A managed support service takes a support SLA approach and extends it, so that a provider takes more responsibility for running your IT services.
The ‘managed’ in ‘managed support service’ refers to the activities the provider undertakes: planning, delivering and maintaining the IT services that the customer receives, which commonly include a helpdesk or service desk (which covers the much of the ‘support’), a change management function, and IT service management processes which are intended to keep the customer informed of the status and effectiveness of, and plans the provider has for, the IT services.
It is usually a broader provision than just technical support, and may include the provision of services like email and other communications; network and internet connectivity, and even hardware like PCs and laptops (or a virtualised user platform).
What this means to you
Each approach to technical support has advantages and disadvantages.
With a managed support service:
- A large proportion, or perhaps even all, of the responsibilities and duties involved in operating the IT services are taken on by the provider. This can provide some efficiencies, as the provider becomes a ‘single point’ for service delivery.
- The customer leaves all the IT work to the provider, and instead focusses on ‘service delivery management’ (i.e. managing the provider, rather than the IT itself).
- It almost always costs more than break/fix and support SLA approaches, as the provider will be taking on more risk (as part of the responsibilities and duties) and will cover this through the charges.
- It’s really important that the relationship between the provider and the customer is strong. The customer places increased trust in the provider to maintain their services well and, in some cases, to plan for the customer’s future needs. As a managed service is engaged through a contract, if the provider falls short, but not short enough to constitute a material failure, the customer may find themselves stuck in an arrangement that doesn’t work for them.
A managed service is designed to be more proactive. The provider should be doing ‘preventative maintenance’ in order to reduce the number of incidents of systems failure. Its common for special tools to be deployed as part of this, to keep an eye on various aspects of the IT services. There will always be a reactive element, as technology will, unfortunately, have problems from time to time, but the concept is to reduce that to a minimum.
Why we are good
Like a support SLA, one of the most important things is making sure a managed service includes the right elements. In fact, it can be even more important with a managed service, as there’ll be fewer instances of your team doing things locally (so you’re relying on us), and we’ll be setting up various systems to monitor what’s going on (so we need to make sure we’re monitoring the right things).
That’s why we spend some time looking at your wider IT needs with you, as part of the process, rather than just providing a one-size-fits-all model with a contract for you to sign.
What we can do
We provide technical support to many clients using the ad-hoc or break/fix, support SLA and managed service approaches, and we take a flexible and personal approach with all of them: making sure your IT needs are met is our priority.
We can support servers, PCs and laptops, and tablets and phones; we can look after Windows, macOS, Android and iOS; we can maintain wired and wireless networks, internet connections, routers and firewalls; we can manage email systems, telephone systems and domains; we can run security services like antivirus and email security, and we can make sure your important data is backed up.