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What is a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP)?

An IT Managed Services Provider, or MSP, is an organization providing strategic management and delivery of information technology (IT) services for a client.

Managed IT Service Providers proactively assist clients both strategically and tactically by overseeing and directing the management of your IT infrastructure, offering advice on improvements and taking a vested interest in your long-term success.

What are the benefits of hiring a Managed IT Services Provider?

There are many benefits to hiring a Managed Services Provider for your IT needs. An organization should consider the following:

  • It’s guaranteed: Many Managed Services Providers provider a downtime guarantee. It’s a commitment that should the IT the MSP is managing go down, the downtime is limited to certain number of hours – sometimes even zero – and the MSP compensates you.

  • It’s cheaper than staffing a full-time, in-house IT department: Many companies hire an IT MSP simply because they lack the personnel and financial resources to staff an IT team that is adequate for their needs. IT personnel can be very expensive and highly specialized.

  • It’s cheaper than the traditional “break-fix” IT model: Calling an IT technician only when something breaks is usually the most expensive way to fix an issue. Not only is the per-hour charge usually high, but a reactionary model doesn’t catch problems until it’s too late. If you paid to build/configure something incorrectly or improperly, you end up paying again to fix the issue.

  • It’s friendlier to budgets and cash flow: With a Managed Services IT contract, you get the benefit of a known, fixed monthly or annual payment. And, it’s usually at a rate much lower than the per-hour technician charge.

  • It’s faster support: Managed IT Service Providers usually put a service level agreement (SLA) in their contracts, which specifies how quickly they respond to a raised issue. MSPs give scheduling preference to their Managed Service customers over “break-fix” requests.

How much can an organization save with an IT MSP?

CompTia’s Trends in Managed Services study noted that 46% of firms using IT Managed Services cut their annual IT budget by 25% or more. And of those firms, 13% saved 50% or more.

How does services with an IT Managed Services Provider work?

The contract between you and the IT MSP specifies what services are included and any time considerations and/or limitations (e.g., 10 hours of IT education for employees per month).

Most of the time, organizations find their IT with an MSP is “set-it-and-forget-it.” That is, the MSP simply takes care of the IT services in the background with minimal involvement from the client.

If you need service that is a covered service, you simply let your Managed Services Provider Account Manager and/or the helpdesk know. The service charge is included under the contract. You can still request and receive uncovered services, however, they’ll just be billed to you outside of the IT MSP contract.

Your MSP Account Manager usually conducts monthly review and planning meetings to ensure the MSP is meeting your needs.

IT technician analyzing system with a laptop

What does an IT MSP cost?

The actual cost of the contract will vary depending on the basket of services you and the Managed Services Provider agree to. Generally speaking, the per-hour charge is discounted as you are bundling services and agreeing to a longer contract duration.

Some MSPs may offer additional discounts if you pay annually versus monthly and/or if you pay via bank draft/check/cash versus credit card.

The benefit of the pricing model is that it’s a known cost on a known interval that is easily accommodated within your budget and plans.

How should I evaluate my IT Managed Services Provider options?

In addition to considering the cost and types of services the IT Managed Services Provider provides, you should also consider:

Experience: How long have they been providing Managed Services? How many clients are they currently serving? What kinds of services are they well-versed on providing?

References: Ask the MSP to provide a list of references of existing clients, especially those in your industry.

Proximity: While most routine services can be conducted remotely, sometimes you need support onsite. A local MSP who can be at your physical locations on short notice is a big plus.

Compu-Gen Technologies is the right IT Managed Services Provider for your business

Compu-Gen Technologies has been providing IT services for over 30 years for hundreds of satisfied clients. We’ve worked in every industry and, for every client, staff a team of experts to deliver our best every day.

And, we offer an entire suite of solutions to create a holistic system for you including IT services; video, fire and other security systems; point of sale systems and merchant services, and business communications solutions.

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