10 Questions an MSP Should Ask an Outsourced NOC and Help Desk Partner

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Jul 31, 2018

What MSPs Should Look for in Your Outsourced NOC and Help Desk Partner

High-performing MSPs are more likely to outsource components of their managed services business - including their NOC and Help Desk. If you are considering finding a B2B NOC and Help Desk partner, here are 10 metrics to review and questions to ask before going live:

1. Customer Satisfaction Performance

What’s the NOC and Help Desk’s customer satisfaction performance?

One of the most critical success factors is the NOC and Help Desk’s customer service performance. Make sure you’re confident in the technicians’ ability to provide exceptional service as they are in direct contact with your customers. Obtain their customer satisfaction ratings and evaluate reviews from end-users as well as other MSP partners.

2. Remote Resolution Rate

What is the NOC and Help Desk’s remote remediation rate? What percentage of tickets are you able to resolve remotely?

Part of MSPs outsourcing NOC and Help Desk services enables them to offload some of their workload. Analyze how many tickets your outsourced NOC and Help Desk are able to resolve remotely. A 90%+ remote remediation rate results in less than 10% of tickets being handed back to the MSP, allowing their resources to focus on projects, growth and revenue generating activities, not resetting passwords.

3. Ticket Escalation Process

What is the NOC and Help Desk’s ticket escalation process?

With an outsourced NOC and Help Desk, it’s important to understand the escalation process and when each team is involved, if at all, in the ticket. Efficiency is essential to a well-run NOC and Help Desk and this includes the ticket escalation process which should set clear expectations for each party. This also helps ensure your Tier 1, 2 and 3 Technicians are best utilizing their time with appropriate tasks that correlate with their technical training and compensation levels.

4. Response time

What is the NOC and Help Desk’s average response time? Is the NOC and Help Desk live answer, or an automated queue?

In the service business, MSPs strive to resolve customer issues and pain– as fast as possible. When customers do have an IT issue, they want to be able to connect with a technician immediately to get it resolved so they can get back to business. Customers will not be satisfied if they can’t get a technician quickly or have to jump through hoops, it can cause them downtime and/or a loss of revenue. Find an outsourced NOC and Help Desk who has a quick response time and friendly technicians who are able to effectively communicate with your customers.

5. Ticket Volume

How many tickets is the NOC and Help Desk able to work?

You must feel confident that the NOC and Help Desk have experience and are well equipped to handle your customers’ IT issues. Communicate the number of tickets you expect the outsourced NOC and Help Desk to work for you, and ensure they are able to handle those tickets while maintaining a high satisfaction rate.

6. Team Size and Growth

How big is the NOC and Help Desk? How many technicians does your company require? What is your anticipated growth?

As an extension of your team, your outsourced NOC and Help Desk can immediately grow your company and allow you to go to market as a larger MSP. You will be able to grow your business faster without having to recruit, hire and train additional headcount.

7. Scalability

How can outsourcing your NOC and Help Desk help you scale?

MSPs looking to scale quickly and efficiently, often outsource their NOC and Help Desk. This provides more time to focus on growing your business. Ask what other value-add services an outsourced NOC and Help Desk partner can provide like sales support, onboarding assistance, trainings, vendor management, financing, etc.

8. Skills and Credentials

What are the NOC, Help Desk and Technicians skills and credentials? Are there dedicated SMEs?

An outsourced NOC and Help Desk should complement and expand your skills and credentials as an extension of your team. Inquire of what Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are part of the services and how those SMEs can aid your tech team and offerings.

9. Technology Stack & Tools

What technologies are supported by the NOC and Help Desk? What tools does the NOC and Help Desk use?

A standardized tech stack with documented procedures is critical to efficiently running a NOC and Help Desk. Using an outsourced NOC and Help Desk means you gain visibility and access to their tech stack, SMEs and tools. Examples include access to their RMM and PSA (saving money since the MSP doesn’t have to invest in those tools). If your current technologies and tools don’t completely align, discuss your options to move forward with elements of the offering.

10. Project Work Opportunities ­

What project work opportunities is the NOC and Help Desk able to complete?

Sometimes you’ll need additional assistance to help your customers. Maybe you’re understaffed because team members are out of the office, turnover or you have grown fast. Ask an outsourced provider, determine what other types of project assistance your partner has available like Hardware-as-a-Project.

Outsourcing your NOC and Help Desk should allow you to spend more time on the aspects of your managed services business that are most important, like adding customers and growing revenue. It’s an important decision that should help you scale your business and build your reputation.

Learn More About Collabrance NOC & Help Desk


Category: Business Practices

About The Author

Doug Grimm

Doug Grimm, Vice President and General Manager, is responsible for the overall vision, including sales, marketing, operations, strategic leadership and financial performance. Prior to joining Collabrance in 2012 as the Senior Analyst, Doug started at GreatAmerica in 2002. Before working at GreatAmerica, he served in various finance and accounting roles for a publicly traded company in the telecommunications industry. Doug began his professional career with Arthur Andersen LLP. In his tenure with GreatAmerica, he has held various positions within the finance department, and also served as the Director of Sales in the Office Equipment Group. Doug earned his B.A. in Accounting from Luther College and was a Certified Public Accountant.