Managed Services is a term that can mean a lot of things too many different people. There are even examples of managed services being used without any hint of technology at all. The term managed services, as it is used in the technology industry, has a precise meaning particularly for those companies like us, Data Resolution who call themselves Managed Service Providers (or MSPs).

Definition of Managed Services

Managed Services is the proactive management of an IT (Information Technology) asset or object, by a third party typically known as a MSP, on behalf of a customer. The operative distinction that sets apart a MSP is the proactive delivery of their service, as compared to reactive IT services, which have been around for decades.

Managed Services Vertical Markets

Just like there are many types of service offerings, there are many types of vertical markets MSPs service. For example, banking, financial services, health care, and legal, are just a few of the vertical markets that have shown high demand for managed services for the last two decades.

How do you achieve such a high level of savings?

The savings we achieve typically comes from two sources. First, we right-size staffing and pay technicians at market-driven rates. (Many companies either pay technicians more than they need to or tolerate work that is substandard.) Second, and more importantly, we manage infrastructure support in a highly efficient way. For example, our “swap” methodology for hardware break/fix allows us to achieve a higher level of staff utilization than we could otherwise achieve by doing repairs at the desk side.

Do you have tangible metrics to validate your savings claims?

We use industry metrics to set benchmarks and create a customized strategy for each client that delivers high cost savings. Our clients have found that we typically provide cost savings of 25-30%. We have client references available who can attest to our ability to deliver compelling cost efficiencies.

How do your costs and quality compare to other vendors?

Our quality is comparable to, or better than, other vendors.We also provide rapid transitions and achieve initial SLAs within two to three months of project roll-on.  Our cross-industry methodology allows us to minimize risk and reduce costs by implementing proven, repeatable processes.

How is FlexIT priced?

With FlexIT, we take a holistic approach to each customer’s environment. Our pricing methodology is based at the employee level.   In today’s new business reality, we know that your employees are using more than a workstation to perform their critical business services.  With that in mind we approach each customer to identify their specific needs and build a solution that factors in all of their IT needs.

Quality/Service/Accountability: What is your SLA average across industries?

Here at Data Resolution, we support companies all across the US.  With that in mind, we help each client develop a SLA that is suited to its business needs, and then we meet that SLA. We’re able to share our SLA metrics with clients after the initial 90-day baseline project. We here at Data Resolution pride ourselves onour aggressive respond/resolve SLAs for high-demand businesses.

How do you increase service levels?

How do you measure that? We measure service levels on a monthly basis, using data generated from our client’s. By continually analyzing service level data, we can identify bottlenecks and systemic problems; and by then addressing these issues allows us to continue increasing service levels. Our client references can testify to our ability to gain process efficiencies across a wide array of service areas.

How do you ensure that the right person handles each job?

At any point in time, each technician has a specific set of support tasks that he or she is qualified to perform. But our philosophy is not to allow technicians to overspecialize. We regard this as an inefficient and risky approach. Critical problems shouldn’t be held up waiting for the availability of a particular person. To make sure we have as many “right people” as possible for each job, we continually train our technicians to expand their range of skills. As technicians gain experience, they are able to take on more and more complex tasks.

How will you guarantee your services and costs?

Who is ultimately accountable? Data Resolution is accountable for costs and service levels. How we guarantee service levels: service level agreements are typically part of the contracts that we sign with clients. Some contracts include penalties for failing to meet SLAs.

How we guarantee costs?

We have different types of pricing agreements for different clients –no two companies have the identical IT needs and as such, we offer both fixed, per-user pricing that simply makes sense.

What are my options if I am not happy with the service you provide?

If there are problems with our service, we want to know about it immediately. Our president is personally involved with each contract and is always available for clients to talk to. But nearly all problems are headed off at a lower level. The Data Resolution engagement manager stays in regular contact with client management, holding regular meetings to discuss progress and obstacles. And at the start of each project, we develop a communications process jointly with the customer, to ensure that we are communicating issues and results in the best way. We also survey end users on a regular basis – and analyze survey results in order to discover how we can improve our service.

What kind of reporting tools do you offer?

Our reporting style is simple but effective. We track SLAs by location, service type, and failure type. Over time we assess industry levels and compare them to see if we have any systemic issues that need to be addressed. We also conduct proactive assessments of software and hardware to minimize problems and user disruption. We believe in identifying and resolving issues before they occur.

How do you transition from an existing vendor?

Very carefully. We are well aware that transitions can be risky and disruptive, and we devote a great deal of attention to minimizing that risk. The first step in any contract is to develop a detailed plan, jointly with the client, for transition and transformation. This plan will be different in each case, depending on the client’s needs and wishes. We also try to build a positive relationship with the incumbent vendor – perhaps by buying replacement parts or software tools that they have invested in for the project – so that we can learn as much as possible from their experience. If possible, we may also make offers to key technicians the client wants to retain.

How do you handle business spikes?

Emergencies? For volume changes that are seasonal or otherwise predictable, we prepare by scheduling deferrable tasks and staff vacations during lower-volume periods, so that a maximum number of technicians will be available for the high-volume periods. For unforeseen emergencies, we can mobilize additional FlexIT technicians very quickly from our NOC (network operation center).

Who are your references?

Most of our contracts are done under NDA agreements, which means we handle references on a case-by-case business. Please contact management for references that are specific to your industry.

Have you done work in my industry?

We have deep experience in supporting the IT needs for many different verticals & industries.  Data Resolution has been in business for over 15 years and during our journey we’ve interacted and supported the unique IT needs of many different industries and verticals.  Our approach is to first determine your specific needs and then build FlexIT to meet those needs.

How do I know that you will be able to meet my business challenges?

We have deep experience, gained over 15 years of developing and implementing technology solutions for our customer base of Fortune 500 companies. We have a personnel resource base of trained technologists we can leverage quickly to respond to immediate business needs. We also have national alliances to provide system parts and personnel in remote locations where we do not have a specific geographic concentration.

Where do you get your people?

Outside of our in-house technology specialists, we maintain a large database of IT consultants, many of whom have been working with us for years.

What am I going to do with my existing staff?

This is a business decision each of our customers have had to make. In a personnel outsourcing situation, here at Data Resolution we work with our clients to determine the best approach and address personnel needs.

Why should I choose Data Resolution when I am happy with my current provider (external vendor/internal IT department)?

Because Data Resolution may provide you with benefits you are not currently achieving. If you want to reduce your total cost of operation, improve service levels, implement consistent management reporting and control, and leverage a highly skilled staff, then you should strongly consider Data Resolution.

Why should I choose Data Resolution over another vendor?

We deliver what we promise! Our costs are lower. We meet aggressive service level goals and then keep on improving. We integrate seamlessly with your IT department. We’ll keep you informed of what we’re doing, how well we’re doing it, and where the opportunities for improvement lie – you will understand exactly where your support dollars are going.

Can your services help us with a short-term project?

Data Resolution provides Managed Distributed Infrastructure Services on a project basis as well as an ongoing full managed service basis. Examples of projects include deploying new workstations and printers; coordinating large-scale moves; upgrading workstations to meet new hardware or software standards; and removing virus infections from a LAN.

Can you support us nationally?

We can easily support national requirements, as we have staff in many major U.S. cities, and alliances to provide highly skilled resources where we do not have a presence.