What to look for in a Managed Services Provider

 In Managed Services

Selecting a managed service provider (MSP) is a major decision that cannot be taken lightly. A company engaging an MSP is trusting the management of at least a part of their information technology (IT) to a third party. Businesses need to be sure they choose an MSP that can effectively deliver their advertised services.

We’re going to look at what a customer should expect to achieve from partnering with an MSP. The information we provide will help you choose an MSP that addresses your IT needs and enables you to concentrate on growing your business.

What is a Managed Service Provider?

An MSP is a third-party organization that manages part or all of a customer’s IT infrastructure and systems. MSPs are widely used by small and medium-sized businesses to manage a specified portion of a customer’s computing environment. A service provider often assumes responsibility for the day-to-day management of services, freeing up in-house resources and allowing them to focus on meeting business objectives.

Some MSPs specialize in serving customers from specific markets such as healthcare, the financial services industry, or manufacturing. They offer experience in addressing the unique issues faced by these companies. MSPs can also focus on a particular aspect of IT. For instance, an MSP may specialize in providing IT security or managing a customer’s storage requirements.

MSPs can assist customers on-site, but the majority of MSPs use remote access to provide their services. A managed services contract gives the MSP full responsibility for the designated portions of a customer’s IT environment. This includes performing routine maintenance, problem resolution, and capacity management of the selected services and systems.

What is the Scope of Managed Services?

The diversity of offerings available from an MSP covers a wide range of a customer’s IT environment. The client can choose from a portfolio of services that address their specific needs. Following are some of the services you can expect to find offered by a reputable MSP.

  • Infrastructure audits and assessments carried out by the MSP can identify issues or vulnerabilities in a customer’s environment. The experience provided by the MSP can uncover deficiencies that escaped the notice of an internal IT team.
  • Security services can help strengthen a customer’s network and data resources by installing antivirus software and firewalls. With security at a premium these days, this can be one of the most important services obtained through an MSP.
  • Virtual help desk services enable the MSP to become the focal point and assist internal and external users to resolve technology issues. If necessary, the MSP should interact with vendors to address problems beyond its control.
  • Comprehensive 24×7 monitoring services are available for a customer’s network, systems, and applications. Through remote access, an MSP’s technical resources can proactively address issues before they become business-impacting problems.
  • Backup and disaster recovery services are vital to maintaining business continuity. Backing up data regularly and securely is essential in the face of the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks or to address other issues affecting business-critical systems. Disaster recovery planning and testing should be a high priority for businesses that rely on their IT infrastructures.
  • MSPs often offer support for a customer’s desktop computers and servers. They can be responsible for the deployment and configuration of in-scope systems as well as investigating and resolving user issues. The support can include patch management to ensure that software is kept updated and critical security upgrades are installed promptly.
  • Support for mobile devices is becoming increasingly important with more companies promoting a remote workforce. By managing mobile devices, an MSP can ensure that the equipment is provisioned and deployed to meet company data security standards.
  • MSPs can manage a customer’s vendor relationships and help them obtain the right solution for their unique situation. The experience in dealing with multiple vendors gives them an advantage when searching for appropriate products to address customer requirements.

Most MSPs also offer assistance with custom projects outside the scope of their standard offerings.

What are the Benefits of Managed Services?

Companies engaging a reliable and experienced MSP can expect to enjoy both technical and business benefits. Achieving these benefits is the reason customers engage an MSP rather than attempting to manage the environment with in-house resources.

Technical benefits

  • An MSP offers customers access to technical expertise that may not be available with internal resources. The MSP’s success rests on the skills of their technical teams. They have experts who can address all areas of an IT environment.
  • Working with an MSP ensures customers that industry best practices will be implemented across the customer’s computing landscape. Following best practices maintains system availability and enhances security.
  • A valuable technical benefit of working with an MSP is access to new technologies and techniques that improve a customer’s IT operations and help them reach their business objectives.

Business benefits

  • An MSP will ensure your business-critical systems and applications are available for internal users and customers.
  • Your technical team is freed from routine system support and can concentrate on value-added projects.
  • Support costs can be reduced with flexible contracts and less need for internal training.

Choosing the Right Managed Service Provider

A reliable MSP can provide your company with the extensive benefits previously discussed. The right MSP goes beyond simply being a service provider and forms a partnership with its clients to help them optimize their IT environment and further business goals.

Prescient Solutions is the right MSP to choose if your company wants a reliable partner to help navigate the complexities of modern computing environments. They have experience with multiple organizations of different sizes in many market sectors. Prescient’s extensive portfolio of services addresses the needs of its customers with remote and onsite support.

With Prescient, specific team members will be managing your account, enabling them to gain familiarity with your environment and deliver optimal results. You’ll be able to sleep well with the knowledge that your IT requirements are being met by an MSP that wants to be a partner in the success of your business.

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