Customer needs have changed when it comes to Microsoft managed services. Xpedition is responding with a new breed of customisable packages, designed for business advantage as well as business as usual.
Managed services have been around since organisations began to rely on technology back in the 1980s, providing a bedrock of troubleshooting and maintenance for IT infrastructure. The best Microsoft managed services give you reactive, expert third party support and problem-solving when you need it, based on contract that covers an agreed estate of systems and apps for a fixed period.
A good managed services arrangement certainly brings peace of mind, minimising IT disruption to your business and helping prevent problems by attending to routine maintenance or even outsourcing entire business functions. That’s the way it’s worked for decades. But in today’s world, customers are changing how they want to interact, deliver and maintain their own solutions. The time is right for innovation in managed services delivery.
What do customers want from Microsoft managed services today and in the future?
We’ve been talking to our cloud-based customers to understand how managed services could work better for them in the 2020s. They tell us that they’re used to searching for and acting on credible external guidance. When it’s faster and more efficient to do so, they’re happy to resolve their own issues. Some might say that enabling this could undermine reliance on and therefore the value of the traditional, expert managed services team. But we believe that providing efficient self-service and assisted channels, to allow customers to help themselves when it suits them, creates headroom for managed services providers to adopt a more proactive approach. Using high quality live or machine assisted chat can speed up problem resolution – customers are happy to engage with these new channels when they experience good outcomes and find them easy and convenient to access.
Customers also say they want a more collaborative relationship of trust, where they’re prompted to engage when there’s an opportunity to improve or update systems or processes. This challenges the traditional managed services model, where service delivery consultancies work responsively, satisfying standard maintenance needs and waiting passively for their customers to raise a ticket. We see this as an opportunity to demonstrate genuine value and to build lasting loyalty by supporting growth and driving value from technology, rather than building profit by minimising contact time.
Efficiency and quality are the bare minimum – proactive support adds real value
Managed services Dynamics 365 customers who have moved to Xpedition tell us that with previous providers, the service levels were not always as promised once they were tied into an agreement. But even when the work meets high standards of efficiency and quality, it’s not enough in this day and age merely to deliver responsive managed services effectively.
Customers will certainly be satisfied if they experience reliable and effective service… but they won’t be truly engaged or supported. Going the extra mile and seeking opportunities to help customers improve their IT is the future of managed services and the key to sustainable business relationships that generate value and growth for both partners.
According to Gartner, by 2025, 40% of customer service and support functions will use value enhancement as a primary way to measure the function’s success, up from 17% in 2021. This is positive encouragement for the approach we’re advocating. But the challenge that managed service providers face is exactly how to deliver an intelligent, frictionless and – most importantly – consistent customer experience.
Customisation empowers customers to make the most of their Microsoft managed services partner’s expertise
In our view, the new approach must be to work with each customer to customise and adapt their managed services to meet their specific business requirements. Rather than a fixed and time-bound contractual offering, customers should be able to create their own managed service portfolio and amend it continuously, as their organisation’s needs evolve.
It’s perhaps not surprising that we’ve come to this conclusion, given that Xpedition’s business is built on exceptional customer experience. That’s why we’re now applying what we know about delivering technology and transformation services to a brand-new suite of managed services propositions, including ad hoc consultancy, platform optimisation, training, monitoring and proactive alerts.
Delivering positive customer value from managed services means they’re part of an investment in future performance, rather than just a necessary overhead. On top of core maintenance and problem resolution, we’re now offering our customers a choice of proactive, enhanced managed services to support their growth and market needs. With these fully customisable packages, Xpedition’s managed services customers can pick and mix the type and amount of support they need from us at any time, to drive real value from our trusted relationship and knowledge of their systems.
Our latest proposition won’t stand still. It’s in the nature of the approach that it will need to keep pace with customers’ changing needs. We’ll be surveying customers regularly to understand how well our support is working and to help us shape and enhance the managed services that will meet their future needs for growth.
Get in touch to find out more about Xpedition’s new custom-designed managed services packages or to discuss your unique managed services needs.