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05/09/2017
OCSL Editor

What are the critical success factors for choosing an IT Managed Services Provider (msp)? What factors do you need to consider and what types of managed service solutions can help drive success, reduce operational costs and optimise your IT budgets? In this video and transcript, we asked our own Managed Services experts what they believe are the critical success factors for an IT Managed Service Provider.

To hear their thoughts, watch the video or read the transcript below.

# 1. Agility & efficiency via Hybrid IT

Nick Surrell, Head of Hybrid IT Solutions:
Hybrid IT is transforming the way all our customers consume services. They are looking to move to a more consumption-based model, where they're not owning complex and expensive data centres, and moving to consuming services from the Cloud.

Adam Courtney, Operations Director:
Hybrid IT is driving customers’ business. It allows them to develop and take their applications to the next step, to fulfil their business objectives for their customers.

Nick Surrell:
All our customers are looking to drive cost out of their business, whilst also driving agility. Enabling them to take services to market quicker, and hit a faster-time-to-revenue.

Adam Courtney:
Our Service Catalogue includes building block options for IaaS, STaaS and Network-as-a-service.  Ultimately to deploy an infrastructure, a VM, and then the customer can realize their application on top of that.

Nick Surrell:
In terms of our Service Catalogue there's one thing that clearly stands out for me, which is Cloud. All our customers want to talk about this topic. Whether it's in their own data centre, whether its hosted cloud in our data centre, or whether it's Public Cloud - it's always the first topic of conversation.

#2. Transparent billing

Colin Balfour, Cloud Services Development Director:
OCSL has an internal DevOps team. They've been working on a new billing system which accurately tracks customer usage of the IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) platform. This allows us to offer true pay-as-you-go, pay-as-you-grow type services, alongside our traditional fixed price services.

Jon Messenger, Service Delivery Manager:
Customer reaction to the billing engine has been very positive. For the first-time clients are truly seeing and understanding what the cost of IT is for their business. Now, when they see the bills, they can see that if they move things around, that they could better use those budgets to deliver back for the business.

#3. Full compliance for Public & Private sectors

Colin Balfour:
OCSL are set apart from other Managed Services providers by having very strong security and compliance. We're an N3 aggregator. That means we're one of the few organizations in the UK who are trusted to design, build, and critically self-audit platforms, used to hold patient data for the NHS.

Sarah Broughton, Compliance Team Leader:
We are extremely lucky to have our very own in-house Compliance Team who are solely dedicated to all our compliance requirements. Being a government official supplier gives our customers the assurance that we're doing everything that we need to be protected their information at that level. We currently have three very mature ISO certifications. We are passionate about protecting our organizations from cybersecurity threats. 

As such, we wanted to demonstrate this to our customers. So, we opted to go for the Cyber Essentials Certification. But take that one step further, by also complying with the IASME security standard.

#4. Advanced Cybersecurity

Colin Balfour:
The cyber threat landscape is changing. And security is the biggest growth area within IT, within the last year. We're developing true security information and event management services. These are correlating data from all our security technologies and we’re doing intelligent analysis on that data to see where the threat came from. Was anything compromised? And what can we do to stop that from happening again?

Sarah Broughton:
We're also fortunate have our own in-house cyber security analyst who is an ethical hacker. His main objective is to reduce our risk to cyber security threats. 

Callum Butler, Cyber Security Analyst:
My role at OCSL is to ensure that our customers are safe. Our services that we have allow us to ensure that new threats that come in are prevented, and that any inside to outside threats are also prevented, as well as physical threats. This ensures customers’ data is away from the hands of public.

Our Cyber defence and SIEM (Security information and Event Management) offerings help us defend our customers by putting signatures to known threats. And we can put those towards malicious IPs and unknown IPs. Putting those two together we can then eliminate any risk that might be visual to the customers network

Adam Courtney:
For a leading law firm we detected an outbreak on their network, on a desktop that didn't have antivirus on. The SOC (Security Operations Centre) could respond to that and see what was occurring. The actual machine was being used by a Botnet. The SOC could determine what it was, and stop that agent from talking to the command control server. This then released the email to work again for the customer.  So, it's a good story too to see and understand what's going on in an environment. And the services that we provide ultimately stopped that attack.

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