How Do You Manage Managed Service Providers? [VIDEO]

by Brad Garland

"You can have all the metrics in the world. If there's no consequences, it's useless."

Here we spoke with Anne Benigsen after her presentation around best practices and strategies to manage vendors. She made some very strong points in her presentation about the control you really do have over your vendors. Lots of IT administrators act like the vendor has the say and Anne wants to impart that with the proper amount of consideration from your team on the frontend and then ongoing accountability and management during the relationship, your organization can manage and set a higher level of quality for your organization. It just takes the time and planning to do it. 


"Managed service providers. Well, under these smaller banks, they don't have five or six people in IT, so they're hiring out. Well, how do you manage that managed service provider? Often they say, well, all right. We're going to have a two hour response time. Okay. Two hour response time to what? If your systems are down, that's not a good response time.

So, it's being able to say, if we are at a level tier one emergency, critical emergency, we cannot process money anymore and for banks that's important, making sure we have a 10 minutes or less response time before you start getting going, or we all hear about tier one, tier two, tier three support. That all can take hours to get through. What if you can say, I automatically get a tier three engineer to be able to look at my problem and voila. That's a metric because did I get that? Did I not? If I did not get that, the other part of metrics is what happens if they don't meet it?

You can have all the metrics in the world. If there's no consequences, it's useless. So, if I did not get my tier three engineer and I was down, are you paying me per minute because I would say every bank knows how much money they're losing every minute that they're down. Who owes them that money at that point?

It's understanding the liability once a metric isn't met. Beyond the 99% up time, I would go response time latency. So, going a little more tech term there, but it's if I have CenturyLink or some other ISP as my provider, am I getting the band with that I'm supposed to be getting? They know that these are all my critical IP's I need to get to. Am I getting to it as fast as I want to? Am I getting to it as efficiently as they should be routing me? All of those can be in, and if they are not, what do they owe me?"