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The Fundamentals Behind Being a Top-Ranked MSP

The Fundamentals Behind Being a Top-Ranked MSP

How tools, processes and the human touch are helping grow PCM’s managed services

MSPmentor, a research and information portal for managed service providers (MSP), annually ranks the top 501 MSPs worldwide. These rankings are based on recurring revenue, growth and related metrics for the previous fiscal year.

In MSPmentor’s 10th annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings, released in late July 2017, El Segundo, Calif.-based PCM was listed No. 2. This top-five ranking “shows we can deliver as an MSP,” says Paul Neiswinger, PCM Vice President of Managed Services, in an interview with the Tech Journal. But it also validates the fundamentals PCM emphasizes and its personalized Customer Experience Program in serving hundreds of clients globally. “It’s a mature industry, but we are seeing steady double digit growth in our managed services year to year,”.

The managed services that PCM provides includes infrastructure services on networking, wireless, servers and storage across all major OEM’s. PCM’s services are provided using industry leading tools and technologies along with our full multilingual end user support service desk and Network Operations Center running 24×7. PCM also provides data center service to include, Cloud (private and Hybrid) and Co-location in their owned and operated data centers.

“True managed services offer scalability and flexibility for a client, with predictable results” Neiswinger says, as well as saving them the cost of providing their own resources for 24×7 support of their business units. PCM becomes a “seamless extension” of the client’s own IT staff, he adds. “A client may have 10 to 30 people on their IT staff; people who have to do everything. With having PCM focus on “keeping the lights on” across your IT infrastructure our customers are able to allow their IT staff to focus on business priorities.”

PCM serves clients with operations in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific, with its largest concentration of clients in the midmarket space. It has been providing managed services, help desk and data center services for over 18 years. In a recent interview, David Hall, PCM Senior Vice President for Solutions and Services, called managed services a growth area for the company alongside its reseller business. He says PCM plans to expand its managed service capabilities over the next few years, with an increased focus on helping clients achieve business outcomes. “PCM has had a great history of providing managed services over the last decade, and our services are stronger than they have ever have been,” Hall says.

People, tools and processes

The key fundamentals behind successful managed services include:

  • Experienced, trained and certified IT pros: PCM benefits from having many service technicians with five or more years of experience and certifications in multiple services and technologies (Cisco, Dell EMC, etc.). And the company rewards IT pros for continuing to add to their industry certifications.
  • Industry leading tools to support services offerings: Tools such as ServiceNow’s IT service management platform, CA Technologies’ Unified Infrastructure Management, and other OEM leading network monitoring and management support PCM service offerings. Such streamlined tools provide a single pane of management for services pros, enabling comprehensive monitoring and management
  • A service catalog with transparent pricing: PCM provides clients clear processes in the form of a service catalog of SKU offerings, priced around the hardware device being serviced. “We have a very mature catalog,” Neiswinger says. “Pricing is clear and transparent.” Clients can choose from these service levels per offering:
    • Essential: Reactive services and basic support for the optimal cost model
    • Advanced: The middle tier, with more proactive services, problem-solving and customization involved, as well as patch management
    • Premier: The highest level of service and support, with customized services, performance analysis, and PCM’s Customer Experience Program

Customer Experience Program: A personalized touch

Most managed services, at a basic level, provide clients with data, analytics and automated services to maintain a healthy, fully functioning IT environment and fix short-term problems when they arise. While the services are reliable, scalable and cost-effective, they also can be very impersonal, Neiswinger says.

A 20-year PCM veteran, Neiswinger says that when he began with the PCM managed services team in 2013, “our customer base really didn’t know why we did what we did.” He began the Customer Experience Program to serve customers with a higher level of service.

Under the standard services, a problem such as server not responding or rebooting will be reported and fixes made but, a deeper understanding of what that server is doing in our customers’ enviorment is taken into account for the correct level of service to be provided. A file server at 2am vs. a plant production server at 4pm when trucks are waiting to be released is a completely different level of communication with our customers even though it is still fundamentally still a server. The business impact and communication by PCM engineers is different for each of those events.

“My goal has been to add feelings to IT,” Neiswinger says. “Adding a personal touch, understanding our client’s business needs and being an extension of our customers IT staff is hard work but highly rewarding.”

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About the Contributor:
Paul Neiswinger
VP Managed Services and Parts





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