Top Vendors for Data Center Managed Services

How does an enterprise select a managed services provider to handle important integrations of business apps and services to the cloud? Decision-makers can start by reading a side-by-side account of the market leaders in this eWEEK Top Companies article.

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The general cloud managed services market has splintered in the last several years as the IT business itself has grown and developed into more specific products and services, with the data center managed services segment being the largest. The categories include:

  • Managed Security Services
  • Managed Network Services
  • Managed Communication and Collaboration Services
  • Managed IT Infrastructure
  • Managed Data Center Services
  • Managed Mobility Services
  • Managed Information Services

This article will focus on managed services for data centers.

Data center managed services provisioning is a relatively new business model which takes an enterprise-wide, strategic approach to IT management. A managed service provider of any type is a company that provides information technology services on a contract basis.

Data center managed services comprises several stakeholders, such as service providers, system integrators, technology partners, consulting firms, research organizations, resellers and distributors, enterprise users and technology providers.

One of the key reasons why data center MSPs have become more widely utilized is the overall trend of enterprises moving to the cloud and digitizing their IT operations. This process has taken more than a decade to gather substantial momentum.

Here are eWEEK’s Top Managed Service Vendors for Data Centers in 2019.

IBM

Armonk, N.Y.

Value proposition for potential buyers: IBM was one of the original IT data center services providers and has maintained its marketshare leads as tops in the world in revenue. It continues to provide the widest range of managed services offerings on the market. In addition to providing managed services directly to its clients, the IBM also supports other MSPs—often ones that compete with it. It also provides a skills and training program through which IT professionals augment their existing skills and learn new ones. IBM generated revenues of approximately $79 billion in 2018, highest in the MSP business.

Key values/differentiators:

  • IBM Cloud Managed Services is a fully managed, security-rich and production-ready cloud environment designed to provide enterprise-class performance and availability.
  • With built-in security, including alternate-site disaster recovery for the most critical workloads, users can safeguard data and applications.
  • Cloud managed services from IBM help increase business agility with consumption-based cloud services.
  • Enables the scalability needed to avoid downtime and performance problems, run in a security-rich environment, and minimize infrastructure cost and complexity.
  • One-stop shop for enterprises in adding managed services to their IT systems.

Who uses it: Midrange to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud services, physical on-prem devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.8/5.0

Read user reviews of IBM

Accenture

Dublin, Ireland

Value proposition for potential buyers: Accenture is a global management consulting firm that offers a range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, tech and operations. Ranks up with IBM as the largest and most well-known companies on this list when it comes to management consultancy. Accenture’s goal is to collaborate with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Accenture is innovative. It has been developing its own software for years and recently announced what it calls artificial intelligence testing services.
  • Accenture is global, with approximately 204,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. The sheer size and reach of the global company is a huge selling point for many potential clients.
  • Combines years of experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies.
  • Pros: Known for stabilization, industrialized processes, minimal major outages, flexibility on changes in architecture
  • Con: Current service desk needs to mature to modern levels, resource quality/attrition in offshore centers.

Who uses it: SMBs to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud services, physical on-prem devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.8/5.0

Read user reviews of Accenture

Atos

Bezons, Ile-de-France, France

Value proposition for potential buyers: Might be the most forward-thinking company on of this list of MSPs. Atos last year even delved into quantum computing with the launch on an Intel-based emulator. Atos’ idea is to use the emulator to train its coders in the skills that will be needed in the future when actual quantum computers will be used for many tasks. Although it may now be among the less-famous tech companies, it earned revenues of $16 billion last year, which is reasonably high compared with others.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Atos platform is recognized as being among global industry leading providers; strong service management; providers’ expertise
  • Good at improving compliance and risk management, cost optimization
  • Good at creating internal/operational efficiencies
  • Top-flight functional capabilities
  • Excellent industry expertise
  • A strategic partner in every sense of the word. The company adapts with its clients’ business changes. Known to consistently meet SLAs.

