Managed Service Providers- Security to Bank on: White Paper on Security Series

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) provide valuable services to thousands of companies in the United States and abroad.  Quite a bit of what MSPs provide can be accomplished in-house, with better results, more control and for less money.

Managed Service Providers may not be the best solution for every customer, but they are a fact of life in the IT industry

What do MSPs do very well?

**Manage uptime, mitigate downtime, manage SLA's and ensure penalties are paid by vendors

**Gathering detailed network information regarding hardware, software and status.

What do MSPs do well?

**Accomplish basic maintenance & management tasks on Servers, workstations & network devices

**Documentation & reporting within the scope of their management software

**Remote support for common problems

**Provide just-in-time supplies (toner & maintenance kits) for printers

What do MSPs do poorly?

**Anything on-site.

    *This is mainly due to the fact they waste too much time trying to resolve issues

       remotely and don't realize when an issue must be resolved on-site

    *Often the highly qualified tech's are not allowed to go on-site, but rather provide

       telephone support to the less qualified tech's on-site

**Many lack the skills needed to troubleshoot and resolve advanced Server or network issues

What are the alternatives to Managed Service Providers?

The main players for in-house solutions to compete with Managed Service Providers are:

**Kace, a Dell company

**ScriptLogic, a Quest company

**Quest Software

**ELM by TNT software

There are a lot of niche players that provide industry leading solutions for their niche, here are a few:

     *Fortinet or SonicWall for Security

     *Castrum or HP for secure document management

Any small business wishing to meet IT security, compliance & reporting requirements in-house must realize that they need a trusted adviser who is well versed with the technologies for advice, support and continuity.  Businesses also should realize that there must be at least two people, in-house, who are trained on all the technologies.

Evaluating and choosing products that meet the unique needs of each business is important.  Some solutions, like Kace, may be too expensive for a company with 30 users where products from ScriptLogic, Quest and Fortinet may meet the need and scale as the company grows.

Copyright © 2012 by Ellegent Systems, Inc