What is an MSP (Managed Service Provider)?

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by Wayne Roye

by Wayne Roye

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What is an MSP (Managed Service Provider)?

    One of the most important things you can, absolutely must do when starting your own business, is to choose the right managed service provider. Not doing so means that things will be much harder for you in the future and at the end of the day, it is your business that suffers. Having a great MSP (or Managed Service Provider) is a BIG deal for your business or organization. </p><p data-pm-slice="1 1 []">A managed service provider (MSP) is a company that provides IT support and services, typically to businesses. It offers a variety of services including managed IT support, data center operations and systems management.</p>https://6cc.80b.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Managed-Services-IT-Company-New-York-New-Jersey.mp4
        <h3>Analysis and Customization</h3>
    <p>An MSP is not a virtual IT department. They are an actual company that employs people who provide your IT needs. That's what makes them so beneficial for businesses of all sizes across the United States.

The job of an MSP is to provide IT support for an organization’s systems and data. The MSP does this by analyzing the needs of the client and then creating a customized solution for them.

A catch-all term

Most IT departments are familiar with the concept of managed services — when you call a company to fix your broken computer, they don’t just send you a new one out of the blue. Instead, they perform a series of tests and get recommendations on how to fix your machine. In the same way, MSPs handle complex IT projects for companies that would rather not deal with the technical aspects of upgrading or maintaining their own systems.
But MSPs have become so popular that people are starting to use the term for other types of service providers. “MSP” is now a catch-all term for anyone who offers an outsourced service. It can mean personal trainers, dog walkers and even dentists.

What services are included in managed IT solutions?

The scope of services varies enormously between different organizations, but common types of managed services include:

  • Disaster Recovery Services – MSPs help protect data and other crucial business assets from damage or loss due to a natural disaster or computer failure.
  • Information Security – MSPs protect sensitive data from external threats by securing servers and networks against intrusions by hackers and malware.
  • Cloud Services – MSPs manage the complexities inherent in cloud computing environments by providing support for applications such as web hosting, email servers, databases, security software, and more.
  • 24/7 help desk – A service that helps with problems people have with computers. 24/7 IT support means you can call them anytime, day or night. Some live-chat providers offer technical support 24 hours a day. 
  • On-site or planned hardware maintenance – Planned maintenance is where an MSP visits the site and fixes what they can, usually when they have time, sometimes at the end of the month. On-site maintenance is done by someone who visits the site at regular intervals, usually once a week or every few weeks, but sometimes as often as daily.
  • Vulnerability scans and patches – Vulnerability scans are software that finds security holes in other programs. They can be used to find security problems in operating systems, applications, web servers, or anything else running on a computer. They are primarily useful in detecting attacks that exploit existing security holes.
  • Virus protection – Most people that install antivirus software don’t read the manual or ask questions. The result is that many people are still infected with viruses they don’t know about. Getting an MSP relieves you off this additional responsibility.
  • Firewall management and intrusion detection software – A firewall provides an extra layer of protection between you and the outside world. It might look like a piece of software, or it might be hardware. Either way, it sits between you and the Internet: your computer or your network.

MSP Differentiators

What makes an MSP different from other service providers? Here are some of the key factors:

  • Dedicated account manager. You will have one dedicated person working with you to ensure your needs are met.
  • Service level agreements (SLAs). Most managed service providers will have you sign an SLA with them where they commit to providing the service levels agreed upon at the start of the agreement.
  • Monitoring and maintenance contracts. MSPs offer monitoring and maintenance contracts so that you can be sure that your systems are running smoothly. This includes regular checks for system performance, disk space, network bandwidth, etc.
  • 24/7 phone support. Phone support from your dedicated account manager will also help you in an emergency situation as most managed service providers offer 24/7 phone support.

Advantages of MSP

They will do the job right. When you hire an MSP, you’re not taking on a person or a department with only your needs in mind. The fact is that an MSP knows more about the technology they’re supporting than you do and can ensure that they install it correctly and quickly.
They take care of their own staff. If you have employees who depend on your IT environment to stay up and running, then an MSP must provide excellent service for them as well as for you. They’ll keep the servers online and the networks secure so that if your employees do go down, there’s no downtime.
They charge less than you would pay in-house. An MSP usually charges less than what it would cost to have your tech staff handle everything themselves, but they also make money off of their client’s work.

How to Find the Right MSP

1. What is the MSP’s philosophy? Does it align with yours? An ideal MSP will understand your business and provide services that are tailored to your needs.

  1. What is its technology expertise? Does it focus on specific areas of IT management like infrastructure, security, data center or cloud, or does it offer a full spectrum of IT services?

  2. Does it have product offerings that fit your needs? An MSP should be able to recommend technologies and product solutions that fit well with your company’s culture and strategy. At the same time, they should be able to offer you a competitive price as well as excellent service levels.

    How are managed IT services usually priced?

    Managed IT services are generally priced per user or per computer. Service level agreements (SLAs) and performance benchmarks are often part of the agreement as well. Costs may vary based on the number of locations, time of coverage, level of support, and type of equipment in use.

Some MSPs price their services according to some combination of the following:

  • By the number of devices being managed
  • By the number of users being managed
  • By the number of employees being managed
  • By the amount of data being managed

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