After receiving the CRN’s MSP500 Award in the Elite100 category for the past 5 years in a row, we have seen an evolution of what it means to truly be an MSP and surpassed those standards. Today, you need fail-safe, proven expertise that never lets you down. After 25 years in the business, we are still learning and growing. So what makes us an elite MSP? How do you know which is right for your business and which will keep you competitive?

“In 2020, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are a critical aspect of business through the adoption of new technologies such as AI, robotics and IoT. We have the expertise to help you adopt all of these and save millions with automation.”

Kevin Price, Accucode CEO and Founder

Many new businesses or those that have grown so that their current services/support no longer work often have to wade through too many MSPs that will not be the right fit and have to start over again. Businesses with an MSP they are unhappy with, are still not sure what Managed Service Providers are exactly. For example, if you try to simply Google search “MSP” or “Managed Service Providers,” services are often portrayed by a simple graphic overview of the lifecycle of a device. While this is something that we also use to describe our HAAS specifically, it is not enough to show what we do, and does not cover SAAS, security concerns, and more. 

Instead, competitive MSPs are always transparent with you with things such as pricing that fits your business, projected results for ROI, their own successes and non-successes, and the most cutting-edge solutions available that are right for your business. Furthermore, you want an MSP that offers solutions that are constantly updated and tested by in-house teams of engineers. 

The value of an experienced, expert MSP with a proven track record cannot be overstated or described so simply. When I talked to our MSP experts, two things stood out that businesses value and why they choose us: transparency and expertise. Businesses come to us with a lot of questions about what exactly we can do for them. That is a tougher question than can be truly answered without taking the time to really understand each business’s concerns or problems. Out-of-the-box solutions with blanket pricing are not a setup for current (or future) success. Often, they actually leave businesses worse off than they were! Instead, a good MSP takes the time to explore IT gaps that are pain points, walk through it with your business, and look over a menu of the newest solutions for their IT infrastructure and operations.

Some of the common misconceptions or questions that people have are:

  • Will you replace our whole system? No one wants to adjust or re-learn everything– this causes lost money when businesses have to be down to set up a whole new infrastructure. Businesses know that this costs money and causes unhappy customers.
  • What if the solution breaks? Businesses have every right to be wary of new/unproven technology and big changes. It’s up to the MSP to make you feel comfortable with their proven/trusted expertise and ability to listen to your concerns.
  • What is the price? Is it worth it? Again, blanket pricing (even at the subscription level) does not work. Why would you apply the same logistics to an SMB and an enterprise level business?

However, this is just my experience and research. These are just starting questions when looking for an MSP. When I spoke with one of our experts in managed services, I wanted to know from his point of view (not just my research) what his businesses ask the most when they get to our level of services:

“The first thing that I would say is that they are concerned with security– not only with the MSP themselves, but with the data we have access to. Second would be scalability– not only the ability to scale up, but also to scale down. Next would have to be security. Then, maybe transparency, customer service, and delivery of the solutions. Overall, though, the biggest concern by far is always security. All of this, though, is assuming that we can do what we say we are going to do. But yes, security is the big one… not only the security of being around but the security of data as a customer begins migration into their new system.” 

That being said, MSPs are not to be confused with other Service Management providers. Accucode is not just an MSP–  we use all of our existing and new, disruptive technologies to provide fully Managed Services in an end-to-end lifecycle for any of our partners’ devices. From acquisition, to end of life reclamation or recycling, we work side by side with all of our businesses to fit the right fit, at the right price. 

The Managed Service expertise that Accucode has successfully provided for 25 years is based on business administration and management. This is in addition to other types of business management. From SMBs to corporate, enterprise levels, this type of service and support is just as important as other aspects of business administration such as accounting, business entities, economics, organization, and trading.

Traditionally, managed service providers (MSPs) have been a way to outsource any responsibility for solutions and leave businesses to operate on their own, hands-off. Instead, this crucial part of any business allows businesses to focus on their main objectives such as happy customers, ROI, and overall company vision.

At Accucode, we fulfill a more full range of services that surpasses maintaining and anticipating what IT solutions will set a company up for success. The wide range of processes we offer keep businesses running 24/7– not just now, but in the future as we anticipate and solve problems as technology moves forward. Having a handle on the newest, disruptive technology with a proven track record, from start to finish, sets us apart as a managed service provider recognized nationally.

As an MSP, our goal is always to continually and seamlessly improve operations and cut expenses for businesses now and in the future. Does this mean that we come in and replace the systems and processes that are currently not broken and just have some hiccups? Absolutely not. A good MSP integrates seamlessly with legacy IT systems and knows that completely replacing processes is not reasonable time-wise for several reasons such as training employees and downtime. Instead, we work directly with businesses to identify gaps, potential problems, and fill these gaps on a timeline and budget that works for each business.

In the past, traditionally, managed service providers were a basic, initial alternative to the break/fix or on-site outsourcing model on an as-needed basis. In this model, the service provider merely performs on-demand services with blanket pricing and out-of-the-box solutions. Worst case scenario, these out of the box solutions or full infrastructure replacements, land the businesses in an even worse position than they started off with! Best case scenario: MSPs provide a tailored solution, listen to the customer’s concerns, and bill the customer only for what they need and nothing that they don’t.

Advantages

Adopting managed services is a proven, efficient way to stay up-to-date on technology. In addition, it allows our businesses access to our expert engineers whenever they want, 24/7! MSPs address a number of issues– from cost to quality of service and risk for example. Presently, the IT infrastructures of competitive SMB and large corporations are cloud-based. MSPs such as Accucode keep up with the competition by increasingly facing the challenge of cloud computing. While a number of MSPs provide in-house cloud services, some even act as brokers with cloud services providers. 

A recent survey claims that a lack of knowledge and expertise in cloud computing appears to be the main obstacle to transitions to MSPs. For example, in transportation (one of our largest industries), many companies face a significant increase of fuel and carrier costs, driver shortages, customer service requests, and global supply chain complexities. Managing day-to-day transportation processes and reducing related costs are significant burdens that require the expertise of transportation Managed Services (or managed transportation services) providers such as Accucode with proven expertise that can be trusted with for an industry with huge security and scalable needs.

Evolution

The evolution of MSPs started in the 1990s with the emergence of application service providers (ASPs) who helped pave the way for remote support for IT infrastructure. From the initial focus of remote monitoring and management of servers and networks, the scope of an MSP’s services expanded to include mobile device management, managed security, remote firewall administration and security-as-a-service, and managed print services. Around 2005, MSPs began to be more standardized in offerings.

Since then, the managed services business model has gained ground among enterprise level companies and is more competitive as to who stands out. As value-added resellers embraced a higher level of services, they adapted the managed service model and then tailored it to SMB companies.

In the new economy, IT manufacturers are currently moving away from out-of-the-box resale to a more customized, managed service offering. In this transition, the billing and sales processes of intangible managed services, appear as the main challenges for traditional resellers.

The managed services market is expected to grow from an estimated $152.45 billion in 2017 to $257.84 billion by 2022, representing a CAGR of 11.1%. With IT driving every aspect of business operations, the importance of aligning managed IT services with all levels in an organization has grown to ensure reliability and continuity of business goals. A cloud-based deployment model means more agility than on-site deployment models alone.

Overview

In the information technology area, the most common managed services appear to revolve around connectivity and bandwidth, network monitoring, security, virtualization, and disaster recovery. Beyond traditional application and infrastructure management, managed services may also include storage, desktop and communications, mobility, help desk and technical support. Why not get any of the above whenever you need it?

In the next article, we will examine our offerings more closely– get everything that you need and nothing that you don’t!