A managed service provider (MSP) is a private, independent third-party organization that efficiently remotely oversees an entire customer’s IT infrastructure (IT infrastructure) and network resources. Large and small businesses alike typically hire MSPs, often to do a defined list of basic administrative functions, such as data recovery, telecommunications management and network deployment. However, a growing number of companies are choosing to outsource administrative tasks, like those involved with data center design and management. These businesses have realized that it is more cost-effective, time-efficient and secure to contract with a MSP to provide on-site IT support services. Additionally, outsourcing these types of tasks allows vendors to focus their resources on core business functions.
The term “cloud service provider” describes a wide array of services that may be contracted between an MSP and a cloud service provider. Some common examples of cloud services that may be outsourced by an MSP include: application lifecycle management (abor) – this term refers to the process of identifying an application’s lifecycle beginning from its conception up until its removal from a database or service environment. This is particularly valuable for organizations that are in the early stages of developing software applications. It also helps prevent technologies from becoming “stone-age,” and requires an MSP to implement complex technologies that aren’t yet in popular use in the marketplace. RaaS – this refers to real-time application performance management, which monitors a business’ software usage and determines what processes need to be executed to ensure that applications are being used effectively.
Technicians in a managed service provider can provide many of the services listed above. However, technicians are only one part of a successful team. Effective teams include one or more technical experts, department managers, and support professionals. Managers determine how each department interacts with technicians, how technicians contribute to the organization, how departmental systems are interrelated, and what role technicians play within all departments. Executives and other top management regularly approve budgets, set policies and procedures, and determine who performs which jobs. Managers are often involved in ensuring that goals and missions are being met, but they generally do not make final decisions or responsibilities.
Depending on the nature of a project, there may be a need for specialized resources. Managed service providers can utilize specialized personnel such as technical support technicians to assist with tasks such as network installation and maintenance. Support technicians can help administrators plan for future needs, develop a deployment strategy, monitor and track servers, and respond to unexpected issues. Administrators can also assign one or more technicians to manage their physical infrastructure, such as hardware, software, backup systems, and networks. In some cases, an MSP may have multiple teams in charge of different aspects of their infrastructure.
An MSP may provide direct customer service or support via chat, e-mail, and remote access applications. There are many different ways that an MSP can support their clients, and these services vary depending upon the type of technology that is used by an MSP. Some businesses may prefer to have an onsite service, while others may prefer to have remote access services via chat, e-mail, and other technologies. Technicians that work for an MSP can provide support based upon the type of technologies that are used by the client.
There are many benefits to using an MSP. These benefits include:
- reduced costs due to lower overhead expenses
- greater control over costs and expenditures
- higher productivity due to better resource utilization
- higher level of security because of improved in-house IT support and infrastructure
- faster deployment because of the use of specialized personnel and equipment
- flexibility of deploying new solutions and upgrades
- ability to provide customized software products that are designed for optimal end user experience
- and improved satisfaction among customers.
An MSP also provides a level of service that is often more consistent than that provided by an in-house team. The ability to provide telephonic guidance with the use of cutting edge technology also allows MSPs and their clients to offer a personalized experience. Telephonic direct support and advice provided by an MSP is often able to significantly reduce the number of return calls made by an end user.
The benefits of choosing to use an MSP are many, but there are several disadvantages associated with this choice as well. The primary disadvantage of using an MSP is that the cost of hiring an MSP can be expensive. Also, there is a need for an internal team to manage the day to day operations of an MSP. Also, the number of people needed to manage the day to day activities of a managed service provider is generally much larger than that required by an MSP.
A managed service provider can be a great solution for companies that want to leverage the technology of information technology, but do not have the resources to do so on their own. This type of managed service provider can provide a wide variety of services, from implementing new technologies to assisting current enterprises with their information technology infrastructure needs. It is important, however, that an organization understand the advantages and disadvantages of employing a managed service provider, as well as the limitations of third-party options, in order to make the best decisions regarding their technology infrastructure.