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MSP: What, Why and How?

The phrase MSP or a Manged Service Provider can be talked about within businesses of all sizes when it comes to IT Support. But what exactly is an MSP, why would you need one and how do they benefit businesses? It is a really interesting question as people will talk about MSP’s and outsourcing IT, but why does this prove to be such a popular direction for businesses of all sizes? 

What is an MSP?

MSP is a term that most people have come across in some sort of capacity.  Organisations will often bring in an MSP to outsource the risk and responsibility of maintaining the IT equipment and services within their business.  An MSP will be equipped to provide a fully outsourced IT department for the company, providing a range of services to ensure that elements such as Security, Infrastructure, Networking and Helpdesk are all handled within an agreed fee.  Through contracts, the MSP then becomes responsible for all the agreed areas of IT, freeing up companies to concentrate on their own business.

Why Use an MSP?

When you look at the small to medium sized business model, they may not want, or have the resources and/or financial capabilities to manage IT internally.  An MSP then becomes an attractive option because they are able to avoid the costs of running IT in-house.  Instead, they manage this through a subscription model, meaning they can have access to a service which provides the business with all the cover they require.  In some cases, the MSP can provide a service level above what the company could have, if it chose to go down the internal route.  Companies can also see benefit in knowing exactly what they are getting for a fixed fee each month; meaning they will often embark on long-term relationships where a real partnership is formed with the MSP.  They then start to have a clear view on IT budgets and finances within the business, which can provide clarity and direction to the company.

How do MSPs work?

Managed Service Providers are a big step above the traditional ‘break/fix’ service that older IT Support companies may offer.  Although, the Helpdesk element of any MSP is still built around the ‘break/fix’ calls, the MSP also needs to be able to offer much more than just maintaining a static environment.  It is an important part of the MSP and client relationship that the MSP is able to advise, recommend, direct and develop the IT for the client to ensure that it’s always able to meet the companies requirements.  It is equally important for the client to use the service in this manner as well, that is what enables them to truly get the most out of the relationship. 

Managed Service Providers bring many benefits to the customer such as:

  • Risk & Responsibility – Through a contracted agreement, the MSP takes all the risk for your IT environment.  They become responsible for making sure everything is maintained and operational when needed.
  • Simplified Costs – Being able to provide services at a fixed monthly subscription
  • Technical Knowledge – The MSP will often have a team of technicians who each bring wide range of knowledge, giving the client access to more than a limited base that they may have internally.
  • Absence – That is no longer something the client must juggle as the MSP will always be required to provide a service.
  • Pro-Active Actions – A good MSP will have solid monitoring and alerting set throughout an IT environment, so they know of a problem before any user becomes aware of one. 

That is a little about the What, Why and How MSP’s provide the service and why so many organisations look to use them for their IT solution.  Bear in mind that the MSP platform is not just for the small and medium size businesses, there are many bigger businesses and enterprise organisations that still see the benefit of outsourcing to an MSP.  The advantages can be seen throughout organisations, with each business being able to gain benefit in different ways, by ultimately having a better solution by working with a reliable and trusted Managed Service Provider.

If you are interested in understanding more about what Cambridge Support do as an MSP and the ways that we can benefit your business, then please get in touch with the team on 01223 921 000 and there will be someone available to help.

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