What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

Maybe you’ve read the term “MSP” before and been wondering what it stands for. This acronym stands for “Managed Services Provider”. It is a concept in which companies outsource certain services to specialized companies. For a long time, outsourcing has been understood as a cost-cutting move.
Each Managed Service Provider offers a different set of services. Pure MSPs usually focus on just one vendor or technology. Their services are based on this core offering. Other providers also offer services from additional vendors. 

The history of Managed Services

During the early days of modern business IT, support was often limited to the “break/fix” cycle. With the evolution of IT and the IT workforce, the focus shifted more to a predictive approach. Technical support became more about preventing outages and proactively improving the IT environment. Companies began to negotiate subscription contracts with their IT solution and support providers. They were no longer expected to just troubleshoot, but also manage IT operations. Some of these support providers then began reselling hardware to provide more complete and integrated solutions and increase their revenues. Thus evolved the modern Managed Services.

What are the roles of MSPs?

MSPs offer special combinations of solutions tailored to your company’s requirements. Depending on your needs, these solutions are created and tailored to your individual requirements. In this way, Managed Services allow access to a wide range of business technologies and the corresponding expertise. Some examples:
  • Anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-phishing and anti-malware services.
  • Data backup services
  • Monitoring services for IT assets and networks
  • Configuration of new software and deployment services
  • Configuration of new hardware and deployment services
  • Network infrastructure configuration, deployment and enhancement services
  • Cloud computing services (applications, services, resources, management)
  • Management Services for patches, repairs and upgrades
  • On-call staff assistance and expertise
In addition, many modern Managed Service providers continue to sell hardware and continue to offer traditional repair services.

Advantages of IT Managed Services for companies

Numerous small and large businesses are stuck with the break-fix mindset when it comes to monitoring and supporting their IT Managed Services state of affairs. This receptive strategy for “IT support” cost your company more than they imagined as they lowered the profitability of their representatives when they had the ability to call, schedule and dispatch a professional. When the problem is solved the company has lost a lot of money and profitability has been affected. Instead, small and large grassroots organizations need to change their IT missions and move into the present.

Proactive support

A Managed Service Provider displays a proactive and smart way of dealing with monitoring and strengthening an IT Managed Services situation. Regardless of whether existing IT Managed Service support is extended or the entire IT condition is completely taken care of externally, an MSP troubleshoots issues, or additionally anticipates them. For a month-to-month rate, small and medium businesses will utilize the MSP’s capability to provide a sensible, proactive methodology that enables them to boost their innovation projects and safeguard their IT activities in the future to keep them from IT crash.

Monitoring around the clock

Although we know how important it is to monitor your business throughout the day, sometimes you have other responsibilities, don’t you? A supervised employee of the administration leads applications that monitor your business around the clock. Every time a frame is undercut, the applications try to take care of the problem quickly and let the designers know about it. If the applications can’t fix the issue quickly, the specialists take control of the circumstance. In no time, your issues will be fixed and your business will be secured.

Leave the overwhelming tasks to someone else

It is difficult to control everything yourself. Therefore, here is your chance to leave the hard work to someone else. Employing a full-time IT group for your business can be exorbitant when it comes to the factor and benefits of your employees. With the help of a supervisor who creates a customized possibility for the unique needs of each business, IT expenses become more inviting and increasingly beneficial. An MSP doesn’t exclusively cost a small portion of what it costs to hire and staff an IT department. However, you can get different cost estimates, including administrative functions that allow your business to run smoothly and take the burden off your shoulders.

Secure your IT Managed Services environment

Some days your IT setup is running smoothly, the next day your server crashes! Don’t try to give this misfortune a chance to happen in your business; A Managed Service Provider will make sure that you back up the data critical to your business with a backup routine that enables fast data recovery. If your IT support can restore data in minutes, you can boot up a virtual server and continue working without thinking.

