Seven keys to success for working with a Sitecore application managed services provider

Blog | Digital
Written By: Sana KamalmazPublished On: Mar 13 2023
A rendition of devices and software development and management

Sitecore is a powerful digital experience platform that enables businesses to create and manage personalized customer experiences across various channels. However, managing Sitecore can be challenging, especially if you lack the necessary resources. That's why many organizations rely on Sitecore managed services providers to help them make the most out of their Sitecore investment.

Working with a Sitecore managed services provider can be a great way to ensure that your platform is stable, secure, and optimized for performance. However, choosing the right provider can be a daunting task. In this article, we'll explore some of the key factors that a client needs to consider when working with a Sitecore managed services provider. Readers with existing service providers can use this article as a reference for assessing whether their Sitecore partner is meeting their needs and identify opportunities to discuss areas for improvement.

1. Expertise

The first thing to consider when choosing a Sitecore managed services provider is expertise. Naturally, you'll want to work with a Sitecore partner that has a deep understanding of Sitecore and the expertise to help you optimize your digital experience platform. Look for partners that have a proven track record and a team of certified Sitecore experts. Having Sitecore Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) on the team is a plus and nice to have. The MVP program rewards sharing knowledge with the community, so these individuals will be naturally happy to share their expertise. Resist the natural temptation to evaluate partners based on tier alone. Platinum, gold, and silver tiers are based on multiple factors including some sales requirement. Expertise is one of those factors, but not the only. Consider the level of focus: whether Sitecore projects make up most of the partner's business or whether they support many other technologies. The former will mean that the team is more likely to know the platform inside out. 

2. Service level agreement (SLA)

Another factor to consider when working with a Sitecore managed services provider is their Service Level Agreement (SLA). An SLA is plain-language agreement between you and the service provider that defines the terms of the services that will be delivered including uptime, the responsiveness that can be expected, and how performance will be measured. It establishes a mutual understanding of service expectations and clear commitments. Make sure that the there is an SLA in place and that it is clearly defined and aligned with your business needs.

3. Communication and collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are critical to the success of any Sitecore managed services engagement. Look for providers that have a clear and transparent communication process and a collaborative approach to working with their clients. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that issues are resolved quickly and efficiently.

4. Onboarding

Another important consideration when working with a Sitecore managed services provider is how well thought through their onboarding process is. Onboarding is the phase when the provider familiarizes themselves with your solution and your organization's needs, goals, and processes. A well-structured onboarding process can help ensure that the provider understands your requirements and can deliver services that are aligned with your business objectives. Look for a partner that has a structured onboarding process that includes activities like kickoff, knowledge transfer, transitioning, and technical audit. The provider is expected to work closely with your internal teams during the onboarding phase to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the provider has a clear understanding of your organization's workflows and processes.

5. Diversity of skills

Another important consideration when working with a Sitecore managed services provider is the diversity of skills that you can tap into. Sitecore is a complex platform that requires knowledge and skills in areas such as development, infrastructure, security, and content management. By working with a provider that has a diverse team of experts, you can tap into a wide range of skills and knowledge that can help you optimize your Sitecore environment and address complex challenges.

6. Proactive support

Sitecore managed services providers should not only react to issues but should also be proactive in identifying and addressing potential issues. Look for providers that offer proactive support services, such as performance monitoring, security audits, and preventative maintenance. This will help you prevent issues before they occur and ensure that your Sitecore environment is always performing at its best.

7. Cost-effectiveness

Finally, cost-effectiveness is an important consideration when working with a Sitecore managed services provider. You'll want to work with a provider that offers competitive pricing and delivers value for money. Look for providers that offer flexible pricing models and can tailor their services to meet your budget.

To sum things up, working with a Sitecore managed services provider can bring immense value to organizations looking to make the most out of their Sitecore investment. However, it is essential to choose the right partner with the necessary expertise, a well-defined SLA, effective communication, a structured onboarding process, a diverse team, proactive support, and cost-effectiveness. By considering these seven key factors, organizations can ensure that they are working with a partner who can help them deliver exceptional digital experiences to their customers.

About the AuthorSana Kamalmaz
Sana KamalmazDirector, Digital Strategy