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10 Commonly Asked Managed Services Questions

With a focus on speed and customer service, our managed services plans are built to foster innovation with each customer. We want to help your organization focus on what it does best. And, if you’re considering these services, we want to help you make the most informed decision possible.

So, in today’s post, we’re featuring the most common questions we’ve received from both customers and partners in the form of a Managed Services Q&A…

1. Why did we build 10M Managed Services?

As a born-in-the-cloud Azure-centric partner, we understand how to best help lead the charge to digital innovation and tap into the power of the cloud. We built Managed Services due to customer demand. Existing Managed Services providers and their models didn’t translate well to the cloud, and we saw an opportunity to provide a new approach to support the flexibility and continuous innovation cloud provides.

2. How does this compare to traditional Managed Services Providers?

Traditional Managed Services outsource contracts that typically involve owning and managing a huge amount of capital equipment (data centers). As such, the contracts were designed to explicitly manage the risk of deploying new capital good (capacity), reduce the deployment of new capital goods, and to keep cost continually moving downward. Because they were designed to mitigate risk they became unresponsive to the needs of the end users.

The economics of IT has now changed, and the need to limit the deployment of capital in an outsourcing contract has disappeared in the cloud. There is no capital anymore, so the nature of the contracts can change. Now the focus is on mitigating competitive risk by improving responsiveness and improving innovation by redirecting a firm’s scarce human assets away from undifferentiated maintenance/operations tasks (which are not a competitive differentiator) and towards innovation and the needs of customers. So, by nature, our contract focuses on speed and customer service, as that is the strategic need which we serve. Comparing our cloud/agile outsourcing approach to older, static, slow-moving, capital-intensive outsourcing is a false comparison.

3. Why did you build your cloud operations center in Tulsa, Oklahoma?

The Tulsa metro region perfectly balances convenience and affordability with the advantages of a talented workforce, a central USA location, and a pro-business atmosphere. You can’t beat the warm and welcoming Tulsa style hospitality. It’s hard to resist the charm of the Cherry Street and Blue Dome Districts. And Oklahoma barbecue is as good as it gets. What more can you ask for?

One of the biggest complaints about the GSI’s (and their offshore staffing model) is staff turnover and churn. Customers are tired of seeing their team churn constantly and often having to work with staff who are new, or know little about their account. Our Tulsa model provides us with an extremely loyal set of staff members, with a very low level of turn over, and a heightened ability to grow customer knowledge and awareness compared to an offshore model.

With our 10M Managed Services operations center in Tulsa, all of our folks are located in the USA (we don’t use an off-shore resourcing model) and all of our folks are full-time employees (we don’t us sub-contractors). This guarantees that you’ll get the best, the most tenured, and the highest quality care with your 10M cloud operations experiences.

4. What is the difference between 10M Managed Services and the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program? Are you a Tier 1 (Direct) or Tier 2 Indirect CSP provider?

The Microsoft CSP program allows 10M to resell Azure subscription licenses to our customers. As a Tier 1 CSP provider we are responsible for billing and customer support for Azure subscriptions we resell. We provide Tier 1 technical support, subscription management, and Azure policy management to all our CSP customers, but do not manage the infrastructure or services in the Azure subscription. This offering is branded as Essential Azure. With our Enhanced Azure or Enterprise Azure service, we proactively manage (monitor, alert, automate, backup, patch, etc.) infrastructure in a customer’s subscription.

In fact, since 10M is a Tier 1 CSP, you can purchase Office 365 and other licenses directly through us! Just another way we serve our customers – simplify your procurement with the ability to purchase all license types available through the Microsoft CSP program directly from 10th Magnitude.

5. What type of Managed Services offerings does 10th Magnitude have? What are the features of 10M Managed Services?

Azure Managed Services, VSTS Managed Services, AI Managed Services. We also have an a la carte Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) service.

We’ve added all the necessary features you’d expect in a robust managed services plan, as well as key features we think our customers desire, created to help your cloud transformation run as smooth as possible.

  • 24x7x365 Support
  • 100% USA Based Support Engineers
  • Global Support from our USA based Operations Center
  • Offerings built from our 100% Focus on Azure
  • Microsoft Tier 1 Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)
  • ITIL & Modern Service Management (MSM) Focused

For specific Azure, VSTS, or AI Managed Services features, visit our website.

6. Are there different tiers of Azure Managed Services?

Yes, we have three tiers. Essential, Enhanced, and Enterprise—giving customers a choice to select the tier that meets their specific needs. The table below provides a high-level overview.

7. How do you Monitor Services in Azure?

Our monitoring strategy leverages platform native capabilities to determine the performance, health, and availability of applications and infrastructure in Azure. Our monitoring strategy helps customers increase uptime by proactively alerting critical issues so that they can be resolved before they become problems. Below is a diagram that shows the conceptual over of the components we use to provide monitoring of Azure resources.

8. How long does it take from initial contact through onboarding a customer?

The diagram below details the “engagement” process. The biggest factor in time is the commercial process. On average it has taken 2-3 months from the first contact to having the customer fully onboarded and live in Managed Services. And of course, the process can vary within each situation because every process is as unique as its customer.

9. What are your tools for security configuration management and how do you integrate with client security tools?  Do you offer fully managed security solutions?

We strive to use platform tools everywhere possible, and so we take advantage of Azure Security Center, Azure Activity Logs, Azure Advanced Threat Protection and Azure Antimalware. Using these tools and a combination of Azure Log Analytics, we alert and track all changes in an Azure subscription. In using our DevOps pipeline model, we ensure that environments remain consistent and all changes are tracked and approved before implemented.

We can integrate with client security tools. The most common request we see is to support installing 3rd party security agents (malware, endpoint protection, etc.) to report back to existing systems. We integrate the log data and alerts as required to provide visibility and support.

We absolutely offer fully managed security solutions! 10th Magnitude is a strategic partner with Alert Logic, a leading cloud-based security provider. Our Managed Services utilize security products from Alert Logic and can provide the following security features: ActiveWatch, Log Review, Log Manager, and Threat Manager.

10. What is your toolset and process for Disaster Recovery?

We use Azure Site Recovery for managing and orchestrating replication, failover, and failback of Azure virtual machines. DR replication and health is continuously monitored. Based on client requirements we can do up to four tests per year. Typical schedules are:

  • Q1  – Infrastructure test
  • Q2  – Infrastructure and applications test
  • Q3  – Infrastructure, applications, and user acceptance testing
  • Q4  – Optional – used for remediation and retesting as needed

 

By |2018-08-14T21:16:58+00:00June 28th, 2018|

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