MSI – the secret source for a complex vendor landscape

Multisourcing can be complex to manage and requires extra resources that the enterprise often doesn’t have. Step forward multisourcing service integration.

Digital transformation is revolutionizing the way applications and data flows are managed. The increasing availability of modern technologies – such as SD-WAN, unified communications and cloud – are opening up exciting new opportunities. But these new solutions and services are coming from multiple providers, making for a complex IT estate that enterprises struggle to oversee.

Complex business landscapes

Today’s business environments are diverse by their very nature: a combination of insourced and outsourced applications from multiple suppliers. Some companies have gained new suppliers from global growth or via mergers and acquisitions. This leaves IT departments striving to manage a growing number of suppliers in a heterogeneous IT environment.

To further complicate the issue, some business units choose to circumvent the IT department and acquire their own IT and communications services. It may allow them to deal with immediate business challenges, but it weakens overall governance and opens up security risks. In addition, such services often operate in silos, making decision making difficult and hobbling the benefits digital transformation brings.

Different suppliers have different processes, which inevitably creates challenges when it comes to accountability and alignment. Multisourcing service integration (MSI) is a logical way for enterprises to take back control of their IT estate. With the help of an MSI integrator, who can provide coordinated service integration, they can truly benefit from the efficiency, performance and elasticity a multisourcing model can offer.

Alongside a complicated IT vista, “soaring demand for business practices that comes with the pressure of cost, quick deliverables and incorporation of next-generation services in various business models” are further making multisourced service integration crucial, according to a report by TMR Research.

MSI also helps enterprises meet many major challenges IT modernization creates, including poor transparency, inadequate architectural integration and labor-intensive reporting, which all eventually lead to poor end-to-end performance.

A proficient MSI service should bring with it the required governance at operational level and third-party contract level, along with security processes and policies. This frees up the enterprise’s internal resources to devote to core business, while still being able to choose the suppliers it wants to work with and keep a handle on spend. At the same time, it enables the enterprise to share operational costs and risks with the suppliers.

Managing complexities

With traditional multisourcing arrangements, services are delivered as independent parts, functioning as single services. Service integration allows businesses to create a “best-of-breed” set of functions that are both transparent, while enhancing control over suppliers. The better you integrate and manage your infrastructure globally, the better your business should perform.

Efficiently integrated services are now crucial for enterprises looking to maximize the value of contracted systems and services. MSI partners offer a sourcing model with a single point of responsibility for systems and services from multiple vendors. These systems, services and vendors are efficiently and cost-effectively coordinated by the MSI provider to provide seamless end-to-end service integration and management to underpin business requirements.

“MSI providers are partly there to sort out the complexity issues so that all players work in harmony to provide a total business solution that satisfies the client’s needs,” explains Benjamin Bussenault, Head of Services Business Development at Orange Business. “But, we don’t just manage what exists. We also help plan an enterprise’s future, with the right solutions for its ongoing business strategy.”

How does it all work?

Levels of MSI involvement can vary on a case-by-cases basis, irrespective of sourcing. This can run from coordinating vendors and managing help desks to managing an enterprise’s entire IT infrastructure, including negotiating contracts.

In an MSI scenario, the MSI provider will take over some of the services, or maybe the entire infrastructure, from the start of the transition. They will maintain cost levels at their current rate and then agree to a price reduction from the start of the transformation.

Cost rationalization is achieved through better visibility and eradicating the duplication of services, which can cut 5 to 10 percent in costs. In addition, internal IT resources can be reallocated to core business activities and digital transformation that will drive greater value for customers. Year-on-year operational efficiency should provide a continuous service improvement.

“The enterprise gets the best of both worlds,” adds Bussenault, “It retains control of its IT infrastructure but leverages the MSI’s expertise to manage complexity, vendors and endpoints to make sure its investment is optimized.”

Getting serious about MSI

MSI has benefits for any enterprise with multisourced vendors. By making responsibilities clear across the IT provider vista, duplication is eliminated, unwanted services weeded out, regulatory compliance consistently applied and new suppliers and services easily adopted.

With MSI delivering on cost reduction, increased control over vendors and greater responsiveness, the model is a no-brainer for any enterprise struggling to manage a growing number of system and solution vendors.

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