IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

GMS Live Expert and Inbay Join Forces on NOC and Help Desk Service Delivery

Under a new alliance agreement, GMS Live Expert will now handle U.K.-based Inbay’s help desk duties, provide NOC services to North American clients who want onshore technical support, and offer Inbay’s offshore NOC services to price-sensitive customers. By Rich Freeman

GMS Live Expert and Inbay Ltd., two outsourced help desk and NOC vendors for MSPs, have agreed to sell and deliver services together.

Headquartered in the U.K., Inbay provides affordably-priced support via facilities in Sri Lanka. GMS Live Expert, which is a division of Unionville, Ont.-based IT, telecommunications, and e-learning vendor Global Mentoring Solutions Inc., provides similar but somewhat more expensive services exclusively from locations in North America.

Under terms of the agreement now in place, GMS Live Expert will handle help desk duties for Inbay going forward, provide NOC services to Inbay customers in North America who want or need to work exclusively with onshore technical resources, and co-sell Inbay’s NOC service to price-sensitive MSPs comfortable with utilizing offshore support.

In addition, the two companies will now jointly deliver a “hybrid” NOC service in which Inbay’s Sri Lankan resources handle monitoring and triage duties while GMS Live Expert’s North American technicians take care of any remediation efforts requiring remote contact with endpoints. Available at a price point in between the two vendors’ standard rates, the new offering will give MSPs skittish about permitting overseas administrators to access their customers’ hardware a third option between the current onshore-only and offshore-only models.

Offloading help desk duties to GMS Live Expert will allow Inbay to specialize exclusively on the NOC market, according to Kristian Wright, the company’s managing director.

“Really our focus and where we want to focus the business has been on delivering best-in-class NOC services,” he says. Transferring help desk responsibilities to a qualified third party will help Inbay pursue that strategy without abandoning its help desk customers.

“GMS obviously excel in that area and are very well known in the marketplace for that service,” Wright notes.

Partnering with GMS Live Expert will also spare Inbay from having to turn away clients in North America barred by regulatory compliance mandates from utilizing overseas IT services.

“That seems to be a key customer requirement,” Wright says. At present, over 50 percent of Inbay’s customers are in North America, which is the company’s top target market.

For its part, allying with Inbay offers GMS Live Expert new ways to serve budget-conscious MSPs without investing in offshore facilities of its own.

“It expands our ability to reach a larger market,” says Global Mentoring Solutions CEO Wayne Goldstein.

According to Wright, MSPs that hire outside providers like Inbay and GMS Live Expert for help with NOC and help desk services have typically been in business a few years and run into constraints on further growth.

“It’s usually when an MSP comes into middle age, I’ll call it, that these issues tend to surface,” he says. “They’re looking to scale their business cost-effectively and they’ve probably reached a plateau point or a turning point where they either need to hire more staff or start to look at what they can sensibly outsource.”

Working with a NOC or help desk contractor also gives MSPs the flexibility to add or remove staffing quickly in response to fluctuating market conditions, Goldstein adds.

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