Why you can’t rely on traditional managed service providers

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From the availability of AI technologies, persistent security threats, and economic unease, the past few years have been marked by a series of near-constant transformations. These changes can happen without warning, and if your network can’t quickly adapt, your network will fail.

Therefore, businesses need to consider different ways of managing their network requirements and even seek out solutions that adapt to the needs of complex organizational structures without restricting their ways of working. 

This article explains why global organizations should explore an alternative way of managing their network requirements, and how niche MSPs have been stepping up to help businesses evolve, transform, and prepare for the disruptions that lie ahead.

How do traditional Managed Network Service Providers work?

Faced with challenges from customers to meet the demand for cost-efficient and effective services, many large, traditional managed network service providers have abandoned any level of customisation. This has been achieved through a combination of offshore staff delivery models and a complete standardization of products and services. Their ultimate goal is to reduce costs and remain competitive – even at the expense of service. 

While reducing internal operating expenses can be highly beneficial to shareholders, this approach can be counterproductive for customers unless their business needs are static and focused solely on cost reduction. 

What’s more, a lack of networking with other IT areas reduces visibility and ultimately increases service risk if issues are not resolved quickly. 

More importantly, as companies grow or merge, IT integration can pose a significant challenge. Hosted systems need to be migrated and consolidated, employees need to be onboarded to unfamiliar systems and new applications need to be rolled out – potentially leaving the newly acquired business separated in all but name.  

Similarly, clients will not be able to take full advantage of new technologies to adapt to new trends or geographical operating areas. This means they either need to wait for their managed network service provider to offer support as part of their standard service or be left to take care of it themselves. This delay inevitably puts companies at a competitive disadvantage.

What are the benefits of a Niche Delivery Model?

It is often the case that niche managed network service providers are overlooked compared to larger, more traditional MSPs and well-known network ISP companies. While traditional MSPs may be seen as the least risky alternative, the reality is the opposite. Niche providers can offer more cost-effective, agile, and flexible services while still meeting the highest service levels for business continuity goals.

Unlike traditional MSPs, niche providers adapt to client requirements, leading to greater levels of business efficiency and innovation rather than a traditional ‘by the numbers’ constrained service. New trends and emerging technologies can be quickly researched and deployed, allowing companies to adapt to market and cultural changes without having to spend a long time productizing them internally first.

A key, unique benefit that niche players bring to the table is agility. This allows them to provide flexibility and the capability to quickly integrate non-networking services. A niche provider's network solutions are fully interoperable with other non-networking areas such as cloud, cybersecurity, and digital workplace. This allows customers to have end-to-end application visibility across their networks, even if it is cloud overlay-based.

In fact, if it is cloud overlay-based visibility, non-traditional MSPs won’t even carry the expensive burden of infrastructure WAN, data centers, and POPs, unlike other providers, and will not need to recoup the investments from assets that would otherwise tie it to a limited number of traditional service offerings.


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Niche players not only use AI, machine learning, and automation to help identify and resolve incidents and quickly make changes in a number of network vendor implementations, but across a wide range of non-network IT technologies. While a delivery methodology rooted in people and processes remains an absolute necessity, however, a niche provider offering these ideals in combination with AI-driven services helps organizations better understand and predict network incidents before they even happen.

In summary, there is unimaginable value to be found with non-traditional MSPs. Through their flexible approach and proven standardized delivery methods, niche providers represent the lowest risk option for businesses facing today’s market uncertainties and are the unsung heroes of modern businesses. 

John Bidgood
CTO, Systal

John Bidgood,CTO at Systal Technology Solutions, is responsible for helping transform enterprises by driving operational excellence and strategic initiatives. John has over 30 years of international experience working across a variety of roles in sales and delivery with multiple integrators and service providers.