If You’re not using Managed Services, You’re working too Hard

Any organization or IT group that is responsible for supporting multiple enterprise solutions knows how hard it is to maintain the right level of knowledge and experience to be able to simultaneously manage system growth, implement new features, and resolve system and end-user issues effectively and efficiently. Cost cutting and normal attrition exacerbate the issue making it nearly impossible to cross-train effectively.

These challenges make Managed Services and Remote Administration a truly cost-effective and efficient solution for maintaining enterprise solutions and supporting user groups. With customizable support tiers and service level agreements, you can create a combination of services that perfectly compliments your team’s resources and competencies, and user expectations.

During this webinar, we’ll share a couple ways we can construct and execute Managed Services and Remote Administration Agreements to save your team time, money, and effort – all while ensuring system health, performance, and scalability.

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Transcript

Daniel Jenab:

All right. I think we are going to go ahead and get started. So hello.

Patrick Wise:

Okay.

Daniel Jenab:

Hello everyone and welcome to another one of RPI’s webinar Wednesdays. I hope everyone had a happy and safe new year and we at RPI are ringing in the end of 2020, finally. And at start of 2021 with one of our favorite topics, managed services. But before we dive into the meat of the presentation, let’s tell you a little bit about who we are.

Daniel Jenab:

So my name is Daniel Jenab. I am a project manager here at RPI Consultants. I have my master’s degree in communications management from George Washington University. In my nearly three years of working RPI, I have experienced managing a variety of projects covering the spectrum of our technologies. Kofax projects involving Kofax Capture, Kofax Transformation, Totalagility, and something I personally am very excited to work more with Kofax RPA. Additionally, significant work also with products such as perceptive content, Brainware, OnBase, Lawson V10 and CloudSuite and RPI’s host of Yoga products. Finally, a little fun fact about myself. I am the de facto office personal trainer and nutritionist. And remember a personal health check is just as important as a solution health check.

Patrick Wise:

Okay. Thanks Daniel. And I am Patrick Wise. I am one of the senior account executives here at RPI. I have over 16 years’ experience working within the enterprise content management and digital transformation space. I have experience working across multiple verticals including enterprise as well as SME segments. And I do work out just not as much as Daniel.

Daniel Jenab:

We’ll get there though. We’ll get there.

Patrick Wise:

Yeah. I’m working on it. My one-rep max is improving.

Daniel Jenab:

All right. So what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to start out with the problem with supporting multiple enterprise systems. Particularly resource and knowledge-based siloing, as well as who to go to for support for all of that. Next we’ll move into what exactly managed services consists of and what it doesn’t consist of. We’ll then move into what our customized managed services packages look like, our Support Tiers and our SLAs. We’ll round out the content with a day in the life of managed services, which consists of a few case studies of some of our clients with managed services going over their solutions and some of their unique challenges that we help them out with.

Daniel Jenab:

And finally, we’ll round out with a summary and questions section. We do have some disclaimers in fine print however, so we are an Infor Alliance Partner, we are CloudSuite specialized, we do pre-planning, implementations, upgrades, enhancements, migrations, if you name it, we can do it. We are a Kofax Platinum Partner, we’re not part of it with Hyland, but we do have some of the most experienced perceptive content on base and brainwork consultants in the industry. We are partnered with knowledge like, and we do develop and support our own proprietary software platform, Yoga. Patrick, take us away.

Patrick Wise:

Yes, sir. Okay. So the problem was supporting multiple enterprise systems, right. So when it comes to managed services, it’s hard to maintain the right level of knowledge and experience to be able to simultaneously manage system growth, implement new features and resolve system and end-user issues effectively and efficiently. Cost-cutting a normal attrition exacerbate this issue, making it nearly impossible to cross train effectively with your administrative staff. And so that is why many of our clients are approaching us about these sort of managed services offerings that we have.

