Ready to Look for a Hosted Managed Services Provider?
By Rich Huff, Senior Analyst, Madison Advisors
While organizations utilizing customer communications management (CCM) traditionally worked with in-house CCM technology and staff, over the past several years various types of third-party services have developed to take on some or all functions of a company’s CCM operations. And the timing couldn’t be better. In our current business environment, where remote working is suddenly the norm with no indication of changing any time soon, large companies with in-house print and mail facilities are being forced to consider the wisdom of funding an in-house CCM operation versus outsourcing this function.
Madison Advisors’ initial report on CCM hosted managed services (HMS) as a delivery model, “Hosted Managed Services: Changing the Paradigm in Customer Communications Management,” (released October 2015) covered the value that CCM HMS offers to deliver an optimized return on investment (ROI) by shifting from a capital expenditure model (CapEx) to an operational expense model (OpEx). Our 2nd edition of the research, “Customer Communications Management Hosted Managed Services Market Update,” as a well as our most recent report, “Customer Communications Management Hosted Managed Services Market Update, 3rd Edition,” (February 2021) further support the fact that the need for more cost-effective CCM strategies and solutions is increasing. These three studies follow the changes enterprises continue to experience in the marketplace, as well new developments in how to successfully manage them.
Our research reports explain the seven critical components of CCM that can serve as decision markers for selecting a CCM HMS provider, provide updates on the latest trends in HMS and share how the HMS providers featured have developed their solutions to help enterprises solve customer communications challenges.
In working with companies to help them select the right CCM HMS provider for their business, we have learned that there is an eighth component just as important as capabilities: There needs to be a cultural fit. Cultural fit is just as critical as function, if not more so. The CCM HMS provider you choose truly acts as an extension of your organization. If how the provider makes decisions and operates internally is culturally incompatible with your organization, achieving a successful outcome may breed not only frustration, but key initiatives may also not be met. Additionally, to quote an old song, “breaking up is hard to do” when a partner is deeply ingrained in your business processes. As you check out the seven capabilities we describe, check out cultural fit, too. Ask the hard questions: Are their core business values aligned with yours? What are their processes for collaboration? How do they communicate with clients and how often? How well do they understand your industry?
If your company is ready to explore the financial and business benefits of moving to a CCM HMS model, the information provided in the Madison Advisors studies referenced above demonstrates how both traditional CCM HMS providers and emergent CCM HMS providers, otherwise known as print service providers (PSPs), are building successful and often innovative businesses around a range of client demands and a changing industry. As CCM platforms become more sophisticated and complex—and you continue to be faced with the challenges of a distributed workforce—outsourcing your CCM operations to providers that have the specialized hardware, software and staff to manage them efficiently is looming as an attractive option.