MSP: The Complete Guide to Managed Service Providers
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MSP: The Complete Guide to Managed Service Providers

Abraão Almeida
Abraão Almeida

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Especially for small and medium businesses that do not have a full in-house IT staff, the MSP (Managed Service Provider) is the ideal solution.

It is also suitable for organizations that want to outsource some IT services so that internal employees can focus on more strategic tasks.

Leaving old models behind, many companies have opted to remain competitive by implementing the high availability provided by MSPs, which work proactively.

Due to the importance of this subject, we decided to produce a comprehensive guide on managed service providers.

In this article, we will talk about what MSP is, how it works, what its advantages are, and why you should hire it. So, find out all about this topic!

What is MSP?

Companies called MSP provide IT services to other organizations. They emerged as a counterpoint to ‘the old break-fix model’, that is, when the business adopts a reactive posture.

For example, when a customer makes a complaint or opens a ticket, the team acts on the problem. This is the so-called “fire extinguisher” model.

This is harmful because it overwhelms the team as well as causing dissatisfaction for customers. After all, when a serious problem arises, the team needs to be fully dedicated to it, which affects productivity, while customers suffer from a loss of availability.

On this old model, actions are only taken when threats and risks are evident or there has already been damage to the consumer. Therefore, this model generates a team acting under high pressure, producing a lot of stress.

As the market is highly competitive, the break-fix model is outdated, and it needs something modern to adapt to the company's reality. In this case, there is a need to rely on the MSP.

Basically, they provide IT solutions aimed at risk prevention.

Which means, the MSP works preventively, enabling constant monitoring of technology assets to identify threats before they become real problems.

After all, this type of company focuses on offering IT services availability to customers. Doing so, the contracting party's internal team can dedicate itself to strategic internal activities, without worrying about maintenance or updates, for example.

How does MSP work?

As we said, the MSP is mainly aimed at small and medium companies that do not have a well-structured internal IT team, so they need professional help.

However, large companies can also hire this service if they are looking to reduce costs and make staff more productive.

That why, these organizations hire the MSP, which provides specific managed IT services geared to the reality of these businesses.

This happens by taking out a package of shares or just one share based on fixed amounts that are paid monthly. Which means, that there are different business models with different prices.

Of course, it is up to you to hire the subscription model that meets your needs or close a custom package.

It is worth to observe that managed IT services are performed, for the most part, remotely. For this, the contractors use special software, such as RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management).

In general, we can say the MSP performs the following tasks for the contracting party:

  • Integrated service call center;
  • Reporting;
  • Antivirus management;
  • Monitoring of assets such as mobile devices and machines;
  • Internet protection;
  • Among others.

As you can see, the MSP is responsible for mapping processes, automating routine tasks, constantly monitoring the IT environment and suggesting changes according to the company's needs.

What are the advantages of MSP?

If you are interested in hiring MSP, you have to know that it can be highly beneficial for your company. Below, check out some benefits of this service provider.

High Availability

So far, you already know that the break-fix model has the biggest disadvantage of being unavailable. This is not just about company services but also human resources.

After all, as problems arise, the team loses productivity by focusing only on maintenance.

With the MSP, it is possible that your team can create projects and develop processes to improve the quality of services or products offered.

This is because the technicians are able to invest in their own training, improving their knowledge for the development of new strategies, as they no longer waste all their time dedicated to maintenance and support.

Doing this, they are able to seek new tools and technologies with a focus on improving results.

In this way, the in-house IT team is able to create an environment focused on innovation and technology, which is beneficial for the company and for the customers.

Operational flexibility

You know, it is necessary for companies to be able to adapt to new demands, because of the constant creation of new technologies and processes.

This dynamism is also important in terms of the workforce. After all, in a given period focused on a specific project, it may be necessary to have a greater number of professionals.

For example, after a project is completed, having to deal with expenses related to the dismissal later on is not in the company's interest. Therefore, the MSP proves to be a great option, providing the ideal operational flexibility.

This is because it is possible to reallocate human resources as needed, using the workforce in an optimized way.

Cost reduction

One of the biggest challenges for companies is to spend less without reducing the quality of services offered.

In this context, there are operating costs, ranging from human resources to assets. And, as is well known, maintaining them is expensive and requires frequent investments, which can weigh on the organization's financial budget.

MSP can provide cost savings over IT. After all, through it, it is possible to remain competitive in the market without requiring large investments in the technological area.

This way, you don't need to hire a large number of professionals for the internal team and you still benefit from not dealing with waste anymore.

