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Hughes Scores Highest: Why the Gartner Critical Capabilities Study is So Informative


Hughes ranked #1 in all 5 use cases

Since the Gartner Critical Capabilities for Managed Network Services (MNS) report and its companion report, the Magic Quadrant for MNS, came out in November 2020, I’ve had many opportunities to speak with customers and industry participants. Both reports are insightful and useful, but the Magic Quadrant seems to get more attention. I find this interesting because even Gartner analysts will note that the Critical Capabilities report is more relevant for potential customers seeking a solutions provider, especially in the near term.

The Critical Capabilities report is more relevant because it looks only at the here and now while focusing on two questions: What vendors are best suited to delivering today regarding specific use cases, and what solutions and services do they offer? There is no consideration for future capabilities or hypothetical expectations, only a proven track record of delivery over the last 12 months.



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By focusing on the most common use cases, Gartner provides a way for customers to prioritize specific business needs. In the MNS report, five use cases are examined: MNS Overall Competency, MNS for LAN/WLAN, Multi-Carrier WAN, Heavy Cloud End Users, and Heavy Work at Home End Users. As a business, you can align your specific needs to these use cases for clear guidance about which providers will best meet your business needs.

I discovered another interesting aspect of the report. As part of the report’s online experience, Gartner enables you to create and customize your own use case to your company’s needs. If you have a Gartner license, you can manipulate the capability weightings as part of the online tool and generate your own blended use case to match your particular network service needs. Even if you don’t have a license, you can reach out to us at Hughes and we can set up a review/demo with you.

I’ve used the customized use case tool a few times and two results were readily apparent. First, the existing use cases are thorough, so the output from a customized use case often almost matches one of Gartner’s pre-existing scenarios. And second, the exercise of creating a customized use case is always illuminating. The process highlights key tradeoffs between different business requirements across the organization and leads to important decisions on priorities and future initiatives. In fact, I have found that this exercise is far more powerful than the results from the online model.

I also find this report compelling because of what’s included in the title of the piece: Hughes ranked #1 in all 5 use cases in the report. That almost never happens in a Gartner Critical Capabilities report. I’ve scanned roughly 20 recent Critical Capabilities reports across many functional areas and couldn’t find another example of a single clear leader across all featured use cases. This speaks volumes about Hughes’ ability to serve the needs of customers in the area of Managed Network Services. As a Managed Services Provider (MSP), we pride ourselves on being able to define, develop, deploy, operate, and maintain the networks that empower our customers’ businesses and keep them connected to their customers and employees, but seeing the results of our efforts so clearly reflected in these reports validates our commitment to these goals. It also inspires us to strive further when it comes to industry leadership and our ability to innovate and deliver solutions that enable customers to thrive.

If you dig deeper into the Critical Capabilities report, you can see the underlying reasons for our success. Gartner lays out seven key capabilities that they scored as fundamental to delivering MNS solutions. Of those seven, we earned an outright #1 score in four capabilities, are tied twice for the #1 position, and are tied in another category for #2. Looking closer at the managed WAN and managed LAN/WAN services use cases, Hughes is substantially ahead of even the second-ranked finishers, which further highlights our excellence in delivering these services. And just as important, we were recognized for our strong emphasis and focus on the customer, with leading scores in the Customer Experience Management category.

Bringing this back to the recent customer conversations I’ve had about the Gartner Critical Capabilities for MNS report, what most frequently receives attention is our proven service delivery and commitment to the customer. In a report identifying the 10 most capable MNS providers out of 50 who were in consideration, to lead all five use cases and six of the seven capabilities areas is a great form of recognition. This speaks volumes about the core of who we are and what we strive to be at Hughes. Given the Critical Capabilities report’s relevance and actionable insights for customers, I love talking about it with customers and prospects, not just because we performed well in it, but because it’s clear evidence of how our values, vision, and capabilities serve our customers.

Access the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Managed Network Services.

If you have any questions about the Critical Capabilities for MNS report or would like a demo of the custom use case tool, contact us. 

Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Managed Network Services, 10 November 2020, Danellie Young, Lisa Pierce, Ted Corbett

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