Outsourcing to a NOC Service Provider 101

You have taken a look at the pros and cons of outsourcing your NOC services. You now need to ensure you choose the right NOC service provider. In this check list we cover the following elements to help you make the right decision:

  • 5 things to look out for when choosing a NOC provider
  • What NOC service providers do and don’t do
  • What you should ask your NOC service provider

5 things to look out for when choosing a NOC provider 

  1. Can they monitor and manage you and your client’s complex network environments? This includes traditional infrastructure, as well as virtual cloud-based environments and all the hybrids in-between. You also need to ensure that your NOC provider can support the legacy equipment that you rely on too.
  2. Monitoring and detection are only the first steps in keeping you and your client’s network up and running. The main role of any NOC is to prevent outages. Ensure that your NOC service provider have a track record of troubleshooting and fixing outages and impairments.
  3. A skilled NOC service provider should continuously improve their monitoring as they learn more about your business, your network, your employees and your customers.
  4. Your NOC services provider should offer you a variety of alerting options that include a number of communication methods, depending on who needs to be notified as well as the seriousness of the problem.
  5. Your NOC services partner should be able to accommodate you and your client’s in hours, out of hours and 24/7, depending on your specific requirements.

What NOC service providers do and don’t do

DO

A NOC is dedicated to detecting IT infrastructure incidents and ensuring the continued health of you and your client’s network, including:

  • Network
  • Routers and switches
  • Devices – Servers, Laptops, Desktops etc
  • Applications
  • Firewalls
  • LANs
  • WANs
  • Anti-virus

DON’T DO

  • Security – Although NOC providers monitor your IT network 24/7 they are not a dedicated security monitoring service. However, NOC service providers do respond to security alerts from firewalls and security monitoring appliances and therefore can act as an advance guard for Security Operation Centres.
  • A NOC can be a first to detect unusual user behaviour. So, while NOCs are not providing security services, their monitoring and alerts could raise red flags that can be escalated to the proper security officials.

What you should ask your NOC service provider 

  1. What is the service provider’s main source of business? Is NOC services their main service offering?
  2. Where are they located and where is their technical operations centre based?
  3. Can they scale to support your business?
  4. Is there a minimum contract term?
  5. Are their technical engineers available 24/7?
  6. What monitoring platform will they use to access your network?
  7. Is the monitoring platform flexible and customisable, or restricted to out-of-the-box functionality?
  8. Does the NOC subcontract any coverage?
  9. How does the NOC alert you and handle outage escalations?
  10. How can you communicate with the NOC?
  11. How quickly can they diagnose and remediate issues?
  12. Is remediation included in the service?
  13. Can the NOC monitor both legacy and new technologies?
  14. Do I have to open and manage tickets? Or will the NOC service provider handle them?
  15. What are your onboarding time scales?
  16. Can I view a demo?
  17. Can I have a free trial?
  18. Can I have a list of client testimonials?
  19. Will you act as an extension of our business?
  20. Will we have a dedicated team of NOC specialists?

Outsource your NOC services to Inbay

Inbay’s fully managed NOC service takes the service delivery pressure off your technical engineers. If you would like more information on Inbay’s white-labelled, fully managed Network Operations Centre (NOC) service please get in touch today.

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