Regardless of industry, clientele or scale, your business needs reliable digital services. From your internet connection and network services to cybersecurity and beyond, these service offerings define the way you function internally and serve your customers.
The managed services model may represent the ideal way to ensure your organization receives a suitable level of performance from its digital resources. Offerings from a managed service provider (MSP) don’t require support from your internal team. This helps you and your people focus on core competencies and business operations.
This shifting of labor to an MSP can save your organization money while also boosting productivity. The suites of services offered by these external partners are carefully overseen and optimized to provide a hands-off experience.
When you choose a multi-service MSP, you can combine numerous essential functions into a single contract. Such a synergistic bundle can deliver further effectiveness and efficiency to the way your company receives key digital services. But before delving into the details, it’s worth starting at the beginning — what is an MSP and what does such a business offer?
What Is a Managed Service Provider?
A managed service provider is a company that works with you on a contract basis, providing fully featured services and supporting them with its own staff. This means when you purchase your business-grade internet connection through an MSP, for instance, everything from installation to day-to-day monitoring and troubleshooting will be handled by the provider, not your internal IT team.
An MSP will provide its offerings according to a service level agreement, which clearly stipulates the level of performance you are guaranteed to receive. Dealing with an MSP provides peace of mind because, from the beginning of the engagement, you have a clear picture of what you’ve signed up for.
MSP contracts include:
- Installation and maintenance of physical equipment: Rather than choosing and installing your own IT hardware, you can turn these tasks over to an MSP. A managed IT service provider will work with top original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to procure the right technology for you, and then provide the personnel to maintain, upgrade and repair the gear as required. This takes the pressure off your organization to provide internal staff to deal with the specialized assets.
- Upkeep and performance monitoring: Keeping services running up to a certain level of quality and reliability requires hands-on attention. With an MSP contract, all these tasks become the responsibility of the provider’s team, further lessening the burden on your personnel. The MSP’s team can keep the service running up to high standards of performance, ensuring your company has the IT capabilities necessary to serve customers and keep the team productive.
- Remote support and troubleshooting: Problems happen in IT — disruptions due to internal or external factors can bring operations to a halt. The only question is, who is responsible for fixing these issues, or getting ahead of them proactively? When you work with a managed IT service provider, all these resolution efforts are jobs for the MSP’s team. This provides peace of mind and the understanding that there will always be someone on call to maintain your offerings.
Any events that would put a strain on your IT team or demand additional time and attention from your own personnel are handled externally when you work with a managed service provider. Even as your needs grow and change over time, MSPs can keep up with these demands. Your customers ultimately benefit, as you can keep serving them reliably.
What Kind of Services Can Your MSP Offer?
There are MSPs for every type of business IT service imaginable, collectively adding up to a full suite of essential technologies. This encompasses:
- Commercial internet connectivity: You should ensure you have a strong and reliable internet connection, with adequate bandwidth for all your company’s needs, as well as redundancy and backups. In today’s digital-first business climate, your internet connection connects you to your employees, as well as your internal and client-facing cloud services. Companies today primarily run online, so turning to an MSP for connectivity is a worry-free way to keep access to all your essential services.
- Networking and wide-area networks (WAN): Taking a closer look at the way data moves within your company’s networks is an important part of running a high-performance, cost-effective business. Managed IT service providers can deploy a dependable software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solution with careful monitoring services to optimize effectiveness.
- Wi-Fi: Internet connectivity for today’s businesses shouldn’t be limited to wired connections. Wi-Fi helps your workers log on reliably as they move around and also allows you to welcome customers, contractors and other guests into your networks. An MSP can install and maintain all the necessary equipment for reliable Wi-Fi performance.
- Unified communications (UCaaS): The many methods of communication used by companies today — voice, video conferencing, text chat and more — can all be unified on a single platform that integrates with your existing software tools. Turning this solution over to an MSP allows you to harness worry-free collaboration with a high-quality user experience.
