A managed service provider (MSP) is a third-party company that remotely manages customers’ information technology (IT) infrastructure and end-user systems. Small and medium-sized businesses (smbs), non-profits and government agencies hire msps to perform a defined set of day-to-day management services.
Msps often handle the management services on a day-to-day basis so that client organizations can focus on improving their services without worrying about extended system downtime or service interruptions.
While some msps specialize in specific areas of IT, such as data security, others focus on vertical markets, such as law, financial services, healthcare or manufacturing.
Managed security service providers, for example, offer different types of services, such as remote firewall management and other security-as-a-service offerings. Printer service providers maintain printers and deliver tangibles. Often, msps do their work remotely from the internet.
What are msps used for?
Hiring a managed service can help an organization improve its performance.
Smbs are typical MSP customers. Many small companies have limited in-house IT capabilities, so they may see the MSP’s service offering as a way to gain IT expertise. But large enterprises can also contract with msps.
For example, government agencies facing budget pressures and staff shortages may contract with an MSP to augment their it solution company.
Msps handle the complex, exhaustive or repetitive work involved in the management of IT infrastructure or end-user systems. Msps typically do the following:
- Managing IT infrastructure;
- Providing technical assistance to employees
- Add cybersecurity software to IT
- Manage user access accounts
- Handle contract management
- Provide compliance and risk management
- To provide payment services
How do msps work?
When a managed service provider is asked to meet an organization’s business goals, it is often expected to fill a specific gap or role in the IT system or workforce. Communication between an MSP and an organization usually begins with an assessment that identifies the organization’s current situation.
This analysis can reveal an opportunity that can be improved and a way to effectively support business goals.
There is no one specific set for each organization, so an MSP can offer many different service options. Two examples of MSP offerings are technical support services and subscription services.
MSP technical support services focus on remote troubleshooting or sending technicians to the business location to resolve any issue. Msps that offer this option charge the company for the time spent solving problems and for any parts used to solve the problem.
Msps that offer a subscription service model operate on the network service level of an organization and typically bill customers on a monthly basis.
When an issue arises, the MSP resolves the issue as part of the agreement between the organization and the MSP. Payment through the registration model is based on the prices specified for the computer or equipment.
What are the types of msps?
The types of custodial service providers can vary depending on the criteria chosen to categorize them. For example, if a business chooses to organize msps by the size of their target customers and how much work they take on, msps can be organized in the following way:
- Pure-play msps. These are usually smaller providers that focus on network monitoring and application performance. They offer their own services that focus mainly on reporting and alerts.
- Employees are the legacy of msps. These msps typically target medium-sized organizations and Fortune 500 companies and often provide a wide range of services, including monitoring, reporting, and software installation and development.
- High-level msps. This includes small and large providers who enable their customers to outsource as much of their solutions it processes as needed. Generally, high-end msps offer a range of services.
- Msps can also be categorized by the type of services they provide:
- Monitoring. These msps provide real-time monitoring software for various applications, network devices, servers or websites.
- Remote support. These msps offer cloud-based software, support remote devices and remote technical problems.
- Proactive support. These msps perform security checks to stay ahead of any device or network issues that may arise.
- Centralized management. These msps provide a management console for complex networks, remote monitoring, patch management and security software.
- A fix is planned. These msps provide organizations with regularly scheduled network updates.
- Billing is simplified. These msps handle invoicing, payments and budgeting through a billing management system.
What are the benefits of managed services?
Benefits of leading service providers include the following:
- Help the organization fill the staff shortage. If the organization is understaffed, it can outsource some of its tasks to the MSP.
- Give skills. Hiring a reputable MSP gives the organization access to professional resources.
- Provide business continuity. The SLA documents the MSP’s obligations to the business to prepare for or recover from a disaster.
- Provide regular network monitoring. Most msps offer 24/7 monitoring services using network monitoring tools that provide system visibility and cloud control.
- Improve security. Some msps offer security software and awareness training.
- Improve the use of money. If a lot of unscheduled repairs are needed, paying a fixed monthly fee can be more expensive than paying an hourly rate. While the MSP handles day-to-day management services, client organizations can focus on improving their services.