Why do you need a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
Written by: Corina Pastore, Engagement Management Lead
It’s a bright, sunny morning with a fresh coffee, and Burnt-Out Business-owner Betty is already in her office chair at 7:00AM hard at work. Time is a thief, is the popular saying. But time as a business owner; it’s already gone. You’re pulled into 90 directions at once – expected to have it all balanced, and on top of it, the printers on the second floor of your building are not working… again…
Before burying your head in your hands for the third time before lunch, let’s weigh some of the options you have in this situation. You can:
- Hope that cloning technology is invented and made affordable so that you can clone yourself to get everything done and keep it going strong
- Ask your 12-year-old nephew to come help after school
- Or, you can explore a Managed Service Provider to bring your IT needs!
What exactly is a Managed Service Provider (MSP), you ask? Managed Services offers businesses, both big and small, an opportunity to outsource technology support needs. Some of the areas where an MSP can, but is not limited to, stepping in to support are:
- Network and Security
- Infrastructure support
- Printer and Desktop/Laptop support
- Help Desk and call queue offerings
- Monitoring and Alerting
- Any sort of “as a service” offering such as Backups, Software, Disaster Recovery, or Infrastructure
Through All Lines Technology, all of the above points, and more, are available via a multitude of Managed Service Provider offerings. A great way to gauge whether or not your business could benefit from MSP support is by allowing All Lines Technology to complete a free assessment, and you can find registration for that here.
This method of outsourcing your IT needs through a Managed Service Provider comes with a multitude of benefits for your organization. Let’s dig into some of those here!
Proactive and Reactive Support
Throughout your relationship with an MSP, the list that you have for support ebbs and flows, but one thing remains true – Proactive support and Reactive support are all about balance.
Proactive support comes in many forms with an MSP. From backup management, application and appliance management, patching and updates, and monitoring/alerting of your virtual and physical infrastructure, there are endless ways to set your organization up with the tools to succeed and get ahead of the issues. It’s the unfortunate mindset of waiting until a problem occurs to then handle and fix, so why not let a managed service provider monitor that equipment to sense problems before they occur?
On the flip side, reactive support is critical to a value-added engagement with an MSP, as it sets the framework for emergency situations, documentation needs, and efficient transitions of your support tickets. Through both on-site and remote support, as well as with a dedicated Help Desk, an MSP like All Lines works to minimize customer downtime and increase operational efficiency. It seems that the biggest issues wait until 8PM on a Saturday night to occur, so it just makes sense to have a backup on the bench ready to jump in! An MSP provider with a 24/7/365 coverage model allows customers to keep from those grueling nights of troubleshooting on weekends and do what matters most – decompressing on weekends and spending time doing what you love!
The goal of an efficient MSP for any customer is to have answers to your questions before they’re asked, and solutions ready before you face problems. As a professional, you expect that your technology should be reliable and ready.
Monitoring and Patch Management
As mentioned earlier, monitoring and patch management are critical to making an MSP a great provider for any organization. At All Lines Technology, safety of our customers’ equipment and network is of the utmost importance.
Patching is one of those topics when assessing an MSP that seems like an obvious feature, but is something that carries great weight when reviewing the value of an MSP. A true value-added MSP works to follow a series of best practices when managing your patching:
- Simplifying and consolidating software to limit vulnerability and risk
- Grouping your assets by vulnerability and working to document the impact any downtime would be associated. This is where an MSP would assess whether or not an after-hours or new patch would need expedited.
- Keeping up to date on your software and hardware inventory and running scans on a cadence to ensure visibility
Monitoring works alongside patching to provide 24/7/365 watch over your systems. With a proactive monitoring system such as what All Lines uses, there are performance statistics from all critical network devices and key infrastructure, including but not limited to: servers, workstations, routers, and switches. Some of the many items monitored actively are disk space, processor and memory utilization as well as allocation.
With monitoring thresholds utilized to provide a baseline for alerting, our customers have a real-time view into what our software sees via tickets, and follows an SLA process to smoothly transition any qualifying alert to a support technician.
All of the above works to provide customers with a valuable experience with a Managed Service provider. Here at All Lines Technology, however, we’ve added an additional layer of support that stands out in the industry through Engagement Management.
Managed Service customers through All Lines have the opportunity to work directly with a dedicated Engagement Manager to advocate for the customer and work with technical teams to:
- Respond to trending tickets and alerts with solutions
- Track and maintain incident management expectations and ensure SLA and priority processes
- Provide hands-on account support to understand opportunities to maintain optimal services
It comes down to the basic point that relationships matter – and with a Managed Service Provider, having a team member working to understand the organization deeper than just their support needs is critical. By facilitating open conversation with our customers, Engagement Management at All Lines Technology builds the bridge between providing good services and providing exceptional services.
While I could talk forever about the benefits of a Managed Service provider such as All Lines for your business, the proof is in the results! Though no two MSP providers are the same, it’s about the little things that make one stand out and be the true fit for your organization.
At the end of the day, it’s all about making your IT environment easier and less risky. In today’s world, the threat of risk is never-ending, and it can seem daunting to take that all on by yourself or with a smaller in-house team. So, until cloning technology is invented and you can duplicate yourself to handle the workload, why not check out All Lines for your IT support needs!