Who uses it: SMBs to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud services, physical devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.8/5.0

Read user reviews of Atos

Infosys

Bangalore, India

Value proposition for potential buyers: Infosys is a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing and next-generation services. Infosys enables clients in more than 50 countries to stay ahead of the innovation curve. Infosys helps enterprises renew themselves while also creating new avenues to generate value. Infosys also provides enterprises with strategic insights on what lies ahead. Infosys help enterprises transform and thrive in a changing world through strategic consulting, operational leadership and the co-creation of breakthrough solutions, including those in mobility, sustainability, big data and cloud computing.

Infosys is excellent at retaining its customers. More than 95 percent of its $40 billion in annual revenue comes from repeat business. Infosys has a growing global presence with more than 187,000+ employees.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Infosys has expertise in virtually all sectors of information technology, which is a key requirement in data center migration projects.
  • Infosys is very flexible in working with a customer to scale up or down their resources and is able to assist providing the best financial options for the customer for each project. This can include deferred payments; ensuring the invoices meet the customer requires and negotiating on rates.
  • Having a large resource pool allows Infosys to quickly provide personnel with experience is all areas of the IT business.
  • Ample resources with the ability to escalate as required, 24/7 monitoring and very good reporting.

Who uses it: SMBs to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud services, physical devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.7/5.0

Read user reviews of Infosys

Fujitsu

Tokyo, Japan

Value proposition for potential buyers: Fujitsu is a leader worldwide in it data center managed services business. It provides increasing capabilities in various IT domains, such as IoT, public cloud managed services, process automation, mobility and others. Fujitsu provides stable service and strives to be a longtime business partner. Fujitsu is one of the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) companies, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 140,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. They use their experience and the power of ICT “to shape the future of society” with their customers.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Generally known as stable, cooperative, innovative company with which to work
  • Clients report Fujitsu that generally is very client-focused and provides a high-quality service that is of great value. Staff are a pleasure to work with and have brilliant knowledge and expertise. Most  implementations have been a success, users report.
  • Customers have reported that the delivery team is very strong, thinking with the customer and working toward achieving true customer satisfaction

To Take Under Advisement:

  • Contract negotiation in sole sourcing mode can be too complex and rigid
  • Project pricing, lead times, complexity of organization can be problematic

Who uses it: Midrange companies to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud services, physical devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.5/5.0

Read user reviews of Fujitsu

Cognizant

Teaneck, N.J.

Value proposition for potential buyers: Cognizant turned 25 in 2019 and remains one of the world's leading data center professional services providers. It is in the field of transforming clients' business, operating and technology models for the digital era. Its industry-based, consultative approach helps clients envision, build and run more innovative and efficient data centers. Cognizant is ranked 195 on the Fortune 500 and is consistently listed among the most admired companies in the world.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Highly flexible and collaborative partner; account executives are very transparent and work to do "the right thing"
  • Flexibility, data center hardware stability, modernization is good
  • Technology is stable and modern. Data centers are top-notch operations in geographically redundant locations.
  • Early on with Cognizant, processes were lacking, but it has since improved; they were minor issues but were handled with urgency

To Take Under Advisement:

  • Project management lacking at times due to lower investment in this area than should be provided in a steady state operations with an SOW in place.

Who uses it: SMBs to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud services, physical devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.7/5.0

Read user reviews of Cognizant

Tata Consultancy Services

Mumbai, India

Value proposition for potential buyers: Based in Mumbai, India, and founded in 1968, Tata Consultancy Services is a multinational information technology services, business solutions and consulting company that competes on a global level with all the major data center consultancies. TCS offers an integrated consulting-led portfolio of IT-enabled services comprising application development and maintenance, business intelligence, enterprise solutions, engineering and industrial services and infrastructure services delivered through its own Global Network Delivery process.

The company has domain expertise in a wide set of industries, comprising banking and financial services, insurance, telecom, manufacturing, retail and distribution, high tech, life sciences, health care, transportation, energy and utilities, media and entertainment and others.

