Focus on your business, not your infrastructure. A buyer s guide to managed infrastructure services.

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1 Focus on your business, not your infrastructure. A buyer s guide to managed infrastructure services.

2 What s in this guide for you? If you re considering managed services as a way of meeting your organization s network and communications needs, this guide will help answer some of your fundamental questions. To begin: how do you know if a managed service model is right for your organization? It depends on your specific goals. Are you looking to: Integrate your networks and reduce operational expenses? Focus IT staff on core business tasks? Maximize uptime and availability and optimize technology performance? Keep technology and applications up to date? Better predict and control your IT costs? If you answered yes to any of these, you may want to consider managed services for the network, wireless, voice or video services your organization depends on. Page 1 of 10

3 Advanced communications management without the complexity. Organizations have more options than ever before when it comes to communications technologies. Sophisticated voice, video and wireless services can boost productivity and efficiency. But they can also put corporate networks and the IT teams that manage them under strain. That s why managed service alternatives are increasingly popular: they provide access to enhanced communication tools while alleviating the day-to-day burden of maintaining equipment and infrastructure. With managed services, you avoid the challenges of IT management but keep control over your technology. This buyer s guide can help you determine if managed services are right for your business. It also suggests some important questions to ask before you make a choice for your organization. A popular path to enhanced communications. More and more businesses are making the switch to managed infrastructure services. A Forrester Research report found that 68 percent of organizations have contracted a managed infrastructure services provider for at least some of their communications and network support with more than half making the decision in the past five years. Source: Market Overview: Managed Service Providers, Part 1, Forrester Research, Inc., Page 2 of 10

4 Determine your communications priorities. Before you can accurately assess whether a managed services approach might be right for your organization, you need to identify your top IT priorities. Some common organizational priorities include: Getting the most out of in-house IT resources. If you ve got the in-house expertise, maintaining your own network might make sense. But like most organizations, you probably prefer to focus your IT resources on high-value areas of your business, such as improving productivity by enabling mobile work. Day-today management of your communications infrastructure can draw your IT team s attention away from these areas. Ensuring network security. The more complex a network is, the more difficult it can be to control access, monitor activity and defend against malware and viruses. Managing your network in-house gives you complete control over the level and type of security you employ. However, the most effective security solutions can be costly and difficult to manage. And the challenge is compounded when employees bring their own devices into the corporate network which Forrester estimates happens almost 60 percent of the time. Source: Prepare For Anywhere, Anytime, Any-Device Engagement With A Stateless Mobile Architecture, Forrester Research, Inc., Page 3 of 10

5 Controlling and optimizing costs. The cost of operating and maintaining a network can be unpredictable. In the short term, unexpected outages and downtime can affect revenues. Over the long term, upgrade cycles require frequent investment in new technologies. Optimizing performance, ensuring reliability. A single hour of downtime can cost a mid- to large-tier organization tens of thousands of dollars. Preventing downtime takes constant monitoring and in a complex IT environment, this can require the use of multiple diagnostic tools that, in turn, require regular maintenance and upgrades. The bottom line? Keeping your network running smoothly is critical but can be costly to do on your own. Keeping pace with bandwidth demand. As video consumption and smartphone usage continues to increase, bandwidth demands are only going to grow. As a result, you may find yourself challenged to keep up without regular and costly upgrades. Staying up to date. Older networks may not have the speed, reliability and capacity to securely and effectively manage bandwidth-intensive communications like mobile and wireless devices. And tools such as video conferencing may put undue strain on your systems. Page 4 of 10

6 Choosing the right partner. If you ve decided that a managed services model is right for you, the next step is choosing a provider. When searching for a partner, consider the following questions: How reliable is their network? You need to know the network delivering your managed services has the bandwidth and availability you require. A good way to find out about a provider s network reliability is to ask about their downtime statistics over the last 6 to 12 months. When it comes to network uptime, top-of-the line providers offer five nines or % availability. Are their technical resources certified? IT expertise is critical to consider when searching for the right provider. Make sure you ask potential providers about their certifications to get a full understanding of their competencies. Look for a provider committed to industry-leading training and certification. How current is their technology? Top service providers often distinguish themselves by investing in the most advanced, cutting-edge technologies and having comprehensive processes based on best practices. Ask about your potential provider s upgrade strategy to ensure they re always able to offer you access to the best available tools and solutions. Page 5 of 10

