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“Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.”
—Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

You know what else is really big and mind-boggling? Managed services for businesses. With the plethora of service options available, how do you know what your business needs? To help navigate your options, we’ve put together a guide of our own to help you determine which you need for business success. “Managed services” is a catch-all term describing the upkeep of various business technology systems, from computer networks to telephone systems. Managed service providers, referred to as MSPs, offer varying levels of services depending on your company’s unique needs. Many MSPs provide these services on a monthly subscription basis, so you’ll have a predictable expense rather than the potentially huge lump sum a one-time consultant might charge. The broad spectrum of managed services breaks down into three categories:

Managed IT Services

How comfortable are you with your company’s IT systems? Can you anticipate and fix problems before they interrupt workflow or degrade client experiences? Even a relatively simple IT malfunction can cause significant issues for your business outcomes. With a managed IT services solution, you won’t have to worry about the IT side of your business. An MSP will monitor your systems 24/7. If issues crop up, the MSP will fix them with minimal interruption to your company’s regular business activities—even if that means talking with your tech vendors, so you don’t have to spend time chasing them down. Here’s what you can expect from a good managed IT services firm:

  • Systems configuration, maintenance and updates
  • Customer help desk and remote troubleshooting
  • Consulting and on-site troubleshooting
  • Guaranteed response times
  • Technology vendor management

Data Services

As technology advances, people become increasingly dependent, and this is even truer in the office. Data is vital to the inner workings of any business, and your databases and files about employees, products, services and clients all depend on one thing—the Internet. If your Internet service lapses for any reason, your company could come to a screeching halt, and you can’t afford to let that happen. Enter an MSP, which will work with you to design and implement a custom plan for your data needs, including:

  • High-performance Internet access
  • Faster download speeds
  • Virtual private network
  • Data center colocation
  • Enhanced data security

Voice Services

Telecommunications is no less important than IT or data services. After all, your company won’t accomplish much if it’s unable to communicate effectively with partners, prospects and clients. Whether you’re a small startup or a growing business, you need scalable, cost-effective voice services. And your local telephone company or cellular service provider may not be cut out for your needs. An MSP can provide telecommunications services—ranging from the basic to the more complex—such as:

  • Audio and web conferencing capabilities
  • Local and long-distance calling
  • Caller ID
  • PBX (Private Branch Exchange)
  • Security codes
  • Virtual numbers

The biggest advantage to using an MSP is the customer support you’ll receive any time you have concerns about your business technology. Managed services exist to support business operations for companies that rely on technology, but don’t specialize in maintaining it. With a strong MSP behind the scenes, you can stop worrying about those mind-boggling tech issues and get back to what you do best—working to make your business succeed.