Patrick Wise:

So jumping right in here. So what are we really talking about when we talk about these multiple different systems. Enterprise, architecture and technology, right? So each environment has its own unique challenges and interdependencies, each application or solution type listed above on the slide, has an entire knowledge set and user community, right? Dedicated. So the knowledge pool can be very, very deep just for each single one of these applications. Many of our clients struggle to find affordable resources to meet these needs, management and maintenance and administration are just really the beginning of the equation that they find, so you’re constantly needing to get the most out of your investments in these technologies, and so to do that, you’re constantly needing to come up with enhancements, innovations on the technology and just continuously iterate and get better within these environments. Which can be hard to balance all of that out.

Patrick Wise:

So moving on to the next part. And so what are we talking about balance what out, end user training and support all the way through to custom development and training. Outlined on this slide are some examples of the types of knowledge needed for each one of those on the previous slide, each one of those enterprise solutions, you need this full gamut, right? So everything from end user support to custom development, often companies they ask their resources to be subject matter experts in these areas and also support all of the edges and so not only are they tagging these high-end resources to come to be innovative and come up with enhancements, but they’re also asking them to support the end users. It can be very time-consuming trying to manage and balance all of those things and we understand these challenges here at RPI, and we believe in helping our clients get the most out of their technology stack and we do this through offering support solutions that are flexible cost-effective and deliver measurable results that attract. Right?

Patrick Wise:

Okay. So streamlining communication, troubleshooting system issues and maximizing the flow of information between systems are all super critical elements when it comes to managing this entire stack of enterprise technology solutions. Project planning, change management and knowledge experts are all required to keep these systems running smoothly. One subject matter expert, leaving your team can create a huge vacuum when it comes to these areas. And here at RPI, we include a project manager in all of our managed services contracts who will plan, organize and report on progress throughout the life of the contract for you.

Patrick Wise:

These contracts can run multiple years long. And they can be short of six months and they can run up to multiple years. So additionally, we have a whole team backing us up, which allows us to bring various additional skills to the table depending on our client’s needs. So we can really get super flexible and customize these managed services solutions for our clients.

Patrick Wise:

Let’s talk about what we’re probably all already painfully aware of and the types of results that we see from not having the appropriate support in place for your enterprise technology solutions. That would be poor adoption, right? You’re going to have loss investment dollars and reduced efficiencies are all things that we very commonly see, right? One very important aspect to consider though, is the impact to your clients, to our clients, clients. Or our clients customers, if you will. Right?

Patrick Wise:

How do these systems that we’re talking about impact your relationship with your customers, right? Does having a slow or low functioning ECM create longer wait times and support issues for your customers? Are your services and packs teams able to get the information they need in a timely manner for your customers? These are things to consider when investing in support for those systems. The potential impact to your customers really cannot be overstated. And that’s what we’re all about here. Driving results for our clients by creating better client experiences for them. And I believe we’re going to hand it back over to you Daniel, to talk a little bit about what managed services is and what it isn’t.

Daniel Jenab:

Thank you, Patrick. So again, as Patrick stated, we know the challenges that come with retaining and managing these resources with the right skills and the right experiences for of your unique softwares that play together to form your environment. Our managed services solutions are flexible and cost-effective, and that helps our clients so you focus on your core business. What you truly do while putting your system in the hands of a team that has implemented, supported, done all of this before. But it’s good to understand what we can include and what we need to leave out of our managed service offerings.

Daniel Jenab:

So starting with what managed services is not. Or are not. We’re not grammar consultants here. So a managed services contract is not a support and maintenance service agreement or an SMSA. SMSA’s are standard license agreements with vendors that clients often sign with us. We usually see this more on the Kofax side. This type of agreement allows us to support you through true software issues. No patches or bugs or glitches in the system that have been reported to the vendor. However, this type of support does not include standard troubleshooting or enhancements. And is really meant to allow us to support you in a way that you would typically have to go to your vendor for. A managed services contract is not pay as you go or ad hoc support. Ad hoc support is, I say usually it’s not all cases, but it is usually contractually drawn up with a specific goal in mind and then if there are a few hours left over, we could hold those in reserve in case there are system issues further down the road.

