How to choose a managed services provider

Posted 12/13/19 Team Vaco

Figuring how to choose a managed services provider that’s right for your company can be challenging. With so many options to choose from in a crowded marketplace, it can be tough to find the right fit. We get it. And we can help.

Whether you’re the head of a start-up on the brink of something big or sitting in the C-suite of a Fortune 500 company, you can probably benefit from a managed services provider. However, you’ll need to choose a managed services provider that understands your industry, gets results, and integrates seamlessly with your corporate culture.

Here are 10 things to consider before you choose a managed services provider.

Do they have the right experience?

For example, if you need to merge and migrate sensitive customer information and investment profiles, as Vaco Managed Services did for Wells Fargo, your provider should be able to commit to an acceptable quality control and assurance margin of error, provide you with a clear timeline, develop a tight strategy, establish audit checks and controls, and establish reasonable contingency plans.

Or if you need a content trust and safety team for your new social media app, you’ll need a provider that understands all of the challenges that go along with content moderation. 

“One of the hottest video apps — in fact, I’m looking at the team right now — wanted to start its own content trust and safety team because 80% of its users are female teenagers. So we built and scaled a 20-person trust and safety content team that sits here in our office at Vaco. And we did it in four weeks,” notes Jim Jhanda, Vaco managing partner.

Do they use the latest technology?

This is important for all industries, but it’s especially important in the Tech and IT spaces. It’s a major reason why companies turn to managed services providers in the first place — it’s just too hard for companies to keep up with rapidly changing technologies.

Vaco works with some of the best developers and engineers in the tech industry to help ensure that our clients’ data is reliable. We help our clients ensure their IT systems are safe and secure. We’ve even formed teams to test and validate mobile apps. 

Do they have the right talent for the job?

You’ll want to make sure that you’re getting the best and the brightest workers. Be sure to look for a managed services provider with a talent pool that’s both deep and wide. 

“We do all of our recruiting in house. And we have a dedicated team of recruiters that are aligned by skillset and client. Believe it or not, a lot of our competitors outsource the recruiting functions to multiple third-party companies. All of the people that we bring on — and on my team, we have about 1,200 people — they’re all internal employees to Vaco. We’re 100% on-site, embedded on the client side,” says Jhanda. 

Will they commit to service level agreements?

A service level agreement (SLA) is a way for companies and providers to gauge performance. A significant advantage of managed services over staff augmentation is that the responsibility for performance rests with the managed services provider. This should all be clearly detailed in an SLA.

As you look for a provider, begin thinking about what you’ll need in your SLA. Be sure to focus on what the provider delivers rather than how they’re doing it. After all, that’s why you need a managed services provider!

Do they understand your culture? 

Company culture is a huge factor in choosing a managed services provider. You’ll want to make sure that your chosen provider understands your corporate culture and can find talent who will work well within your existing team. 

You’ll also want to make sure that your managed services provider treats its employees well! 

“Culture is very important to us. All of the employees that we hire on the Managed Services team have a very long tenure with us. Most have been here for over three and a half years, and they are treated like internal employees. We have a health and wellness program that we extend to them, and we have an amazing benefits program as well,” explains Jhanda.

Do they support your business goals?

Consider your short-term and long-range business goals as you interview potential managed services providers. You’ll want to look for a provider that can offer you a strategic solution that increases productivity and flexibility so you can use your in-house talent to focus on your position in the market and your long-term goals. 

A managed services provider should free you and your team to focus on your company’s core competencies.

Do they follow industry best practices?

A key to a successful relationship with your managed services provider is a mutual understanding of your industry’s best practices. You’ll need to make sure that your provider understands the best practices in your industry and can follow them.

Vaco Managed Services not only follows industry best practices closely, but also builds best practices around every single project.

Can they measure their performance?

A good provider will offer clear metrics by which to assess success. These indicators may include common key performance indicators (KPIs) such as: 

  • Uptime
  • Downtime
  • Availability
  • Data quality
  • Growth
  • Productivity
  • Lead-to-opportunity growth rates
  • Conversion rates
  • Monthly recurring revenue
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Average response time

Are they flexible, creative, and strategic?

Vaco Managed Services uses an adaptive process to enable our teams to work across many different service areas in several different industries. It’s our common goal to improve performance, increase efficiency, and manage costs. Our process to make sure Vaco Managed Services is meeting all of our clients’ needs include a range of activities in planning, implementation, and feedback, like:

  • Assessment
  • Team building
  • Best practices
  • Gap analysis
  • Regular review

Can they help you scale up?

If you’re looking to go big, you’ll want to find a managed services provider that can help you scale up, both on-shore and off-shore. As your needs stabilize and standardize and growth becomes inevitable, it’s time to consider bigger, more cost-effective options. 

“Once we have things standardized, we begin building a playbook. And then, once the playbook is in place, we begin looking for cost-reduction measures. Typically, when we’re in that mode, that’s when we’re looking at ready-to-scale. We have a great model where we incubate a lot of new project teams here in the United States and then, after a couple of years, we move a percentage of the project offshore,” says Jhanda.

Ready to learn more about Vaco Managed Services? Contact Us to find out how Vaco Managed Services can become a part of your solution.

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