- Cybersecurity: In terms of safeguarding your organization’s data, it’s important to maintain high standards against advanced cyber threats. A security compliance failure could bring fines, while a breach can come with extensive spending on recovery and remediation, along with a potential loss of reputation. Keeping up with today’s active cyber criminals is a job for trained experts equipped with advanced technology. As part of an MSP contract, you can attain this high level of cybersecurity and business continuity performance.
The key value proposition of working with a managed IT service provider combines a few discrete benefits. These include:
- Budgetary value: The costs associated with an MSP contract are simple and predictable — you pay an agreed-upon fee and receive the corresponding service level. This is a contrast with the spending necessary to maintain in-house IT services, which involves the capital expenses of purchasing and upgrading top-of-the-line equipment, as well as the salary outlay to employ a full team of professionals.
- Simplicity of offerings: In addition to not having to pay the sticker price for new IT hardware and software, an MSP service also takes away the responsibility of independently selecting that technology, and then maintaining it over time. The service offerings provided by MSPs are designed to work seamlessly, and when you purchase multiple services at once, they function synergistically.
- Overall performance: Achieving high-performance levels is another reason to work with an MSP. These organizations’ full attention is devoted to getting results for their IT customers. By purchasing industry-leading technology and hiring teams of experts across disciplines, they can offer a tier of service that can be hard to achieve with an individual company’s budget, and then make that performance accessible via contract.
Multi-Service Providers: Combine Offerings for Extra Value
If you’re searching for a variety of services, your best bet may be a multi-service provider. Such a versatile partner can assist with numerous service offerings at once, putting together a customized suite to suit your business’s needs and react to its existing situation.
A best-in-class multi-service provider will ensure all its various service offerings synergize with one another, providing a high level of performance. Furthermore, the overall simplicity of handling IT offerings through an MSP model is only enhanced when multiple services are combined into one contract. Dealing with a single point of contact for numerous IT needs is a streamlined way of acquiring the services that power your organization.
Why Work with an MSP for Critical Business Services?
Combine all the advantages and possibilities of working with an MSP for your professional services, and the value of the model becomes clear. Specific advantages for your company can include:
- Refocusing internal efforts on core competencies: When there is a team of experts on hand to take on your organization’s IT infrastructure and service responsibilities, your internal personnel gain time back in their days for business operations. They can spend the extra hours on value-adding work in their core disciplines.
- Achieving predictable, affordable spending levels: Contracts with managed IT service providers take the form of recurring operating expenses that are easy to factor into your budget, as opposed to the capital expense spikes of buying your own IT equipment. Combined with the savings from bundling services, the financial advantages can add up quickly.
- Delivering the experience employees and customers expect: A reliable MSP service can help you keep the performance levels of your IT systems strong and consistent. This is essential in today’s climate, as both internal productivity and customer experience depend upon applications hosted via cloud computing.
- Future-proofing to deal with growth and expansion: The need to procure more IT equipment and upgrade services can strain organizations as they grow and evolve. Dealing with an MSP adds a high level of flexibility for your business, letting you adjust a contract rather than making purchases out of pocket.
There’s an MSP offering available for companies of any size and industry. Picking a solution tailored to your needs can put you on the path to value. For an example of MSP contacts in action, see the value a multi-service provider brings to commercial property managers.
Ready to Start Your MSP Journey?
Whether you’re outfitting a single-location company with IT hardware and services, building consistent infrastructure across multiple facilities or implementing services for a multi-tenant facility that services client firms, an MSP can help you.
Small organizations and large companies can both take significant benefits from MSP contracts. The small business value case is especially strong, as a managed IT service provider can deliver an enterprise-grade IT experience without the need to build a department in-house.
Take a close look at your current IT spending and performance levels, and consider your options. A tailored and custom-quoted suite of offerings from a multi-service provider could take your organization to the next level.