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How Microsoft Managed Services partners have been reinvented

It doesn’t come as a surprise, but customer requirements have changed a great deal since COVID, in particular when it comes to Microsoft managed services. Advantage having already identified this threat, has already been hard at work putting together a range of tailored packages designed for advancement as well as continuity. 

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, managed services have been around ever since businesses needed to turn to technology back in the 1980s, giving those customers a solid IT infrastructure from which to work on. You will find that the best managed service providers are proactive, provide expert third-party support whenever required based on a specific contract that covers certain systems and applications for a certain length of time.  

Having this in place certainly helps many businesses to relax knowing that their IT needs and issues are being taken care of. This has been the case for decade after decade. However, fast forward to today and you will find that many customers have changed how they wish to engage, deliver and maintain their own solutions. This is where you need to evolve as a business when it comes to managed services delivery. 

What do customers want from Microsoft’s managed services now and in the future? 

We’ve been regularly communicating with our cloud-based customers to get an idea of how our managed services could be adapted to meet their requirements throughout the 2020s. Many inform us that they are actively looking for and taking action where necessary on credible external guidance. Furthermore, when it is quicker for them to resolve an issue themselves, they will do so. You could argue that allowing this to happen could reduce their reliance on traditional managed service companies like Advantage. However, we are firm believers in that need to give customers self-service and assisted channels to enable customers to look for resolutions themselves when required, by doing this enables headroom for managed services providers to be more proactive in other ways. Through the use of AI technology in the form of machine assisted chat you can fast track a solution to a problem – customers are more than happy to interact with these new channels when they are able to solve these problems easily and effectively through this system. 

In addition to the above, our Managed Services customers have also alluded to the fact that they want a more collaborative relationship of trust, where they are nudged to interact when there are opportunities for them to update existing systems and processes. Ok, this goes against the traditional way of delivering managed services, whereby service delivery consultancies work responsively, satisfying standard maintenance needs and waiting for customers to log tickets. At this point, we understand this and see this as an opportunity to showcase our value and to build up customer loyalty by working with businesses to support their growth and driving value from technology, rather than gaining profit by reducing the contact time with our clients. 

Talk to Advantage to discuss your managed service requirements

Being efficient and delivering quality are the minimum requirements expected – being proactive in support gives businesses the value they are looking for 

It goes without saying but Managed Services Dynamics 365 customers who have transferred over to Advantage inform us that with previous providers, the service levels were not as high as they expected from the moment, they signed on the dotted line on a long-term support contract. However, even if your business delivers the best efficiency and quality metrics, it’s not enough to just deliver responsive managed services effectively. 

Customers will without doubt be happy if their needs are satisfied if it is a reliable and effective service, however they will not feel truly valued or supported. This is where going the extra mile and looking for opportunities to enhance their IT is where managed services is heading and the key to building sustainable business relationships is to give customers that value and growth for both parties. 

A recent study undertaken by Gartner suggested that by 2025, over 40% of customer service and support functions will use value enhancement as a main way of determining how successful a particular function has been which has increased by 17% since 2021. This helps to illustrate the fact that we are going in the right direction with our changed approach. The only question that needs answering is how to combat the challenge of being able to deliver an intelligent, frictionless customer experience. 

Tailored allows customers to maximise their use of their Microsoft managed services partner’s skillset and knowledge 

From our perspective, the new approach needs to involve working with each customer to tailor and adapt their managed services to meet their specific business needs. This goes far beyond just having a fixed contractual offering, customers need to have the flexibility to build their own managed services portfolio and tweak it where necessary as and when their business requirements change. 

It therefore doesn’t come as a surprise that we’ve come to this conclusion, given that the Advantage brand has been crafted to be able to deliver only the best customer experiences. This is the main reason as to why we’ve decided to apply our knowledge around technology and transformation services to a whole host of new and exciting managed services capabilities including bespoke IT consultancy, cloud optimisation, training and much, much more. 

Being able to deliver customer value from managed services requires customers to invest in their future performance, rather than seeing managed services as a required solution. As well as being able to provide standard maintenance and issue resolution, we are now taking this one step further by being able to offer our customers a whole host of engaging managed services to help support them in their drive towards growth and adapting to everchanging market needs. Through the use of bespoke/tailored packages, Advantage’s managed services customers are able to pick and choose the level of support they require from us at any time to enable us to drive the best possible value from our trusted relationships and knowledge of their systems. 

The great thing about our change in approach is the fact that we won’t bury our head in the sand. The use of this particular approach will require us to keep up with customers’ changing requirements. We’ll be regularly assessing customers to gain a firm grasp of how well our support is working for them and to allow us to change and improve the managed services that will meet their existing and future requirements. 

Next Steps? 

If you are a business that is looking for a leading managed services provider to help you transform the way you work then please talk to our team of Microsoft IT experts now to discuss your specific requirements. 

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