In this day and age, cloud computing is becoming the norm and ensuring that you have 24/7 availability without compromise to security or performance can be a tricky issue to solve. When shifting to the cloud you the Enterprise should deeply consider if services are self manageable. Security breaches, data loss and unexpected downtime can be costly for any organisation.
Table of contents:
List of the best Managed Cloud Service Providers:
The list of benefits for a managed provider is long and extensive, in this article we'll touch on a few key points for companies investigating Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Software-as-a-service (SaaS) or Platform-as-a-service (PaaS):
- Predictable and reduced costs - By outsourcing your cloud managed services you can save a vast amount on a full IT team's salary and additional training. With the average salary for a System Administrator being £49,895, this isn’t feasible for smaller organisations. The majority of managed providers have partnerships with particular cloud vendors, this saves you money on additional support. Also, being able to know how much you have to pay monthly, without any hidden costs, will be beneficial for all.
- Reliability - Everyone makes mistakes, it’s inevitable. Don’t rely on one single person to monitor your cloud infrastructure. Using a managed provider will guarantee that a dedicated team is ensuring you’re running smoothly and secure 24x7. Different businesses have different needs, for example, a trading platform will need added support at 8am when the stock exchange opens. This is something that can be arranged with the managed provider.
- Easily scale whilst future proofing your infrastructure - One of the greatest benefits in cloud computing is the ease of scalability. All top cloud vendors are constantly adding new features and you want to ensure you’re putting these to good use. Managed providers are experts in the field and will guarantee you aren’t paying for anything you don’t need, whilst having everything that you require.
Managed Cloud Service Providers (MCSP) Services
Using a MCSP will vastly free up your IT team's time, allowing them to focus on innovation and business growth. Popular services include:
- Infrastructure guidance in accordance to needs and budget
- Administration and operations for both systems and network
- Monitoring systems with a view to proactive maintenance and rapid response to unexpected issues
- 24/7 help desk support with a single point of contact
- Added security and compliance management
- External data backup with simplified recovery
Managed Cloud Service Provider Comparison
This article will now discuss the pros and cons across the following ten providers; Accenture, ANS, Apps Associates LLC, Cognizant, Equinix, IBM, Infosys, Lumen, NTT and Rackspace.
Each offers similar services and solutions and all have the same objective of making your life easier when it comes to cloud management. I’m going to be using Gartner’s enterprise review system to include some relevant feedback from existing customers. Note - Providers are listed alphabetically.
What are Accenture Managed Cloud Services?
With support for AWS, Azure and Google alongside being the number one co-innovator for SAP and Oracle, Accenture offers a vast range of solutions. They specialize in managing data analytics and the process of migrating to the cloud. Boasting over 34,000 projects in nearly every industry, it's safe to assume they can accommodate your business needs. With 400,000+ employees holding over 68,000 relevant technical certifications you can rest assured knowing your infrastructure is being well managed.
What are the benefits of Accenture managed cloud?
Accenture has long lasting partnerships with the three top cloud vendors. You would struggle to find a service that they don’t provide across any platform. With such a large employee base, no solution is too hard to achieve. The sheer amount of technical employees is unrivaled.
What are the pros and cons of Accenture's managed cloud?
Being the industry leader and of such a large size comes with benefits and drawbacks. You won’t have to worry that your bespoke system will be challenging for them as it's highly likely they already have a solution for you. But with great size comes added latency in terms of work and onboarding. One user said "Accenture delivers a reasonable service for the price. However, you need to be very well defined in what you want them to provide service for." Compared to smaller MCSPs, with Accenture you need to define everything that you need.
Do Accenture offer cloud professional services and consultancy?
They offer a range of strategy and consultancy services to assist your vision and execute change at speed and scale. With services powered by data and AI you can scale with speed, and connect better with customers, improve resilience, and drive sustainable growth.
What other services do Accenture offer?
The Accenture Cloud Platform provides users with a central management page that integrates the automated tools and managed services. Easily oversee and maintain your cloud estate. They are heavily AI focused, which can be used to forecast spending and enable better, faster data collection.
What are ANS Managed Cloud Services?
