Defining the Managed Services Service Descriptions

Defining the Managed Services Service Descriptions includes the following tasks.

1. Change of corporate culture

Solution Provider minds set is clearly different from the Value Partner minds set. as the Solution Provider transforms itself to Value Partner, it also needs to address the new mindset that needs to be internaized. The most apprearant changes in the mindset include the following:

  • From product orientation to service orientation
  • From solution orientation to business process orientation
  • From maintaining platforms to securing business processes
  • From Solution Expertise to Business Domain Expertise
  • From reactive to proactive
  • From linear to circular organizational structure

A definite communication plan is written to address the need for the change of mind set as Solution Provider transforms itself to Value Partner.

2. Assessment of organizational structure and communication structure

Value Partners change their traditional linear organization structure to a circular organization structure by placing the customer in the middle of their entire organization. Value Partners review a holistic view of the customer experience taking into account all stake holders at the customer organization and Value Partner’s organization. The goals and incentives of all the Value Partner stakeholders interacting with the customer will have to be aligned to address the holistic customer experience.

3. Creation of Service Descriptions

Managed Services consists of a large portfolio of clearly defined Professional Services based on standardized service components. Commercial offerings are created by bundling service components into meaningful commercial products.

Each service component is thoroughly described in service descriptions that are used in internal communication, in training, in  sales collateral and finally as an attachments in the Managed Services Agreements.

The Service descriptions are based on Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and divided between Operational Layer and Tactical Layer processes.

Operational Layer

1. Configuration Management
2. Service Desk Management
3. Incident Management
4. Problem Management
5. Change Management
6. Release Management

Tactical Layer

7. Service Level Management
8. Availability Management
9. Capacity Management
10. Continuity Management
11. Financial Management

In addition the service and process descriptions include

12. Transition to Managed Services
13. Information Security Management
14. Customer training and guidance
15. Operational management (Operational request, Change Requests, etc)

Optionally services may also include

16. Business process Outsourcing services

4. Description of Hosting Services

Managed Services may include the hosting of the customer platform at the Managed Services partner’s own or 3rd party hosting location. The Managed Services vendor creates a Private Cloud for the corporate customer. It is extremely important to define the roles and responsibilities of each party involved. The areas that will be covered in the Hosting Services include but not limited to

  1. Roles and responsibilities of each party involved
  2. Physical hosting facilities and services included
  3. Hardware architecture and set up
  4. 3rd party platforms, and related 3rd party licenses
  5. System architecture

The Hosting Services description features the physical facilities needed to provide Managed Services.

5. Platform Services descriptions

As the customer transitions from acquiring a Product to acquiring Service the description of the platform capabilities also has to change from platform features and functionality to business capabilities. The holistic customer experience depends on both what the platform can do and how it is operated.

The Platform Services describes the features and services available to the customer by the service delivered utilizing the platform.

6. Assessment of internal and external Key Performance Indicators

A set of generic internal and external Key Performance Indicators are defined. The capacity to collect and analyze the data in order to produce the KPI’s will be defined and implemented into the code base. An internal and external dashboard is designed to monitor and present the on-going performance based on the KPIs.

7. Service Level Agreement

The Service Level Agreement is the document where the customer experience is put into financial terms and conditions with penalties and bonuses. This is the document where reality hits the hardest if definitions and promises are loose in other sections of the Managed Services agreement.

The Service Level Agreement usually includes three key components: The definition of Fault Severity, The Key Performance Indicators and their numeric representation, and Price Adjustment

8. Managed Services Agreement template

Sequoia will also help its customers drafting a Managed Services Agreement template that can be the base line for future Managed Services agreements.