ISP

From ISP to MSP: a brief history of Claranet

Working in the Internet industry is never dull. The rapid pace of change is relentless, with new technologies, new competitors and new customers appearing on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. Every so often though, it's good to stop and think about where you've come from and how much progress you've made over the years.

Last week Claranet won 'Managed Services Provider of the Year' at the Data Centre Solutions Awards. Winning awards is always nice, but this one was particularly good because it was based on independent votes from the industry, our customers and other people and organisations. I've also just started my 9th year working for Claranet, so these two things combined made me stop and think about the Claranet I joined compared with the Claranet I continue to enjoy working for today.

When I joined in 2006, Claranet was well known in the industry as a pioneering Internet Service Provider (ISP), particularly for Claranet's flat rate dial up Internet access. Sometimes I speak with people who still have the perception that Claranet is solely a provider of internet access for individuals and small businesses. In reality we offer much more, but this traditional customer group of individuals and small businesses, who take connectivity (and some other small scale services), are still catered for, though this arm of the business operates under the name of Claranet SOHO (Small Office & Home Office).

Informed consumers: how IT decision makers best leverage MSPs to optimise their IT strategy

In order to optimise their IT strategy, IT decision makers need to learn three things: firstly, generally they can’t accomplish everything they’d like using only in-house resource, secondly, they need to understand what services an MSP (Managed Services Provider) can offer, and thirdly they need to view their chosen MSP as a trusted partner for the relationship to be as fruitful as possible. If you manage to do all of these things, you become an informed consumer, and your organisation will benefit because the IT strategy supporting it will be stable, flexible, future proof and cost efficient.

By leveraging the expertise of an MSP, IT decision makers not only have access to an extended operational IT team who can take away some of the rigmarole of ‘keeping the lights on’, but also, they gain access to a consultative partner who can guide their business through the process of cloud adoption, migration, and work with them to develop technology roadmaps for the future.

The great thing about becoming an informed consumer is that you begin to understand the benefits of working with an MSP, by getting to see the processes which underpin their results. This in turn allows you to contextualise the monitoring data provided by an MSP and take these insights back to other areas of your business. It is of utmost importance that an MSP helps you in this process, by guiding and transparently showcasing its inner workings, keeping you in control.

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