In recent months, the managed services market and the media -- including MSPmentor -- have sometimes lumped help desk services and NOC (network operations center) services together. It's time to pause and remind MSPs: As you seek to more carefully manage customer infrastructure and individual users, you're going to need separate NOC and Help Desk services that are well coordinated with one another.

The seeds for this blog were planted earlier today, during a phone call with NetEnrich General Manager Justin Crotty. I mentioned that I'm starting to hear from more and more third-party companies that use help desk and NOC services almost as interchangeable terms.

Crotty's reply: NetEnrich has purposely avoided the help desk market, leaving that opportunity for VARs and MSPs to directly manage and mitigate end-user issues. In stark contrast, NetEnrich focuses on NOC (network operations center) services, fully managing customers' IT infrastructure and applications, on behalf of the VAR and MSP.

Generally speaking, NetEnrich sees:
  • Help Desks remaining in-house within MSP organizations, so that the MSPs can personally support individual users who need help for items like login problems, a PC issue and so on.
  • NOC services being outsourced from the MSP to NetEnrich, so that NetEnrich can manage alerts and other tasks directly related to the health of a network and associated business applications like databases.
Ultimately, MSPs will need to coordinate their help desk and NOC initiatives. And there certainly are opportunities to either in-source or out-source NOC and/or Help Desk services. Just be sure that you don't confuse the two efforts -- even as you strive to coordinate them.