7 Can they integrate different devices and technologies? The variety of communication solutions available often means you ll have a mix of different vendors equipment. You ll want a provider that has established partnerships with leading third-party vendors, and is fully equipped to manage and support any devices your organization requires. How secure is their network? The infrastructure handling your data needs to be as secure as possible both physically and virtually. Your data should be protected against a wide variety of threats through continuous line monitoring, intrusion detection, virtualized firewalls and load balancers. The premises should be equally secure, with advanced measures such as access logs or biometric scanners. What are their service guarantees? Service providers offer a wide variety of service-level guarantees. Look for one that promises the best possible reliability and availability, with financial penalties attached. You ll also want to ensure they re able to support and monitor your systems 24 x 7 x 365. Even when you re not online, you ll want a provider who s proactively monitoring the infrastructure to prevent possible outages and issues. Page 6 of 10

8 Managed Infrastructure Services from Bell. Offering a full suite of monitoring and management solutions, Managed Infrastructure Services from Bell cover a wide range of information and communications technologies: Managed Infrastructure Service for Networks. Take advantage of expert, everyday network management from Bell for peak performance and rapid trouble resolution. Managed Infrastructure Service for Wireless. Boost the everyday performance and security of your wireless network for employees, customers and partners with expert management from Bell. Managed Infrastructure Service for Voice. Get more out of your voice network and access the wealth of digital features available with voice over IP (VoIP) technology. Managed Infrastructure Service for Video. Access the powerful collaboration capabilities of video conferencing without assuming the burden of managing a video infrastructure. Page 7 of 10

9 Managed Infrastructure Services from Bell deliver advanced communication solutions over Canada s largest data, voice and wireless network without taxing your IT resources. You benefit from: 24 x 7 x 365 support and troubleshooting through a single point of contact A comprehensive, financially-backed service-level guarantee Full monitoring of devices, endpoints, interfaces and applications for everything from failures and service degradation and deviation from performance threshold An intuitive, easy-to-use web-based dashboard with a wide range of reporting capabilities A self-service customer portal that allows you to track and report incidents, make changes to your services, download reports and access support Highly flexible, in-depth monthly service reports on areas such as billing, assets and configuration, and change and fault management Constant investment in top-of-the-line technologies Page 8 of 10

10 Why choose Bell? We provide our Managed Infrastructure Services customers with the following advantages: Dependable performance. Our powerful network relies on industry-leading management tools and solutions that give us and you insights into how your services are performing. Optimized integration. A single, shared platform means all our Managed Infrastructure Services share common processes and workflows, letting us combine and streamline the delivery of voice, data and video services. End-to-end support. Our team of 3,000-plus network integration experts is certified in a wide range of technologies, giving us the expertise and capacity to deliver the full range of solutions and support your business needs. Our professional services team helps you get the most out of your IT investments by clarifying your requirements and crafting strategies and implementation plans tailored to your organization. Reduced risk. By following established industry best practices and leveraging advanced management tools and processes, we minimize risk and ensure the configuration of your solutions meets all relevant regulatory requirements. And our fully certified security team has the skills and knowledge to keep your systems safe. Predictable costs. Fixed monthly fees with no unexpected spikes help you budget more confidently. Page 9 of 10

11 Learn more. We manage Canada s largest data, voice and wireless network and we have deep experience deploying Managed Infrastructure Services in organizations both large and small from coast to coast. For more information about our Managed Infrastructure Services, contact your Bell representative, or explore the links below: Coping mechanisms for network complexity. Read our white paper to find out how to assess the security, resourcing and cost implications of your IT infrastructure. Choosing the right tools to streamline network management. Read this article by a Bell managed services expert. Stay connected, stay informed. Sign up for our free Bell Business Insights e-newsletter for updates on industry trends, technology developments and communications issues relevant to your business. And be sure to visit the Bell Business Blog, which aims to help businesses succeed by providing news and insights on the latest technologies, as well as advice and productivity tips. A simpler way to harness the power of video. Read this article to learn how to improve uptime and take the complexity out of managing video infrastructure. The information contained herein is proprietary to Bell and may not be used, reproduced or disclosed to others except as specifically permitted in writing by the originator of the information. The recipient of this information, by its retention and use, agrees to protect it from any loss, theft or compromise. Page 10 of 10

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