In today’s IT world, where every minute detail is vital for companies to stay ahead, an MSP refers to an IT Services company which coordinates and administers (manages) all or a part of a company’s IT networks and systems. The range of services MSPs offer can range from being solely responsible for ensuring that your IT networks are up to date with patches to being involved in all fixes, upgrades and patches, as well as offering new software, hardware, infrastructure and more. This makes an MSP Services provider one of the most indispensable IT support providers available today. An MSP’s services can also include server management of virtual servers, email monitoring, network maintenance and management, desktop support, testing and vulnerability assessment. With these extensive set of IT support services, an MSP Services provider offers virtually anything you need to keep your business running smoothly. How do you find the best?
A great place to start is by looking at the industry. There are many known and emerging vendors within the computer systems and network security field. There are many well-established companies who have built extensive IT support experience. Some are global players, while others are locally focused. IT support providers offer their expertise and knowledge through specialized software programs for network security and maintenance. The most common programs are the following:
Different Aspects of IT Support
o ERP Software – ERP stands for enterprise resource planning and a good MSP Solutions provider will offer this too. ERP software helps to manage both internal and external company information. An MSP can install, deploy, manage and upgrade ERP software on your company’s network. They are able to provide integrated solutions that are cost-effective and comply with local standards and regulations. For an MSP to remain competitive in today’s market, they must be on top of their game. Implementing and maintaining ERP software can be a costly endeavor.
o Installation and Security – Similar to ERP, installation and security are vital elements of an MSP Solutions provider’s expertise. A quality MSP will understand the needs of a client and design a program that will be installed in accordance with local laws and requirements. Implementing new technology and updating outdated infrastructure requires the assistance of skilled experts who understand and implement state-of-the-art methods of securing your data.
o Hardware and Software – Hardware upgrades, repairs and replacements require the expertise of qualified MSP technicians. A reliable MSP will work closely with your vendor to create a customized, fully integrated solution that works for your company. Standardized solutions often include server and network based equipment which works across all current and future hardware setups. Migration from current servers and networks to the latest hardware and software is another cost saving factor that cannot be overlooked when evaluating managed service providers.
Managed Service Provider Important Aspects
o Service Level Agreements (SLAs) – For managed service providers, SLAs are a crucial part of their business. An effective SLA demonstrates to your customers the level of service you can deliver to them. Every customer interaction with your company should be defined, organized and supported. Your MSP will engage in ongoing communications with your business to monitor your current service level, your future SLAs and future plans. Ensuring a quality service-level agreement between your MSP and your business will save you time and money. Additionally, a good SLA provides a reference that your clients and employees can refer to when issues arise.
o Resilience to Complex Business Environment – Another key advantage to choosing a managed service provider that incorporates a proactive and reactive approach to addressing threats to your infrastructure is resilience. In a highly volatile business environment, the ability of an IT support provider to respond quickly and efficiently to new or evolving threats to your infrastructure is vital. In a traditional venue for IT support, such as a brick-and-mortar office, it can be difficult to anticipate and respond to emerging trends and vulnerabilities. With a proactive and reactive MSP, this is easily addressed because they are familiar with your industry and can anticipate how your business will evolve.
o Flat Fee Billing – One other important consideration is whether to choose a managed services MSP that offers a flat fee or not. When choosing between a managed services MSP that uses a flat fee for on-demand versus one that charge a monthly subscription rate, there are several things to consider. First, flat fee billing models typically provide a higher level of service and security than subscriptions. Second, a flat fee MSP may require the customer to pay a significant upfront fee before beginning work, which can limit the MSP’s ability to focus on securing the most critical infrastructure.