What are managed IT services? It’s the proactive outsourcing of networking functions and processes meant to improve performance and lower costs. These functions and processes include systems management, data services, and cybersecurity. Unfortunately, some small and midsize business (SMB) owners can misconstrue the scope of services a managed services provider (MSP) delivers.
While an MSP’s contractual duties are dictated by a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between client and provider, these written stipulations define the scope of the services a client receives. Like the old newspaper riddle, what one expects to get from an MSP should be in “black and white and read all over.”
Scope of Services and Contracts
A prevalent misconception among SMB owners is that an IT contract with an MSP covers “everything.” Often, confusion arises because a business owner or manager is unfamiliar with tech terms.
Say an SMB contracts with an MSP for a systems engineer to develop a business network. What an SMB may overlook is that after the network is commissioned, a network engineer is needed to operate and maintain the network. Yet, the contract with the MSP only specifies the use of a systems engineer when both are needed.
Similar situations arise when an SMB needs both software and infrastructure services. Loading network software and wiring workstations are two distinct jobs usually requiring personnel with different skill sets. Still, all too frequently SMB owners expect the MSP to do both. If the contract only addresses software obligations, then as a rule that’s what the SMB receives.
Most MSPs offer tiered service platforms based on price. This flexibility is designed to address specific client needs. Reputable MSPs will deliver quality services to their clients regardless of tier but in many cases, SMBs want features for which they haven’t paid.
Understand that an MSP runs its business for profit; it prices services accordingly. If an SMB pays only to have software downloaded, then installation costs extra. Proprietary software can’t be installed unless licensing fees have been paid to the software vendor. To expect an MSP to absorb software licensing fees on behalf of a client is unreasonable, to say the least.
Are All MSPs “Full Service” IT Providers?
While every MSP is an “IT expert,” not all can serve the specific needs of a specific SMB. Creditable providers will inform clients about services in which they lack expertise. For example, some IT providers can offer software services but lack the personnel or capacity to adequately maintain cloud infrastructure platforms.
Salient IT is a Full Service Managed Service Provider (MSP)
To take full advantage of the economies of scale MSPs provide, your business should receive specialized IT solutions that serve your needs, both now and in the future, as your organization grows.
We have data centers across the U.S., including Ohio, Chicago, and L.A. metro areas, providing redundancy and capacity for your networking needs. A monthly subscription gives your SMB tailored IT solutions so you can focus on growing your business.