In our previous posts in the series, “Hosting Layers: Layer I – Infrastructure” and “Hosting Layers: Layer II – Components,” we discussed the importance of the base layer of a hosting environment (a.k.a. “the bones”) as well as the components that go into it. This post will discuss the people and processes that truly make a data center operate. Understanding how a company operates is key to identifying a solid/stable hosting provider.
Having quality people who follow processes is probably one of the most difficult pieces to the hosting puzzle. In today’s market, it is often difficult to find the right mix of experience, attitude and desire among non-IT companies to obtain/satisfy/retain key resources. Here are key characteristics to look for:
- Experience: Hosting providers should provide people who are highly skilled within the environments that they support.
- Staffing: Hosting providers must be able to show that they have resources available to them to react to and support their environment. This includes financial backing as well as resource depth.
- ITIL Processes: Understanding how a company will support your organization is very important. ITIL provides a baseline for establishing processes/procedures that are known and repeatable.
- Disaster Recovery: While this could have gone with either of the previous posts, disaster recovery is a critical component that many companies overlook. Companies should ask potential hosting providers the what-if questions around this area.
- Defined Service Level Agreements (SLA): When working with potential hosting providers, it is important to understand what service are you receiving for the price. Know and understand the SLAs!
- Proactive Monitoring: A goal of a hosting provider should be to know and resolve a problem before it becomes a serious issue. Understand how this goal will be accomplished.
- Service Desk: A good hosting provider needs to have the ability to manage issue reporting/tracking. A service desk should be standard practice.
After reviewing the details of this series of posts dealing with the Hosting Layers, you should now feel equipped with the topic areas for discussion. Remember, always look for a trustworthy partner who delivers high quality.
You might have noticed areas missing from these posts. One of the most important missing elements is the ability to leverage an organization that can not only provide SAP Hosting Support, but also reach out into SAP Application Support. At itelligence, we provide this complete Managed Services offering, allowing our customers to have peace of mind that their SAP investment is in good hands. Let itelligence focus on SAP so you and your employees can focus on your business.
As always, more information can be found at http://www.itelligencegroup.com/outsourcing.php