<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192364217926708&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Managed IT Services: What You Need to Know

MSPs support your IT team, allowing you to focus on what matters most.

The Benefits of Managed IT Services

Information technology evolves at an alarming rate. For many organizations, simply keeping up with day-to-day maintenance tasks is enough to keep IT personnel busy. Staying up-to-date on new software, hardware, and cybersecurity risks is a full-time job in itself.

Reliance on internal IT resources tends to result in a gradual increase in IT issues. Why? Because when the IT team must balance day-to-day operations with imperative strategic initiatives, something has to give. Problems start to mount, resulting in increased downtime, reduced productivity and customer satisfaction, or even data breaches.

Managed IT Services offered by trusted support providers are one solution to this problem. Managed services can be used to outsource oversight and technical support for your organization’s information technology. Popular managed IT services include:

  • Remote system monitoring
  • IT issue resolution
  • Remote cybersecurity monitoring

Many managed service providers (MSPs) offer additional services as well, such as keeping software up-to-date and recommending system improvements to avoid future problems.

Unlike internal resources with full-time salaries, MSPs are paid on a subscription basis to continuously monitor the health of your systems and provide support as needed. They can improve system reliability, boost employee productivity, and provide more options to keep customers happy.

While MSPs are often approached with cost-cutting or workload reduction goals in mind, their real value can be much greater. Taking the right approach to managed services and choosing the right partner can help significantly improve business outcomes.

Choosing the right managed IT partnership can mean the difference between taking on a strategic growth partner and hiring an IT firefighter. What should you be looking for in a managed IT services provider?

Managed Services by the Numbers…

60%

Increase in IT efficiency by using managed services

source: Cisco

Leading Organizations Are Powered by Managed IT Services

To meet evolving customer expectations, organizations need nimble and strategic IT solutions. MSPs are expert troubleshooters—they can structure your IT operations to change with the marketplace.

The benefits of managed IT services include:

unified-vision

Unified vision

MSPs can oversee your IT support function, eliminating technology “patchworks” and ensuring smooth operations.

optimal-technology

Optimal technology

Your managed IT team will know your business and can keep technology aligned to your needs and workflows.

growth-opportunities

Growth opportunities

Some managed IT service providers can support the infrastructure changes you need to scale up.

Managed IT Services & Contact Center Solutions

Contact centers have come a long way since the days of legacy ACD and PBX systems. As customer service experiences have become more important to consumers and the Cloud has enabled new functionality, contact centers are receiving more investment and attention than ever before—and that means a whole suite of new technologies to manage.

Today, a competitive contact center might operate as part of a strategic customer service solution that includes:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Contact center management software
  • VOIP/IP telephony phone systems
  • Integrated voice response (IVR)
  • Speech recognition
  • Live and automated chat software
  • Email servers and software
  • Social media capabilities
  • Analytics and reporting software

Keeping all of these systems up and running is a complex task, and taking it on in-house could be risky. Downtime in the contact center could cost you more than a few angry customers. According to a global survey from PwC, 32% of customers say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one negative experience. What are a few hours of downtime worth in customer lifetime value?

For this reason, many leading companies rely on managed IT service providers to handle their day-to-day contact center technology needs.

If Cisco contact center solutions are an essential part of your IT landscape, it’s important to choose an MSP with deep expertise in this area. A comprehensive solutions provider will be able to manage and maintain systems in the Cisco contact center and beyond, ensuring all business units receive the same level of exemplary service.

 

text-image

 

 

Industry Brief Contact Center Trends

Contact Center Trends to Watch

The key to a competitive contact center is keeping up with consumer expectations. Download this industry brief to learn about the latest contact center trends, including omnichannel solutions, and artificial intelligence.

Download Industry Brief

Managed IT Security Service Providers

Cybersecurity is a fast paced and dynamic industry that’s constantly innovating to counter an evolving set of threats. It’s a post that requires ongoing staffing, not one you can set and forget. In fact, a number of companies make investments in security technology, only to find that they are still impacted by new, ever-changing, ever-more malicious attacks.

Hiring an in-house IT security team is costly and resource intensive, making it an option that’s out of reach for many companies. Managed IT security service providers (MSSPs) offer companies an alternative that’s both affordable and aligned with up-to-date cybersecurity best practices.

There isn’t one kind of managed IT security service provider, though. Different organizations will have different specialties, qualifications, and levels of certification. How do you sift through the muck and find the right security pros for your needs?

How Vulnerable Is Your IT Infrastructure?

Let’s Define Managed IT Security Services

MSSPs use cloud-enabled security platforms to remotely protect your network and valuable data from intruders. Providers routinely update their software, perform threat management, and more—all performed hands-off and off-site.

Standard managed IT security services will cover procedures related to:

  • Security event monitoring
  • Managing and correlating logs
  • Incident support and escalation
  • Data reporting and visualization
  • Regular service updates

Managed IT security is an important piece of your overall managed IT services. It calls for a dedicated MSP focus because of the level of sophistication and numerous certifications required.

How Vulnerable is your IT Infrastructure Security?

Implementing effective security policies is a challenging undertaking. Now, with the explosion of the internet of things (IoT), it can seem like an impossible task.

