Growing businesses that rely on information technology systems to deliver core functions may want to attempt to minimize expenses and keep a tight hold on the budget by hiring IT professionals to perform this function in house. But that’s not always the best choice.
CenturyLink’s Advanced Managed Services provides another more cost-effective option for these businesses to consider.
Rather than maintaining a full-time staff and keeping them up-to-date on skills and technology, enterprises of any size can opt for a managed service arrangement with CenturyLink. In this arrangement, the business pays for a subscription and CenturyLink is responsible for IT service and equipment. Typically, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) charges for services through pricing models that provide per-device, per-user or all-inclusive coverage.
There are many managed IT service offerings, but the single idea behind them is to transfer the burden of maintaining IT from the customer to the service provider. The most common managed services are for:
In an effective managed services relationship, the business benefits from predictable pricing and the ability to focus on its core concerns — growth, development and expansion — instead of IT management. With a subscription to CenturyLink’s Advanced Managed Services, you’ll get more than just the knowledge and experience of an individual expert. With AMS, that individual knowledge is combined with the knowledge, intelligence and capabilities of the collective CenturyLink services organization.
Here are two critical questions we ask business owners contemplating a managed services relationship.
How much does your business’ survival depend on your IT systems?
Technology systems are required in today’s business environment. Bookkeeping, commerce, and financial trading immediately leap to mind as tasks that can now be done more effectively because of technology, but there’s really no business task that hasn’t been improved over the last 10 years through some sort of automated software or service.
Still, much work is left to be done by companies dependent upon decade-old solutions that can’t meet the needs of an agile digital organization. Chief technology officers and chief information officers often view downtime as something that should never happen or as unavoidable cost of doing business. But the more your business works to avoid downtime, and the more tasks that are outsourced to CenturyLink’s full-time experts, the more effort you can save for development to move your business ahead.
The time and resources spent digging into metrics, creating post-mortems and creating a laundry list of action items after a major incident can all be saved by shifting more of the operations burden to Advanced Managed Services.
Newer, faster technologies are creating opportunities to adapt, reskill, and rethink, and our experts are better prepared to make these moves much faster. For example, using our Application Development and Management (ADM) experts to design, deploy and manage custom or off-the-shelf applications can shorten your application development cycles by 66%.
Instead of renovating the technology they have, growing businesses need to identify how to modernize what isn’t sustainable so they can move forward into the next era. Focusing on outcomes instead of specific tools and software is easily achievable with the help of CenturyLink’s Advanced Managed Services.
How much would network downtime cost your business in an IT disaster?
It’s important to view IT assets and resources as strategic and to implement a proactive prevention plan that will protect your business from network downtime. That requires understanding the difference between managed IT services, a proactive approach, and break/fix solutions, which is reactive. These lead to substantially different outcomes.
IT downtime costs $5,600 per minute on average, according to Gartner. Depending on the differences in how businesses operate, the costs can range from $140,000 per hour to as much as $540,000 per hour at the higher end.
A more substantial cost is the toll downtime takes on employee productivity, which falls 78 percent when they’re unable to access core systems during an outage. North American companies lose up to $700 billion a year related to IT outages, according to a 2015 IHS Markit study, and revenue lost when employees are involuntarily idled creates a negative effect that spreads to business disruption and mounting costs.
A proactive strategy limits the effects of downtime on your business. Outsourcing your IT with CenturyLink is one way to implement a strategic, proactive plan to minimize network outages instead of operating within a reactive response that doesn’t contribute toward prevention.
Hiring and retaining IT experts is difficult and costly. Even when you’ve successfully filled the role, the expertise required of a new employee often spans multiple domains.
Choosing CenturyLink’s Advanced Managed Services (AMS) is an efficient way for an Enterprise IT organization to have access to skilled professionals versed in the latest technology, and to maintain a high quality of service while managing costs and minimizing risk.
Companies using AMS will save money and make money on the back end with more dedicated staff to work on business-related jobs. AMS’ technical experts have the specialized knowledge you need, and will help reduce labor and operations costs because they can respond to your organization’s cyclical demands for additional resources, then move on until they’re needed again.
