Atlantic.Net Blog

What Is a Managed Service Provider? A Brief Guide to MSPs

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a company that specializes in providing IT services to other businesses, offering a comprehensive range of services, from network management, security, cloud computing, and data backup to help companies to manage their IT infrastructure more effectively and efficiently.

By outsourcing their IT needs to an MSP, businesses can focus on their customers and core business activities while benefiting from expert support and guidance, plus access to the latest technologies and tools.

Technology is playing an ever-increasing and critical role in running a business. As a result, a more cost-effective, reliable, and efficient IT infrastructure has become necessary to keep businesses relevant. However, for many small and medium-sized companies, managing their IT needs can be challenging, with many lacking the resources and expertise to succeed.

Fortunately, this is precisely where Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can assist.

This article will explore the benefits of using an MSP and other providers’ services and how they work. We’ll also discuss the different pricing models available so that you can choose the best option for your business.

Whether a small start-up or a medium-sized enterprise, this article will show how an MSP can help you streamline your IT operations and enhance your business’s productivity.

Best Managed Services Providers

Numerous options for managed services are available in the market, each offering unique benefits. In addition, different cloud-based platforms are available, such as public, private, and hybrid clouds.

Hyper-scale cloud providers are the mainstream public cloud providers that offer global, scalable cloud infrastructure, vast services, and global reach; however, most are prohibitively expensive and require a team of professionals to manage and maintain.

Private clouds, on the other hand, are typically used by organizations with specific security or compliance requirements. In addition, these clouds are usually hosted on-premise or in a dedicated data center, offering greater affordability, control, and customization than public clouds.

Hybrid clouds combine elements of both public and private clouds, allowing businesses to leverage the benefits of both while maintaining greater control over their data.

Unlike the hyper-scale cloud providers, many smaller specialist providers offer cloud services tailored to specific industries or niches.

As a result, these providers provide more personalized service and often have a deeper understanding of their customer’s particular needs and challenges.

When choosing a managed services provider, it’s crucial to consider your business’s specific needs and requirements.

Then, look for a provider that can offer managed services and support your business needs to thrive, whether cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, or digital transformation.

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

Each service is carefully crafted and linked into a defined service wrapper, providing businesses with a comprehensive solution that meets their unique needs.

Seven key functions consist of multiple valuable services for businesses of all sizes and industries; these are:

#1: Network Management

A crucial aspect of network optimization and security for businesses lies in competent network infrastructure management. Skilled professionals monitor the network for potential disruptions while ensuring it operates seamlessly and securely in-house.

An MSPs proactive approach to network management enables them to identify and rectify any anomalies before they escalate into major complications, thereby safeguarding the continuity of your business operations.

#2: Security

One of the critical roles of a managed services provider is safeguarding a company’s digital assets. By implementing robust security measures, reputable MSPs protect the IT infrastructure from cyber-attacks, which can cause significant damage to a business’s reputation and finances.

MSPs also proactively monitor the network to identify and address potential security breaches before they escalate into more significant issues.

Therefore, engaging the services of an experienced MSP can provide peace of mind, knowing that your business is protected against constantly evolving cyber threats.

#3: Data Integrity

Data encryption and data backup are essential for any business. An MSP will ensure that a business’s data is available 24/7 and is backed up regularly and securely. They will also ensure the data can be restored quickly during a disaster.

#4: Server Management

To provide effective server management and remote monitoring, you must comprehensively understand the IT infrastructure, including the network topology, hardware configurations, and software applications.

You must also deploy the appropriate tools and technologies to monitor and manage servers remotely, using server management software, network monitoring tools, and remote access solutions.

Server management involves maintaining, optimizing, and supporting client servers to ensure operational efficiency and security.

Remote monitoring lets you proactively detect and resolve issues before they cause significant downtime or data loss.

By monitoring the server infrastructure, you can identify potential problems, such as hardware failures, software glitches, or security breaches, and take corrective action before they escalate. Managed services can help fill this role.

#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

With technical issues popping up at the most unexpected times, Managed Service Providers understand the frustration and urgency of IT problems.

That’s why the best-managed service provider (MSP) providers offer 24/7 technical support to help tackle any IT issues that arise promptly and expertly, ensuring clients can focus on running their businesses with peace of mind.

#7: Service Level agreements

By offering Service Level Agreements (SLAs), outsourced IT provider 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 the Full Potential of Your Business with Managed Service Provider Solutions

Many businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, benefit significantly from outsourcing to a reputable Infrastructure Management Service Provider.

The benefits are extensive; here are some of the highlights:

Improved operational efficiency:

Professional IT Services will streamline processes and workflows to help clients operate more efficiently. Infrastructure, management services, and professional services automation can help automate processes and cut down on manual work.

Streamlining processes and workflows with managed print services will help your business operate more proficiently.

Reduced downtime:

With 24/7 remote monitoring and support, technology partners can identify and address issues before they lead to system downtime.

This can be especially important for businesses with end-user systems and automated processes that rely heavily on technology.

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.


Information technology partners can adjust service levels and resources to meet a client’s changing needs.

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:

IT services companies can help clients budget for IT expenditures more effectively 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.

Increased productivity can help businesses achieve their business objectives and goals and allow employees to focus on other projects safely, knowing that IT services are safe.

Greater flexibility:

A service provider can offer flexible contracts and terms to meet clients’ needs. On-demand and fixed-term two or three-year contracts are important for changing business needs or those looking for services tailored to their specific business processes.

