Questions to ask before you sign up for NOC services

NOC Services For Your Business Needs
September 3, 2015
  1. Where & Who:

While you sign up for a NOC Services, always make sure you have checked in the details of its location. It has become quite a common practice among the service providers in the market today that the service providers do not reveal the geographical location of the NOC and companies misunderstand it as the headquarters of the service provider itself. There are huge possibilities that the company you are trusting and investing in maybe outsourcing its services from another third party you may not be aware of.

In many of the cases, the outsourced NOC Services does not even work in India and that could create problems as the promise of delivering local solutions and issue management to the firm does not get fulfilled.

  1. Necessary Free trail

A lot of service providers do not offer you a free trail of their NOC services for any period of time but promise you huge services in returns. One should always wonder the lack of trust, transparency, and accountability these firm lack in their business ethics.

These companies can not only be huge risks in your business proposition but not at all a smart decision to take as your sole idea behind collaborating with a NOC is to increase efficiency and reduce costs could fail terribly if the support system is not reliable or suitable for your business needs.

  1. Agreement Terms:

In the age of information and details, one should be highly attentive to the terms of agreement with the NOC service providers as the relationship that you will be building will depend hugely on it. Legal, as well as technical analysis of the agreement, is necessary as in case of any violations you should know the rules of the game well in advance.

The NOC may use language that could play with the services and charges or tie you in a long contract. Being aware of this malpractice and sensing foul play in advance could be the most pro-active step as an organization.

  1. Billing: Fixing prices in advance

It is very helpful for you if you decide on the prices of the services well in advance and do not keep it flexible as it avoids a lot of confusion and ambiguity on the service providers’ part as well. The service could range from server to node or even a site, the prices for the activities performed should be smartly priced well before in advance.

The biggest advantage of doing it is to save you from bearing the extra cost of functioning while the services are provided and also evaluating the return of investment of the functions performed.

  1. Tools & Technologies:

It is very difficult for a firm to innovate and suggest changes until and unless you are aware of the technological advancements in the global market and is up to date with your competitor’s tools as well. This helps you guide the whole engagement with much more confidence and demand for better services as well. Performing patch management and add those critical monitoring procedures is only possible if you know the tools and technologies well in advance. With all this knowledge the NOC should be able to leverage the right amount of scripting & Automation, helping you with the RMM improvements.

  1. SLAs – Service Level Agreements:

Response time is key metrics for any NOC service provider. The sooner they acknowledge the better.

Most of the NOC service providers will provide you with a standard response time depending on the severity of the alert/issue. 10-15 minutes is a lot of time to address critical issues and you should not settle for anything below that, however, it’s not just the critical issues but also the other less severe issues that need to be dealt within a specific time frame.

If the response time is long on the issues/tickets, they become a bigger problem which can cause bigger damage, something that the NOC was supposed to remediate within the specified time frame.

  1. Communication friendly? We love to communicate!

In the age of communication where business models are run with communication and flow of knowledge and information at its core, it is equally important that your NOC is accessible to all your users in the given infrastructure of your company. With advancements in technology, it is now possible to get updates on each and every action provided or threat detected. If your NOC is not providing you pro-active communication then your efficiency is going to get severely affected and workflow disrupted as well. So choose wisely and pay smartly.

  1. Scaling up is the key

The most important feature to look out in a NOC is the quality of scaling it provides to your already available infrastructure so that the goals you have set for the firm gets accomplished in time and investment made.  A good setup NOC will allow you to add any number of computers, servers or network devices to the NOC and meet your specific business requirements.

  1. Vendor management

A lot of NOC in the global market provides vendor management facilities to their customers as well that helps them choose various market service providers who could fix your network issues in the most technically skilled manner at the most cost-effective price. Networking from reputed NOC providers gives you extra priority in time crisis situations and best deals overall.

It saves you and your resources time to personally contact these 3rd party vendors, whilst our NOC services provider with the vendor management support.

  1. Project Assistance

As a Managed IT service provider, you may perform a lot of network upgrade, migration or deployments for your customers such as migrating server 2003 to server 2008, exchange 2007 to office 365, etc. Wouldn’t it be better to have your NOC help on such projects? The NOC could be an extension to your in-house team.

A NOC could help you right from design to execution; technical assistance on the projects, to help your task become much easier and smoother and more importantly to complete it within the specified time frame. The charges that you have to pay for these services can be negotiated depending on your relationships with the service providers but it is always better to bargain for the best at the least competitive price.