Implementing a centralised global Managed Service Programme (MSP)

Implementing a centralised global Managed Service Programme (MSP)
While some organisations continue to run separate Managed Service Programmes (MSPs) in each of their operations, demand for centralised, global MSPs is increasing. This is driven by a number of factors – including corporate expansion plans, a desire for greater efficiencies, growing market maturity and improvements in MSP technology.

As a result, new models are being introduced to deliver the results companies seek. These new solutions present the opportunity for increasingly sophisticated and flexible approaches to managing contingent workforces.

Deploying a centralised global MSP

One way of implementing a globalised MSP is to take a fully centralised approach. At its most basic level, this means that one provider delivers a consistent programme across all countries, with a single technology platform. This streamlines buying behaviour across the organisation, regardless of location. Implementing this model, however, can be an extremely complex, resource-heavy task.

An alternative to the fully centralised model is the ‘hub and spoke’ approach. This involves implementing different MSPs in each region, which are coordinated through a single hub. This approach offers a fall-back if one MSP falters or has a catastrophic failure. It creates competition as the MSP expands into new regions. And, as every provider has different strengths in each part of the world, organisations can ensure they choose the best partner for each part of their business.

Nonetheless, there are drawbacks to this approach too. One of the main drivers of MSP programmes is the need to enhance visibility of the contingent workforce. However, to achieve this, different providers – who may each consider the other to be a ‘competitor’ – would need to co-operate with one another. Furthermore, MSP providers that are contracted separately will have different SLAs and contractual terms. This may create an apples-to-oranges situation when evaluating performance.

Technology implementation

In the face of these challenges, to effectively manage a centralised global MSP, data must be captured in the same way around the world, to ensure accurate, consistent reporting.

However, there’s not an off-the-shelf technology solution that’s readily available to do this. Tools may be ready to go in one country, and not in another. Likewise, VMS partners may provide free customisation in markets where they see clear long-term value; while other markets may incur significant costs.

Even if this kind of technology were readily available, challenges would still remain. Implementing a VMS platform globally requires a detailed understanding of each country’s regulatory requirements. For example, in some countries invoices need to be certified and can’t be generated by the system automatically. Furthermore, VMS customisation requires a deep understanding of how each platform operates and their specific approach to customisation. Finding someone with this level of expertise can be a challenge.

Moving forward, the practicalities of how centralised MSPs operate will continue to evolve. Technology will become increasingly savvy in how varying regulatory requirements are managed. MSP providers will evolve too, in how they apply best practices from one country to another, while respecting cultural nuances and unique needs.

For now, it’s clear that there’s a growing appetite for globalised MSP solutions. And, as more countries establish a presence in multiple countries, this is bound to grow even further in the years to come. Start preparing your organisation for a successful global MSP programme, by reading out recent whitepaper More Than Just a Passport: The Journey of Globalising Managed Service Programmes.