Sometimes companies that are not very knowledgeable about IT can make some wrong choices, such as buying more machines than they need or hiring more employees than necessary, for instance.

Not to mention that the break-fix model can be even more expensive for the company, since fixing a problem is usually much more expensive than avoiding it, isn't it?

Other than that, the savings provided by the MSP can also prove to be a chance to convert the money saved in implementing tools to develop processes that further improve the services offered.

Improving company’s focus

You have already noticed that one of the biggest disadvantages of the break-fix model is the loss of time suffered by the internal team regarding support and maintenance. This directly influences the growth of the company, which is sometimes, unable to dedicate efforts to more strategic tasks.

Using a MSP, your employees will dedicate themselves to the company's focus.

This way, they can dedicate themselves to the search for new technologies, also focusing on internal solutions, including ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), which allows integrated and secure access to company data.

Improving your internet security

In this era of information security, it is essential to work with data protection to prevent it from being exposed or the company suffering from cyber-attacks.

In this case, it is important to highlight that the MSP uses several resources aimed at the security information, as well as systems and networks. To do this, managed IT services perform the following tasks:

  • Patch management, which are the available update packages;
  • Tools focused on scanning any type of system vulnerability, as well as the presence of malware and viruses;
  • Cloud backup capabilities;
  • Disaster recovery plans.

All these activities provide security for companies, remembering that these features are updated frequently.

By using these services, the company is able to reduce the chances of interruption of operations and guarantee the recovery of partial or total damages.

Process automation

One of the biggest advantages provided by MSP is the automation of processes, which caused a real revolution in the technological environment.

This is because, in the previous model, most activities were manual and it needed to be carried out locally.

This process generates higher costs with the need to travel and pay overtime, not to mention time management.

Using MSP, this changed drastically as IT services automation emerged. this way, it became possible, for example, to remotely schedule client machines, either for updates or for fixing bugs.

Backup routines can also be automated. In cases of loss, it is possible to quickly restore the data with the most recent copy and avoid major losses.

Anticipation of problems

Many of the problems generated in the IT environment that works with the break-fix model could be avoided. It is worth remembering that the hours of unavailability of any service affects customers, which can even be seen as a breach of contact.

In this case, employees also suffer from this situation, especially if the IT team is reduced. After all, if many consumers have the same problem, your team will need to do more and efficiently.

All this may cause stress among employees, it is possible that they do not resolve the situation in time. Consequently, customer dissatisfaction will cause a drop in the company's good image.

Using the MSP’s services, however, this does not happen, as it works with the objective of anticipating problems and managing to avoid interruption of services. Consequently, it also manages to prevent customers from being dissatisfied.

As all IT assets are constantly monitored, when the outsourced company finds an anomaly, it manages to address it before it becomes a real issue.

Maintenance of technologies

For any company that wants to continue growing and remain competitive in the market, prioritizing the use of technologies is essential. However, not all of them manage to maintain things working properly, which reveals the need to rely on the MSP.

That is because, by having managed IT services as your allies, you do not run the risk of having outdated assets and can leverage resources in the best possible way.

In addition, having the MSP as a partner allows the company to implement more efficient practices in this area.

Providers also have the skills and resources necessary for your company to have new technologies quickly and smoothly, and through MSP, you will enjoy the benefits of technological innovations.

In this context, it is worth remembering that the MSP is responsible for being ahead with these innovations, making the investments regarding the implementation and training of employees.

Therefore, your company does not have to worry about the need to invest financial resources in this.

IT routine monitoring

With the MSP, managers are able to stay up-to-date on the IT area, as the provider is able to constantly monitor the sector.

Through the details of the processes, reports and information generated by performance indicators, they are able to verify if the technological environment is reaching the stipulated goals and helping the company's development.

In addition, it is still possible to identify if it is necessary to implement improvements or if the services are in accordance with the organization's expectations.

Why hire MSP?

You have already understood what MSP is, seen how it works and the benefits it offers businesses. Now you are certainly wondering whether or not to hire it.

To solve this doubt, it is necessary to look at your company and check if it is in need of external help in the technological environment.

Do you think your IT department is overloaded? Don’t you have enough resources to invest in new employees or machines? Are customers constantly dissatisfied with IT-related issues?

These and other questions must be asked to reach the conclusion. Remember that the MSP can be a fundamental ally for your organization, helping to reduce costs, anticipate problems and increase business focus.

If you want to improve IT services to make your business more competitive, getting the help of a provider that specializes in it is essential.

Now that you have a broad understanding of MSP, it is also important to understand how information architecture impacts the user experience. For that, check out our article on the subject by clicking here.

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