A good MSP is like a tour guide for the cloud

Much as a tour guide helps travellers gain the most value from their trip, the right cloud-managed service provider (MSP) helps deliver value by increasing revenue, mitigating risk and reducing cost.

Johannesburg, 21 Jul 2023
Prasheen Dehda, Senior Specialist: Cloud Managed Services, Liquid C2.
Prasheen Dehda, Senior Specialist: Cloud Managed Services, Liquid C2.

People who travel to foreign lands tend to want to pack as much sightseeing into their time as possible, which is why they usually hire a professional tour guide. After all, these guides know the area well and can take you to the best sights.

According to Prasheen Dehda, Senior Specialist: Cloud Managed Services at Liquid C2, managed service providers (MSPs) are very similar to tour guides in that they assist organisations to enhance, optimise and extract the utmost value from their investment. “These are players that have done it all before and can leverage their proven expertise to drive technological advancements and deliver business outcomes.”

As organisations require the support of an MSP, they are often confronted with the challenge of selecting the right one. Prior to deciding, it is essential to consider certain key characteristics.

Similar to tour guides, MSPs need to mould their thinking to the customer’s requirements. “Remember, there are many visitors to a country and all have certain things they want to see, but not everyone wants to see the same sights. Each customer requirement is unique and deserves a consultative approach where the symptoms and root causes can be differentiated.

“MSPs help achieve the IT refrain of ‘doing more with less’ by uncovering inefficiencies, improving performance and assisting the organisation in obtaining greater levels of value.” Dehda points out that this in turn creates a competitive advantage by enabling the customer to move quicker, build faster and win more.

There are several other qualities he suggests organisations look for in cloud MSPs, with one of them being competencies and specialisations. These are the skills and expertise, which are often validated by the cloud hyperscalers themselves, that showcase the MSP’s ability to meet world-class standards in solution design, implementation and support. This provides the customer with the peace of mind that they are in experienced and capable hands.

“The selected MSP should also be technology agnostic, as this will ensure they can implement or adapt the most suitable technologies and also epitomise a customer-first approach where every decision is made based on how it will benefit or impact the customer.”

Lastly, notes Dehda, it should be remembered that the truly great MSPs leverage support packages directly from the cloud hyperscalers themselves, to complement their internal capability. This results in faster incident resolution and less downtime. Furthermore, the use of purpose-built AI monitoring and management tools used by MSPs provide deeper insights and analytics that are often delivered with limited visibility with native tooling.

“Most crucial of all, MSPs should be proactive rather than reactive. In other words, they will actively get involved and put measures in place to predict and overcome potential threats. It is this desire to make customers more successful in all that they do that truly sets a great MSP apart from the rest,” he concludes.