Small businesses want to focus on running and growing their core businesses, and they realize how important having up-to-date IT services can be when it comes to doing just that. The problem is, many of these companies wrestle with a lack of resources – both financial and human – to put a top-tier support framework into place.
Managed IT Services: The Next Great Equalizer
Fortunately, turning to managed IT service providers for turnkey services like unified communications (UC), network management, security and business continuity gives small businesses access to the same IT benefits and differentiators as their larger competition.
Managed IT services can be flexible and innovative – and, because they’re delivered via the cloud, they’re always updated and never obsolete. The best managed services also come with a full-service, round-the-clock network operations center (NOC), staffed with experts that act as your very own IT group – without all of the hassle of seeking out and training talent.
And on the budget front, managed services are a cost-effective alternative to building your own IT footprint. Small businesses pay a monthly fee for service and support, giving them a predictable cost profile.
TPx Complete: An Industry-First, All-In-One IT Services Solution
At TPx, we’re committed to developing well-designed managed IT services to help transform and elevate your business. We recently debuted a modular, platform approach to this, dubbed TPx Complete. It’s an industry first: a comprehensive package of managed services that’s been specially designed to meet the voice, security, network quality and continuity needs of small businesses.
TPx Complete includes: UCx, our unified communications platform; managed SD-WAN; managed firewall; managed endpoints; virtual fax; 4G LTE failover for redundancy and resilience; and full-featured IP desk phones for every user.
Businesses can choose to take the entire TPx Complete bundle, or we can design the perfect package tailored to a small business customer’s specific needs from our overall managed service portfolio (MSx), using only the services a business chooses. In either case, the services are backed by our NOC, where our IT experts will monitor your critical systems 24/7/365 and respond immediately to any issues you may have, freeing you up to focus on your core business objectives.
Budgets Tamed: Affordability, Scalability and Predictability
We also take the guesswork out of establishing your IT support budget by offering packages as a single subscription service, with one monthly charge covering a wide range of tasks and no surprise fees.
Contact your TPx representative to see how you can give your small business the crucial differentiator of top-tier IT services, either with TPx Complete or our MSx portfolio. We’re here to give you the support you need for your critical IT systems without the cost and hassle of doing it all in-house. Elevate your business today!
About the Author
Stacey Kendall is the Product Marketing Manager for TPx’s suite of Communications & Collaboration services. With over 20 years of experience in marketing communications for highly technical and regulated industries, she presents complex topics in a straightforward manner for current and prospective customers. Stacey holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a specialization in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She resides in the greater Boston area.
Would you like to reduce cost and complexity? Consider working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Organizations of all sizes are adopting managed services as part of a strategic plan to organize, streamline and safeguard their businesses.
MSPs offer multiple benefits. In a world where security threats are everyday considerations, Managed IT provides the peace of mind that comes from the assurance that applications and systems are always up-to-date and protected. Operational overhead and the need for in-house IT expertise both move back from the front of the desk, and businesses enjoy an expanded technical expert pool that helps them focus on their core competencies instead of having to focus on complicated supporting technology. However, with all those benefits comes a challenge – transitioning from handling IT in-house to a MSP means you’ll need to make some significant institutional changes.
To help you get the most out of the relationship, here are four tips for effectively working with MSPs.
1. Set Your Expectations
It’s important to be upfront and clear about what the managed relationship entails – and to make sure that everyone understands those expectations. Ask (and answer) questions like:
- What should you expect from an onboarding experience?
- Who has responsibility for the initial setup of hardware? If new installations are required, whose responsibility is it?
- How will the escalation process work for events?
- What responsibility does the MSP have for applications running in the cloud?
- Is there a shared responsibility model for access to (and the security of) sensitive data?
- Is the MSP expected to fine-tune your footprint and dynamically change configurations to meet business needs, or to become the middle-man with vendors?
An important best practice is to establish the scope of the relationship in a statement of work, which should also clearly define terms like “healthy running state,” “best practices,” and “in the cloud,” among others. Being up front from the beginning about who’s responsible for what, and how communications will be carried out going forward, is a great foundation for a successful relationship.
2. Be Transparent
To effectively support your IT environment, a MSP needs to have a full understanding of your current infrastructure. A clear understanding of how your business functions and visibility into the full topography you have in place allows the MSP to help you optimize the investments you’ve made. The MSP can also identify areas for improvement across on-premises and cloud infrastructures, connectivity providers and vendors for WAN and LAN, third-party applications performance, mobile user access, and so on.
When the MSP understands what’s running in your IT environment, it can provide ongoing services like patching and monitoring, or help harden configurations from a security and performance perspective.
All too often, businesses don’t provide a full picture of their architecture, so an audit or other inventory exercise may be necessary. Allowing the MSP full access to systems in the beginning can help you avoid many headaches down the road.
3. Ask, Ask, Ask
As the businessperson making the decision to turn over portions of your infrastructure to a third party, you should never hesitate to ask questions – or answer them, for that matter. An open, ongoing dialog is a critical piece to making the MSP relationship work.
When selecting an MSP, it’s important to keep this in mind. An MSP should be responsive and aware of your specific business needs – not just place questions into a queue to be answered with boilerplate responses.
4. Let the System Work
In the event of a major issue such as a weather event, power outage, cyberattack or other disruption, keep calm and know that the MSP’s job is to help fix the issue as quickly as possible.
If there is a connectivity or functionality issue, the MSP will identify it through their systems and work to resolve it. All activities should be executed under an SLA with frequent, scheduled reporting. An MSP is there to give you peace of mind, after all.
Ready to Work with an MSP?
TPx offers comprehensive managed service suites, all delivered with round-the-clock support staff to provide tailored, top-tier customer service. These include managed SD-WAN, managed firewalls, managed LAN, managed Office 365, managed endpoints, managed disaster recovery, managed high-speed Internet access and more. In all cases, our IT experts, including those in our two state-of-the-art Security Operations Centers, will monitor your critical systems 24/7/365 and respond immediately to any issues you may have, freeing you up to focus on your core business objectives. One monthly charge covers a wide range of tasks that go to the heart of today’s modern business environments.
Request a free consultation to see how MSx Managed IT Services from TPx can help you support your critical IT systems without the cost and hassle of doing it all in-house.
About the Author
As TPx’s Director of MSx Product Management, Ross Spero leads a nationwide team of product management and marketing professionals focused on creating market-leading managed IT and security solutions. He brings deep experience serving businesses in multiple industries to this role. Ross is a graduate of the University of Oregon and is completing his Executive MBA at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.