A MSP, or Managed Service Provider, is a role an IT business plays when it manages the day-to-day running of a clients IT systems. Typical tasks include monitoring critical systems around the clock, taking proactive measure to reduced system downtime and providing monthly reports on the general health of the IT systems.
What Does a MSP Do?
MSPs charge clients a monthly fee for predetermined levels of support. These can range from support contracts that cover everything from critical servers to employee iPads and phones, or just desktops and laptops. Usually a Helpdesk function is made available for clients to communicate with the MSP and is where issues can be logged, tracked and resolved. A support phone number also lets clients get in touch with support engineers should they have any urgent queries or issues that need dealing with.
MSP’s utilise a variety of tools to provide a managed service to their clients. Here’s a look at what those tools are and what they do:
>> Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)
Allows vital data to be fed from each monitored endpoint (servers, desktops, laptops, etc..) back to the main server at the MSP’s office, where everything can be monitored for signs of potential issues in the making. This is what allows MSP’s to stay on top of things and deal with potential issues before they become service impacting.
>> Professional Services Automation (PSA)
A tool that allows clients to raise tickets in a Helpdesk environment and also allow the MSP to track the number of issues worked on. This can, depending on the conditions set in the support contract, be used to determine the cost of IT support via the billing aspect of the PSA tool.
>> Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Not necessarily a service every MSP provides Mobile Device Management and this can sometimes be an additional service that can be added to an IT support contract. This involves enrolling devices such as smartphones and tablets onto a corporate “plan” where certain apps and settings are locked down.
The key benefits of using an MSP are proactive support, reduced downtime, round the clock monitoring, and an IT department on hand to deal with any issues that might arise.
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