What is Managed Services
By Wikipedia definition a "Managed Service Provider is an information technology (IT) services provider that manages and assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of services to its clients proactively." These services usually include providing the trusted technology advisement needed to make informed decisions, automation of computer maintenance tasks, oversite of network operations, and proactive monitoring of all connected systems.
Like large companies, small businesses need technology to operate at peak efficiently and to compete effectively. As reliance on technology grows, the employees who normally fix the small stuff can quickly be overwhelmed and become unable to perform the duties originally hired for. Outside help is needed to support this increasingly complex network and computing environment.
Benefits of Managed Services
Downtime Prevention: One of the biggest benefits of Managed Services is discovering and fixing problems before they can negatively affect your business. A well maintained, proactively serviced computer network will always run better than the alternative. With proactive network monitoring, patch management, and optimization performed on a regular basis, there will be a tremendous difference in employee productivity and there will be the added benefits of preventing disasters, rather than recovering from them.
Reduced Costs: Businesses are also able to anticipate their technology spending with the monthly reoccuring maintenance fees and reduce their overall operating costs with the flat-fee billing model. Cost-effective access to enterprise grade support is a reality. The long term cost of technology will also go down as aging parts are replaced on a set schedule with expected downtime instead of lost productivity due to disaster recovery. As a trusted partner in business, a five year technology plan will be developed to insure predictability and continuity in the companies future.
Vendor Maintenance: Managed Services Provider also take the pain out of dealing with all company technology vendor relationships. They either fix the problems themselves or call vendor support on behalf of the business to deal with issues related to internet slowness/outages, printers, VoIP phones, websites and software.
Advanced Monitoring: Deploying agents onto all computer systems and configuring the remaining network devices to send alert messages based on industry standards make proactive response possible. With this always on monitoring of the network, business can experience additional levels of comfort and security.
Tiers of Service
Plan 1: Remote Monitoring & Alerting - This is the most basic service offered. It is ideal for those companies that already have an onsite support professional but would like the advanced monitoring capabilities that come with partnering with a Managed Service Provider. This tier also includes expert consulting, technology planning and project management at reduced rates. Costs are $10 per workstation per month and $35 per server per month with other devices being able to be added to the monitoring for nominal additional monthly fees.
Plan 2: Remote Support & Maintenance - This is the most popular option as it provides the proactive benefits of the monitoring and includes the fast response time that comes with remotely connected support. The cost and time that it would normally take to get a tech onsite is now spent on actually getting work done. All maintenance is scripted to be automated which keeps the company working during business hours and computer upkeep taking place after hours. Costs are $15 per workstation per month and $65 per server per month with other devices being able to be remotely supported and maintained for nominal additional monthly fees.
Plan 3: Full Remote / Onsite Support & Maintenance - This is for the company that likes the personal touch that comes with onsite support at no additional costs. Even though most issues can be resolved quickly and remotely, it is nice to know that when the time comes there will be a skilled professional on premise to handle things. Costs are $25 per workstation per month and $125 per server per month with other devices being able to be fully supported and maintained for nominal additional monthly fees.