Businesses of all kinds are outsourcing their WANs to managed network service providers. Several factors are driving growth in this area, including:
- The expectation that a service provider's economies of scale will reduce operational costs
- The expectation that a service provider will be able to more adaptively make changes to the WAN in response to changing business needs
- The need to access skills and experience not easily acquired and retained in-house
- Broader IT outsourcing strategies intended to keep in-house staff more focused on core business imperatives than on general technology operations
- A quest for better network performance that will contribute to improvements in both the digital customer experience and internal end-user productivity.
While these may theoretically be perfectly good reasons to engage a managed network service provider, the reality is a bit less simple. All service providers are not alike -- so network decision makers have to carefully evaluate any potential partner. And a successful service provider engagement doesn't just depend on a careful evaluation upfront. Even a relationship with a great partner can go south if you don't manage it correctly.
Here, then, are six practical tips -- based on the hard-learned lessons of companies that didn't apply them -- for making sure that you build and maintain a successful long-term relationship with the right network service provider.
(Cover image: anadaBGD/iStockphoto)
Lenny Liebmann has been helping organizations successfully apply information technologies to their critical business challenges since 1973. His ongoing engagement with front-line IT practitioners and keen sense of what actually drives organizational behavior and outcomes in ... View Full Bio