Managed services provide ongoing operational monitoring and management of a customer’s network devices and infrastructure.  Instead of a customer’s in-house network operations team tackling this burden 24/7, managed services providers perform the proactive monitoring of the customer’s environment, providing event management, incident isolation and identification when they are detected, service restoration, and problem management to determine root causes of the issue once everything is up and running again.  Unlike technical support, which in many cases is a reactive (but very necessary) type of break-fix service, managed services are inherently proactive in nature. 

A high-value managed services offer doesn’t simply serve as a vehicle for outsourcing basic network monitoring activities. Instead, it becomes a partnership between the customer’s IT staff and the services organization, one that allows for augmenting the customer’s in-house capabilities with the provider’s unique blend of technical expertise.

People are tempted to see managed services as simply outsourcing internal IT functions to a 3rd-party managed services provider (MSP), and in some cases that is exactly what happens.  In these cases, the MSP’s capabilities and associated deliverables are probably rather basic, and of course the associated lower price point hints at the commoditization of a “your mess for less” type of managed service.  The value of the managed services in outsourcing scenarios is rather limited in scope.

A high-value managed services offer doesn’t simply serve as a vehicle for outsourcing basic network monitoring activities.  Instead, it becomes a partnership between the customer’s IT staff and the services organization, one that allows for augmenting the customer’s in-house capabilities with the provider’s unique blend of technical expertise.  If your organization is interested in obtaining expert managed services, don’t simply go for “keeping the lights on” with basic outsourcing—Ciena Services provides customers with a Managed Network Services offer that focuses on your business objectives rather than simple device-level monitoring.

The question gets asked a lot:  why should customers care about managed services, especially if they have their own mature network operations staff and center?  It’s a fair question, so let’s answer it by way of an analogy.  Let’s say you own a very small condo or house.  You may have very little need to pay a 3rd party to take over the maintenance and “operations” of the property.  It’s more cost efficient for you to do the cleaning and the maintenance because you have such little need for it.  Cleaning the small home is a breeze, and when little things stop working you can fix them yourselves.  In this instance, you don’t need much help, if any at all.  It just doesn’t make sense financially.

However, what if you have a pool in the small backyard of that house?  If something major goes wrong with it, you will probably need the help of an experienced pool repair shop to fix the issue.  This is a reactive service (much like tech support is for IT issues), and the purpose is to have a specialist fix something that has already gone wrong.  Still, once the pool issue is fixed, you yourself resume maintenance of the house and the pool.  Again, no need for full-time comprehensive proactive service.

But what if you inherited a mansion, complete with tons of land, various structures and guest houses, tennis courts, pools, and other amenities?  Are you going to provide all the proactive maintenance and operations for all of this, all by yourself?  Probably not.  You want to focus on other things, maybe entertaining guests in that fancy mansion. 

Customers who really care about managed services are the ones who cannot risk the negative repercussions in the instance that severe network outages lock up their business. They need the assurance that expert personnel are using the latest tools and automation to keep an eye on the network, to look for anomalies in the sea of event messages coming from the network, and to take care of incidents rapidly as they arise.

So the smartest and most economical thing for you to do is procure the services of a company to take care of everything for you.  They provide all the expert proactive monitoring and maintenance, fix things quickly when they break, and just keep you informed of activities and status from week to week and month to month.  This is what a managed services offer is to a customer—for the customer who has other, more important things to attend to (their core business), it makes the most sense to have a competent managed network service organization such as Ciena take over the end-to-end operations and maintenance.

Customers who really care about managed services are the ones who cannot risk the negative repercussions in the instance that severe network outages lock up their business.  They need the assurance that expert personnel are using the latest tools and automation to keep an eye on the network, to look for anomalies in the sea of event messages coming from the network, and to take care of incidents rapidly as they arise.

For them, being able to focus on their own innovation at the core of their business and to focus on their own customers’ satisfaction is a business outcome well worth the cost of managed services.  And that’s the most beneficial outcome in our Managed Network Services offer:  our customers are freed up to do what they do best, and they leave the network problems to us, which, by the way, is what we do best!

Managed services done right is a win-win proposition.