Managed Service – Remote Service – Who’s in Charge?

Managed service is outsourced administration for information technology systems.  The concern delivering a managed service is called a managed service provider or MSP.  An MSP offers a number of world class services for businesses or newsrooms at a fixed cost for a negotiated period of time.  Similar to AP’s wire service contracts.

MSPs refer to vendor support models as break/fix.  Sort of like a three act play that keeps repeating.

  1. something breaks
  2. you call support
  3. they fix it

When it breaks again the process repeats – break/fix.

A managed service should provide ten features reports Gen Wright at Articlesbase.  No repeats on her list.  Most sources usually cite the same ten things an offerer, how Dr. Macioce defines the purchaser, should expect from an MSP.

Broadcast Newsroom Computing will attempt to cull the list of ten expectations of a managed service to five:

  1. Pro-active service, program of regular preventive maintenance
  2. Quick and appropriate response to issues
  3. Advice on technology and threats
  4. Backups – data protection schemes
  5. A fixed price for proven knowledge and expertise

I cheated.  I combined some to make five. Only a couple  I showed remorse so please show me mercy.  The Articlesbase link will take you to the list of ten things a managed service should offer.  Peter Sandiford over at LevelPlatforms writes about choosing a managed service.  Sandiford has a similar list of ten expectations.

However the lists cited exclude ownership of your enterprise or computer system.  You, the offerer, owns the system and has the hardware and software vendor relationship for support.  An MSP becomes your liaison to the vendor to some extent.  

You signed the purchase order for the system so you own it.  If hardware fails it’s a cost you can only avoid with some insurance usually provided by the hardware vendor.   A managed service provider becomes your intermediary with the vendor but everyone knows power rests with the one who paid for the show.

A managed service provides more features than traditional software and hardware support agreements, which by the way still need to be maintained perhaps for less expense.   MSPs  offer better services for a fixed cost far less than the cost of ownership required by a support contract.

Two simple take aways –

  1. managed service offers more for less cost
  2. you are still owner and have some responsibility

Tomorrow BNC reports ways managed services are remunerated.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC



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