Companies often choose to outsource the long-term support of their systems, like with SAP, Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), Trade Promotion Management (TPM) systems, Quality Management Systems (QMS), and more, for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons include looking for a provider with expertise and access to specialized skills or those who can focus on core competencies; finding ways to cut costs for their organization; seeking enhanced service levels and performance; prioritizing scalability and flexibility with their systems; and more. Once a company decides to outsource support for their systems, however, how do they know what to look for when it comes to choosing an Application Managed Service (AMS) provider? What does “good” look like, and what should companies consider in their selection process? Below, we outline considerations for selecting an AMS provider.
Selecting an AMS Provider
- Expertise and Experience: A reliable AMS provider should have a team of skilled professionals with expertise in managing and supporting the specific applications your organization relies on. They should have a track record of successfully managing similar applications and a deep understanding of the technologies involved.
- Understands Your Business: As your AMS provider becomes ingrained in your application support, they will interact closely with your business users. Over time, they will learn your processes and system configurations. Good providers will become indispensable with your users. They not only understand the challenges the business has but they proactively provide system solutions to remediate those problems.
- Incident and Problem Management: A good AMS provider should have well-defined incident and problem management processes in place. They should have a ticketing system to track and manage issues, along with established escalation paths to ensure timely resolution of critical problems. Regular communication and updates on the status of incidents are also essential.
- Performance Optimization: The AMS provider should continuously assess and optimize the performance of your applications. They should conduct regular performance tuning, application health checks, and capacity planning to ensure optimal performance and scalability. They should also provide recommendations for improvements and enhancements based on industry best practices.
- Security and Compliance: Data security and strong data governance is of utmost importance in today’s digital landscape. A reputable AMS provider should have robust security measures in place to protect your applications and data from threats. They should follow industry-standard security practices, conduct regular security audits, and comply with relevant regulations and compliance frameworks.
- Change Management: As applications evolve, updates and changes are inevitable. A good AMS provider should have well-defined change management processes to handle application upgrades, patches, and configuration changes. They should perform thorough testing and ensure minimal disruption to your business during these changes.
- Continuous Improvement: The best AMS providers focus on continuous improvement. They actively seek feedback from clients, conduct regular service reviews, and implement lessons learned from past incidents. They should have a culture of innovation, staying up-to-date with emerging technologies and trends to provide proactive recommendations for enhancing your applications.
- Cost Optimization: An efficient AMS provider should help optimize costs associated with application management, which can be difficult as the technology continues to evolve in complexity. They should offer flexible pricing models and help identify opportunities to streamline operations, reduce infrastructure costs, and optimize resource utilization to get the most value out of the services provided.
- Service Level Agreements (SLAs): A good AMS provider should establish clear SLAs with defined response times, resolution times, and uptime guarantees. SLAs ensure transparency and provide a benchmark for measuring the provider’s performance.
- Strong Communication and Collaboration: Effective communication and collaboration are vital for a successful AMS engagement. The provider should maintain open lines of communication, provide regular reports and status updates, and foster a collaborative relationship with your organization’s stakeholders to ensure a successful partnership in the long term.
Working with an AMS Provider
Remember that when selecting an AMS provider, the specific requirements for AMS may vary depending on your organization’s needs and the applications being managed. It’s important to thoroughly evaluate potential providers and ensure they align with your business objectives and expectations. At Clarkston Technology Solutions, we provide an onshore team that’s knowledgeable, experienced, and scalable with your business and technology investment. To learn more, contact us today.