We have been working with dozens of clients over the years as their managed service partner (MSP), managing Infor applications. In 2020, we decided to make a list of some practices that have made our relationship with our clients more successful. You can employ these same practices with your MSP to achieve the same level of success.
- Single point of ownership – Each member of our staff works with several customers on a daily basis. We often communicate with several managers, IT contacts, and dozens of users within dozens of clients. While this communication is highly efficient and facilitates progress well, it is imperative that communication regarding important decisions are handled by one key person on each side. The most successful model we have found is if one of our managers reports directly with a manager at the client’s end and all decisions regarding projects, progress, personnel, and money are made between those two designated people. Otherwise things my get approved by someone who doesn’t have the proper authority to approve the work, which is never a good thing.
- Change control inclusion – Including the MSP in your change control discussions is extremely valuable. Your MSP is in charge of several applications and is often the only party within the organization that is aware of the impact of changes to certain applications. It is also important that your MSP understand your change control processes so as to not accidentally circumvent them.
- Proper planning – Clients who meet with us on a quarterly basis to do forward budget planning and general forecasting have shown a higher level of satisfaction and derived more efficiency from our services. This usually takes the form of a one hour meeting each quarter to look back on the past quarter and look forward to the next three quarters with major milestones and projects in mind.
- Clear the path – We work with many hospitals, banks, government organizations, insurance companies, schools and retail chains. Our clients have all agreed to a remote method through which we can manage their systems. However, these systems vary quite a bit and some cause more waste than others. Work with your MSP to determine if there is a method which suits their workflow better and that you can also accommodate.
- Full transparency – Trust in a relationship is built over many years and can be destroyed within a short moment. That is why full transparency is vital to a relationship with your MSP. This spans all facets of your relationship. From proposals, to time sheets and invoices, we go out of our way to disclose every available bit of information to customer so they can have full visibility into our progress, work efficiency, and their overall financial commitment.