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Breaking With Tradition: The Need for “Niche” in 2024 Managed Network Services

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This article explores contrasting approaches to delivering Managed Network Services (MNS) in 2024, and the role of “niche players” in achieving competitive advantage.

Examining Today’s “Traditional” Approach to Managed Network Services

When faced with client challenges to meet demand for cost efficient and effective services, many of the larger more traditional MNS providers have removed most levels of customisation.  This has been achieved using a combination of offshore staff delivery models and a complete standardisation of products and services. Their goal is ultimately to be competitive by reducing cost… even at the expense of service.

Whilst driving down internal operational expenditure can be extremely beneficial to the MSP shareholders, this approach can be counterproductive for clients unless your business requirements remain static and solely focussed on cost reduction.

The lack of integration of the network with other areas of the IT hampers visibility and ultimately leads to more service risk when issues are not resolved quickly.

More critically if a business is to grow or merge, then it may be hard for the new areas of that IT’s operation to be novated and integrated together – potentially even leaving the newly acquired business separated in all but name.

Likewise, the client’s business agility may be constrained as they cannot make the most of new technologies to adapt quickly to new trends or geographical operating areas.  Meaning they need to wait for their MNS provider to offer support as part of their standard service or being left to do it themselves.  The inevitable delay in itself leaves a company at a competitive disadvantage.

Breaking With Tradition:

Niche MNS players are often overlooked against larger, more traditional MSPs or other well-known network ISP companies. Whilst traditional MSPs may be viewed as the least risk alternative – the reality is it can often be the opposite. Niche players can offer a service that is more cost effective, more agile and flexible to business needs whilst still meeting the highest levels of service for business continuity goals.

Here at Systal, we pride ourselves in offering a niche delivery model. We almost want to be the opposite of a traditional MNS provider by being niche to offer a flexible service whereby we do not force our clients into a prescribed vendor operating model. Indeed, this was reflected in Gartner’s latest market analysis, where we were highlighted as a “Niche Player” on their 2023 Magic Quadrant for Managed Network Services. Here are 4 reasons why we believe niche works:

1. Adaptability to Unique Client Need: By offering a niche delivery model we adapt ourselves to client requirements, leading to business efficiency and innovation rather than a traditional ‘by the numbers’ constrained service.  New trends and emerging technologies can be researched and deployed quickly without the need for lengthy internal productisation first.

2. Integration With Non-Networking Areas: Agile niche players have the flexibility and capability to better integrate non-networking services. At Systal, our network solutions are fully integrated with other non-networking areas such as cloud, digital workplace and cybersecurity. This offers our customers a chance for end-to-end application visibility across their network, even if it is cloud overlay based.

3. No Expensive Infrastructure Burdens: In fact, by encouraging overlays we don’t carry the expensive burden of infrastructure WAN, and Data Centres unlike other providers. Gartner recognises us as one of the few non-ISP companies in their report.  This means we do not have to recoup the investments from these assets which would otherwise tie us to a limited number of traditional service offerings.

4. AI & Machine Learning: We also make use of AI, machine learning and automation to help identify and resolve incidents quickly across a wide range of vendor implementations and across a wide range of non-network IT technologies.

To achieve a better level of service, you need a company who can provide.

Want to Know More? Ask a Systal Expert

Our motivation is simply to provide the best solutions and services for our clients based on their requirements and existing investments, not ours.  We want to be an extension of your IT team, not separate to it.  In doing so represent the least risk option when faced with the changing business dynamics that we all need to react to.

For more information and to discuss your unique requirements, speak to one of our experts.

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