With the market flooded with a range of solutions set to meet varying business needs, scale and budgets, making these decisions and working through the installation process takes key resources away other key business areas, not to mention the disruption and lengthy change management process that occurs when you outgrow a solution that is core to your operations.
In 2020, we accelerated and absorbed a decade’s worth of technology into our businesses. With many competing productivity, communication, HR, and collaboration platforms, it’s more important than ever to bring in an expert to tie them all together and offer a solution with longevity, flexibility and reliability. Let’s quickly recap on some of the solutions you (and your employees) may be using every day:
- Microsoft Office or Google Suite
- Microsoft Teams
- PTSN cloud calling
- And perhaps even an onsite PBX!
With all these solutions in mind, and the possibility of an ‘office-free’ work environment, how can you enable an intuitive, user friendly experience for your staff and customers? Enter Managed Service Providers.
What do Managed Service Providers do?
The first thing to note here is that Managed Service Providers operate in a range of different industries. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to be focusing on IT based Managed Service Providers.
Managed Service Providers are industry experts that specialise in enabling key IT services for businesses, including networking, security, infrastructure, business resilience and unified communications. Managed Service Providers bring a wealth of knowledge on product and processes to suit differing business needs and offer greater value to businesses establishing services for the first time or upgrading their existing systems.
It’s basically a one stop shop for all your IT services, which is why Managed Service Providers are often the first choice for fast-paced small to medium businesses looking for reliable solutions, simple project management and on-going support. However, if you’re inheriting legacy services, which seem to be working well enough, you may be wondering why you’d bother to outsource to a Managed Service Provider.
Why choose a Managed Service Provider
Top of the list of reasons why Managed Service Providers are the best choice for businesses ia ability to assess the needs of a business with a forward-thinking lens, beyond the scope of initial needs.
Leveraging expertise across businesses in varying size across a range of industries, your Managed Service Provider team understand the difference between a short-term solution and one that can elevate your business operations and prepare you for the next wave of technology. Your MSP will sit down and scope out a solution based on your requirements and determine the best approach for your business. They understand the importance of partnership in developing customer solutions and will seek to enable you with best of breed technology to suit your preferred processes.
On the front line of technology
Speaking of technology, IT Managed Service Providers offer holistic solutions, pairing enterprise standard platforms together to ensure you have a seamless experience in both front of house and in internal operations. MSPs often partner with leading channel partners (such as Access4) to ensure they are able to offer leading solutions in their prime.
When it comes to support, they often have access to technical experts not available to the general public, meaning you can sit back while your support ticket is managed at speed.
Simplicity as a service
The sign of a good Managed Service Provider is ease of experience. From scoping, project management to execution and ongoing support, your Managed Service provider should guide you and your team through the onboarding and running of your IT services. Understanding the necessity of the platforms they offer, Managed Service Providers deploy at speed to eliminate downtime and reduce delays.
It’s a partnership
Finally, IT Managed Service providers understand that businesses are not static, and that requirements change. That’s why they offer scalable licenses, flexible technology and (hopefully) no lock-in contracts.
Where to find a managed service provider?
The Managed Service Provider space is competitive, with a number of businesses out there specialising in different industries. However, there are a few tips you can use to source a trusted IT Managed Service Provider.
- Search for Managed Service Providers with a proven record in your industry
- Check online reviews and referral websites
- Ensure your Managed Service Provider has local support
- Confirm business resilience processes and service quality
- Choose a provider who considers your thoughts and offers helpful suggestions, rather than telling you what you need.