In part 1, we considered the desire of managed service providers, third-party maintenance providers and value-added resellers to speed up their offerings. As competition grows, it is natural that the speed of delivery becomes an ever more important differentiator in sales. The ultimate ambition for providers in this respect is to move from reactive break/fix models to a proactive offering. Having discussed the reasons for this emphasis, we will now will look into an important way in which network analytics will help service providers achieve this goal.
Uniting the big data ecosystem for service providers
Data is everywhere Data is the currency on which digitalization runs – it is ever growing in quantity and quality, across all parts of the network. More and more devices become available all the time, all collecting ever greater volumes of data. At the same time, new technologies are always developing that can harvest and harness this data for the benefit of the business. Service providers cannot expect to increase their efficiency without it.
The big data industry will bring in revenue of over $65bn in 2018.
The Big Data Market: 2018-2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies, Industry Verticals & Forecasts (SNS Telecom), 2018
At the foundation of any big data project must be a comprehensive monitoring solution that is able to integrate easily with other tools, such as application and log monitors. Utilizing APIs will enable the vendor to unite their toolsets, and the customer can work in an open environment with the vendor’s offering and whichever other tools they may desire to use. No two customers are the same, and so it is critically important for vendors to deliver a flexible offering that plays well with others. This maximizes data collection and customer satisfaction – competition is so great that an unhappy customer will always have other options available. Therefore, data can easily be pulled from all available sources without the creation of silos, so ensuring the quantity and consistency of data.
When considering third-party maintenance services, 78% of IT managers were influenced by the ability to employ equipment for its entire useful life.
5 Signs Third Party Maintenance is Poised for Growth (Curvature), 2016
Presently, machine learning is still a developing, rather than a mature, technology. However, even at the most basic level, machine learning is already helping service provider vendors save money and increase efficiency through automation of chat assistance. For example, SupportBots LLC estimates their machine learning-fed chatbots can save MSPs more than $600 per month for each technician answering customer tickets.
In 2016, 71% of MSPs offered network management, with another 28% planning to do so.
5th Annual Trends in Managed Services (Comptia), 2016
Many telcos and independent software vendors are moving downmarket and eroding the MSP marketshare.
Five Trends to Impact Managed Service Providers in 2018 (CloudJumper), 2017
The lines between sales, marketing and customer success are blurred. In the accelerating business world, growth is so dependent upon the seamless collaboration of people, channels and technology that there can be no distinct separation between each. The same applies to the IT data that forms the foundation of all growth. Service providers that can offer a unified IT service will hold an advantage over competitors with less complete solutions – and by ensuring everything remains connected and performing, network analytics software is at the heart of this unity.