Awareness of managed service providers has increased tremendously among small-to-medium businesses, especially among SMBs. MSPs are also known as on-demand support companies that are adept at managing and supporting business applications and solutions in the exchange server environment. These services can be delivered using a web-based interface. One advantage is that it allows businesses to get the assistance of third-party IT professionals at any time.
An MSP works as an independent contractor and offers managed services on Exchange Server, Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft Dynamics GP. MS Outlook, excel and other office applications are supported. MS SQL Server and Oracle are used for back-up, as well as application and database maintenance. To ensure that all business applications are running smoothly and no disruptions take place, there are regular scans conducted by the managed services provider. Trained personnel make these scans and provide remedial guidance for the business.
There are two types of managed service provider models – the subscription model and the managed infrastructure model. The subscription model of an MSSP enables clients to self-install and use the software. In addition, they can create their own databases and install necessary software and applications. This type of MSSP is more cost-effective compared to an in-house installation model of the same system.
Managed service providers that use the managed infrastructure model have their own dedicated hardware and infrastructure. They offer scheduled scans for every day or week to find out if there are potential problems. In the case of a detected problem, they would provide remedial guidance by resetting the MS Exchange Server and then restarting it. The first version of the pricing model allowed for fixed fees and were limited to certain number of clients. Currently, there are four versions of the pricing model – standard, medium, top-level and enterprise.
The pricing for an individual MSSP is determined according to the product and service they are providing. According to an MSSP’s service provider income, they are able to charge clients based on the number of recurring revenue they generate. Residual revenue means revenues that a client has to pay back to the company even after a sale has been completed. Residual revenue is one of the main determining factors for the prices of MSSPs.
The managed service providers can create a cloud network for organizations. This is where many servers are pooled together. One benefit of this setup is that each of the machines within a cloud network are able to function independently and the overall performance and scalability is better than in a local area network (LAN). However, the setup is more costly as compared to a centralized installation. It is because of this that the managed service provider needs to recover a portion of their capital expenses from the customers.
The Managed Service Provider offers hosted services. The customers get access to the software and hardware resources through a managed service provider without being the ones who own and maintain them. There are some who refer to this as managed on demand. This allows businesses to control the availability of servers and software. However, the offered services vary depending on the contract and the MSSP’s reputation in the market. A good MSSP would be able to give a detailed overview of its offerings and its reputation in the business model.
The final distinction includes the difference between a managed services provider and a cloud vendor management. The vendors offer managed services only in a virtual manner. They do not provide any real-time security and functionality control like the MSPS does.
Also, there is the misconception that cloud-based infrastructure offers better functionality than the managed service providers. However, most MSPSs are equipped with the latest tools and applications. The only difference lies in the monthly subscription fee they charge for handling the IT needs of your organization.
There are many organizations that cannot afford to invest in a dedicated server. However, these same organizations can invest in a managed service provider so that they can enjoy all the benefits of using cloud-based infrastructure without investing in dedicated servers. A good MSPS should be able to satisfy the demands of its clients in both vertical markets. It should also be able to deliver the right solutions to the challenges that face the organization in particular.
If you are an entrepreneur looking to start a cloud-based business, then the managed security services provider should be your first choice. It will provide you with the expertise you need to grow your business and ensure that your customers are satisfied with the service delivery. If you are not sure about what attributes the ideal MSPS should possess, then you can hire an expert consultant. With the right consultant on your team, you can easily identify the best managed security services provider for yourself.