Every organization’s networking goal is to ensure secure, always available, and reliable internet services. As networks become more complex, organizations find it expensive, resource-draining, and time-consuming to manage the entire process in-house. A trending solution for this challenge is managed services.

Managed Services: What is it?

Managed services transfer everyday management responsibility to external providers to achieve strategic efficiency on par with in-built operations. For several years, the IT sector has depended on service providers to work their broadband connections, security communications, and VPN. Similarly, managed network services offer a range of network related services for a subscription. 

Managed network services are the remote-monitoring operation and maintenance of an enterprise’s network application functions and services by managed service providers. The network services can range from basic network access to software-defined connectivity. In basic network access internet services, MSPs use LAN or leased lines. In modern network services, MSPs use software-defined, virtualized network services. 

MSPs do not restrict themselves to providing network access and transport services only. They offer various services, including optimization of the Wide Area Network, network administration, unified messaging, cabling installation, network monitoring, managed security firewalls, cable installation, and virtual private networks. 

Who are MSPs, and What is their Role? 

A third-party service provider hosting managed enterprise network services using their data centers and delivering services such as hosting virtual network functions is called a managed service provider. These service entities could be small teams, niche network service providers for global consumers, or pan-national providers.  

The core functional feature of MSP is managing a network with service-level agreements under contractual agreements. It is a well-defined contract that discusses the performance and quality measured for the managed services.

Managed network services help businesses to:

  1. Lower the total cost of networking resources and their management.
  2. Provides integration, maintenance, and technical support.
  3. Businesses can experiment with new technologies and not be exposed to risks. 
  4. Eliminates capital expenses and converts network management into fixed monthly expenses.
  5. Service efficiency with – Single consolidated billing systems. 
  6. Minimizes the downtime with SLAs.
  7. Ensures compliance with local and global standards for data protection and privacy.
  8. Proactive monitoring of connectivity and failover switching. 
  9. Businesses can re-assign their IT staff from managing their network to more productive operations that are its core competencies.
  10. Operational efficiency since MSPs monitor services and troubleshoot. 

How are MSPs a value addition to businesses?

Third-party network service providers manage the networks to be secure, available, and performance-optimized. The value-addition of MSPs is in rendering uninterrupted, unsupervised services across the organizational network seamlessly. 

More importantly, they ensure the network is risk-averse. MSPs follow the industry requirements for compliance, and policies are updated to ensure zero risk. The technical capabilities of the MSP technicians in understanding the industry needs and optimizing the network performance following the industry trends becomes a unique productivity multiplier for the client- organization. 

Thirdly, MSPs are very effective in a company’s business continuity plan. The centralized network resources’ nature ensures a backup or an offsite cloud backup for the business. Therefore business continuity is a significant managed activity of MSPs. Rehabilitation of the business network in the case of a disaster or interruption is one of the critical capabilities of MSPs.

What are the likely challenges in MSP networks?

Some businesses in critical industries view MSP and outsourcing of networks as risky. However, other enterprises with lower risk factors can provide risk management by clearly defining the expectations and requirements. This can be handled with a detailed SLA establishing the condition for the MSP to achieve. It ensures the needed service levels are consistently maintained with retrospective penalties for any loss of service.

Companies can continue to be in charge of their networks despite outsourcing to MSPs by watchful monitoring of the performance. The SLA should establish the quality of services availability, reliability, and scope of services apart from the customer responsibilities in sharp detail. The biggest challenge for an organization is when it comes to customer support. Managed network services should include a factor for customer support, response times, and longer wait times for technical issues. 

A final challenging area in deploying MSPs is the pricing model. Companies must ensure that multiple and straightforward options for service customization are available. 

What is the Managed Service model?

The business model for managed network services – charges customer businesses for services such as bandwidth, users, hardware, and Service Level Agreement (SLA) for performance levels. MSP staff monitor network health, equipment availability at subscriber networks, and uninterrupted connectivity.  

The critical areas of managed services are managing network hardware like servers, switches, and routers, installing and managing software for applications, firewalls, operating systems, network security infrastructure, and data protection on the network. 

Managed network services typically offer an annual or multiple-year contract for MSPs to deliver services. Complex pricing formulas are involved, but service interfaces provide the speed, number of locations, and level of managed support that an organization or business needs will recommend the final pricing of the MSP services.

Some of the pricing models could be as follows:

  • Only monitoring services
  • Per the device pricing model
  • Per user pricing
  • Multi-layered a servicing pricing model
  • Customized services
  • Pricing according to the services consumed

The pricing model will help organizations to convert their capital expenses into operational expenses. Hence these will be fixed monthly outflows and not initial investments as in the case of traditional installation of the equipment and its maintenance. At the same time, MSPs create a predictable revenue stream and offer value-enhancing services using basic network services or edge cloud edge networking.  

Why does your business need Managed Services?

Network as a Service is a single-point solution for managed services when your business needs a simple, expand-as-you-go network architecture, which is reliable, secure, monitored, and instantly deployable. 

Internet Service Providers offer you backup options, network equipment for installation, and network maintenance with proactive monitoring and adjustments for optimal uptime. Installation and configuration of firewalls for secure connections and scalability. Scale connection from a single location to many across the country.

Network as a Service suite boasts of Managed Wi-Fi, Managed Internet, Managed SD-WAN, and Managed Security. To help you Manage your Network Services, reach out to our expert team today!


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