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Why you'll want to partner with a MSLEC

June 18, 2010

A new player is emerging in the US telecom market today: the managed services local exchange carrier (MSLEC). I'm glad to be part of its development.

The MSLEC is a new type of last-mile provider, focused on delivering complete communications solutions that combine network circuits, IP network-based services, and equipment with management expertise for all of these elements. We believe that MegaPath is the first MSLEC and that other service providers may eventually evolve in this direction. But what are the market factors that are driving this change?

It's clear that businesses of all types increasingly rely on network communications. Always-on connectivity is simply a baseline requirement. Yet small-business customers in particular don't have the in-house expertise to configure and manage the equipment and services necessary to assure secure, reliable, and high-quality communications for their employees, customers, and business partners. Midmarket, public sector, and enterprise IT customers are constantly evaluating demands, staff, and budget tradeoffs, and they also rely on experienced advice. As a channel partner, that's where you come in, connecting a customer to the best solution for their needs. More and more, we believe that best solution will be managed services delivered by a MSLEC like MegaPath.

So, what are the characteristics of a MSLEC? Here are the key criteria that you can use when evaluating providers:

  • A next-generation, MPLS-based network that delivers end-to-end QoS over a national footprint. Years of experience in Layer 2 and 3 MPLS network engineering matter in service and performance assurance. Access types are not an issue.
  • A full range of managed Internet, voice, security and VPN services, and the confidence to back them up with iron-clad SLAs.
  • Certification as a Master-level Cisco Managed Services Partner, a demonstrated ability to deliver high-quality managed services, with a solid grasp on how IT services support business processes. This requires have CCIEs and ITIL certified personnel on staff.
  • Network services that have achieved a Cisco Powered Managed Services designation, meaning the services meet the highest Cisco user-experience standards.

You know that partnering with the right service provider is essential to satisfying your customers and building long-term business success. By looking for a partner that offers the capabilities of a MSLEC, you'll be well-positioned for the new directions of our customers and our industry. If you haven't read Michael Francois' 3-part series on 'Picking a Partner: 6 Criteria for Selecting an MSP', now is a great time to remind you, and to invite you to download the white paper from his post.

What factors are important to you in choosing a service provider partner?

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