Leading Managed Services to a Client Advantage: An Interview with Vince Blockley, Part 2

This is the second in a two-part series of interviews with Vince Blockley, Director – EMEA, 1218 Global. The series provides insight into Managed Services support, details the key Client benefits of a structured Managed Services Program, and identifies how consultants such as 1218 Global can help reduce Client pain points, shorten IT response times, and improve issue resolution.

Over the last 20 years, Vince has managed and directed major PeopleSoft installations and upgrades. These projects included a broad range of business processes and diverse PeopleSoft solutions with scope as complex and far-reaching as a global PeopleSoft Financials rollout across 230 business units with 147 currencies. Vince was directly responsible for building a Managed Services offering for Crocus Consulting and introduced options to provide a fully hosted solution.

Vince’s reputation as a leading technologist attracts Clients and experienced consultants to 1218 Global. He is responsible for expanding Managed Services offerings in the UK, the US, and India. As Director, Vince provides high-end technical support to Client projects and leads an expert team of professionals to provide the award-winning service and performance that 1218 Global delivers, meeting the growing demand for Managed Services and Applications worldwide. Most recently, Vince has built a new Salesforce division, which also offers Managed Services for products on the Force.com platform.

How often do you review your Managed Services performance with Clients?

We review service performance every month. The 1218 Global Service Manager schedules a monthly call with the Client to review service performance based on the Service Report we generate for all incidents that were raised, the response times, categories of issues, and locations affected. We report, in detail, on how we performed against the SLA. That performance is compared against previous months, so the Client has a rolling six-month picture of how we have performed and how many incidents have been addressed by our team, by category and location.

How do you interface with the 1218 Global India Team?

Every day, we have multiple “handover calls” which basically coincide with shift changes in India. Because we provide Clients with a 24/7 service, we coordinate with the multiple shift changes that occur throughout the day in onshore and offshore locations. Urgent issues that have not yet been fully resolved in one shift are properly prioritized for the next shift. This sharing of information provides seamless Managed Services support for our Clients.

What are some of the challenges that you face managing a global footprint?

Most of our challenges have to do with time zone differences. We deal with Clients around the globe and we run 24/7 Client support. It is not uncommon for us to be on calls with Clients at two or three o’clock in the morning. When you provide high-level Managed Services to Clients simultaneously, as we do in the US, UK, India, Australia, Canada, or Singapore, someone is going to be working throughout the night and early morning. But, that’s our job.

Other than the time zone differences, we really haven’t had any other major challenges. Our India team performs excellently, their communication skills are fantastic, and we have had no complaints from any of our Clients. Maybe we are just fortunate, but in the nearly four years I have been managing the Global Operations, we have not had any problems providing high level Managed Services to our Clients nor have we had any issues raised by a Client about resource access or response times.

What is the typical longevity of a Managed Services contract?

Our Managed Services contracts typically begin with a 1-year commitment and then tend to extend to the life of the particular software product. With PeopleSoft modules, for example, there is a remaining ten-year life expectancy. So, depending on how far along the software is in its lifecycle, that will most likely be the total duration of a Client Managed Services contract.

Interestingly, our exceptional Managed Services support invariably leads to other Professional Services requests from our Clients including software changes, upgrades, patches, and development work. This is proving to be highly beneficial to our Clients and to 1218 Global as well.

What is it that makes 1218 Global a Client’s best choice for providing Managed Services support?

At 1218 Global, we are committed to openness and transparency with our Clients for all services and costs. A typical Managed Services agreement will cover multiple service areas. These are broken down in detail, so Clients know the cost for each element.

Also, we know that we are the first to offer Clients MSaaS (Managed Services as a Service). MSaaS allows our Clients to see exactly what they are paying for and offers the ability to add and remove service elements as needed. This allows us to be more flexible, more supportive, and better meet the needs of our 1218 Global Clients worldwide.

Another major positive is our people and our reputation for service excellence.

Many of our people have been working with PeopleSoft products for 20 years or more. The average number of years of PeopleSoft experience for all of our consultants is 13. That is pretty remarkable and makes 1218 Global an excellent Client choice for all of their Managed Services support requirements.

If you’d like to get in contact with Vince, please send him an email at vince.blockley@1218global.com

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