Frequently Asked Questions:
An IT managed service provider, or MSP, is a company that provides information technology services and support, including server and PC support, security, cloud services, mobile device management, etc., to businesses with no internal IT staff, or to enhance the abilities and reach of existing IT staff. MSP firms are often described as outsourced IT support, meaning they are hired in lieu of, or in addition to, an internal IT department. MSPs generally use a fixed fee model, with predictable monthly or quarterly payments that are considerably lower in most cases when compared to the cost of hiring additional internal IT employees.
While generally it is best to negotiate with the current IT provider to secure their cooperation, we understand that at times this is not possible. First, make sure any billing disputes or other financial concerns are settled before making any IT changes. This will reduce the chances of your current IT company holding your systems “for ransom.” If all reasonable means of cooperation have been exhausted, there are ways to successfully regain control of the network that you own, assuming it’s not a leasing situation.
Practically every small to midsize business relies on information technology to function and serve their customers. Ask yourself: if you pulled the plug on your server or Internet connection, even for just an hour, how would your productivity be affected? How much does it cost to pay employees who cannot perform their work when their systems are unavailable or unreliable? How long will a customer wait for your system to “come back up” when placing an order? If the answers to these questions concern you, then you need to consider a partnership with an IT managed service provider that can reduce or eliminate these risks and keep your business running.
If you currently have an IT professional employee or group of employees, then you already know the often overlooked value of technology in your day-to-day business operations. However, even the most capable staff members can be overwhelmed with helpdesk requests and can’t devote adequate time to other aspects of IT responsibilities as a whole, such as planning, budgeting, and deployment of upgrades or migration to new services. An MSP provides not only additional workforce for everyday support, but also expert consultation and guidance on the overall IT strategy for your business.
Let’s face it. Information technology is complex and ever-changing. Supporting a busy company’s infrastructure is not the same as home PC repair or setting up an email account for relatives. Even an employee with a knack for computers has other job functions that affect your bottom line, and training that person requires considerable time and expense. By comparison, an MSP has a team of trained professionals whose primary job is to support your IT services and help guide your company leadership in making effective IT decisions. Today’s elaborate IT landscape requires more than just rudimentary break-fix repair; it demands an extensive and competently managed approach. MSP staff are available around the clock for immediate support, and have a wealth of know-how that a single IT staff member can’t match.
Not necessarily. Although cloud applications and services can be incredibly powerful and cost-saving, they are still new technologies, and as such, the playing field is vast and confusing. AN MSP who is also a cloud service broker can provide consultation and guidance on which parts of your business would benefit from migration to cloud offerings, and which providers will work best for the way your company works. A botched or poorly planned migration to a cloud application or service can nullify any of the cost savings you were seeking, and may even result in data loss or loss in productivity.
Absolutely. Even as many companies “decentralize” their IT and rely more on mobile devices and cloud services for their employees, they still have a need for experienced support from IT professionals. You also need to address the security of your data as it is accessed from more and more devices, including employees’ personal devices. This is a full-time job in and of itself, and it is highly recommended that a team of IT professionals manage your mobile devices and services so your employees don’t have to.
This is a question that only you, the business owner and ultimate IT decision-maker, can answer. If that answer is yes, contact RED74 today at 1-800-721-2992 or visit our website at www.red74tech.com.