Is Your Network growth straining your margins?
Expanding broadband services to new markets often requires new operations maturity. Maintaining a high-quality customer experience is critical to this expansion process, and keeping your network healthy is key. Unfortunately, staffing a highly qualified NOC is a huge expense that accounts for the vast majority of cost to provide services.
Outsourcing this service to the right partner can relieve the stress on your business while maintaining service revenue margins. However, it also introduces new risk, because you are adding another component to your network operations and customer relationships. You need to be confident in the partner and their engagement in your business health. The key to finding a partner that understands your business and your needs is asking the right questions during the evaluation process. Here is a list of key things you should ask that get to the heart of the technical details, the service structuring, the relationships involved and the costs:
1) What types of equipment do you monitor and manage?
2) From an access and visibility perspective, how does your NOC manage our network? Describe how you remotely monitor and access our infrastructure to provide this managed service.
3) What is your NOC coverage schedule and how is it staffed to ensure you can assist us with our specific network deployment?
4) Do you proactively monitor device and link health to identify potential problems early? How can you minimize the impact to service quality when incidents do happen?
5) What metrics do you track to measure network health and how do you react when these metrics are out of spec?
6) How will you work with our staff to resolve incidents? What is your partner workflow process and how do we integrate our operations staff with your service?
7) How do you handle communications with us and with our customers? Describe this process, including:
a. Do you interact directly with our customers and if so, how do you brand those interactions to maintain our customer relationship?
b. If we maintain the customer contact, how do we receive the information from you that we need to further the problem resolution with our customer?
c. What is the escalation process in the cases where we may not feel we’ve got the right resource handling our issue?
8) How is this managed service tracked and reported? What business metrics do you provide to us so we can be sure this partnership is working well?
9) How do you structure service charges? Do we pay flat monthly? Per device? Per subscriber? Per incident?
10) What makes your service a better fit for our business than your competitor’s services?
The above questions get to the critical components of a managed NOC partnership, and can ensure that your business benefits from outsourcing these activities without putting your customer experience in jeopardy. Good answers to these questions mean you and your NOC partner can work together closely and profitably.
Finley Engineering Company can provide solid answers to these questions and others you may have regarding this type of service. Please call us to find out more about how we can be the right partner as you grow your broadband business with our managed NOC services for your network and your subscribers.