The term “Managed Services” is used as a blanket term much as the word “cloud” is used today. Current-day managed services support started with the advent of SaaS and IaaS companies in the last 15 years or so, although there are roots dating back to timeshare services in the ‘70s. These support models are what’s called “one-to-many” vs the “one-to-one” model also used today, especially by offshore vendors in this space. “So what?” you say. Well, you need to understand the differences if you are dipping your toe into this space, especially if you are writing an RFP. Today I have seen zero “RFP experts” include any reference to this in their proposals, and it is an important differentiator. Its one reason why I believe we have seen so many failures by potential clients in selecting a Managed Service partner thru the RFP process
Is the RFP process effective? A year after I select the service, will I be better off than I was before I selected my partner? Will I have the partnership I envisioned during the RFP process?
When I ask potential clients these questions, at least two out of three will answer no. In most cases, all three answers are no. So do IT organizations perpetuate the RFP process in order to satisfy their Purchasing department or do most IT leaders believe it is effective?
A case in point – many companies are looking to Managed Services companies to outsource part or all of their operational functions. In order to do this effectively, there needs to be real clarity from the leaders of the organization about what they want and what model fits their company best.