ANS Group offers a wide range of services to help businesses innovate and grow faster. Their motto “Take the stress out of IT management without compromise to operational control” speaks for itself. Providing specialist support for AWS and Azure (Gold Microsoft Partner) paired with bespoke Cisco, Netapp and VMware solutions.
What are the benefits of ANS managed cloud services?
Holding Gold Microsoft Partner status and being listed as a Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider (MSP), which is the most privileged Azure status. ANS is an exceptional MSCP for Microsoft/Azure heavy businesses.
What are the pros and cons of ANS managed cloud?
A UK based company with 300+ dedicated experts to help you create any possible solution. They focus strongly on the customer's goal and transforming legacy environments into state of the art, future proof systems. Although they are a leading Microsoft partner, other than AWS, there is no mention of any other cloud provider that they support.
Do ANS offer cloud professional services and consultancy?
Upon becoming a customer you are appointed a Customer Success Architect to ensure you receive nothing short of an exceptional experience. The CSA will work with you to understand your organisation and provide a solution to fit your IT needs. They have specialist solutions in the following 8 sectors: Healthcare, Retail, FSI, Higher Education, Local Government, Manufacturing, Professional Services and Social Housing.
What other services do ANS offer?
ANS GLASS is their state of the art management portal which provides you with a transparent view of your cloud architecture. It collects information from industry leading cloud tools into a central point for maximum visibility and ensuring that your system is running as efficiently as possible. Also, their unique Cloud Score system gives you a numerical value on how healthy your cloud environment is. It takes information from the following: application on-boarding, tagging, monitoring and security and gives you insights on how to optimise and improve.
What are Apps Associates LLC Managed Cloud Services
Apps Associates are a global provider of business and IT services. They provide solutions and services that cover the entire life cycle of an IT system from initial assessment and planning through to implementation, development, testing, client training and ongoing management and support. Similar to other MCSPs their goal is to take the management responsibilities off your shoulders allowing you time to focus on business growth.
What are the benefits of Apps Associates managed cloud?
A direct quote from their website “We differentiate through our relentless attention to delivery excellence and customer care”. It's apparent that they put the customer first. Apps Associates believe that working with only one solutions provider is the way forward and they support the entire stack. With a heavy focus on Oracle ensuring that you are reaching the max potential of your investment.
What are the pros and cons of Apps Associates managed cloud?
Unlike others they only provide solutions for AWS, Oracle and Salesforce. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as each is the respective industry leader for their sector. Only having these partnerships guarantees that they work closely with the providers to ensure best practices and procedures are in place for migration and ongoing management.
Do Apps Associates offer professional services and consultancy?
With 350+ Oracle migrations completed, even they say themselves that it's their “bread and butter”. No matter what Oracle system you are running they can assist you in migration and pave the way to reduce your costs and increase availability. Apps Pack is their proprietary suite of tools which include: SmartDog for streamlined management of your IT infrastructure, WatchDog is their “highly complex” Oracle EBS and SaaS management system, BloodHound for managing customizations and extensions in your Oracle EBS environment and Retriever is their system for Oracle software asset management which is used to help customers better understand their contractual obligations with Oracle.
What other services do Apps Associates offer?
Their four standout services are: Migration of Oracle Applications to AWS, AWS Cloud Management, Application Migration and Big Data Analytics in the Cloud. They are the experts for anything Oracle.
What are Cognizant Managed Cloud Services?
Cognizant's goal is to build a technology framework that prepares organisations for change. They are experts in redesigning business models and changing the way that aged enterprises think. Providing support for AWS, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP and VMware it is no doubt that they are a respected MCSP. Also they are ranked 205 on the Fortune 500.
What are the benefits of Cognizant managed cloud?
Their consultative approach helps customers to envision, innovate, build and run an efficient cloud environment. Cognizant has the aim of building a technology framework that prepares organizations for whatever the future entails.
What are the pros and cons of Cognizant managed cloud?
Sharing a common trend with the other largest MCSPs, reading some customer reviews, they aren't that forward-thinking. Customers are required to provide direction and decisions in cases where you would expect Cognizant to. But, the majority of reviews that I’ve gone through state how happy they are with the employees actions and how they will go above and beyond to ensure the customers business is successful.
