A Managed Service Provider or a MSP is a service provided by an IT company to mostly small and medium-sized business, and sometimes large organizations, non-profits and governments. These businesses typically do not have a full-time in-house IT staff member.
A MSP either charges a monthly recurring fee or on an annual basis. There is usually a service level agreement (SLA) that is tied to the contract. The contract will list out all items and tasks to be included. Tasks list may include as 24 × 7 network monitoring of servers, laptops, desktop and endpoint devices. It will also specify other items and how they are to be fixed. Hours of operation such as regular Mondays to Fridays business hours or a business requiring 24 × 7 support will be spelled out. The service provided may also include patching of devices to keep them updated and repairing any issues that arise when they are seen while these systems are being monitored.
MSP provides a great value by being proactive in fixing issues before they occur. They continue assist with optimizing the IT environment to prevent and lessen the need to have a regular break / fix issues or any at all. Most of the services provided by the MSP are usually remote. Issues can be monitored and fixed remotely using a Remote Monitoring and Management system (RMM). They generally have access to the environment that they will monitor and are prepared for any emergency issues that require attention. MSP helps to provide a piece of mind.
MSP have technicians that assist with the IT tasks and most are skilled in the area to fix most IT issues. There are different levels of technicians such as Level 1, 2, and 3 or higher. The MSP can choose to provide a different billable rate for each technician that is assigned to work on the issue. They may help you save on cost as some issues are not that complex and just require a level 1 technician to be sent out. Make sure this is mentioned in the order if this is what you would like or just a single flat rate for all technicians.
Businesses that decide to use a MSP greatly benefit from not having to deal with the day-to-day operation and tedious tasks are required for their IT infrastructure. This allows them to focus on managing the other higher business priority to increase their business objectives and bottom line.