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Chicago, ITW 2017: Many a C-level executive wonders if the Network Operations Center is an asset or a liability. Truth be told, it falls under both descriptions. A NOC is an asset when all goes well and it is a liability when things go awry. While that statement may make many a CFO cringe, there is some merit to that oversimplified explanation.
Hal Baylor, director of business development at INOC, adds a little color to the asset vs. liability conversation when speaking with GigaOM at ITW 2017. Baylor said “NOCs have to both be cost effective and satisfy user needs, all without the drama that problems can introduce.”
Therein lies the real dilemma, a NOC should just work and not CREATE any operational issues for a business. Baylor has observed that businesses large and small are encountering more and more problems when running their own NOCs. Something that can be attributed a comedy of issues, ranging from rapidly changing technologies to a lack of qualified personnel, to increasing demands created by digital transformation and cloud adoption projects.
Naturally, INOC has a vested interest in NOC challenges, the company is in the business of NOC support. Baylor added, “we usually get involved when a business is experiencing customer satisfaction issues due to problems with a NOC, or if a business is just looking for cost effectiveness.”
More simply put, INOC comes into an organization, analyzes the NOC, and comes up with ways to augment the operations. While that may be a very broad explanation, it does indicate that flexibility is part of the equation here.
For the most part, INOC focuses on providing a service that makes sure the operation works well and is efficient, while also planning for growth. The company institutes measurements for effectiveness and customizes support for a client, with the ideology of making CFOs happy with the costs, removing pain points for the COO, and reducing the operational burdens for both the CIO and CTO.
Baylor added “We bring a great deal of value to the table in both expertise and efficiency.” That said, INOC also brings hard earned knowledge to the table. “One of our core capabilities is how we are able to work with vendors, such as connectivity providers, hardware and software suppliers, and many others have an impact on the NOC.”
Problem resolution and support escalation are probably the biggest challenges facing those operating a NOC. Without the appropriate knowledge, problems often escalate into finger-pointing contests without an immediate solution. Baylor said, “we have already dealt with all the major vendors and suppliers, so we are more tuned to what works and what doesn’t when solving a problem.”
All things considered, Baylor makes a good argument for outsourcing a NOC, however, those making the decision should pursue due diligence and at least measure the effectiveness of their NOC operation. Luckily, INOC can help with that as well.