Do Cognizant offer professional services and consultancy?
Cognizant delivers functional expertise in three specific areas: Redesigning business models and reinventing existing businesses; reinventing operating models and core business processes: and refreshing technology models to simplify and modernise systems. Great for organisations that are looking for an infrastructure refresh.
What other services do Cognizant offer?
They offer data-based strategy engineering, infrastructure, cloud, AI, IoT, and application services. Cloud360 is their Integrated Cloud Management Platform which has best-in-breed tools including AI-driven predictive alerts and machine learning.
What are Equinix Managed Cloud Services?
Established in 1998, Equinix supplies customers with a guided approach on how to improve service delivery. They offer managed and secure multi cloud solutions, including migration, that automate and optimise your big data and IT resources.
What are the benefits of Equinix managed cloud?
They provide industry leading monitoring and management of both network and system infrastructure. Alongside this they have their Equinix Marketplace, this is a business-to-business platform for both buyers and sellers. With over 10,000 members, 175+ data centers located in 63 markets and 33 product and service categories for 2200+ cloud and IT vendors. A nice unique system that isn’t seen elsewhere.
What are the pros and cons of Equinix managed cloud?
Equinix enables its customers to access partners and solutions they need to accelerate business growth and development. Customers praise their reliability and availability but sometimes you need to scale incidents to a higher level to get a response.
Do Equinix offer professional services and consultancy?
They have a strong focus on guidance through consulting with the customer. Equinix’s professional consulting allows businesses to see the digital solutions for scalability and interconnection.
What other services do Equnix offer?
They offer the following services: Managed Services, Network Edge, Consulting and SmartKey (their cryptography service for cloud data protection). These services are available in the following countries; Brazil, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
IBM Managed Cloud Services
With presence in more than 170 countries, IBM is a global powerhouse for professional and IT services. With the following six divisions for innovation and management; IBM Watson (AI technology), IBM Cloud, IBM Services, IBM Blockchain, IBM Security and IBM IoT.
What are the benefits of IBM managed cloud?
Their standout multi cloud management platform supports multiple technology stacks across a range of cloud vendors. The MCMP helps customers to manage their cloud environment with the following benefits: optimising cloud expenditure and usage, managing services mapping and dependencies, and extending DevOps processes for traditional IT and cloud natives.
What are the pros and cons of IBM managed cloud?
A great out-of-the-box, ease of use system. Very easy to implement and connect to an existing IBM product. But this does come with a high cost, and is best suited for large organisations with the funds to spend.
Do IBM offer professional services and consultancy?
Anyone can get a free 30 minute, no-cost, strategy session with one of their expert consultants. The goal of the session is to establish customer needs and find a solution to guarantee full value of their business and technology. IBM’s main services are multi cloud management, managed infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and cloud migration.
What other services do IBM offer?
The IBM Consumption Console allows you to manage services across multiple different cloud providers. Allowing customers to easily find, compare, configure and govern new services and solutions from any vendor. IBM also offers proprietary management consoles for DevOps, Operations and Governance.
Infosys Managed Cloud Services
Specializing in AI, Infosys delivers a broad range of services and solutions. They provide managed cloud services, part of their Infosys Cobalt offering. Headquartered in Bangalore, India they have a presence in 45 countries. Gartner has ranked them as a Leader in their Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure and Managed Service Providers. Partners include: AWS, Microsoft, Google, Adobe, GE, HP, IBM, NTT, SAP, Salesforce, Servicenow and VMware.
What are the benefits of Infosys managed cloud?
One unique offering by Infosys is their 10 innovation hubs/digital studios that span across four continents. These hubs allow for customers to come and explore the digital offerings such as IoT, AI and machine learning in person.
What are the pros and cons of Infosys managed cloud?
On their website they clearly state the SLAs that they offer, these are platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Only platinum and gold offer 24x7 support where silver and bronze are only 16x5. Also, they state the response times where a P1 incident will be responded to in 15 minutes and resolved within 4 hours if you are a platinum customer. But if you hold bronze membership you are looking at a response for an incident within 4 hours and resolved within 24 hours. It's good that they publicly show this, but you must think about your needs when drawing up the contract.
