organizations can support clients night and day, and also handle issues that occur across a wide geographic area. Most service providers don’t have that luxury. During off hours, client problems can remain unresolved. That might be fine for a mom and pop shop which closes down at 5 o’clock, but not so hot for larger clients whose work hours are far longer and more varied.
The answer is for the MSP to ‘renting’ a Network Operations Center (NOC) service through a third party.
A NOC, to put it simply, is the place from where services are managed and delivered. During normal work hours, this would all likely occur with the MSP’s direct staff. A third-party NOC is simply another location, managed by another company, where these same service functions can reside. The goal is that when a client has a problem, they should not know whether it is handled by the MSP directly or the third-party NOC service provider.
Partnering with a NOC vendor to deliver round-the-clock support and routine functions, such as patch management and systems maintenance, enables you to better focus on the consultative part of the business.
The Freedom to Run Your Business
There are a few ways to gain NOC services. Those large MSPs with around-the-clock staff coverage have essentially built an in-house NOC. This means, though, that the NOC has to be staffed 24×7, keeping these employees mired in technical as opposed to strategic tasks.
Building your own 24×7 NOC can be expensive, particularly when it comes to labor costs, though a fulltime internal NOC can also require infrastructure investments as well.
If you outsource the NOC, at least for part of your coverage, you can serve clients far more effectively, particularly in regard to uptime and mean time to resolution (MTS). If that NOC partner is also your technology vendor, you can be sure the technical staff is expert in how that software solution works, and how it is used to spot and resolve problems. And this happens without you either having to pay overtime to expensive technicians or hire extra staff. Even better, NOC technicians act as second set of eyes. With their experience and expertise, you can gain new insight into what’s wrong with your clients’ network, and how to make them safer, more reliable and more efficient. In this way, you can gain the trust of your client, and begin to offer higher level, more strategic services based on their confidence in your operation.