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We often under-estimate just how pivotal service providers are in keeping our business world running smoothly. Take Managed Network Services (MNS) providers for instance, which work vigilantly behind the scenes, ensuring everything in the corporate network runs like a “well-oiled machine”, for daily operations. Whether it is handling security and network administration or providing IT support and data backup, MNS has every aspect covered.

That said, navigating the complex pricing structures associated with MNS is far from simple. IT decision makers in sourcing, procurement and vendor management find themselves “scratching their heads”, trying to make sense of all this variability. When every other provider offers different definitions and pricing models, things like cost overruns and performance shortfalls are nearly un-avoidable.


This is why standardization of MNS is crucial. By streamlining processes and “ironing out” any in-consistencies, we can finally unlock the full potential of these services. Read on, as we further explore how standardizing MNS offerings can help businesses leverage the full potential of these services.

The Power of Standardization

The term standardization might not sound like the most significant concept at first glance, but it is really crucial when it comes to optimizing your MNS offering. It involves establishing consistent service definitions and pricing models, across your short-listed MNS providers. Think of it as establishing a common framework, where all participants adhere to the same protocols, guidelines, and basically speak the same language.

In the absence of any such standardization during the prospecting phase, it would be like “comparing apples with oranges”. The outcome would be a sub-optimal MNS solution, which may even end-up costing the deploying enterprise a lot more than initially projected.

This standardization brings a lot of clarity and transparency to the table. This is because when everyone is on the “same page” about what services are being provided, and how they are being priced, it becomes much easier to compare offerings and make informed decisions.

Sourcing, procurement and vendor management (SPVM) leaders can adopt standardization in the following ways:

  • One way to achieve standardization is by leveraging frameworks like the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library). This globally recognized framework provides a set of best practices for managing IT services, including MNS. By aligning your MNS offerings with the guiding principles of ITIL, you can ensure consistency and quality – across the board.
  • Another useful resource to consider is Gartner’s MNS Request for Proposal (RFP) template. This template lists the specific tasks MNS providers need to cover in their proposals. By asking bidders to use this template, you can ensure everyone is quoting MNS services along the same parameters, making it easier to compare them objectively.

Negotiating the Optimal Pricing

When it comes to securing the best value to money for your Managed Network Services (MNS), there are a few helpful strategies you can employ. One effective approach is to un-bundle offers. This means, instead of accepting a bundled package deal, you should break down the services into individual components. This allows you to negotiate each service separately, and potentially secure better rates. However, without proper homework, this option could also end up costing the deploying organization more than the bundled offer that was initially pitched by the MNS provider.

Another tip is to leverage industry benchmarks, such as Gartner’s price ranges. These benchmarks are based on the market’s per-device/per-month pricing model norms. This gives you valuable insights on what constitutes a fair price. By referencing these benchmarks during negotiations, you can ensure that you are getting a competitive quote.

Remember, the importance of standardization that we discussed earlier is not just about clarity and transparency – it is also a powerful negotiation tool. By establishing consistent service definitions and pricing models across your MNS providers, you create a “level playing field” for negotiations. What this means is, you get the best value for your money.

The Importance of Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Another crucial aspect of streamlining Managed Network Services (MNS) is Service Level Agreements (SLAs). These are important because they align service quality with standardized definitions and pricing. By carefully establishing and governing SLAs for MNS, or any other managed service for that matter, you can ensure consistent service quality, across the board. This means fewer headaches for you and your implementation team, as you can trust that your MNS provider is delivering on the promises outlined in the SLA.

Furthermore, SLAs also protect your bottom line. By clearly outlining service expectations and key performance metrics, SLAs help prevent cost over-runs and un-expected billing. This is especially crucial when you are working with standardized pricing models, as it ensures that you are getting the best value for your money.

Transparent and Competitive Pricing with ATSG

ATSG stands out in the global Managed Network Services (MNS) space, with a commitment to transparent and industry-competitive pricing. By leveraging standardized offerings and relatively transparent pricing models, ATSG ensures that businesses can optimize costs, while maintaining the highest service quality.


The ATSG OPTX™ Multi-Stack Observability Manager revolutionizes how your organization can monitor and manage your entire network infrastructure, from a single pane of glass.

This cutting-edge platform offers real-time statistics on network performance, and customizable dashboards on network visibility, endpoints and security, empowering businesses to proactively identify and address potential issues, before they escalate.

ATSG’s commitment to excellence and innovation has been recognized by industry experts as well. In the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Managed Network Services (MNS), ATSG was recognized as a Leader, affirming our position as a top global provider in the MNS market. With ATSG’s top-notch MNS offerings, enterprises can rest easy, knowing they are partnering with a top MNS provider, to support their evolving business needs.

Contact ATSG for cutting edge Managed Network, Managed Operations, Managed Security and Managed Cloud solutions for your organization.


Managed Network Services (MNS) offer businesses far more than just maintenance – they are a gateway to seizing the endless possibilities of digital transformation. Businesses can unlock the full potential of technology across their operations, by standardizing MNS services. In addition to pricing optimization and fine-tuning service quality, this standardization also fosters innovation and growth in today’s dynamic business arena.

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