As the name suggests, a managed service providers is an organization that manages IT services of other companies. So when a company is unable to handle its IT infrastructure, it may outsource some of its services to another company (MSP). This will save money and free up time so that the company can focus more on generating revenue.
MSPs provide a range of services via the Internet to support their clients’ IT infrastructure. They run multiple servers, offer network services and software applications in order to efficiently manage vital tasks related to customer service.
1. What IT Services managed service providers Offer?
Some of the IT services that Managed Service Providers offer are mentioned below:
- Bandwidth allocation
- Social collaboration and file sharing
- Date Center services
- Helpdesk support
- Secure messaging and email
- Remote firewall administration
- Uninterrupted remote access
- Infrastructure management and security
- VoIP and Unified Communications
- Protect clients’ network from cyber attacks
Apart from IT infrastructure, MSPs can also handle other aspects of business such as human resource, payroll, procurement and sourcing, contract management and compliance, and workforce management.
2. Benefits of Hiring Managed Service Providers
- Often a company incorporates a technology to handle their business effectively. However, managing the technology itself can be a costly affair. The resources required to keep the technology running smoothly can increase your business expenditure to a great extent. In such circumstances, taking the help of a MSP can work wonders to reduce your overall cost.
- MSPs provide a cost effective solution as they work on a subscription model, which means customers have to pay only a fixed monthly fee to use their services.
- MSPs have a dedicated IT staff which is specially trained to serve customer needs. The level and quality of service MSPs provide is top-notch that guarantee customer satisfaction. You don’t have to invest on resources like IT technicians as MSPs have the team to flawlessly manage your IT infrastructure.
- MSPs offer 24/7 monitoring, administration and support, which ensures business continuity even during emergencies. MSPs are considered an expert in disaster recovery business solutions. This will ensure best possible uptime and reliability from the outsourced systems.
- MSPs act as a single point of contact to manage all your IT needs. They provide real-time support for most of the issues thereby ensuring better business outcomes. They own up the responsibility of any issues occurring from their services.
3. Why Companies Avoid Managed Service Providers
- Companies hiring MSPs, have little control over routine work of day-to-day monitoring and system maintenance chores. Moreover, loss of operations control over certain functions of information technology often deters companies from taking the services of MSPs.
- Since data records of customers are managed by another company (MSP), concerns have also been raised over security and privacy of data being compromised. Customer data outsourced to another company may not have strict data protection laws in place, thereby increasing the risk of cyber-attacks.
- Companies are also concerned over handling of IT infrastructure services to just one single MSP. Depending on a single provider for all their IT needs can put their business at risk when the provider faces a catastrophic event.
4. How Managed Service Providers can Improve their Business
If MSPs want to stay ahead of the competition and delight customers with prompt service delivery, they need to improve their operational efficiency. This will help MSPs to become more efficient in handling clients with more complex environments. When efficiency is better, it increases service quality, which can make the customers happier.
It is equally important to reduce operating costs, which will enable Managed Service Providers to generate more revenue and reduce overhead. To address these issues, it is advised to use a Business management software that help to easily automate processes so that MSPs perform their activities more efficiently. They won’t get stuck in handling mundane tasks, which will enable them to focus more on business growth.
By using the right software platform, day-to-day IT management will become much easier, thereby saving time and money in delivering services. Supporting your customers with the right technology will enable MSPs to discover new ways to address their issues. You will be able to handle multiple customers’ IT system simultaneously.
5. How to Become a MSP?
Unlike Value Added Resellers, MSPs are mainly involved in selling managed services. Managed services is a complex activity as it involves the management of IT systems on a long-term basis. Following are things to do in order to ensure smooth transition from VAR to MSP:
- It is imperative to hire the right set of technicians for the IT services you will be offering. Decide the services that should be included and accordingly recruit certified technicians with the required expertise.
- You will require a RMM software that has been designed to deliver maintenance work on clients’ servers, desktops and mobile devices via the Internet.
- You also need to consult a solution provider that will provide all the necessary infrastructure to start MSP business. Ensure that the infrastructure integrates well with your existing management platform.
- One of the most important steps in becoming a MSP is to build and maintain a network operation center (NOC). NOC is a physical location wherein IT technicians do the job of monitoring and maintaining client networks. You should also offer help desk support services to address customer issues.
- In order to reduce overhead cost, consider outsourcing some of your tasks to a technology company. For instance, some MSPs prefer to outsource their NOC services to a third-party provider.
- It is also important for MSPs to develop a strong sales and marketing plan to drive business. So devise a strategy that will help you to get the attention of prospects, engage their interest and boost conversions.
Managed Service Providers will have to undergo a thorough audit process, which is conducted by MSPAlliance, a global organization consisting of over 5000 managed service providers. The organization will evaluate your services and practices that you follow when conducting your MSP business. The organization identifies issues and offers consultation to remedy shortcomings in your practice. After the inspection, MSPAlliance will generate and submit the audit report to a 3rd party CPA firm. The firm will review the report and sign it. It will be then officially presented along with MSP/Cloud Verify logo and seal.
6. Advantages of Becoming a Managed Service Providers
- The MSP subscription model is affordable for customers but at the same time acts as a good source of recurring revenue for MSPs.
- By using the right Software platform, MSPs can provide a variety of IT services which can attract a more diverse clientele, thereby giving MSPs plenty of opportunities to increase their revenue.
- Besides being a one-stop solution for their IT needs, MSPs prevent problems instead of just fixing them. MSPs are more involved in proactive problem management, which can prevent future outages. All this helps in improving service availability and building a stronger relationship with customers.
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