Managed IT Service Provider
A Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) is a specialist company which remotely monitors and manages a businesses IT system on their behalf. They may do this either as a purely external consultant, or in conjunction with an in-house IT support team.
The MSP will install what is known as Remote Monitoring and Management Software (RMM) on their clients servers and devices, which allows them to effectively manage remotely the integrity of the clients technology systems, making sure they are continually safe and up to date.
There are a number of specific ways in which the MSP will take responsibility for making sure the client is fully protected.
IT Support Services – Help Desk
The MSP is likely to offer the services of its own IT support team or to help the client design their own in-house one if that is preferred.
An effective help desk is crucial to making sure that help is available to all members of staff and contractors when needed in such a way that both solves any problems and creates a sense of trust between employees and the help desk team.
Managing a Network System
Networks systems can be quite complicated, depending on the level of local area networks and broader networks involved in the company’s business.
A Managed IT Service Provider needs to have experience and understanding of how networks operate, and they need to employ a significant number of network engineers, who can monitor any network that is already in place, or design a new one if necessary.
Businesses can spend a lot of money on technology, and making sure it is both the right products and solutions at the right cost can be a challenging process, especially in the area of cyber security and cloud computing.
Many businesses use the experience of an MSP, and possibly their contacts as well, to approach the whole procurement process in a more detailed and long-term manner.
If this is done, it is important to know in advance whether or not the MSP has any financial contracts or financial interest with any of the companies with which they are doing business on behalf of their client.
Managed IT Service Provider and Technology Security
At the heart of any company’s IT systems needs to be the understanding of how to keep it safe and secure, and an awareness of what cyber security threats pose to the specific business or industry.
This can of involve helping to train staff in all aspects of the technology systems that are relevant to their job or role.
It can also involve what is known as penetration testing, which is where an individual or company will test the systems to see how vulnerable they are to an attack.
This is something that many Managed IT Service Providers do as a matter of course, to make sure that the systems they are monitoring are as secure as they can be.
Web Design / SEO
An MSP well often offer other services that are related to the technological side of the client’s business.
This normally includes areas such as website design, website hosting, search engine optimization, social media management and making sure that is an effective mobile website.
Some of these areas may be done with in-house by the client, but for other businesses it often seems a good idea idea to have one particular specialist company managing all aspects of the IT systems and website management in one place.
Professional Services Automation Tools and Software (PSA)
PSA software tools have grown up in recent years in parallel to RMM software, and provide a complementary set of processes that can seamlessly integrate into the client’s technology systems.
PSA software tools are often used in areas such as human resources management, billing and tracking of inventory, project management, automated billing and business insights.
A Managed IT Service Provider well normally be fully conversant with how these software tools work, and should be able to integrate their use into the overall package of services that they are providing to their client.
Choosing An MSP
The key thing to look for when choosing a Managed Service Provider is probably their reputation. Their role as a business is essentially to look after and keep safe a clients technology system. It is normally relatively easy, although it may involve quite a lot of work to research how effective a particular MSP is.
MSP’s tend to be either very large in size, or quite small and often quite local to a specific business, or industry. The choice of large or small comes with advantages and disadvantages in both areas, but with some research is one that can make the right choice relatively straightforward.
Below is a list of some other most common major Managed IT Services Providers
- Softchoice corporation
- Carousel Industries
- Swift Systems
Managed IT Service Providers Jobs
By their very nature, an MSP will continue be looking for experienced and talented staff they need to rely on in order to be able to do their work effectively.
Most of the employment positions they offer will involve learning about being aware of cutting edge cyber security issues, which means that the jobs themselves can often lead to much more senior cyber security positions either in the company itself or in a different business or industry
Some of the most common jobs they recruit for are :
- Help Desk Technician – Tier 1
- Help Desk Technician – Tier 2
- Help Desk Technician – Tier 3
- MSP Network Engineer
- Project Manager
- System Administrator