First, some proper credit: The tips below come from Lane Smith, CEO of Do IT Smarter, and Frank Hughes, CEO of Cloud Services Depot. Smith and Hughes spoke on a CompTIA webcast earlier today, which I moderated.
So, what questions should VARs and MSPs ask while exploring their NOC options? Smith offers these six recommendations:
- What does the customer on boarding process look like?
- Where is the NOC located?
- What levels of redundancy have been implemented to ensure uptime?
- Does the NOC follow ITIL standards?
- What is the escalation process? Is it integrated with your PSA (professional services automation) tool?
- What is the SLA?
- Understand that a NOC is an augmentation to your existing team and not a replacement for all of your engineers and technicians.
- Make sure NOC team and reseller team has secure communication. Use systems such as email, chat and ticketing that can record all activity instead of phone calls.
- PSA and RMM (remote monitoring and management) tools do not collect enough data to manage a client, so it becomes important for MSPs to use a different method to document Client Site details.
- Make sure your NOC partner supports all of your client’s technology today and in the future. Resellers shouldn’t miss out of business opportunities due to the limitations of their NOC.
I certainly don't have all the answers. But perhaps the tips above can help MSPs and VARs to take a step back and ask the right questions as they evaluate various NOC options.
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