Rolling out a global managed services program can be daunting and difficult, but it can be incredibly valuable and is a goal for many US-based programs.
At Pinnacle Group, we have gone through this MSP program process with our clients and have experienced the ups and downs of implementing programs in other countries. For our potential and future clients, we hope that this blog post will make implementation a little easier to envision.
The most important thing to know as a client considering using a global MSP program is “why.” Why do you want to have a program in place globally? Prioritizing your roadmap and making design and deployment decisions is much simpler with a clearly understood value proposition.
This is where the value proposition comes into play. Knowing the benefits of going through this process will make it worth the difficulties that are bound to arise as you go through the process. Common objectives include:
- Cost savings
- Global workforce visibility
- Control over procurement practices across the globe
There are many other reasons that might be more specific to each client, but these are typically the most common.
Build Your Roadmap
Once you’ve got your priorities straight you can start to build your roadmap for how you’re going to roll out your global expansion with your MSP provider. Prioritizing the important things from your value proposition will allow you to focus on the important things and not get lost on distracting or less important projects or ideas.
A well-designed roadmap should consider:
- Global footprint – How much headcount and spend are in each country? Are certain countries or regions more or less critical to your business operations or strategic plans?
- Technology footprint – are all countries using the same core business software (HCM, ERP, AP, and procurement systems)? Are there any major technology projects in progress or planned?
- Local support – Do the local teams have resources to take on the project?
- Value – How much value can be achieved by implementation in each country (rank them)?
While standardization across countries can drive a lot of efficiency, it’s also challenging. Every country is going to be different in many ways (cultural norms, infrastructure, and MSP experience/maturity). You shouldn’t use the same cookie-cutter programs across countries or continents.
Customization is vital to adoption and stable long-term operations. It’s also one of the things that Pinnacle specializes in when it comes to MSP.
Learning everything there is to learn about a new country is part of implementing an effective program. The best programs did a lot of up-front learning, standardized where possible, and customized where necessary.
Pick Your VMS Carefully
Certainly there are a lot of options available when it comes to a Vendor Management Service (VMS) for your program. But when working across borders, having the right VMS can be a make or break issue and the VMS providers have a wide array of varying geographic coverage and capabilities. Pinnacle’s experience in the MSP world helps make this decision easier by taking into account all of the many facets of a quality VMS.
You can do everything else right, but if you don’t get local buy-in to your program, value has a way of slipping away. Eventually your U.S.-based team will have to pack up and leave the team you’ve trained in the country to run most of the program themselves. If you’ve spent the entire time telling them what to do instead of showing them how to do it themselves, or if you can tell that there are certain aspects that are not fully understood then it might not be time to pack up just yet.
Instead, spend that extra time making sure that you will be putting a dedicated team in place instead of a group of people who haven’t fully grasped the way you do business yet. This goes for both the client and the MSP provider.
These practical steps for rolling out an MSP globally should help make the process seem less daunting; however, there are certainly going to be common MSP challenges that arise as you go through the process.