Managed Services can mean so many things to different people.
For many Managed Services is just a marketing and sales term – another line card in a dizzying array of service offerings. To us, it is a way a life. It is what our entire company is built to deliver.
In most cases, “real” Managed Services is hard to explain, much less differentiate, especially to prospective customers who typically aren’t versed in all the terminology of our industry.
But knowing the difference between a “me-too” MSP and a someone who can deliver on the promised results is key to deciding the right approach to your business.
What Does A Managed Services Provider Do?
Note: If you are wondering What is Managed Services, check out our post What Is Managed Services for all the details.
Simple: They completely assume all the risks associated with the technology surrounding your business.
What does this mean? It means eliminating all the nagging issues businesses experience with traditional IT support companies, like;
- Having way too many technical issues
- Slow (or worse, no) response
- Being constantly surprised by IT support bills or renewals/hardware purchases
- Feeling like you are paying WAY TOO much for what you ate getting, but want “more”
- No forward planning or budgeting you can count on
- Long-term or go-forward items seem to stall out
- You are more concerned about security than your vendor
- No vendor management – problems get passed back to you to hunt down
- Your IT Vendor seems to be learning on the job, on your dime!
All of these frustrations costs your WAY more than the invoice from your standard IT support company.
They Eliminate Wasted Time
In 2016, Robert Half Technology conducted a survey of 300 American professionals to find out just how much time employees lose because they are dealing with computer problems. They found that professional average 22 minutes each day dealing with IT related issues.
A quick bit of math puts the damage at more than two work weeks of time lost per year.
A “real” Managed Services Provider knows that this wasted time is YOUR LARGEST cost around IT and, as a result, has built their service delivery to recognize these issues and drive them down across all their customers.
The level of expertise, specialization, and caliber of skill working with a Managed Service Provider is going to give you a range of skill and ability beyond an in-house IT support employee, which is a tremendous value-add for your businesses.
But it way more than tools and skillsets – it is an unwavering focus on driving down or eliminating all together reactive support issues that sap your productivity.
If your provider doesn’t have a demonstratable process to affect positive change around eliminating issues you should take a closer look at what you are really getting. The alignment role is The Role that Makes the Difference!
They Avoid Surprises
Another thing Managed Service Providers do is eliminates surprises when it comes to costs.
True Managed Service Providers aren’t going to be nickeling and dime-ing you for every phone call, every on-site visit, every consultation or “optional” quarterly meeting. If they are real experts they should be able to tell you what it costs to properly support a network of your size and complexity and then put their money where their mouth is with an all-in agreement that protects you.
Working with a Managed Service Provider gives you an all-inclusive rate to tap into the very best service offering possible for your business.
Being able to take the guesswork and fear out of your IT Support relationship, let’s you to make ground, level decisions and proactive plans to make sure you’re able to focus on what you do best – running your business without worrying about being overcharged.
They Staff Properly
Something else that sets true Managed Service Providers apart from the rest is how they staff.
See, IT companies are really good at solving problems – it is how our industry started and a huge part of The History of Managed Services. Our industry was built on response time and billable utilization. It is this focus that is the cause of cost overruns and surprise bills.
It was only when we started employing staff who were solely dedicated to preventing problems rather than fixing issues were we able to start seeing dramatic results. Documentation was done, processes and procedures were developed and tested, equipment was properly labeled, expiration dates were noted – things ran smoother.
Rather than only being in contact when you have a technology failure, Managed Service Providers are able to turn down the reactive noise and invest the time necessary to understand your unique business requirements; proactively partnering with you to foresee what your business needs, often well before you know it yourself.
Have more questions about Managed Services? Check out our Managed Services Guide for more information.