Why should security vendors outsource support?
With cyber-attacks increasing and cyber-crime becoming more organized over recent years, security vendors are under pressure to develop the tools that protect their clients’ data and give them the peace of mind they need to go about their business.
Customers are also demanding they provide a support service that is delivered in the languages they speak and the time zones they operate in. What’s more, they need to have support experts on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all of which means extra pressure on resources and budgets.
Bas van Balen, Commercial Lead for Tek Experts security division, discusses why security support is becoming an increasingly viable way for vendors to manage these challenges and why many are turning to companies like Tek Experts to help deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Why should anyone consider outsourcing security support?
Companies need to focus on technology innovation and development so they can stay in business. But they also need to make sure the products they currently have are being used correctly and that their customers are getting the support they need. That creates an environment where building a global, skilled and expert security support team can be a challenging and costly practice and it can take a lot of time and energy to get it right.
On the other hand, companies are realizing that the more they grow, the more they need coverage across new regions and markets, and to be able to deliver service that is more relevant to those markets and the customers that operate in them. They need to offer more differentiation in the level and scope of customer support they offer and have more channels for customers to be able to engage with Outsourcing those services to a professional support company provides security vendors with the peace of mind that their customers are being looked after and leaves them free to focus on growing their core business.
What are the main concerns for companies when considering outsourcing security support?
Fundamentally, it is about the ramp up time and the cultural change of handing over part of the business to a service provider. Companies are concerned about the guarantee of the skill and expertise of an outside team; about them knowing the products and solutions they are supporting and being able to provide the best service possible.
It is also about understanding the customer and working hand in hand with them to align processes, establishing success factors and creating win/win solutions for security vendors and their clients. Support is a crucial part of the security business because solutions are usually custom-designed according to the specific client needs. With the right service level agreements though and the right team behind you, those concerns are easily overcome.
Why should they even consider outsourcing?
For one thing, professional support companies provide an easy, cost-effective solution. It takes away the burden of having to set up support teams and worrying about recruitment, office space, infrastructure, round-the-clock support, language support etc.
Another major advantage is the opportunity to actually improve the engagement with the customers and increase customer satisfaction. Professional support companies have the resources to manage and improve the contact with the entire customer base and provide a better customer experience, which results in better retention rates.
But ultimately, it’s all about saving cost and time that can be better spent in the development of new technology.
What could support companies do to increase confidence security support?
Well, this is what companies like ours do! They have proven experience and expertise providing support services and have the know-how, facilities, and skills to establish, develop and maintain a robust, flexible and consistent support service. Our customers benefit from a well-established organization and infrastructure that provides a “follow-the-sun” support service and can leverage on the vast expertise in transitioning support services.
For us, the most important thing is to be as transparent as possible and provide our customers with a 360 view of what is happening with their clients. We have to also make sure the teams we build are at the top of their game so we can become a natural extension to our clients’ engineering capabilities, or if you like, the “super-users” of the technologies our clients build.
A crucial part of our service is the expanding and documentation of our knowledge and know-how, which increases the stability of the services we provide and allows for security vendors to take advantage of a vast pool of best practices and data.
How do you see the future of security support? What are the key trends in the industry?
The IT industry, in general, is transforming from locally-based products to global based SAAS solutions. NOC and SOC’s will be a normal part of the industry. With the expansion of remote services and monitoring, outsourcing will become more and more attractive to IT and security vendors. As companies become even more active in subscription-based offerings, comprehensive, reliable support becomes a greater necessity.
As for security – look at the rate security breaches happen. And it’s not just hackers doing random attacks anymore; it’s organized and structured activity. As the risks to corporations increase, there will surely be a significant increase in the amount of products and solutions being offered, and that means more products needing support.
What should companies do to be prepared for such developments?
They should be best-in-class for support and an attractive employer for skilled people. They should offer attractive career opportunities and ensure they have the industry aligned skills and expertise to support the best-of-breed technologies being developed. The most important thing is to keep educating and training their people, so they remain at the cutting-edge of technological innovation.