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In MPS? Okay, But What About Launching MNS?

29 Aug, 2011 imageSource

We may know a lot about MPS but what about MNS?

Managed Network Services is not an all or nothing approach.  Companies normally split support responsibilities between in-house staff and  out-tasking value adding resellers. One of the hottest opportunities in the market is to partner with customers’ IT staffing managers to provide industry  specific network support.

Managing another company’s network infrastructure is a significant responsibility that places the liability of providing 99.999% network uptime upon the outsourcing company. This equates to approximately five  minutes of down time a year. The financial and human capital resource  investment to provide this type of managed network services is very high.

For an imaging company trying to break into managed network services, full outsourcing is not the place to start. It is far more reasonable and attainable to approach the market as an out-tasking value adding reseller.

Out-tasking, as opposed to full network outsourcing, offers  companies flexibility in choosing the aspects of its operations that are best  handled in-house and those that are better fitted to be out-tasked to a third  party.

The place to start is by selling out-tasked managed network services on peripheral systems that dealerships are already familiar with and  for non-critical business systems, and then expanding services as the business  grows.

Easy services to start with:

    Customer help desk and remote desktop support, especially for imaging   specific applications.
    Adding managed network services to managed print services contracts.

    Hosted solutions and SaaS, such as content and  records management, storage and archival with disaster recovery, e-Commerce,  and e-Business solutions.

    Remote application support for print centers, data center printing, and CRD’s.

    IP phone and video. Lewan & Associates, a Sharp/Xerox/KM reseller in Denver, Colorado, is providing VoIP and network  services as a key part of their business.

Imaging equipment manufacturers and solution vendors typically provide phone support for dealership system analysts only. This places the additional burden of end user and network support for printing and imaging solutions on the customer’s IT department.

This in itself is one reason many IT managers resist connected solutions being installed on their networks. By providing network manage services for the solutions and equipment that dealerships currently sell, these barriers can be eliminated. In addition, providing managed network services will give the dealership a competitive advantage allowing them to offer end-to-end support for the systems they sell.

According to the Yankee Group, a leading technology research company, CIO’s, SMBs, and professional offices are looking for ways to reduce the workload on their IT staff.

Senior level management wants to focus in-house services on core business functions. They are willing to out-task non-business critical  services, and this co-existing strategy benefits both customers and value added resellers. For an imaging dealership that wants to break into managed print  services, out-tasking of industry specific is the place to begin.

A Network Management  FYI
Besides multiple network “services,” other functions that can be performed as part of network management include controlling, planning, allocating, deploying, coordinating, and monitoring the resources of a network,  the network planning, frequency allocation, predetermined traffic routing to support load balancing, cryptographic key distribution authorization, configuration management, fault management, security management, performance management, bandwidth management, Route analytics and accounting management.

In the past, network management mainly consisted of monitoring, whether devices were up or down; today performance management has  become a crucial part of the IT team's role, which brings about a host of  challenges—especially for global organizations, but is a vital area of IT  growth.

BIO: Greg Buschman, Regional Production Print Solutions Manager at Konica Minolta Business Solutions, has over 10 years of experience  in leading edge digital document solutions. Buschman, also a CompTIA Subject  Matter Expert, has developed color, print production, professional services,  and solutions programs at IKON, Danka, and Konica Minolta.

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