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NOC, NOC. Who's There?

Ever heard of managed services in a box?

Well, Internet protocol shop Italtel is currently ramping up its Cisco Managed Office for managed service partners and value-added resellers in North America.
This comes after networking giant Cisco revamped its MSP program last summer to make sure MSPs could continue to connect clearly and concisely to network operation centers of peer MSPs and client IT organizations.

As networks become more flexible, the use of third-party NOC administrators will likely continue. Here are three things to consider for MSPs when thinking about a NOC partner or provider:

What is covered in the NOC service level agreement? A contract specifying what parts of a network are covered and the exact provisions of a service is the most important thing for any IT organization retaining a service vendor.

Location. Is the NOC in India or Pittsburgh? It doesn't really matter with technology being the way it is but it helps for a NOC operator to have a national and international presence to ensure that 24 hour service and support isn't just a marketing phrase but a reality?

Does the NOC follow ITIL standards? I recently spoke with Robert Stroud, the international vice president of the ISACA, which is a trade group for IT auditors and operational and security consultants. Stroud says that there is nothing like a secure and reliable NOC, especially when ensuring operational efficiency of an IT organization.

Posted by Jabulani Leffall on July 09, 2010