Daniel Jenab:

And to be entirely honest, functionally there’s truly not a huge difference between ad hoc support hours and man service hours, managed services primarily offer significantly more flexibility when it comes to scope and management. The managed services contract is not outsourced IT support. RPI resources will be assisting you not outsource contractors from other companies. And finally, a managed services contract is not meant to be used for new implementations. We can do a lot of really cool things in managed services. Upgrades, some custom development, system enhancements, learnsets, OCR training, all things we can do. But we do require a separate statement of work for designs and implementations as the complexity required to both manage and complete these projects is significantly higher.

Patrick Wise:

All very great points, Daniel. I just wanted to add there that here at RPI, again, you’ll see the overriding theme in this presentation today is flexibility. We want you to know, we can be very, very flexible with how we approach support for you. If we’ve done an implementation for you recently and ad hoc is the right fit for you, then we can definitely go down that path. We just want to make a differentiation here today about what ad hoc type support is versus what the managed services contracts would look like.

Daniel Jenab:

Patrick, there’s a joke in there about us being flexible and us naming our software Yoga.

Patrick Wise:

Right? It all ties together.

Daniel Jenab:

[crosstalk 00:12:13].

Patrick Wise:

I’m sensing a theme.

Daniel Jenab:

So now that we’ve talked about what managed services is not, let’s dive into what it could be. And as Patrick said, I say could be because ultimately it’s up to you with how you want to approach it. One of the biggest features of our managed services is on-demand support. You know who to contact with any issue. There’s no scope concerns and most importantly, there’s no need to contact multiple vendors if you run into an interface issue. You come to us, you have a problem, we’ll fix it.

Daniel Jenab:

Another big drawing factor would be our remote system administration. And we actually have several clients where an RPI consultant is actually their primary ECM or ERP administrator. Taking care of everything from patch maintenance, to adding users, to specified approval levels, to even doing Tier 1 help desk support such as resetting passwords and creating user accounts.

Daniel Jenab:

System enhancements is another big selling point here. Most softwares, especially large complex implementations with an OCR component, such as Kofax TotalAgility, require some level of continuous maintenance and enhancements to see your best possible results. During the project life cycle, we identify and resolve issues and log enhancements at multiple points, but there’s really no substitute for your employees who are working in the system in a live environment for several months to root out truly what you would like to see and how you can make the solution your own.

Daniel Jenab:

And this is really where learnset creation and OCR training comes in handy. As you are able to continuously identify and resolve issues, with problem or high volume vendors. I’m not going to read everything on the list here, but it’s worth repeating. You get to set what you want to see out of managed services. Whatever your needs are, we will make sure to address them.

Patrick Wise:

Yeah. And to add to that just a little bit, we’ve even had our clients come to us. Obviously all these things on this list are super critical elements in any kind of supporting any enterprise level application, right? So we’ve even had clients come to us sort of at the 11th hour in cases where, hey, we had this resource, they went to another role or they left the company and went somewhere else, in their career journey they knew it would take them nine months, let’s say to ramp up whatever resource they were going to put in that role to fill the gap or the new hire that they bring on board, and they knew they would need support so they would come in and they contracted with us to come in and provide that support during the interim period when they were ramping that new person up. Like Daniel said, we can really get creative there and we can really help you out in a pinch, or this could be part of your overall strategy. Right? Let’s see. Daniel, I think the next few are mine. Right?

Daniel Jenab:

That is correct.

Patrick Wise:

All right. So let’s talk about customized managed services, Support Tiers, service level agreements. Let’s go through all of what those look like. So resources and contract are appropriately aligning with our client’s software. That’s really what it all boils down to. Is getting the appropriate skill sets and knowledge level involved with our clients and actively working on their teams as almost as if they are a part of the team.

Patrick Wise:

So here at RPI we focus on empowerment if you’ve been working with us, or if you’re just getting to know us now you know. We focus on empowerment for our clients. And in order to empower our clients to be focused to their own core business, we make our support offerings as flexible as possible and each managed services contract we enter into with our clients is specific to their technical needs, as well as their demand requirements on the resources that are going to be involved both here at RPI, as well as their internal resources.

