The term Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) has been around for years but what does it mean? Broadly speaking an MSP is an IT support company that remotely manages a customer’s IT infrastructure while offering services known as Managed IT Services.
Managed IT Services are a range of subscription based products that can be bundled together to suit the needs of a business. Each of the managed services has a fixed monthly cost that offers scope for changes in requirements. This ensures companies subscribing to Managed IT Services can benefit from predictable monthly IT support costs.
MSP’s have partnerships with leading technology companies and Value Added Distributors offering access to the latest IT solutions.
Managed IT Services
The most popular Managed IT Services include:
IT Support Help Desk
Managed IT service contracts usually include unlimited access to an IT support Help Desk. Unlimited access is usually offered between the hours of 8AM-6PM, Monday-Friday.
Options such as 24/7 out of hours support and in-depth projects are usually extras but general day-to-day IT support is covered by a fixed monthly fee.
Pricing is generally based on the number of physical users or devices supported each month.
Pro-active monitoring of devices is a popular service that prolongs the performance of computer systems. Pricing is usually based on the number of physical users or devices that are covered each month.
Cloud Managed IT Services
Cloud IT is here to stay and the market is predicted to grow by over 30% in the next 5 years. Included within most service bundles are the following options:
Dedicated Servers – Online servers can be used for a monthly fee. Pricing depends on the server specification and is more cost effective than purchasing a physical server
Hosted Desktops – Businesses that need to work fully in the cloud can subscribe to online desktops, this solution provides an ‘always available’ system that is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection
Cloud Disaster Recovery Backups – Cloud backups are fully automated which makes changing backup tapes a thing of the past. MSP’s offer a range of backup services
A managed cloud VoIP or PBX telephone system that includes service, equipment and call costs can be included in a Managed IT Services package. With a managed system you Pay-As-You-Use with no need for big upfront costs.
Fentons are hosted telephony experts that provide business-class, highly reliable VoIP solutions.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
A great example of Software-as-a-service is Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft’s range of low cost monthly subscriptions offer enterprise-class products at small business prices. Services include email via Exchange Online, CRM with Microsoft Dynamics and collaboration tools using SharePoint Online.
By subscribing to software as a service software is always the latest edition and licenses can be increased and decreased on demand.
Hardware as a Service (HaaS)
Hardware-as-a-service is a term that refers to MSP hardware that is rented out to clients. An example of HaaS is a Dell SonicWALL Firewall subscription, for a small monthly fee Fentons offer a 12 month Firewall-as-a-Service subscription to ensure customers always have the latest enterprise-class firewall.
This is a cost effective way to ensure small-medium sized businesses have the latest hardware technology. There are no large one-off costs and the client is always eligible to the latest hardware and software with the ability to end the subscription as and when circumstances change.