What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)? Why does my company need a MSP?
Questions of this nature come up all the time in meetings. Our account / sales team do a fantastic job of explaining the responsibilities to potential clients. To understand the current state of the industry, we must look at the history.
As computer screens slowly began to replace typewriters, exchange for envelopes and fonts for penmanship – there was a dire need to have a technician to fix any support issues in the work environment. Evolution of equipment has made it more efficient and reliable – slowly chipping away at the need for a fulltime in-house IT team.
The Birth of Outsourced IT
SMB’s that needed the technical aptitude to fix issues would often call the IT professional onsite. In the past, the model was to pay the hourly rate vs a salary of a full time technician; the IT industry refers it to as The Break/Fix business model. Clients call when there are crashes; technician would come in and fix it. The majority of work was a reactive not proactive service delivery model.
The break/fix model still exists, but is slowly getting phased out for a more complete and holistic solution. SMB owners were discovering the one major flaw of the reactive model: the overall health of the network and its various parts wasn’t being monitored. Performance beings to slowly weaken on the various components of the network.
The unpredictable nature of the network outages takes a toll on the finances. Budgets are difficult to establish and become liquid as mission critical devices are down.
If every phone call is a stressed manager upset her data is lost, or the server is crashed. How effective can one be in building a strong kinship?
24x7x365 IT Support
The next stage in the evolution of IT service was for the proactive maintenance of business networks. A Proactive maintenance approach can save a lot of stress for both parties – the SMB & IT firms. The industry shifted with the phrase 24x7x365 – monitoring tools would oversee, manage and maintain the network and provide a higher quality client experience. For most IT companies, the core of the business is monitoring the network and providing maintenance as errors are about to occur.
Most offices have a gamut of technology within the office – servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, internet, firewall, backup, websites, emails just to name a few. Troubleshooting individual components can be frustrating; that is before the complexity of two or more tech touchpoints also involved.
An MSP really shines – one phone call, resolutions for all matters.
A MSP coordinates the servicing of all the technology within the office and ensures that it inter communicates without any hiccups. The MSP should be the first contact for any error that occurs within the network. MSP’s are vendor channel partners they have a deep resource pool to draw from for technical resource knowledge.
The IT industry has evolved, it hasn’t stopped – there will be new service paradigm shifts. The roles and responsibilities will continue to shift in favor for both parties.
This is a very high level blog post to provide a knowledge base of what the purpose of an MSP is. Should you have any additional questions about the roles of the MSP – let’s connect!
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