Channelnomics

Level Platforms Gets into NOC Business

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Level Platforms, one of the pioneers of managed services in the channel, is expanding beyond its remote monitoring and management software products to include managed services delivered to and on behalf of its MSP partners.

As part of its upcoming multi-city road show and the release of its Managed Workplace 2012, Level Platforms is unveiling comprehensive network operations center and help desk services. The new offerings will provide Level Platforms’ partners with an outlet for offloading many managed services tasks and provide a new level of support within the vendor ecosystem.

Level Platforms has been developing its NOC and help desk services for more than a year, opting to build from the ground up internally rather than cobbling together off-the-shelf software and outsourcing management to a third-party provider. CEO Peter Sandiford calls the new services a natural evolutionary step in the development of Level Platforms’ product and service offerings.

Managed NOC and outsourced services is actually fairly commonplace in the managed services market. Zenith Infotech and Ingram Micro pioneered the concept more than five years ago by hosting infrastructure and support services that were delivered to and through managed service providers. Continuum, a Summit Partners-backed company born through the acquisition of Zenith Infotech’s RMM business, and NetEnrich have picked up the mantel of NOC-based managed services.

What defines Level Platforms’ offering compared to others is it’s fully integrated RMM-service stack. The NOC service isn’t a parallel offering, but rather an extension of the Level Platforms RMM tool stack. The service is designed to enhance existing MSP engagements, as well as provide Level MSPs with a more attractive and functional service offering to new customers.

“Our service is more flexible because it’s integrated in our technology, not coming out of a service center,” says Dan Wensley, vice president of partner development and marketing at Level Platforms.

Level Platforms’ isn’t the only RMM vendor evolving to include hosted NOC and help desk services. Many MSPs have contracted help desk support through specialist providers. And rival N-Able has partnered with NetEnrich to provide NOC services to its MSPs.

Sandiford said Level decided to build its NOC service internally to ensure quality and comprehensive integration with its existing technology. “If we’re going to do this right, we needed to do it ourselves and make it an extension of our products,” Sandiford told Channelnomics.

“This was led by technology. Zenith Infotech was started as a NOC that added technology, and they haven’t produced much in the technology. We have technology to deliver what they say they can do. And we didn’t get rave reviews from our customers that we referred to NetEnrich,” Sandiford added.

The Level Platforms’ NOC service isn’t a plug-and-play offering. Wensley explains it requires extensive planning to implement since each customer engagement will require customization. Level Platforms has developed a 30-day on-boarding process to ensure proper deployment and integration, which will lead to quality service delivery.

This isn’t Level Platforms’ only initiative. The company is plying managed print services and has plans for diving into mobile device management. The Level Platforms NOC services is an example of how companies that support MSPs with software are evolving into comprehensive service providers that can offer a plethora of offerings to meet varying level of market needs.

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