The future: support aligned to business processes
Where the needs of customers and vendors meet, both can benefit. However, the goalposts are moving and vendors need to be ever more inventive to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Its a race that favours the larger players with a global delivery capability but local presence for on-site technical assistance, to serve the enterprise market and strong partner programmes to take their services to the mid-market.
Where next for support services? As the focus has moved from break/fix to performance and availability, and customers seek to align services to the criticality of systems and the processes they support, the focus in the value end of the market will shift to more customised support services tailored to specific business-critical processes.
Vendors need to work with software partners and ISVs to ensure that they can provide the integrated one throat to choke when bottlenecks or problems somewhere in the virtualised stack threaten the performance or availability of business-critical applications such as SAP, Exchange or Oracle.
Customers should look for vendors with a strong track record in applications hosting and virtualisation. They may not want to outsource their applications, but they need a support provider that knows how to resolve performance and availability issues on business-critical applications for demanding customers.
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