Enhanced security:

With expertise in cybersecurity and remote firewall administration, managed service providers can help clients protect against cyber threats.

Outsourcing the day-to-day management of security is a game changer, benefitting the client with these security options:

  • 24/7 security monitoring
  • Regular security assessments and audits
  • Implementation of best practices
  • Centralized management of security policies
  • Proactive threat detection and response
  • Access to advanced security tools and technologies
  • Compliance with regulations
  • Employee security training and awareness programs
  • Disaster recovery planning and implementation
  • Continuous monitoring and reporting of security metrics.

Proactive maintenance:

A service provider is responsible for the regular maintenance tasks to keep IT systems running smoothly, including the entire infrastructure stack, data backup, and recovery services.

Good MSPs provide application performance monitoring to watch your systems around the clock.

Faster response times:

An IT service provider responds quickly to client requests and issues with dedicated support teams and 24/7 remote support services.

This approach helps businesses avoid costly interruptions and maintain native services whenever a problem occurs.

Compliance support:

Managed service providers can help clients adhere to regulatory and compliance requirements. For example, government agencies hire MSPs for help operating in highly regulated industries.

Look for application service providers that can help your business achieve a relevant compliance status, such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, HITECH, or ISO standards.

Customized solutions:

One size does not fit all; a managed services provider must be flexible and tailored to meet each client’s specific needs, thus helping businesses achieve business goals and objectives.

Expertise in specific areas:

Managed service providers can offer specialized expertise in cloud computing management, virtualization, and network security.

This can be especially important for businesses adopting emerging technologies or improving their IT infrastructure.

Proactive problem-solving:

To avoid costly downtime, managed service providers can identify potential issues before they become problems and address them proactively, helping your business to maintain its excellent reputation.

Reduced risk:

With comprehensive risk management strategies, managed service providers can help clients mitigate risk and prevent problems from occurring.

This can be especially important for businesses operating in high-risk industries or with sensitive data.

Better vendor management:

All businesses want to avoid service interruptions, and managed service providers can drive relationships with third-party vendors to ensure that all services are working together seamlessly.

Continuous improvement:

Managed service providers can continuously evaluate and improve their managed services, to provide better client value, helping your businesses stay updated with the latest technology and remain competitive in the global market.

Managed IT Services: An Inside Look

The services offered by a Managed Services Provider will depend on your business needs. A managed service provider, like, will work with your business to understand the IT needs, then develop a customized solution for print services that meet those needs.

Once the solution is developed, the MSP will manage the IT infrastructure of the business.

Our team of experts will monitor the network, manage security, perform data backups, and manage cloud infrastructure. They will also provide expertise and support the business in case of any issues.

Seamless Onboarding: The Atlantic.Net Managed Services Way

At Atlantic.Net, we are committed to providing our customers with exceptional managed services tailored to their unique business needs.

When onboarding new managed service customers, we follow a comprehensive process to ensure that we understand their requirements and can develop a customized solution to meet their goals and objectives.

Here are the essential steps that we take during the onboarding process:

Step 1: Initiate Engagement

After the contracts and service-level agreements are signed, we engage with the client. Our team works closely with the client to understand their current IT processes and infrastructure.

Step 2: Conduct a Comprehensive Analysis

Once we have a clear understanding of the client’s existing IT systems and processes, we conduct a comprehensive analysis to identify opportunities for improvement. This includes identifying potential challenges, vulnerabilities, and risks impacting the client’s operations.

Step 3: Develop a Customized Solution

Based on our analysis, we develop a customized solution that meets the client’s specific needs. We work with the client to determine the best approach, which may include a combination of hardware, software, and managed services.

Step 4: Implement the Solution

Once the solution is finalized, we implement it, ensuring that the client’s IT system and infrastructure runs efficiently and securely.

Step 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. This includes monitoring and managing the client’s systems, performing regular maintenance and upgrades, and providing responsive support in case of issues or outages.

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.

By partnering with us, our clients can focus on growing their businesses while we care for their IT needs.

What Is the Pricing Model for Managed Service Providers?

Managed services providers like Atlantic.Net offer flexible pricing models to suit the diverse needs of businesses. We understand that no two companies are the same, so we offer various pricing models.

Here are some of the pricing models that we use to help our customers get the best value for their investment:

Per-Device Pricing

Per-device (server) pricing is a popular pricing model where small businesses can pay a fixed fee per device managed by the MSP.

The per-device (server) model is ideal for businesses with small IT infrastructures who want to control costs.

Per-User Pricing

Per-user pricing is another pricing model where 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. This usually comes into play when companies need secure VPN access to their cloud infrastructure.

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.

The flat fee model is ideal for businesses that want a complete solution for their IT infrastructure and want to focus on their core business instead of managing their IT. An example is a negotiated package for managed, security, and compliance services.

Hybrid Pricing

Atlantic.Net also offers a hybrid pricing model that combines per-device and per-user pricing.

The hybrid pricing model is ideal for businesses with complex IT infrastructures requiring customized solutions. Managed and on-demand services can be billed to customers as well.

Customized Pricing

We understand that every business has unique IT requirements. That’s why we offer customized pricing models tailored to meet our customers’ specific needs.

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

Are you seeking a reliable, experienced, and flexible Managed Service Provider? Look no further than Atlantic.Net!

With our customized solutions and unparalleled support, we can help you streamline your IT operations, maximize efficiency, and minimize downtime.

Our team of experts is here to provide ongoing support and ensure that your systems remain secure and efficient.

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!

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