Four Important Steps for Management Service Provider Success
Edward W. Deming, widely acknowledged as the leading management thinker in the field of quality, once said, “if you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
So true, isn’t it? Having the right processes in place for each project is an absolute necessity.
Yes, every brief may be different with varying technical challenges, but having a consistent framework helps us here at RIB Cloud deliver outstanding results for our clients year after year.
As we know too well, Management Service Provider’s (MSP) business environments are usually chaotic by nature, often with small agile teams putting out fires all over the place. We’re not going to lie – this was the case for us in the past and still is for many other MSP businesses today.
We quickly realized that processes and prioritization (with continued improvements) were needed to help our customers achieve business and growth objectives. Understanding quality and seeking improvement in all projects is a core component of what we do and something we strive for on every project.
Here are four simple steps we take:
Step 1: The Pre-Sales Phase / The Strategy & Design Phase
Everything starts with a conversation. Whether it’s a new brief, a vague idea you need bringing to life, or something in between.
We work closely with businesses and their partners, big and small, all with varying requirements.
During the Presales phase, we meet with our customers to understand the requirements. Based on that conversation, we fill in a Service Addendum document which has a list of preset questions developed over the years that provides an insight on what the customer needs.
Requests could include needing a dedicated area to use platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics Nav (Navision) right through to complete migrations from on-premise servers to the Microsoft Cloud.
Once we know the brief inside out, our talented Cloud Systems Engineers team prepare the custom-built plans and designs along with a Scope of Work document ready for the client to review and approve for the Project Phase – an essential component that sets the foundation for everything we do.
Step 2: Project Phase
Some projects only need a little expertise – and some require a lot. That’s why investing the right amount of planning time ensures a more successful outcome.
After assessing an approved project plan, we usually work closely with our customers to implement it. Many of our plans have been carried out in a similar fashion, using pre-defined templates for implementation.
We usually require some technical information that we run past our customers and collect any necessary data that needs to be uploaded to the new platform.
Step 3: Support Phase
Once we’re up and running, all the tests have been carried out, and we’re nearly ready to go live, it’s time to start handing over to the customer.
This means that we can carry out workshops with our customers and share any relevant knowledge and insights that their team may need to drive this forward. This could be anything from how to place support requests, framework support, or Customer Success Manager trainings to make future structural changes.
Once everyone is comfortable with the new platform, we all prepare for the go-live day. We know how stressful go-live can be, so that’s why we offer as much support as needed – anytime, any day to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Step 4: Enhancement Phase
Sometimes, our customers don’t know what they need until after it goes live. That’s why we’re always there to support them and enhance their platform.
Just like Software Devs who continuously update their apps, we enhance our customers’ cloud platforms. It could be anything from scaling servers based on proactive monitoring, identifying performance issues, and advising best next steps.
We also provide regular monitoring, reporting, and recommendations that help our customers scale throughout the year.
How long does all of this take? Well, the short answer is every customer is different. It’s a bit like asking a builder how long a house will take to build without providing any specifications.
Some of our projects take a week, some two months, and some strategic turn-key projects have taken two years! But what we do know is that once our customers have the confidence and knowledge of the new cloud platform, it’s easy for them to start scaling their business independently- without worrying about the underlying technology platform.
Implementing the right platforms with the proper training is our primary goal, but our customers always know we’re here to support them every step of the way.