Patrick Wise:

So for example, you may need a resource three days a week versus five days a week that another client needs. Right? You may need a resource for six months versus a whole year, right? Those resources could be more than one resource. Like, oh, we need a perceptive content solution expert over here. And in addition to that, we also need a Kofax RPA expert on this side. And so we can kind of balance that out and make sure we have multiple resources when we need them.

Patrick Wise:

All right. So let’s talk about available Support Tiers. And the reason why this slide is mostly blank is I really didn’t want to put a lot of detail in here because I don’t want to get into this rigid sort of mindset where, oh, we just have these Tiers and that’s what we have, but essentially what we have done is purposely created a great deal of flexibility around our managed services Tiers. We offer these Support Tiers in a very customized way based on our client’s need. And it goes everywhere from like basic Tier 1, what you would consider in your own company or your own enterprise. Tier 1 basic help desk type support all the way up to full custom dev, custom coding, proactive monitoring and maintenance. It runs the entire gamut of available tiers for enterprise applications.

Patrick Wise:

Do you have a custom need? Let’s talk about it. That’s what it all can be easily summed up. I say, hey, let’s talk about what your customer needs are and really come up with a plan that makes sense for you and delivers value. Okay. And again, throughout those Tiers, what you’re going to find is issues that are reported by our clients are handled in a manner that is consistent with the urgency related to them, so our team uses a priority based triage model, which includes analysis around the potential down-line impact of an issue. For example, impact to end users, impact to bottom line, impact production, are we going to be able to get our products or services out today? Is this stopping us from doing our job? Right? Response and resolution times are customizable as well and are also based around our client’s demands and our client’s needs within these managed services.

Patrick Wise:

Contracts. All right. So what are we competent at? Here’s the not all-inclusive, but pretty close list of things that we have competencies in. Perceptive content by Hyland, obviously Brainware and Kofax Transformation and Totalagility are going to be the most common applications that our clients contract with us to support. This is really due in large part to the iterative process that Daniel mentioned earlier in the presentation around creating learnsets and maximizing things like straight-through processing and handling and developing new business rules and routing for exceptions and the process, especially when it comes to accounts payable, for example, is very iterative in nature. And so it’s often the case where a client will have nine to 12 months of iteration that happens following the implementation of a new solution, for example.

Daniel Jenab:

[crosstalk 00:19:55].

Patrick Wise:

Go ahead, Daniel.

Daniel Jenab:

Sorry for jumping here.

Patrick Wise:

Oh, that’s good.

Daniel Jenab:

It means something you noticed during the project, but-

Patrick Wise:

It’s true.

Daniel Jenab:

… let’s say a new vendor pops up or a vendor changes their invoice format, I mean, these are all things you’re going to want to take into consideration when you’re leveraging your OCR solution, but you may not have the in-house knowledge base to properly set up these types of learnsets.

Patrick Wise:

Fantastic. And that’s exactly what we’re getting at here is that we do, we keep those skills on staff as part of our core business and keeping these skills on staff may not really be part of your core business and not something that you really want to spend the money to do. So that’s where we come in with our managed services and really deliver value to you in that way. And of course our entire Yoga Flexible Software Suite. Hopefully, we’re competent in our own stuff, right? All right. And so Daniel, take it away, sir, with a day in the life.

Daniel Jenab:

All right. I think you could just go ahead and move on to the next slide in that day in the life services.

Patrick Wise:

Yes, sir. Here we go.

Daniel Jenab:

This section is going to be about what to expect if you have a managed services contract with us. So to start things off, we do utilize the ticketing system for our clients, tracking the issue through the life cycle of newly reported to resolved. And tracking is actually done in a way where we can provide, issue information to you post-mortem. So after the fact. As an example, one of our clients annually has this poll reported ticket information for an audit of impacts or changes that we have made to their production environment on a yearly basis. As far as reporting goes, it’s as simple as sending an email to your custom company-specific ticketing email address provided by your assigned RPI project manager.

