In the IT world, a managed service provider MSP is a company that provides ongoing support services, eliminating the need to hire additional personnel. But what is an MSP? This guide provides an overview of what MSPs offer and explains how they can help businesses in all industries reduce their IT costs. Read on to learn more about what an MSP is and how it can help your business succeed.

IT technician checking out servers and network management. Concept image for what is an MSP

What is an MSP and its Overview

MSPs deliver a broad range of services to their clients, including network security monitoring, IT infrastructure management, and networking. Some companies even act as application service providers, providing cloud-based applications and associated services. Services are delivered in two key ways. First, a managed service provider is actively engaged in maintaining critical IT systems, reducing downtime, and streamlining complex processes. Second, a managed service provider performs remote monitoring and provides as-needed technical support whenever there’s an issue.

Benefits of Managed Service Providers

Working with a managed service provider has many benefits for businesses of all sizes. One of the most important benefits of managed IT services is that the IT costs are more predictable. With other types of IT support, it’s difficult for a business to estimate how much it’ll spend on IT personnel and third-party IT services. A managed service agreement outlines the services to be provided and spells out exactly how much they’ll cost. As a result, business managers can do a much better job with budgeting.

Cost Savings

Not only does working with a managed service provider makes costs more predictable, it also reduces operational costs overall. Companies that manage their own support functions have to hire employees, pay a steady wage and give those employees benefits and perks, all of which increase the cost of doing business. Under the managed services model, businesses pay only for the services they receive, eliminating the need to increase their payroll expenses.

Faster Turnaround Times

Depending on how large they are, internal IT departments may struggle to keep up with user demand. As a result, low-priority tickets fall by the wayside, leaving employees in other departments frustrated with their inability to get the help they need. Managed service providers and their clients typically enter into detailed service agreements, which often state that a support professional will respond within a certain number of hours.

Advanced Expertise

It’s difficult to find IT employees with all the skills they could possibly need to solve problems. One employee may have extensive experience in infrastructure support and managed print services, while another has experience with cloud computing and professional services automation. If a problem arises in a more specialized area of IT, these employees may not be able to solve it without bringing in outside support. The managed service model gives businesses access to advanced IT expertise beyond what they could find in their own IT departments.

Proactive IT Management

An IT department may be so busy that in-house staff spends all their time troubleshooting problems instead of monitoring IT systems. Under the terms of a service level agreement, a managed services provider is usually responsible for remote monitoring, which can help identify minor IT issues before they turn into problems that disrupt business operations and cost a lot to fix.

Improved Security

Managed services providers can also help their clients improve IT security, preventing data breaches and making it easier to comply with laws relating to consumer privacy and data confidentiality. Managed security services providers handle security upgrades, monitor IT systems for potential threats, and install firewalls. If a breach occurs, the MSP responds quickly, limiting system downtime.

Streamlined Processes

Companies that rely on multiple third-party companies for IT support may have trouble getting in touch with the right person to fix a problem. It may take several telephone calls or emails to connect with someone who can identify the root cause and come up with a plan for addressing it. Working with an MSP eliminates the need to contact multiple companies, making it easier for an in-house IT department to get the support it needs.

Managed Services: Typical Service Offerings

Managed service providers offer service-level agreements to help small and medium-sized businesses understand what’s included in the subscription model. These are some of the most common services offered:

  • Cloud managed services
  • Data backup services
  • Security as a service
  • Patch management
  • Firewall installation and monitoring
  • Network setup
  • IT system troubleshooting
  • Managed software as a service (SaaS)
  • Data analytics
  • Communication support

IT professionals handle communication support and contract management for client companies.

MSP Pricing Models

MSPs usually offer per-user pricing, making it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to estimate their ongoing IT costs. With this pricing model, you simply multiply the per-user price by the number of users in the organization to come up with an estimate. Some IT support companies use the break-fix model, which is when the provider charges a flat fee or hourly rate to provide troubleshooting services. An IT support company may also use the per-device model, which charges a flat fee for each device.

When comparing the three pricing models, managed services are the most affordable. The break-fix model is appealing to small firms with limited budgets, but it’s difficult to estimate how much this type of support will cost each quarter or each year. If several devices break at once, support costs could be much greater than expected. Per-device pricing is more affordable than break-fix pricing, but costs can add up quickly. The cost of support also increases every time an organization buys new desktop or mobile devices. Per-user pricing makes it easy for businesses to estimate their IT support costs and budget accordingly.

Get the Support You Need

EIRE Systems, a leading IT service provider, offers managed services to businesses in a variety of industries, providing predictable levels of support at an affordable price. Our entire team can help with everything from setting up user access accounts to ensuring business continuity after a data breach or natural disaster. Call + 81-3-5484-7935 to learn more about how our IT management services and technical expertise can benefit your business.