Sprint Races Further into MSP Market

By Doug Barney

Sprint this week revealed just how serious it is about managed services with a new set of solutions that come bundled with on-premises equipment and MPLS transport services.

The Sprint Managed Network Solutions consist of:

  • Performance management done proactively.
  • Monitoring of CPE and customer notification.
  • Installation, configuration and testing of CPE.
  • Network design.
  • Break/fix services for routers and circuits.
  • High level SLAs.
  • Assessment and consultation. And
  • A single bill and contact for services as well as a dedicated implementation manager.

Besides this customers can do their own 24x7 tracking of CPE, through a free online tool that also supports WAN performance management.

“The network is the most important cloud investment a company will make and efficient management of that network is crucial to the success of business-critical applications,” said Mike Fitz, vice president of wireline, Sprint. “Businesses benefit from Sprint’s customized approach to managing customer networks, simplified pricing and a single account team that understands converged, cloud and mobility solutions.”

Sprint offers another route to visibility, allowing managed services customers to use the cloud to see their whole network. This “includes how Sprint is managing the network as well as interface testing, change and trouble management, and managed asset configuration views for all managed devices. Sprint also provides WAN optimization reports and key performance metrics,” Sprint said.

Sprint feels the market is on its side, and points to a  recent white paper from Nemertes Research “The Transformational Shift from IT to ET” to support its MSP mission. MSP services, for a communications provider, brings customers that much closer, and makes the provider that much more strategic. “We have documented a paradigm shift underway in the way technology and business leaders interact. It’s the transformation from Information Technology (IT) to Enterprise Technology (ET), and not only does this shift change the way business leaders view IT, it alters the organizational structure of IT itself,” said Robin Gareiss, executive vice president and founder, Nemertes Research. “What’s telling is the success correlation between companies that have a formal engagement program and their revenue per employee. Engaging with vendor partners for the development of new technologies correlates with a more efficient, profitable organization.”

Sprint is not entirely new to managed services. In fact, two years ago Nemertes chose Sprint as a “Top Provider among Market Challengers for Managed Router Services.” Other Sprint services include Managed IP Telephony, Managed Security and Managed Networks.

Gartner’s View

The telco has a terrific network base from which to launch more Sprint managed services. Gartner recently analyzed the market for Global Network Service Providers and while Sprint didn’t make it into the magic quadrant, which is reserved for companies that are both leaders and visionaries, Sprint was ranked as a “challenger.”

Gartner sees Sprint as building out its MPLS network, and expanding the breath of its Ethernet services. As a strength, “Sprint continues to deliver simplified pricing and packaging of services that makes data services easy to procure and that align with the existing demand set,” Gartner found. Gartner is also impressed with Compass, Sprints portal for WAN performance management. On the downside, Sprint can’t match the global reach of many of its top competitors.

Graphic: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Global Network Service Providers

Edited by Rich Steeves

MSPToday Editor at Large

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