24x7 Help Desk and NOC Support: Deeper Perspectives for MSPs

24x7 Help Desk and NOC Support: Deeper Perspectives for MSPs

Last week I mentioned a few software companies that were shifting to 24x5 and 24x7 support for their managed services partners. To further the discussion I reached out to NOC (network operations center) and help desk providers to see if 24x7 support is now a requirement for MSPs and their end-customers.

Of course no two MSPs are the same. Also of note: Small, midsize and large MSPs certainly have different support requirements. With that reality in mind, NOC and help desk specialists serving MSPs have differing strategies. For instance...

Do IT Smarter offers both 24X7 NOC and Help Desk services. But only about 45% of the company's NOC services agreements are 24X7 and less than 10% of the Help Desk services are 24X7, according to Do IT Smarter President Lane Smith. "We recommend the 24X7 for NOC services for all customers but generally do not see a need for the 24X7 Help Desk services," he added.

Meanwhile, Live Virtual Help Desk (LiveVHD) offers global 24X7 Help Desk support to MSPs. "We also offer a business hours - 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the MSP's time zone, and we offer a 24X7 NOC service only through one of our valued partners," said Brian Burke-Gaffney, a marketing pro at LiveVHD. "We are seeing more MSPs switching to our 24X7 support coverage," said Burke-Gaffney. "The MSPs that we support have end-customers in many sectors that require the additional coverage."

NetEnrich, a NOC specialist that promotes its services to MSPs and Ingram Micro Seismic partners, sees the market slightly differently. The company offers 24x7 NOC services but not Help Desk services. "They're just very different businesses and its very hard to be world class in both, so I made the decision to shelve any plans to offer Help Desk into SMB," said Justin Crotty, senior VP and GM of NetEnrich. "We are seeing more VARs offer 24x7 support to customers, especially in the larger SMB or mid-market space.  It is also increasingly obvious that NOC is not a function that vars want to perform themselves nor can they do it cost effectively."  Crotty has previously compared NetEnrich to the dung beetle -- doing the dirty work for VARs and MSPs that want to focus on higher-end services.

Finally, Zenith Infotech offers 24x7 support to partners that want to promote white-labeled Help Desk services to end customers. "We provide 24X7 phone and online chat support from our Network Operations Center in India for our Managed Service and Business Continuity products and services," said Maurice Saluan, senior VP of sales and channels at Zenith Infotech. "Anything technical and any end-client troubleshooting is spear-headed by this team of 700 technicians."

Additionally, Zenith has 10 account management teams, consisting of multiple technical managers and business development managers on each team; those experts available 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) in a Pittsburgh, Pa., office -- plus about 20 folks working remotely in their local time zones, Saluan adds.

Saluan mentioned additional details -- which I hope to cover within the next few days. We'll also be on the lookout for additional companies that assist MSPs with Help Desk and NOC services. Among those that just popped up on our radar: GMS Live Expert, which Ulistic's Stuart Crawford mentioned to us last week.

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