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    January 4, 2023

    Everything You Need to Know About Managed Services Providers

    Learn what MSPs can offer you, how to find the right partner, and why choosing wisely has lasting positive effects for your business.

    What Is a Managed Service Provider?

    Does your business outsource certain operations to third-party vendors? Whether or not you’ve previously worked with a managed service provider (MSP), it's important to understand what they are, what they do, and how to choose the right partner for your needs.

    A managed service provider is a company that provides services to other businesses. MSPs provide companies with support on essential functions. These services can range from IT support to marketing and web design. MSPs are becoming an increasingly popular option among businesses of all sizes because they offer a variety of benefits, including freeing up much-needed time and money. Discover MSPs and see why it's beneficial for businesses to work with them, and when considering providers, what key thoughts to consider.

    MSP Service Offerings

    A managed service provider can offer a wide variety of services to their clients. One of the most popular services offered by MSPs is remote monitoring and ongoing maintenance and support. Having continuous support helps businesses keep their systems up and running smoothly by proactively identifying and resolving potential issues. When you partner with an MSP you also partner with their experts. The level of expertise that managed service providers bring to the table is a make-or-break that can influence how successful the overall partnership is. Take this into consideration when you choose an MSP to work with.

    Additionally, MSPs can provide on-site support, helping businesses troubleshoot problems and keep their systems running efficiently straight from the premises. Being able to have an expert come on-site can help solve problems faster and is necessary for many businesses. Depending on your standard operations it may be something that is a must-have vs. a nice-to-have.

    In addition to these services, managed service providers can also offer consulting services, helping companies develop and implement effective IT strategies. By working with an MSP, businesses benefit from the expertise of experienced professionals who can help them improve their operations and reduce their operational costs.

    It’s important to consider the whole picture of what an MSP can offer your organization when you choose one to partner with. Having a tool that collects and considers multiple data points from 1st-party data to public web data will give you a full view of your partner market. Having this reliable insight will help you select the best partners for your business growth.

    Let’s take a closer look at some of the top benefits of working with a managed service provider.

    Benefits of Working With an MSP

    There are many benefits to working with an MSP. Perhaps the most obvious is that it frees up your time so you can focus on running your business. Spending time managing something that an MSP is fully trained and capable of doing is not a good use of your time. With limited resources, it's especially important to make sure your employees' skills are being used in the best ways.

    When you outsource services to an MSP, you don't have to worry about managing and maintaining those services yourself. This is especially helpful for businesses that don't have the internal resources to handle these tasks. Partnering with an MSP instead of handling services in-house can save your business additional costs associated with hiring and keeping staff. Consider the potential recruiting and salary costs when making your decision.

    In addition, MSPs typically have more experience than in-house staff, which means they can provide a higher quality standard of services at a lower cost. With today’s shortage of skilled workers, it’s difficult to find people with the qualifications that are often needed to handle certain services. Outsourcing to an MSP allows you to feel confident that the people responsible for taking care of your business are fully qualified to do so.

    Types of MSPs

    When it comes to managed IT services, there are two main types of MSPs: proactive and break-fix. Proactive MSPs take a proactive approach to managing their clients' IT infrastructure, while break-fix MSPs only provide support when something goes wrong. Understanding the differences between the two will help you select the best approach for your business.

    Proactive MSPs

    This type of MSP typically offers proactive services such as monitoring and maintenance. This means that they constantly monitor your systems for potential issues so they can address them before they cause problems. Unsolved issues can lead to downtime and a poor customer experience. This proactive approach can help to keep systems running smoothly, so your operations do as well. This type of MSP is more common in larger businesses because it offers a higher level of protection against downtime and data loss that can become increasingly costly.

    Break-fix MSPs

    In contrast, break-fix MSPs only provide support when something goes wrong. This can often mean long periods of downtime while waiting for the MSP to fix the problem. Break-fix MSPs are more common in smaller businesses because they typically don't have the budget to partner with a company that proactively manages their services. This often works better for companies trying to cut costs where they can and who have smaller operations to deal with.

    There are pros and cons to both approaches depending on the level of care your business needs. While a more reactive approach may work better for small businesses, larger organizations tend to need a more proactive approach. Proactive MSPs can help to prevent problems before they occur, but they can also be more expensive. Break-fix MSPs are usually less expensive, but they can't always prevent problems from happening. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which type of MSP is right for your unique needs. Using a software that considers these differences will make the choice easier.

    Find the Right MSP With Partner Sonar

    If you're looking for a managed service provider, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Most importantly, it’s crucial to have a tool that can differentiate MSPs and offer a shortlist of the best-fit potential providers for you.

    Partner Sonar allows you to find better partners faster by evaluating each MSP with a series of datasets. This solution factors in specifications that are mandatory for a successful partnership. This way, you’ll ensure you're getting the best value and quality of service so you can effectively grow your partner program.

    Finding an MSP that has experience supporting businesses in your industry is crucial. They should understand the unique challenges you face and be able to offer tailored solutions that solve them. Having a solution like Partner Sonar that can offer detailed insights into potential companies can save the time you would have had to spend searching for it yourself. It can also uncover information that you may have missed otherwise.

    You'll want to find an MSP with a proven track record of success. With Partner Sonar you can see firsthand data on business capabilities and a comprehensive view of the market. This information can help indicate if a company is or is not the best match.

    For more information on how Partner Sonar can expand and optimize your MSP search,  speak with our team, get your questions answered, and see a demo!

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