Do Infosys offer professional services and consultancy?
The Infosys Digital Navigation Frame-work is a five part process for guaranteed innovation. These are: design, proximity, agility, automation and learning. Infosys Consulting is a subsidiary of the company which helps organisations stay competitive with new market offerings.
What other services do Infosys offer?
They offer all cloud services including provisioning, configuration, monitoring, backup and disaster recovery, security and management across all cloud deployments.
Lumen Managed Cloud Services
Lumen specialises in hybrid solutions and digital transformation that is delivered from a common, yet automated platform. Their goal is to boost your IT agility with seamless and secure connections to the top cloud providers via their marketplace of over 200 partners. Partnered with a number of leaders including: AWS, Microsoft (Gold partner), Google, Cisco, SAP and VMware.
What are the benefits of Lumen managed cloud?
One unique feature that I found on their website is the transparency of cost. They have both an online estimator for calculating monthly cost as well as a pricing catalog containing a variety of different services including: server cost, blueprints, disaster recovery and software.
What are the pros and cons of Lumen managed cloud?
An excellent feature is that they are always reviewing to ensure that the right services and solutions are in place. One customer states that Lumen pre sales and service teams are excellent, but the escalations department can take a considerable time to get a response.
Do Lumen offer professional services and consultancy?
Powered by next-gen solutions, Lumen IT consulting service helps to improve agility whilst building competitive services to increase IT productivity and ROI.
What other services do Lumen offer?
Their cloud management options span from fully-managed by Lumen to self-service by the customer. Offering three main cloud management services: managed services anywhere, advanced managed services and cloud application manager. On their website you can find both an online estimator and pricing catalog.
NTT Managed Cloud Services
NTT provides end-to-end managed cloud services which simplifies the management of your day-to-day operations, across multi vendor hybrid IT environments. They work closely with the customer ensuring that their goal is met, from planning and migration to management and modernisation. Partners with AWS, Microsoft, Google and Oracle.
What are the benefits of NTT managed cloud?
They are a leading managed cloud provider because they put the customer's cloud requirements first, they state that they treat every client as if they are their only one.
What are the pros and cons of NTT managed cloud?
Keeping your managed cloud services operation is NTT's top priority and they offer 24x7 support for all customers. Their Integrated Operations Center (IOC) is a state of the art system for providing customer support whenever it is needed. One negative aspect is that there is another cloud company with the same name.
Do NTT offer professional services and consultancy?
Cloud to application to security, they offer a full lifecycle, end-to-end management, and support approach. Their IT consulting services cover multiple layers, from strategy discovery through to delivery of technologies and services.
What other services do NTT offer?
Alongside the above, they provide monitoring, reporting, and management of compute, storage, network components, PaaS and SaaS within Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, AzureStack and Google Cloud.
Rackspace Managed Cloud Services
Rackspace is a cloud security solutions vendor and managed cloud services provider for AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud. They have an unrivaled portfolio of cloud services. In addition, they are an AWS Premier Consulting Partner with over 1,000 certifications held by their employees and five-time Microsoft Partner of the Year winners with 150+ Azure certifications.
What are the benefits of Rackspace managed cloud?
One unique offering is the support of Alibaba Cloud. This is a great feature for companies looking to jump into the ever expanding Chinese market. Working with Rackspace can ensure you have worldwide coverage. Rackspace specializes in solutions by industry as well as by the type of organisation and IT challenge.
What are the pros and cons of Rackspace managed cloud?
As stated above, they have a highly qualified team to ensure that your environment is being well managed. Like others, Rackspace is great for large organisations, but not a great fit for smaller organisations due to higher costs.
Do Rackspace offer professional services and consultancy?
Rackspace consultative and advisory service team hold over 7,500 cloud certifications and work closely with the customer to develop next-gen solutions. From assessment to implementation they guide you the entire way.
What other services do Rackspace offer?
Services include: cloud migration services, applications support, infrastructure build-out services, security, DevOps, backup and disaster recovery performance management and cost optimisation.