Managed service providers are in danger of underselling themselves, according
Autotask, which has launched a range of web services to help outsourcing
companies keep a tighter reign on the levels of service they offer.
The company launched its web-based business management software for outsource
IT service companies into UK and EMEA with a new London office in January. Last
week it claimed to have already found new customers in the UK, Scandinavia,
Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Why should managed service providers need a managed service like this,
Autotask's managing director David Salzberg.
Because the managed service provision market is not an exact science, at the moment, he explained.
"A lot of service providers need help in managing the time and costs associated with the service they provide. At the moment, records are very ad hoc. People use a combination of white boards, spreadsheets and post it notes to record project work and service performed," he said. "We offer a range of web based tools, so that everything can be recorded in one place, specially designed for these tasks. There is no ambiguity about what goes on, and everyone knows where they are."
If Autotask's tools fulfill their promise, they could help managed service
providers and outsourcers to become more profitable. The web tools are designed
to cope with the large volumes of disparate information related project and
service management, issue resolution, resource allocation, time and billing.
Salzberg identified a typical scenario that eats into the profits of a
provider. "At times the service provider provides a costing for a job with no
real idea how much time each event in a business process takes. And no idea who
has responsibility for each task. Similarly, their engineers on site get dragged
into doing jobs they really are not contracted to do. But because they do not have
the information, they cannot refuse. So they are working for free," he said.
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