Further list operational and cost benefits, for your company such as:

  • On-call staff around the clock at low additional cost
  • IT support work is clearly defined in a binding contract
  • Can cover internal staff shortages
  • Can cover on-site disasters
  • Can include data backup management to prevent data loss
  • Can be scalable, adding additional resources incrementally or temporarily
  • Eliminates the risk that a company will be adversely affected by a labor dispute
  • Reduces the problem of companies competing for scarce, skilled IT professionals and driving up wages
  • Provides highly skilled personnel in all parts of the world
  • Provides experts in low-wage locations to companies in high-cost locations

Services and tools: What you can expect from the service provider

As an enterprise, you can expect the MSP to take care of the entire management, implementation, integration and continuous improvement of your IT structure. Furthermore, modern business technologies must be adaptable to your requirements. Thus, it is important that the service provider can independently create, customize and tune solution combinations. Systems should also be regularly checked and configured.
To do this, Managed Service Providers use IT management tools that large companies also use. Some companies extend these even further with their own solutions to solve a particular customer’s problem. An MSP offering full service must have sufficient tools and processes in place to meet the requirements listed below:
  • Remote access, monitoring and management of IT resources
  • Patch and update management
  • Malware protection
  • Endpoint and network security for each customer’s extended environment
  • Data backup, disaster recovery, business continuity services
  • Professional service automation software for end-to-end management

Managed Service Providers: Paying attention to the essential points

The choices of managed IT Services are vast. In the past, companies selected IT services based on the number of users or servers. Today, many IT decision makers instead rely on aligned SLOs and SLAs with Managed Service Providers. To verify this, you should therefore ask each potential MSP partner to provide sample SLAs and SLOs. Additionally, you need to ensure that the agreements you ask for are based on accurate and detailed information about your IT environment and business requirements.

MSP' s future is in the cloud

Although the digital trend suggests a rosy future for Managed Services, there are still obstacles to success. Managed Service Providers and their customers face considerable challenges. Decisive factors here are, above all, developments in the IT sector and the digital transformation. But role-related issues also play a role.
Changing roles and definitions
Today, it is difficult even for service providers to define the term Managed Services. The question of what mix of solutions to offer plays a key role.
As the market and demand evolves, MSPs are moving with it. As a result, the role and function of Managed Services is constantly changing. Accordingly, many providers are becoming hybrids. They offer traditional services, but at the same time develop their own integration, consulting, cloud and SaaS services. Providers who do not follow suit in this respect quickly fall by the wayside.
The future is in the cloud. Regardless of the mix of solutions each MSP offers, all must be compatible with cloud computing. The growth of cloud computing is a key driver for digital transformation and for companies buying, using or selling IT solutions. 
Many Managed Service providers already operate parts of their customers’ IT in the cloud. Due to the influx of hyperscalers, which is accompanied by a lack of know-how and resources on the user side, this service will continue to gain in importance.
Increasingly, MSPs are using cloud platforms for provisioning instead of their own infrastructures because they offer a higher level of scalability and more sophisticated automation capabilities.
Be that as it may, the growing demand for Managed Services and the increasing use of hyperscalers go hand in hand and are mutually dependent. The reason for this is simply a lack of skills on the user side. Many companies are not only unable to design cloud architectures and migrate workloads to them. They also often lack the know-how and resources to operate the cloud environment. This is where MSPs come in to do the job for them. In this context, we speak of Managed Cloud Providers. 
Above and beyond the cloud: Cyber security in the focus of service providers
Besides cloud services, another service is becoming increasingly vital: cyber-security. As a result of the pandemic, many business-critical activities have been moved to home offices. This is where employees are particularly vulnerable to attack. With the fear of attacks, the demand for security services is increasing. And this trend is likely to become even more pronounced in the coming years.
Managed Service Providers must therefore continue to develop their security offerings. Thereby, the focus is on the development of secure IT infrastructures, monitoring of systems and the security of cloud-based offerings.
XEOX – Your partner for cloud Managed Services
Companies’ IT landscapes are exposed to considerable challenges. Your chosen solutions must support the business needs of your organization. In addition, these resources must be cost-effective, easy to integrate as well as secure. In order to achieve all of this, a little help comes in handy – especially when you need to plan for a highly unpredictable future. Having the right Managed Service Provider can provide you with that support.
XEOX offers cloud-based solutions to help you manage and maintain your IT assets comprehensively as well as effectively. Even as your business and IT environment grows and changes. Talk to us about your cloud computing challenges and opportunities – we look forward to hearing from you!
To learn more about XEOX and our solutions for IT asset management or other online business functions, simply register for free. We’ll show you what we know and what we’ve already implemented. Then let’s see together what we can do for you.