What are Managed Services?
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What are Managed Services?

According to Gartner, “A managed services provider delivers services such as network, application, infrastructure, and security via ongoing regular support and active administration on customers’ premises regardless where they are located (e.g. in their MSP’s data center (hosting), a third-party data center or customers’ own premises.”

Simply put, managed services are operational management tasks such as the management of hardware and software, including pro-active monitoring, fault management, change management and lifecycle management that have been outsourced to an external body or managed service provider (MSP) for proper and efficient management. At this same time, customer will still have full visibility via an intuitive dashboard for full visibility over their network performance.

In a managed services model, the vendor provides the hardware, software, and professional services according to every business needs. They could help you set up, maintain and troubleshoot network problems when needed, so that business operations could be relieved from knowing the how-to of every device or application, and focus on your core business operation.

What can the Managed Service Provider (MSP) offer?

Before employing the services of a managed services provider, you should know what services they owe you and what is within their power, limit, or jurisdiction to offer. Below are some of the services you can expect from an MSP.

1. Professional services

With the ongoing evolution and increasing complexities in networking, information technology and ever increasing security vulnerabilities , businesses need more highly skilled personnel with a vast range of knowledge and skills to manage the network infrastructure securely and more efficiently to adapt and support the changing networking scenarios, e.g Public/Hybrid/Private Clouds, employee work from home and Remote access etc. MSPs as a single point of contact will offer these professional services ranging from network design consultation to installation and configuration, and to the ongoing change management and maintenance of the network appliances and, in some cases, tech refresh to migrate the entire network to more advanced platforms that meets your business needs.

2. Options of vendors and products for different business needs and budgets

Business customers can tap on managed service providers’ domain knowledge across multiple platforms and years of project and service management experience to save time and resources in building the network/system from scratch and setting up support teams to standby round-the-clock etc. Their IT department can then focus on doing the overall solution design and managing MSPs.

3. People talents

MSPs work with highly skilled engineering professionals that will offer the latest insights and new technologies in network management and security operations. They are certified and experienced solution consultants, engineers, as well as project and service managers who are available to provide support to business clients in right sizing the network and system, as well as ongoing round-the-clock operations support. This also creates more predictability, thereby reducing operational risk and increasing the chance of success in trying new solutions as well as in implementing network migrations.

4. Integrated technical support

Appliances don’t function alone, they are linked through dedicated or shared connectivity. Telco MSPs can provide one-stop shop support for customers’ end to end network across both the Local Area Network LAN And Wide Area Network WAN more effectively and efficiently.

Network appliances also require regular updates such as security patches and missing a critical system update may expose the corporate network to cybersecurity attacks. MSPs provide ongoing change management support including evaluating change impact analysis of critical network updates with the customer.

In addition, few MSPs may be able to provide managed security services such as vulnerability assessment, proactive cyber threat monitoring, so that’s additional assurance on overall network-related service availability,

5. Improved Total Cost of Ownership

With the support of an MSP, organisations can minimise upfront investment and budget required to bring business operation plans to fruition. It also reduces the cost and time required to upgrade and maintain your own set-up or professional services team. With streamlined management by the MSP, businesses no longer need to set aside additional resources to service equipment from multiple brands and different software licenses. The MSP will be able to take care of this and provide a single point of contact for simplified operation processes.

If an organisation does not have the depth of skillset within the IT team to manage complex network operations, leveraging MSPs can help reduce the burden of sourcing for and hiring talent. Allowing businesses to focus more of their HR efforts on hiring talent to support their core business requirements.

In summary, the above gives a boost to productivity and profitability; your organization can better focus manpower on the most crucial aspects of your business.

Why do we need a Managed Services Provider?

Are you wondering why your organization should switch from using your in-house team to working with managed services providers? Below are some reasons to consider.

