The whole computer industry needs an accompanying Glossary!

The layman may find it impossible to navigate the huge amount of acronyms and industry-specific terminology, resulting in their zoning out like Charlie Brown listening to his parents.

Despite this, we tech support people have to wield the double-edged sword and communicate our specialties and niches to our industry peers while leaving some of our potential clients in a haze of confusion.

“Managed IT Support Services”

In the past, I’ve called it “outsourced part-time IT”, which I thought was a clear message, but as it turns out, I’ve been told this is a reactive term… more of a repair/disaster recovery/firefighting role.

Although the aforementioned reactive role is something I happen to do very well, and a challenge I enjoy, it’s not the gloomy, pessimistic message I want to convey.

The term “Managed IT Support” is the optimistic, proactive, positive, and sunny-day version of the same thing.
Ideally, we don’t want the clients to have disasters that need fixing… unless, of course, they’re someone else’s client. 😉
Our mission includes our often-asserted “no system downtime”, client stability, data integrity, and performance.

It may not be as glamorous to do maintenance, backups, data log screening, updates, and virus sweeps, but it keeps the firefighter in me at bay!

– Marcus Pfeiffer

A managed service provider (MSP) is a corporation that offers its clients a predetermined set of IT and technology management services and administers those services on their behalf. It is a tactical approach to improving operations that is popular among big corporations, small and medium-sized businesses, non-profits, and governments. As an MSP, our Team can support the client’s existing IT employees or serve as the department’s IT department.

Managed Services are used by companies of all sizes and across all sectors for a variety of reasons. MSPs offer comprehensive IT services to small and medium-sized businesses, allowing them to concentrate on their core competencies and keep operating costs under control. Larger companies may use an MPS to supplement their internal IT team, giving the MSP greater day-to-day responsibilities and freeing up staff time for more strategic projects. Businesses that require continuous monitoring and alerts will hire an MSP to help with that coverage.

Most companies use managed IT services to some capacity because modern IT infrastructure is quite complex and can be very costly. Securing and maintaining your networks and devices takes constant detailed attention. Even if you have hired an in-house IT team to maintain your business technology, they might not have the time and expertise to focus on larger maintenance schedules, installations, configurations, or disaster prevention and recovery. Furthermore, MSPs often have a broad range of specialized skills, and because they are constantly in the field, they see what is trending. 

It will take time and some work to choose a managed IT services provider – but there are things you can do to speed up the process. Start by identifying which IT services you need (such as business continuity, software licensing, workstation setup, or security management), compile a shortlist of MSPs that provide those services, and then start making calls and taking notes.

The difference between managed IT services and on-call one-time “help me it’s broken” tech support is that traditional IT services offer break/fix support to businesses. If you break your technology, they will come and fix it for you. Sometimes, online support will direct you to a plethora of written “fix it yourself” articles before you can even get someone on the line! However, keep in mind, it’s not always possible to repair what breaks. So, by keeping your systems up to date and secure with the help of an MSP company, you can proactively stop a majority of issues. Of course, the top MSPs also repair your systems as necessary, so managed IT services providers frequently double as break/fix providers as well.

"I could use Managed IT Support, but I still have questions."