Managing managed services

How to build competitiveness in a changing marketplace.

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Managing managed services
By  Samir Kumar Published  October 10, 2010

The global economic downturn has created a number of challenges for the telecom industry. Now, more than ever, companies within the information and communication technology industry will be required to provide outstanding value for service in order to retain their end users and – with attractive service packages and enriched experiences – perhaps even gain precious market share. The increasingly competitive and complex communications market raises big questions about the role of many operators.

The answer often lies in adopting new business models that enable them to focus on their core business to win new revenue growth, while at the same time raising operational efficiency and quality of service.  Leveraging managed services for networks and communication service providers (CSP), can optimise costs and increase revenues through improved service quality, coverage and usage, and prioritise crucial business processes that are now really core: in particular, customer acquisition and retention. Managed network services bring a powerful combination of network efficiency and service quality.

Managed services providers serve as outsourcing agents for companies. Telecom companies can fully outsource network management arrangements, like maintenance of cell towers, IP telephony, messaging, managed firewalls, virtual private network, providing call center services, monitoring network servers etc. Managed services providers also help the CSPs to constantly upgrade to new technology. This is beneficial for companies that do not have the know-how, resources and technical expertise to upgrade to new technology on their own.

In an ever more competitive market, balancing priorities is an ongoing challenge for operators. They are under continuous pressure to provide, more for less, create new revenue opportunities, and stay ahead through technology innovation. Managed services help operators by giving access to world-leading professional and technical skills and resources. The main drivers are their aim to reduce operational costs and risks; to improve processes, scale and efficiency; to maintain and improve the network and quality of service, and to improve customer experience.

Outsourcing all the back-end work to managed services providers also allows operators to focus resources on core business activities, improve overall customer satisfaction, market new services and business innovations to existing customer base, as well as potential new subscribers, while dedicating more time on marketing activities to create brand visibility. Hence by providing them with advanced services that address their everyday needs, managed services providers help their customers to concentrate on areas that drive their success.

Managed services also ensure continuous service quality over time. By bringing visibility over the service performance, managed services gives CSPs better insight into service usage by end-users that can enable them in enhancing end-user experience.

In addition, managed services help CSPs increase service operations efficiency while improving cost predictability. While the focus is on managing and assuring the quality of end-user services, it also gives operators more control over their investment in service operations and assurance.

In short, for many operators managed services are the best way to cope with the rapid demands for growth, improved efficiency, operational performance and predictability of costs, while freeing resources to focus on their core, customer-facing activities.

Samir Kumar is head of managed services at Nokia Siemens Networks MEA.

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