When it comes to IT, managing everything in-house for a small business can be overwhelming, if not impossible. Most organizations don’t have the capacity or internal expertise to be able to effectively manage their IT infrastructure. Because keeping IT under control is crucial for efficient business operations, many organizations choose to partner with local IT experts by bringing in a managed service provider (MSP). The type of all-in-one IT support an MSP is extremely valuable for small businesses. However, not all MSPs are created equal. Choosing the best one for your business can ensure you maintain worry-free IT operations.
Types of Services Offered by MSPs
Depending on the unique needs of an organization, the types of IT support required may vary. However, most reputable MSPs offer some if not all of the following services:
Cyber security has been a need for organizations for years. Unfortunately, many often don’t invest enough time or resources in it until it is too late. Rather than wait for a breach or cyber attack to occur, proactive organizations look to MSPs to provide cyber security in some form. While varying in form, often this includes preventative measures to keep viruses like malware and ransomware out of the organization’s IT infrastructure.
Additionally, cyber security efforts also target email communications. Keeping email content secure is crucial to maintaining confidentiality in correspondence. MSPs often provide secure, cloud-based email services as well as offer training for organizations and their employees on email security.
Often, the most essential IT service provided by an MSP is real-time support to organizations and their employees. When an IT issue occurs, mitigating it quickly helps decrease the effect it has on operations. So, having support available either by phone or in-person can prevent unnecessary downtime by troubleshooting issues quickly. Many MSPs also offer support for external systems or applications. These include accounting software, ERP systems, etc.
Hardware & Networking Maintenance
An organization’s network represents the entire structure of its operations. From email services to applications, having a reliable and fast network means efficiency. MSPs provide peace of mind when it comes to networking by handling issues that arise such as critical software updates or troubleshooting Wi-Fi connectivity.
Equally as important as managing intangible aspects of an organization’s network are maintaining and updating hardware as needed. When it comes to hardware, MSPs are there to help with the installation, maintenance, and repair of all the hardware required to keep the network running smoothly.
A lesser-known (but growing in popularity) service provided by MSPs is Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Rather than a traditional phone system, a VoIP system adds a ton of functionality to phone operations. Available features include call connectivity via mobile phones or even laptop computers, secured voicemail delivery to your inbox, and the option to create custom phone trees within the organization. Not only does VoIP make managing incoming and outgoing calls easier – it generally makes the communication process more efficient and customer-friendly.
Characteristics of an Effective Managed Service Provider
Choosing the right MSP for your business can seem overwhelming at first. However, a good first step is selecting the IT services most critical to your organization and seeking out MSPs that offer all of them. From there, there are several qualities to look for to ensure that the chosen MSP will provide the level of support required.
- Flat-Rate Service Plans – Often, MSPs charge a monthly fee for managed services but add on other fees for each service performed. This approach leads to inconsistency when it comes to IT expenses. Finding an MSP with a flat-rate plan means peace of mind without unexpected fees.
- Multiple Communication Options – IT issues are often time-sensitive, so having quick and easy access to your MSP is crucial. A local MSP that provides their clients with easy ways to contact them as needed adds a level of responsiveness that larger providers often can’t offer.
- Cutting-Edge Technology – IT is an evolving space, and new technology constantly becomes available. Choosing an MSP that keeps up-to-date with current technologies means that the solutions they deploy will be the best available at the moment.
- A Reputation of Stellar Service – Possibly the best indicator of an MSP exceeding expectations is hearing so from previous or current customers. When selecting an MSP, seek out reviews from their client base. In most cases, providers with a history of superior support will continue to offer that high level of service for your business.
Kustura Technologies – a Leading MSP in Jacksonville & Gainesville
Kustura Technologies has been a leader in managed IT service for over 20 years in Jacksonville. We’ve built a reputation for impeccable service by providing our clients with full-service IT solutions. Our popular Peace of Mind plan was the first of its kind in the region and has only grown in popularity since. Because we utilize the most current technologies, we can proactively address potential IT issues, quickly handle unexpected ones as they arise, and provide that overall support that leaves business owners to focus on other areas of operations besides IT.
In addition to services in Jacksonville, Kustura recently launched operations in the Gainesville area. The expansion has allowed us to bring our managed IT services to local Gainesville businesses looking for that inclusive IT support that our customers love. That customer support is available 24/7, meaning critical issues never get pushed to the next business day.
If you’re looking for individual IT help or fully managed services, KUstura Technologies is here to help. We’d love to chat about our role as an MSP and how we stand out from others in the space. Contact us today to get started.