Managed IT Services are taking the business world by storm. According to a recent report by Markets to Markets, the Managed Services Industry is set to grow over $100 billion dollars in the next five years, and a similar study by CompTIA found that nearly two-thirds of organizations are using Managed Services for at least one IT function. OTELCO has posted a lot about our new services as of late, and what they have to offer the business community. This week, we want to offer our audience a broader look at the types of Managed Services available, to provide a basic understanding of what these solutions have to offer.
Backup as a Service
Backup as a Service centers on backups and recovery. With managed backups, all the data stored on your infrastructure will be duplicated and stored on a secure off-site server. The frequency of backups is dependent on the recovery plan. A recovery plan, or disaster recovery plan (DRP), lays out what will happen when/if your digital environment goes down, setting specific expectations for a Managed Services Provider. Recovery plans revolve around the Recovery Time Objections (RTO) and Recovery Point Objections (RPO) that you set with the MSP.
Desktop as a Service
With Desktops as a Service (DaaS), a third party hosts the back end of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). So, when you log in to your DaaS, the entire operating system is being run from the MSP’s virtual cloud infrastructure. DaaS can be accessed by software on a computer, or online. Not only is DaaS easy to access, but the VDI ads an extra level of security. It is a great solution for companies who work with very sensitive data, have Bring Your Own Device policies, and/or have a lot of telecommuters.
Managed Communications, or unified communications, combine voice, video, chat, and email into one service. This way all your employees are connecting on one platform, instead of logging into a bunch of different applications. Managed Communication packages include such things as:
- Instant Messaging
- Hosted Phones
- Video Conferencing
- File Sharing
- Virtual Rooms or Spaces
- Calendar Sharing
- Administrative Portals
Networking and Infrastructure
Networking and Infrastructure can mean a couple of things. Some Managed Services Providers will maintain servers virtually, conducting maintenance and backups off-site. Others will host and maintain servers in their own data centers or will rent space on their own servers. Knowing which option is best for you rests on how big your company is and/or how much data you are looking to store.
Security as a Service
Security as a Service is an outsourcing cyber-security model. Generally, SaaS is deployed via the cloud, but some providers will also install a physical component in/on a company’s environment. At a minimum, a Security as a Service package should include:
- Anti-Malware (protects from viruses, malware, and other cyber-attacks)
- Patch Management
- Security Reporting
- Log Management and Analysis
- System Monitoring, Testing, and Remediation
Software as a Service
With Software as a Service, Managed Services Providers distribute applications via the cloud, and then act as the go-between for your company and the software developer. Sometimes you can go directly through the software developer, but by going through the MSP you’re guaranteed to always have the newest updates at no extra cost, and a more personalized customer service experience. It is the difference between buying groceries at the supermarket and ordering them directly from the wholesaler.
Support Services cover helpdesk and troubleshooting needs. It is one of the most common Managed Services on the market. With Support Services, the MSP takes care of everyday problems like password resets, or software updates. Most Support Services will cover mobile devices, tablets, and printers. Some will even provide on-site solutions when necessary.
OTELCO Cloud and Managed Services
As with most business solutions, there is no “one size fits all” answer in Managed Services. Not only do MSPs provide a wide range of features, but they also out benefit the older IT outsourcing models and perfectly compliment In-House IT staff. If you are a business owner, OTELCO Cloud and Managed Services have some great products you might want to check out.