Managed Service Providers (MSPs) offer technical solutions and skilled resources to businesses and organizations needing help and guidance in deploying and managing information technology infrastructure; MSPs provide IT services to their customers and employees.

Managed Service covers a broad spectrum of technical services, including network management, IT hosting services, security-as-service, cloud computing platforms, and data management and backup designed to help companies manage their IT infrastructure.

When opting to outsource IT services to an MSP, users benefit from the expertise of the provider and they can immediately start consuming the managed services at a technical and administrative level.

Managing and maintaining a private data center with the latest hardware, environmental controls, and a skilled team to keep the lights on is a costly process. It is difficult for small and medium businesses to create a private data center. Fortunately, this is precisely where Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can help.

This article will introduce how managed service providers work and explain the most common benefits of using one. We’ll also discuss the pricing models available, allowing you to choose the best option for your budget and business needs.

The Best Managed Services Providers

The computer industry is expansive, and plenty of options are available when choosing your next managed service provider. You need to weigh the costs vs. the required skillsets and choose the best provider that meets your needs.

There are three managed service providers; all offer cloud-based hosting in either a public, private, or hybrid configuration.

  1. Public Cloud: The hyper-scale cloud providers are the mainstream public cloud providers that offer global, scalable cloud infrastructure, vast infrastructure services, and global reach; however, most are prohibitively expensive and require a team of professionals to manage and maintain.
  2. Private clouds, on the other hand, are usually chosen by organizations with specific needs, such as bespoke security or compliance requirements. Private cloud platforms are typically hosted within a choice of dedicated data center locations and offer more affordability, control, and customization than public clouds.
  3. Hybrid clouds combine elements of both public and private clouds, allowing businesses to leverage the benefits of both worlds while maintaining greater control over their data. This is important for companies that have strict data residency rules.

With thousands of managed service provider options, who you choose will depend on what cloud services you need and whether the provider can customize the solutions to your specific industry requirements or niches.

Providers with a more personalized service will often better understand their customers’ needs and challenges. It’s crucial to align your business’s needs and requirements with the best-managed service provider.

What Functions Does a Managed Service Provider (MSP) Perform?

The technical solutions offered by each cloud provider vary, but they all offer services within specific functions. What makes each provider unique is the service wrapper that brings the managed service together, creating a comprehensive solution that meets your individual needs.

Let’s dig deeper into the core functions of an MSP:

#1: Network Infrastructure Management

The network layer demands skilled professionals who monitor the WAN/LAN for potential disruptions while ensuring it operates seamlessly and securely in-house. Customers expect an isolated environment that is easy to manage.

#2: Security-as-a-Service

When outsourcing IT, it’s essential to safeguard the company’s digital assets using robust security measures. You expect the provider to be resilient to cyber-attacks by providing an environment that secures a business’s reputation and finances.

Proactive, around-the-clock security monitoring and intelligent logging systems identify and automatically address potential security breaches before they escalate.

#3: Data Integrity

A business’s lifeblood is its data, so managed service providers protect client data. Data encryption technology is implemented on static and moving data,  and a proven data backup strategy is crucial.

An MSP will ensure that a business’s data is available 24/7 and is backed up regularly and securely. They will also provide the data that can be restored quickly during a disaster.

#4: Server Management

Businesses can offload the day-to-day management of servers to the managed service provider if required. This service includes the entire infrastructure’s remote monitoring and breakfix support.

The typical provider setup includes a nerve center, such as a Network Operations Center (NOC), which employs 24/7/365 staff to respond to automated alerts about your systems. This will include low disk space warnings, high CPU, high memory usage, and technical support on demand. It’s easy to bolt on additional services like patch management, antivirus updates, and system upgrades.

#5: Business continuity

Business continuity and disaster recovery managed services help businesses to ensure that their critical systems and data are protected and can be recovered quickly in the event of a disruption, such as a natural disaster, cyber-attack, or human error.

#6: Technical Support

In the world of computers, things break or behave unexpectedly. Suppose you do not opt for full server management services; it’s great to have technical support available around the clock. You may need to fire off a quick question; tech teams can quickly get you the necessary answer.

#7: Service Level agreements

By offering Service Level Agreements (SLAs), outsourced IT providers demonstrate their commitment to providing exceptional IT support to their clients, backed by measurable performance metrics and clear expectations – ensuring your business receives the reliable support it deserves.

Unlock Your Business Potential

As businesses grow, the demand for IT services will generally increase. Most modern companies would only function with a reliable IT platform. When you are ready to outsource to an MSP, you can unlock the potential in your business by purchasing on-demand solutions that would be cost-prohibitive if you went solo.

What distinct benefits can your business unlock by outsourcing to an MSP?

