The customer is increasingly - and understandably - becoming the focus of managed services. That is why customer-centric services are Ericsson’s main focus at the Managed Services World Congress 2012 in Berlin, Germany.

In the early days of managed services, the focus was on improving efficiency and getting down costs. Today’s model is based not only on financial savings, but on creating sustainable business differentiation, on new ways to stand out from the growing competition.

And the customer experience is one of the most important ways to stand out. Analyst firm Gartner has identified customer experience as a key focus area in its top 10 communications service-provider trends for 2011-2012.

Ericsson, the diamond sponsor for Managed Services World Congress 2012, will be highlighting the customer-centric managed-services model at this year’s conference. The model focuses on customer expectations and demands, and ensures that service delivery is aligned with these requirements.

Bradley MeadBradley Mead, Head of Network Managed Services at Ericsson, says a successful managed-services agreement must be based on common goals from the strategic, business and operational perspectives. “Mutual understanding between the services vendor and customer-service provider allows you to make aligned, tactical choices,” he says. “Common goals foster closer cooperation, proactivity and innovation – and unlock the potential of both vendor and service provider.”

Ericsson representatives will meet at the Managed Services World Congress to discuss how customer-centric strategic partnerships can improve the customer experience and create additional business value.

“Both sides need to understand that and ensure that we are always driving things in a way where we both win, we both share in the benefit and we’re ultimately doing things that drive the right culture and business outcomes,” Mead says.