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Leveraging Managed Services

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A managed service provider is an organization that is in charge of managing and delivering services to another organization that are tailored to their needs (MSP). An MSP typically provides ongoing and remote services. An MSP was traditionally used to manage or deliver information technology (IT) services such as infrastructure, security, networking, and applications.

Who is a Managed Service Provider?

A managed service provider is a service provider who manages one or more of your business areas on a daily basis to ensure business continuity. MSPs are used as strategic partners to improve the operational efficiency of businesses of all sizes, from small and medium-sized (SMBs) to government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

How Does an MSP Work

Once you have selected an MSP and the contracts and service-level agreements (SLAs) are in place, the service provider starts by fully analyzing the outsourced processes. This enables them to identify how to maximize resource utilization and reduce costs while improving process efficiencies. Their experts also identify challenges within your processes, which you might not have been able to do yourself.

Based on the analysis and liabilities and risk identification, the service provider builds a fully customized solution and provides ongoing maintenance and support for the outsourced processes.

Benefits of Using an MSP

Current business landscape is highly competitive and it makes sense for businesses to focus on their core competency. However other departments like staffing, HR, payroll and benefits administration, IT infrastructure and applications, are crucial for smooth running of the overall business.

MSPs have expertise in the processes that they manage. So, when you hire an MSP for noncore processes, you and your team can focus on activities that drive growth while ensuring that other processes are also being run by experts and not getting neglected.

Here are some benefits of hiring an MSP:

  • Processes are run by highly specialized and experienced experts
  • Save on hiring and managing in-house experts to run the same processes
  • Get access to the latest technologies and applications
  • Scale up or down according to changing business needs quickly

Most MSPs are subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) services; you can easily predict the amount you will be spending every month.

How To Find an MSP

Before you find an MSP to manage a business process/area, you need to assess your needs and decide on a budget for it. Ask yourself―do you have the necessary in-house expertise to handle the processes you are planning to outsource. If you have the expertise, is it available freely or will you need to reallocate from other projects? Also, you need to consider if you will need to hire more people.

If you do not have the necessary expertise in-house, what will be your expenditure in the short-term, such as initial establishment costs, and then the recurring costs in the long term if you want that capability in-house. You should be spending less than that amount on the managed service provider.

Once you have decided that hiring a managed service provider would be more efficient and cost-effective, make a shortlist of eight to 10 MSPs. Research into their past performance, available team of experts and testimonials from past clients to understand if they will be able to meet your needs.

Remember that it is not necessary that they have a prior experience that is identical to your requirements. If they have the necessary expertise and the willingness to provide what you want, that should suffice.

Speak with the representatives of the service providers to learn how they will manage and maintain the services. This will assist you in comparing the shortlisted MSPs and coming to a decision. Needless to say, the MSP must be able to work within your financial constraints.

Conclusion

An MSP with a proven track record of success is ideal, but if someone is new but eager to learn and provide excellent services, you should be willing to give them a chance. Changing MSPs on a regular basis is bad for business continuity and growth. So, investigate their company culture to see if you can establish a long-term relationship with them.

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