1. IT outsourcing

With the current surge and development of new technologies and business processes, IT outsourcing has now become a norm. Many businesses have embarked on the journey of digital transformation, including wide use of apps and IoT devices, process automation as well as digitized information exchange. This has put tremendous pressure on the IT department, which is already short of skilled IT personnel and time to attend training sessions to manage upgrades and replacements.

In addition to an increased number of connected devices and apps, there is also a significant increase in operational support, such as repair, update, and maintenance. Outsourcing part of the IT operation functions, such as the supervision of the network, to reliable partners with agreed service level assurance, has been proven both successful and cost-effective.

2. Flexible financing options

The flexible financing options offered by MSPs amortize upfront cash-payout over a contract period, which could help businesses free up more cash for business operation and to focus on more strategic projects.

3. Valuable product and project experience

MSP’s knowledge of the products and solution plus customer project experience can be valuable to a business client who is exploring new solutions to meet their business needs, such as new business development, expansion, or migration of existing setup.

Tips on selecting a managed services provider (MSP)

Before you choose a managed services provider, you want to be sure of the value they’ll deliver once you’re signed up. Below are a few things to look out for:

1. Accountable Service-level agreement (SLA)

The SLA serves as a commitment offered by the MSP to the customer, in managing customers’ networks, including service availability, such as mean fault resolution time, support for wee hour requirements such as system updates, maintenance, and hardware replacement.

2. Create an action plan that matches operational goals

One of the best practices that managed service organizations are tasked with is the duty of strategic management. The MSP will help you plan your network infrastructure such as  scaling and growing your networking needs according to your business needs.

3. A good track record

How have they provided value to their existing client base? How have other organizations fared while working with them? Do they have or talk about the resources needed to implement network best practices? If the answers to all these strategic questions about the MSP are positive, then you can give them a call. You might also want to look out for vertical experience, industry recognition (awards and accolades), implementation of complex customer projects.

4. Network management and cybersecurity capabilities

The managed services provider’s capability in the area of network management and cybersecurity to achieve higher availability and reliability are crucial to business clients. This assures the companies that the MSP can provide wider service scope and take on greater responsibility in resolving more complex issues which are affecting the end-user service.

Business Class Managed Services

At SPTel, we believe in going a step further to deliver a truly business-grade standard of care for our customers. That is why, besides delivering the usual managed services functions, we have further invested in enhancing our capabilities to enable more scalable, flexible, and secure network management.

A Complete Cycle of Professional Services

We provide a comprehensive suite of certified professional services, from network design proposals to recommendations of vendor solutions to proof-of-concept testing to implementation and migration to service monitoring, maintenance, and change management, security patches and upgrades all by certified solution consultants, engineers,  project managers and service managers. Our team of experts has rich industrial experience in the implementation of large, complex, or bespoke solutions in both the public and private sectors.

Intelligent Network with Integrated Operation Centre

SPTel is the first and only service provider in Singapore to provide connectivity services through an advanced end-to-end software-defined IP network that is built on high speed, robust, and diverse fiber paths to deliver high availability internet or MPLS services. Paired with our professional managed services, our 24×7 support centre will be able to quickly identify the fault segment by remotely accessing the critical network nodes for a faster turnaround time for fault response.

Excellent Partnership

We work closely with market leaders in technology, platform, and solutions; our strong relations with technology partners allow us to bring the latest proven solution to our customers at competitive costs. Our engineers conduct vigorous tests and certifications on the products we sell to ensure stability and interoperability and continue to improve the service delivery experience to customers.

Our capability in cybersecurity

Closely monitoring and maintaining network infrastructure and systems also includes tackling imminent security breaches promptly. We will work round the clock to reduce the risk of security challenges. By being proactive to tackle cybersecurity challenges, we will help to increase agility, flexibility, and performance of business processes.

The bottom line

You no longer have to work with multiple providers to tackle the complexity of network performance; SPTel caters to your network connectivity (both LAN and WAN), on-site equipment needs, and cyber security as a single package.