  • Improved operational efficiency: An MSP can bring decades of experience to your business and provide professional services to enhance your company’s operations. An MSP can help you move to market leverage solutions that fix legacy bottlenecks and workflow issues faster.
  • Reduced downtime: Keeping the lights on 24/7 is not easy, but 100% uptime guarantees are expected within the industry. 24/7 remote monitoring and support helps businesses address issues before they lead to system downtime.
  • Access to advanced technology: A strategic IT partner will have expert resources to help your business stay current with the latest technology and can help clients leverage innovations at a fraction of the cost. Managed cloud services, specialist software platforms, and other cutting-edge technology are available on demand in the cloud.
  • Scalability: Cloud hosting is excellent at providing scaling services out-of-the-box that can scale to meet the demands of predictable and unpredictable workloads. As your business grows, your needs will change, and being able to scale up system resources to meet your changing business demands is a game changer.
  • Predictable costs: Keeping track of expenses is essential, and MSPs provide several useful tools to keep on top of your spending. With a subscription model and a defined set of services, fixed-pricing business models allow you to budget for IT expenses more effectively and control budgetary expenditures.
  • Increased productivity: Managed service providers can help clients focus on core business functions, and their companies improve productivity by handling IT tasks and freeing internal resources.
  • Greater flexibility: On-demand and fixed-term two or three-year contracts are essential for growing businesses with changing business needs.
  • Security-as-a-Service: With expertise in cybersecurity and remote firewall administration, managed service providers can help clients protect against cyber threats. MSPs with a proven track record in security give you significant, tangible benefits such as round-the-clock monitoring, regular risk assessments, and the guaranteed implementation of best practices.
  • Proactive maintenance: Good MSPs provide application performance monitoring to watch your systems around the clock and handle the regular maintenance tasks necessary to keep IT systems running smoothly.
  • Faster response times: Tech support is available around the clock, helping businesses avoid costly outages and maintain native services whenever a problem occurs.
  • Compliance support: Regulations can be challenging to uphold in-house. Leveraging an MSP certified in HIPAA, PCI-DSS, HITECH, or ISO standards is an excellent start because an authoritative body has already vetted and validated their services.

We have just scratched the surface of the potential benefits you can achieve from choosing your next MSP. Look for a Managed Service Provider to offer customized solutions that understand ‘one size doesn’t fit all.’ Proactive problem-solving reduces risk and helps your business improve continually.

Inside Managed Services

Atlantic.Net has provided IT services for nearly 30 years. We are proud of our relationships with our client base, who choose us because we understand their business needs. From solution design to early life support and beyond, Atlantic.Net is there every step of the way.

Our team of experts, based in Orlando, Florida, proactively monitors the network and seamlessly manages security, data backups, and our vast cloud infrastructure service.

Seamless Onboarding

At Atlantic.Net, we are committed to providing our customers with exceptional managed services tailored to their unique business needs. We will be involved in as much (or as little) as you wish.

The onboarding process is essential to creating a customized solution to meet your business goals and objectives.

  1. Initiate Engagement: After the commercial agreements are in place, our teams continue the initial discussions to scope the customer’s needs.
  2. Comprehensive Analysis: Our experts draw up precisely what the customer wants and identify opportunities for improvement; potential challenges, vulnerabilities, and risks are highlighted at this stage.
  3. Customized Solution: We develop a personalized solution that meets the client’s needs based on our analysis. We work with clients to determine the best hardware, software, and managed services for them.
  4. Implementation: After the design has been finalized, we implement it! Ensuring all IT systems operate efficiently and securely.
  5. Provide Ongoing Maintenance and Support: We provide continuous support to ensure the client’s IT systems and business processes remain secure, reliable, and efficient.

At Atlantic.Net, we are passionate about providing our clients with the highest quality managed services. In addition, we are committed to delivering customized solutions aligned with our client’s goals and objectives.

How Much Does it Cost?

Atlantic.Net offers flexible pricing models suitable for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We understand that no two companies are the same, so we provide pricing models to fit all budgets.

  • Per-Device Pricing: Per-device (server) pricing is a popular pricing model where small businesses can pay a fixed monthly fee per device managed by the MSP, perfect for smaller companies that keep on top of costs.
  • Per-User Pricing: Businesses pay a fixed fee per user managed by the MSP. The per-user model suits businesses with many users who want to manage their IT infrastructure costs effectively.
  • Flat-Fee Pricing: Flat-fee pricing is a comprehensive pricing model where businesses pay a fixed fee for a range of services the MSP provides.
  • Hybrid Pricing: Atlantic.Net also offers a hybrid pricing model that combines per-device and per-user pricing.

We work closely with our customers to understand their business needs and design a pricing model that is both cost-effective and flexible.

Make Atlantic.Net Your Managed Service Provider

Atlantic.Net is a reliable, experienced, and flexible Managed Service Provider that offers affordable, customized IT solutions with unparalleled support. Helping you streamline your IT operations, maximize efficiency, and minimize downtime.

Our experts are here to provide ongoing support and ensure your systems remain secure and operate efficiently. Don’t settle for less – choose Atlantic.Net as your Managed Service Provider today and experience the difference. Learn more in our guide to managed hosting, or contact us now to get started!