Managed IT services are tasks that are delegated to third-party contractors that specialize in handling given duties. Third-party contractors, also referred to as Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are responsible for providing the IT service and the functionality of the equipment as agreed upon in the Service Level Agreements (SLA), while the customer pays a monthly fee for the service. There are various types of managed IT services available, all with the intent of taking on the responsibility of managing IT and allowing the customer to focus on other business concerns.
The meaning of “managed services” differs depending on who you ask. For the customer, it means that they will be outsourcing the management of x amount of networking equipment. This means that any set-up, installation, and configuration of equipment, will be taken care of by the service providers. The managed service provider is responsible for any configurations that need to be made to meet business needs and providing ongoing maintenance.
For the managed service provider, they are agreeing to take over the maintain ance and the management of x amount of networking equipment. It is important to note that this is under the assumption that the initial set-up has been completed prior to the transfer of responsibility. If any new installations need to be completed, the customer would be responsible for the cost and initial installations of those new items. The managed service providers document the “current running state” of the equipment and then establishes the baseline for the client’s day-to-day operating performance.
Evidently, the customer’s goals for outsourcing their IT tasks, differ from the operational approach of MSPs. How can both groups work together to reach common ground?
The most important thing is to understand each other’s perspectives and goals. The customer should be able to pinpoint why it is that they are considering purchasing a maintenance service, while the managed service provider should be able to devise a customized action plan to meet their client’s needs.
Next, there should be a contractual agreement in place that are explicitly outlining the tasks to be completed, and how they will resolve any issues that the customer is concerned about.
Communication is crucial in this process, as the customer may have specific goals that the service provider does not know about and may feel frustrated and disappointed when they are not getting the desired results. With no clear direction, the service provider will be forced to work without direction. To avoid any confusion, both groups should communicate and negotiate with one another to reach a common ground.