Take the quiz to find out

What to Look for in a Provider:

Not all managed IT security service providers offer the same suite of features and services. What should you keep an eye out for?

Threat Analysis Automation

Security systems produce an incredible amount of data as part of day-to-day operations. A provider should have a security platform that can automatically source data from throughout your network and analyze it to locate potential threat scenarios.

Dashboards & Reports

Dashboards and reports are essential for getting necessary visibility into your network and cybersecurity status. When choosing a provider, be sure to request a demo so you can compare platforms and service portal resources.

Flexible Service Models

Security concerns and potential vulnerabilities will vary by business and industry. You need a service model that can meet your specific needs and adjust to provide the necessary coverage for a quickly evolving security landscape.

In addition, there are a number of technical certifications that a provider and their staff should have. Some common examples include:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • SANS GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

Depending on specifics associated with your network environment, other certifications may be beneficial. An MSSP that performs an IT environment assessment as part of onboarding will have a better understanding of your current environment, as well as the kind of expert knowledge needed to protect it.

For full and robust protection, your security services team should offer a proven deployment model, insight into infrastructural support and upgrades, and 24/7 oversight from a security operation center (SOC). 

 

shorepatrol managed security datasheet cover

Need better cybersecurity? ShoreGroup can help.

The ShorePatrol® Managed Security Service is ShoreGroup’s set of robust interconnected services proven to protect your network from unwanted intruders.

Download Datasheet

 

Employee-vcall

Unified Communications Platform Support

Unified communications platforms are critically important—they connect co-workers (both remote and in-office) with each other, organizations to vendors and partners, and customers with support teams.

As a result, many companies choose to have their unified communications (UC) systems supported by trusted partners. But how does that service fit into the managed IT services ecosystem?

What Is a Unified Communications Platform?

72% of business leaders say “effective team communication” has become more important in recent years. Unified communications platforms make this process seamless by enabling multichannel communication between team members, departments, external partners, and customers.

In other words, a unified communications platform does exactly what its name implies—it provides a central location where users can communicate using voice, video, or chat.

How Do Unified Communications Platforms Fit into Managed IT Services?

Because UC platforms are critical to business success, downtime and other service issues can cause major disruptions.

Supporting unified communications platforms involves deploying advanced monitoring to detect issues before they create downtime, as well as automating the identification of root causes for faster issue resolution.

Because the availability and performance of unified communications platforms rely on wired and wireless networks and servers, it’s important that your managed IT service provider has in-depth knowledge in those areas as well. Managed IT service providers that monitor UC platforms together with all supporting systems and infrastructure are equipped to support your environment more effectively.

 

 

Good Team Collaboration Whitepaper Cover

Don’t Fall for Fake Collaboration

Making sure your tools foster true collaboration and are actually helpful to the people who use them every day is an essential part of improving your team’s performance.

Download Ebook

 

 

server graphic

Data Center Managed Services

Whether you exclusively use an on-premise data center or you rely on a hybrid solution, keeping your servers running smoothly is essential for most other IT services. As a result, data center managed services are a critical part of the overall managed IT services landscape.

If your data center isn't operating properly, then other elements will be adversely impacted; you can't have effective contact center solutions, IT security services, unified communications, or other business services with a data center that isn't pulling its weight.

Data center managed services are generally considered part of a comprehensive managed IT services package. However, data centers are unique from other operations in many ways, and a provider with no expertise in data center systems may not be equipped to deal with critical issues.

Protecting Your Data Center

Keeping physical infrastructure running can take up a lot of your IT team’s time. In many instances, your team won’t have the knowledge and experience needed to tackle bigger issues and may rely on short-term fixes to keep the network running.

That’s where an experienced managed IT services provider comes in. Data center monitoring and managed services may include:

  • Configuration
  • Project coordination
  • Administration
  • Testing
  • Ongoing maintenance and upgrades

Data center managed services are often more cost-effective than DIY alternatives. In addition, your team is freed from managing your data center, so they can focus on more value-generating activities.

 

data-center-img

Managed Network Services

Managed network services are a critical component of an overall managed IT strategy. By outsourcing network management to a managed service provider, IT leaders can free up their internal teams to work on strategic projects.

What Are Managed Network Services?

Simply put, managed network services are network monitoring, maintenance, and upgrade tasks conducted by a third-party provider.

In addition to taking the burden off internal IT teams, many MSPs can help make proactive improvements to cut downtime and speed up performance at your organization. Managed network services facilitate the network strength you need to work efficiently, adhere to cybersecurity best practices, and deliver dependable customer service.

ShoreGroup Keeps Your Network Running

ShorePatrol by ShoreGroup can support your network with turnkey, scalable, cost-effective managed services. ShoreGroup delivers industry-leading solutions and a team of highly certified engineers that work across vendors and technologies.

Since we also handle data center, contact center, security, unified communications, and other parts of your IT ecosystem, you can be confident that you have a cohesive managed IT services strategy.

 

ShorePatrol Operational Support Services Datasheet Cover

How can ShorePatrol power your network?

The ShorePatrol Managed Services portfolio is ShoreGroup’s set of robust interconnected services proven to improve the availability, performance, and security of your network.

Download Datasheet