Daniel Jenab:

We try to make this process as smooth and as seamless as possible. As far as communication goes, it’s really up to you. We have reports to show hours utilized per month, per week, per day, even and also issues that we have resolved. We will typically have monthly, quarterly or annual touchpoint meetings to cover open items, resolved items and the goals or strategy for the upcoming time period. And etc, etc, it’s not a typo, we did purposely leave that in there, and it really ties back to the core theme of this entire presentation. Managed services is about you. It’s about our clients. However we can best effectively communicate to you, however we can best leverage our tools to help you report issues, that is what we’ll be doing.

Daniel Jenab:

So now we want to take a look at a snapshot of a few of our successful and happy man service clients. Now, first up is a client with a perceptive content and Brainware Solution. They are large vehicle manufacturing company in the Midwest, and we have a long history with this client. Dating back several years. And have gone through multiple successful implementation, upgrade and enhancement projects for their solution.

Daniel Jenab:

When we finished one of the initial projects, the client realized they needed just a little bit more help and have flexible setting outside of the normal project workflow. They needed on-demand perceptive content and Brainware support as well as some of the assistants optimizing their OCR efficiency like we talked about earlier. And we have fortunately been able assist them a significant amount over the years. With one of the primary items often requested being, creating or tweaking Brainware Learnsets, allowing them to improve their automation or their straight-through processing efficiency by reducing the manual touches on invoices from their high volume vendors.

Daniel Jenab:

Paired along with this, we’ve made a good deal of enhancements to the line matching functionality within Brainware, allowing them to not only read the header fields and invoices, such as PO number, company name and address, but also to match the lines of the PO, reducing clicks further down the line. Lastly, the client has requested on several occasions for us to refresh their test environment with new data. Kind of an unusual request and something we normally perform during upgrades, but pretty rarely outside of them. By leveraging their managed services contract, the client was able to not miss a beat and keeping their test environment loaded with fresh documents for their testing purposes. And additionally, if your test environment is not up-to-date, please, please, please make sure that it is up-to-date before starting a big project. It helps the project go so much smoother.

Daniel Jenab:

Next case study here. A client whose primary solution is OnBase and Brainware. They’re a large healthcare organization on the Eastern part of the United States, and we have completed several successful projects for human resources and accounts payable departments over the last eight years or so. We’ve had a long experience working with them. When they reached out to us for managed services support, they were not in great shape. Their software was not operating as they wanted to, and they didn’t have the in-house knowledge to perform the necessary checks to determine what was wrong. That’s why they requested and we started out the main services contract with in-depth solution health checks for both their OnBase and their Brainware environments.

Daniel Jenab:

Through this health check, we were able to provide them with statistics on their current processing rates and performance, listed out several critical areas of concern that needed to be addressed pretty immediately and also we’re able to provide them with some future state recommendations that we’re currently working on to help get them to outperformance and really where they want to and need to be.

Daniel Jenab:

And finally, we do have our Infor case study here. This is a large healthcare organization located in the Southern United States. And we performed a large scale accounts payable redesign by leveraging Lawsonv10, perceptive content, Brainware and our Yoga Suite as a very complex solution. And after completion of the implementation, the client wanted two primary things. First, a one-stop shop for supporting all of these softwares. And two, continuous iterative improvements to their solution. Our managed services contract allowed them to only have to go to us for support instead of having to bounce support questions off of three to four different vendors. And with interface issues potentially between some of these, they would have to coordinate with both vendors at the same time, this allows us to help them so much better.

Daniel Jenab:

And additionally, they came in with a list of items they wanted. Primarily they wanted assistance with their plan to inform migration. They were going to perform the migration, they just wanted us to support it. Which we successfully were able to do. Additionally, they wanted a few tweaks that weren’t necessarily. Just one second, Patrick add weren’t necessarily in scope of the project and so we developed and implemented an APIA custom flow for EDI ingestion through their capture solution.

Daniel Jenab:

So in summary for these clients, they run the spectrum of solutions, they may be similarities in their softwares, but they are set up very differently. But one thing they do have in common, is that