With Advanced Managed Services, CenturyLink technical managers perform common administrative functions for you for an hourly fee. They will apply patches, update servers with anti-virus tools, and keep servers compliant with corporate access policies. And, our certified managed services team will monitor your VMs 24/7.
You may have tech-savvy employees you can call upon to solve minor IT issues. But it can be detrimental to your business when their time is taken up with those tasks instead of their regular jobs. It’s also nearly impossible for a technician who has other responsibilities to keep up with every advancement in technology that concerns your organization.
With IT infrastructure that combines legacy and modern systems, you need a trusted infrastructure partner to keep them aligned with your business goals. When your business changes faster than your infrastructure, AMS can help you keep pace with a managed IT infrastructure model. CenturyLink IT experts can manage your infrastructure as your business needs change, allowing you to focus on developing applications and initiatives that will transform your business.
Using AMS to leverage cloud-based resources can be a great bridge for large companies migrating to the cloud. A recent survey noted that a lack of knowledge and expertise in cloud computing was the main obstacle to this transition.
AMS acts as an extension of your IT staff, providing in-house cloud services backed by our team of experts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When it comes to the cloud, it's often a "right mix" decision, so our experienced team will help you get up to speed on your early cloud deployments while also handling assets that aren’t appropriate or ready for the cloud.
AMS aligns your interests with ours because we want your network to be stable 100 percent of the time, just like you do. In the event of downtime, you lose productivity, but we lose technical support time — our most precious resource. Through AMS, we’ll work harder and smarter to ensure we keep our promises.
Leverage the expertise and experience of CenturyLink architects, project managers, engineers and technicians who work on our global IP network every day. You’ll benefit from our knowledge in providing proven network solutions and 24/7 support. From design and engineering to staging, implementation and ongoing operations, we’ll support your expansion to new sites, bandwidth upgrades and equipment management—any tasks that keep your team from supporting your core business.
Application Development and Management
Leverage our Application Development and Management (ADM) experts to design, deploy and manage custom or off-the-shelf applications and shorten your application development cycles by 66%.
Our teams use a continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) approach, focusing on releasing a "base" or "beta" application, then continuously releasing features as they’re developed. Each release goes through quality assurance (QA) and testing. Since automation is integral to DevOps, we use different tools to automate testing, builds, and releases.
IT development’s rapidly-changing requirements mean systems must allow teams to have access to infrastructure and the means to quickly view it at different stages across different providers. Our Cloud Application Manager allows teams to view all their cloud resources, both legacy and modern applications, in a standardized platform from a single interface.
Choosing the right tool for the job can sometimes be a challenge, particularly with technical solutions, and databases are no exception. For enterprise applications and key initiatives, many organizations prefer to outsource the administration, maintenance and support of their database environments and infrastructure.
As a recognized IT infrastructure leader in the delivery of mission-critical hosted and managed services and applications, we are uniquely positioned to serve businesses that require secure and reliable access to their database applications. During early phases of development, databases can be provisioned in low-cost configurations geared toward those activities. As the app progresses, databases can be reconfigured with higher levels of availability and performance and seamlessly scaled for production.
Our certified Database Administrators are experts in deploying and managing applications with Managed MySQL and Managed SQL Server databases. They’re fully trained to provide the services and capabilities you require.
Big Data Analysis
The unpredictable surges of big data applications demand high-powered computing. Analytics environments are complex to configure, deploy, and manage, and increases in the volume of data often exceed the ability to scale hardware. Such workload demands on existing infrastructure can create overall degradation of user experience and data processing.
For many businesses, technical expertise and support needs often overshadow the lure of do-it-yourself applications, especially when critical IT systems are at stake. Our Big Data as a Service simplifies management with the assistance of a dedicated team of Data Science experts and provides potentially unlimited resources in a high-performance computing cluster.
With CenturyLink providing a fully managed platform, including infrastructure, network, monitoring and support, customers can concentrate on developing and managing jobs and workloads while focusing on turning Big Data into their biggest business advantage.
Working with the right managed services provider can ease concerns about your infrastructure and allow you to focus on your day-to-day business operations. We can work with you to determine the right mix of our services to fulfill your needs.