Managed service providers (MSPs) are businesses that deliver ongoing services to other companies. With the technological industry constantly advancing, keeping on top of all IT related processes can be difficult - especially for small businesses without extensive IT departments.
MSPs offer a wide range of services. Some can be very limited, while others are extremely broad and can manage most, if not all, of your network and security needs.
What are the different types of Managed Service Providers?
MSPs can be broken up into three broad categories: lower-level, mid-level, and high-level MSPs. These categories are defined by the extent of the services the provider offers to its clients.
These MSPs manage all their clients’ IT services and provide support without being involved in the business’ needs or IT planning. They monitor the company’s system, install and integrate new software, and track the functionality and security of the software. If they find any problems or threats, the MSP notifies the client and advises them on what precautionary actions or counter-measures to take.
Mid-level, or value-added, managed service providers offer their clients a wider range of technological services, in addition to IT support and maintenance. These managed services include monitoring software and taking immediate action when threats or problems are detected, as well as disaster recovery services.
They also keep all the software updated and offer more scalability than lower-level MSPs so that they can meet the needs of the company.
High-level MSPs offer the full spectrum of managed IT services - usually from their own facilities. With this type of MSP, you would get all of the IT support and management as with a mid-level MSP, as well as additional communications services, analytics, wireless network support, and much more.
Types of Managed Services
Managed Service Providers offer numerous different types of IT services to help keep your business running smoothly. Here are some examples of managed services:
One of the top services that MSPs provide is security management. They ensure that a company’s system is safe and secure by implementing certain threat-prevention services, including anti-malware software, patching and maintenance, and application compatibility.
Installing anti-malware software on the company’s computers protects the network from viruses. Patching and maintenance ensure that all software is up to date and running the latest versions. This helps to prevent hackers or viruses from getting into the network.
Lastly, application compatibility is the process of checking that all hardware and software components are integrated and compatible so that everything runs smoothly and works together to keep the network secure.
Managed services usually include providing round-the-clock IT support. This is an important part of any provider's service offering as customers need to be able to contact support at any time to fix problems that they come across.
If they do not offer support 24/7, they should include guidelines for guaranteed response times so that customers can know when to expect help.
Networking and Infrastructure
MSPs help companies to set up their networks and the infrastructure of their systems. This includes services such as on-site hardware or software setup, mobile networking, managed cloud services, storage backup systems, and remote printing services that allow authorized employees to print through the company network when they aren’t physically there.
Managed Services sometimes include some sort of communications system so that employees can easily transfer data, documents, images, and information to company computers from any location. Communications services may also include setting up voice or video calls for multiple people, no matter where they are so that companies can hold conferences or meetings remotely.
If you’re not well versed in IT, analyzing data can be very confusing. MSPs offer data analytics services to help companies investigate how various processes are performing within the business. They help to make that information more accessible so that the company can plan for trends more strategically.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
An integral service that MSPs offer is backup and disaster recovery. Putting backup measures in place helps to protect and restore company data should the system fail and crash for some reason.
Managed Service Providers could also offer SaaS programs, which they would maintain and update remotely. They could either develop a program themselves to suit the specific needs of a company or they could integrate a third-party program within the company’s existing system.
Managed Service Providers offer a wide range of IT services for small and large businesses alike. From general IT support to data analytics, having a good MSP on hand is essential to keep your company network running smoothly.