TCS operates in five continents, with North America and Europe constituting the largest markets for its services. It derives more than 20 percent of its revenues from emerging markets such as India, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle-East & Africa.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Capable of handling virtually any data center building, integration or modernization project anywhere on Earth
  • Known for flexibility in contracting and servicing
  • Utilizes a very smooth operations model
  • Company-wide focus on joint effort to get projects done in team style is excellent
  • Adding expertise in AI and ML, so services will be improved in the future

To Take Under Advisement:

  • More standard technology services and working methods needed

Who uses it: SMBs to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud services, physical devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.7/5.0

Read user reviews of Tata Consultancy Services

Wipro

Bengaluru, India

Value proposition for potential buyers: Wipro, the granddaddy of data center services providers, was founded in 1945, right after World War II ended. It operates in a more diverse range of markets than many, because it offers managed services, business automation and home automation—among others. The India-based company generated revenue of just under $8.5 billion last year. During the next three years, the company is planning to go all-digital, with the CEO saying that 100 per cent of the company’s resources are being allocated to the digital operations goal.

Key values/differentiators:
  • Wipro Ltd. has 160,000+ workforce serving clients in 175+ cities across six continents. The company posts revenues of about $9 billion yearly.
  • Wipro helps customers do business better by using Wipro industry-wide experience, deep technology expertise, comprehensive portfolio of services and vertically aligned business model. Wipro has more than 50 dedicated emerging technologies Centers of Excellence to enable customers to harness the latest technology for delivering business capability to our clients.
  • Wipro is globally recognized for its innovative approach toward delivering business value and its commitment to sustainability. Wipro champions optimized utilization of natural resources, capital and talent.
  • Wipro Technologies was recently assessed at Level 5 for CMMI V 1.2 across offshore and onsite development centers.

Who uses it: Midrange to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud services, physical devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.6/5.0

Read user reviews of Wipro

Datapipe

Jersey City, N.J.

Value proposition for potential buyers: Datapipe offers managed hosting services and data centers for cloud computing and IT companies. The company, founded in 1998, offers a single-provider solution for managing and securing mission-critical IT services, including cloud computing, infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, colocation and data centers. Datapipe delivers those services from the world's most influential technical and financial markets, including New York metro, Silicon Valley, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Datapipe provides services to a range of vertical industries, including financial services, health care and pharmaceutical, manufacturing and distribution, state and federal governments, publishing, media and communications, business services, public sector, technology and software
  • Proactive project consultation and quick project engagement are good factors
  • Datapipe was named to Gartner's 2010 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service and Web Hosting.

Who uses it: SMBs to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud services, physical devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.8/5.0

Read user reviews of Datapipe

Rackspace

San Antonio, Texas

Value proposition for potential buyers: Founded in 1998, Rackspace has been there since the beginning of data center cloud services—in fact, since the ASP (application service providers) days. The company provides hybrid cloud-based services that enable businesses to run their workload in a public or private cloud. Rackspace’s engineers deliver specialized expertise on top of leading technologies developed by OpenStack, Microsoft, VMware, and others through a service known as Fanatical Support. It has more than 300,000 customers worldwide, including two-thirds of FORTUNE 100 companies.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Rackspace has named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting
  • Rackspace gets high marks from users for the following:
  1. Onboarding and transition from incumbent provider for DevOps, Infrastructure and Ops
  2. Educating customers’ internal teams on Rackspace's capabilities and support processes
  3. Internal collaboration between FAWS support and Rackspace Managed Security, particularly for contracts/terms/cost.
  4. Incident response from the Rackspace tech team (i.e.: Tech Acct Mgr, Tech lead) has been good Critical
  5. Team collaboration around infrastructure strategies for scaling (up/down) and executing on the plan.

Who uses it: SMBs to large enterprises
How it works: subscription cloud service, physical devices and services
eWEEK score: 4.8/5.0

Read user reviews of Rackspace

Honorable mentions:  AT&T, Cisco Systems, Equinix, HCL, Capgemini

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...