A Comprehensive Overview of Managed IT Services by Managed Solution

 

Ever wonder what the IT Managed Services onboarding process looks like? There are so many ways to leverage Managed IT Services and even more Managed Service Providers that can help businesses of all kinds maximize ROI for their IT department and boost success throughout their company’s operations.

 

Today, we’ll be breaking down our very own Managed Services process and showcasing the facets that set us apart. Providing not only an overview of Managed IT Services for those interested in exploring outsourced IT, but a clearer understanding of the specialized value Managed Solution has to offer.

 

Microsoft Solution Specialists

Ranked among Microsoft’s top 150 partners globally, Managed Solution belongs to the elite 1%, working closely with Microsoft to provide tailored solutions for your business needs.

By selecting a Managed Services Provider that specializes in Microsoft technology solutions you gain expertise in over 200 products and services, Microsoft Azure’s complexity requires specialized knowledge to navigate effectively.

A Microsoft specialized MSP can assess your business needs and design a tailored Azure solution, ensuring a seamless transition from on-premise to the cloud. While providing you with access to certified Azure experts eliminating the need for you to hire internal resources and providing you special discounts and simplified billing on Microsoft products.

 

Scalable Services for Continuous Evolution

Our scalable services provide a foundation for businesses to grow and innovate. Whether you need short-term project assistance or ongoing support, we're here to monitor, automate, manage, and optimize your IT.

This type of support is crucial for business looking for adaptability in their technology providers, allowing them to adjust their IT resources based on current demands, ensuring they can handle growth or changes in the market.  You will also find that scalability can lead to lower IT costs by optimizing resource usage and minimizing the need for over staffing.

Our clients also tell us that staying scalable allows them to quickly adapt to new technologies and customer demands, all of which helps keep their business competitive.

 

Unparalleled Customer Service

Our approach to the IT Managed Services onboarding process is rooted in a 'people first' philosophy, recognizing that the success of any business lies in the success of the individuals behind it. The right technology can transform organizations, and as a result the lives of the employees and teams within them.

Our clients experience this through specialized, tailored delivery of powerful Microsoft and market-leading solutions to achieve their operational, security, productivity goals and beyond.

Furthermore, customer service is at the heart of what we do. With our 24/7/365 national help desk support, we ensure that your business is always equipped with the support it needs, whenever it needs it.

 

Services Overview

Whatever your IT needs are, we've got you covered. From delivering excellence to driving operational and corporate growth, our services are designed to streamline your IT processes.

Services Include:

  • 24/7/365 National IT Help Desk
  • Network Monitoring
  • SIEM/SOC
  • Azure Deployment and Monitoring
  • Microsoft Licensing and Security Services
  • Compliance Management
  • Backup & Disaster Recovery

 

Onboarding and Ongoing Engagement

Our IT Managed Services onboarding process is a testament to our commitment to excellence. From the internal signing of agreements to the installation of Continuum Agents and Anti-virus, we guide our clients every step of the way. The onboarding journey is a well-orchestrated process that ensures a smooth transition for our clients.

We approach each site individually, recognizing that every business is unique. Our systematic onboarding process spans months, focusing on reviewing, systemizing, analyzing, and strategizing to provide tailored solutions. This includes continuous ticket checks, root cause analysis, and quarterly reviews to ensure ongoing success.

 

Here is the full breakdown of our onboarding process below:

 Review and systemize (1 Month)

  • On-boarding Project manager & onboarding team​
  • Network assessment & asset counts​
  • Integrated ticketing & alert tools​
  • Help Desk Support Training​
  • Immediately identify areas of concern & solutions​
  • Launch Help Desk​

 

Analyze (3 - 6 months)

  • Continuous ticket & CSAT checks​
  • Customer success manager and Technical Account Manager
  • Root cause analysis
  • Partner to develop proactive solutions​
  • QBRs (Quarterly Reviews)
  • Refined support strategy
  • Recommendations towards business improvement and getting to a proactive state

 

Strategize (6 - 9 months)

  • Technology roadmap for business support
  • Security & scaling
  • Start implementing solutions and plan for long term vision
  • Quarterly Reviews​
  • A long-term technology and support strategy
  • One multidisciplinary technical team to implement
  • Start seeing improvements in end user experience and business support

 

Accelerate and smooth (ongoing)

  • QBRs/CSAT Checks
  • Root cause analysis​
  • Roadmap delivery​
  • Continuous support from assigned TAM & CSM​, Security​
  • Continuous 360º care team ensuring implementation and leveraging the right systems and people, at the right times
  • Achieve a proactive state of IT, High quality, high touch customer experience

 

Top IT Objectives: Your Path to Excellence

Our top IT objectives align with the modern business landscape, emphasizing delivery excellence, metrics-driven decision-making, employee experience, operational excellence, and corporate growth.

 

Delivery Excellence

  • Experience high-quality service and operational transformation through expert guidance and modern technology solutions including:
    • Microsoft Azure
    • Microsoft Power Apps and Power BI
    • Microsoft Teams
    • Microsoft Copilot

 

Metrics Driven

  • Leverage platforms like Microsoft Teams, PowerApps, Power Bi and Viva to provide company goals (Set OKRs or Objectives and Key Results)
  • Analyze culture updates to enable better collaboration between employees with Microsoft Viva
  • Leverage Microsoft Power BI to make more informed business decisions

 

Employee Experience

  • Enable seamless workflows for end users
  • Save time by assigning day-to-day tasks to Managed Solution
  • Track and plan goals and in-house operations with tools like Microsoft Planner, Teams and streamline productivity towards these goals through Microsoft Copilot
  • Boost productivity by allowing in-house teams to focus on high priority initiatives

 

Bringing Your Organization Together

Our holistic approach, powered by Microsoft technologies and specialized expertise, consolidates identity management infrastructure, migrates to geo-redundant tenants, adopts Microsoft Office 365, and implements robust security measures, ensuring reliability, stability, and security.

 

Managed Solution isn't just an IT service provider; we are your dedicated partner in success. Beyond problem-solving, we help businesses thrive with Microsoft-centric strategies. Helping clients experience a proactive state of IT, high-quality service, and a Microsoft-driven, customer-centric approach that empowers your organization for the future.

 

Ready to get started? Chat with one of our experts today to get started on your journey to excellent IT operations. Or dive deeper into our blog page to learn even more about what Managed Services entails.

Fall in Love with ConnectWise Sidekick: Why AI and Managed Services are a Perfect Match

How ConnectWise Sidekick combines AI and Managed Services to enhance businesses everywhere.

Love is in the air, and at Managed Solution, there’s one thing we’re head over heels for: ConnectWise Sidekick™. As we celebrate the season of love, let us break down the incredible features of this new powerful tool and its many benefits.

 

Why We LOVE ConnectWise Sidekick

 

Efficiency

Hyper-automation and artificial intelligence come together seamlessly in ConnectWise Sidekick. This powerful tool automates the triage, summarization, and resolution suggestion processes, leading to quicker service ticket resolutions and consistently exceptional customer experiences.

By optimizing ticket management, ConnectWise Sidekick empowers technicians to operate with efficiency and effectiveness. Moreover, it centralizes information access within Microsoft Teams, facilitating streamlined updates across all teams.

Cost Savings

ConnectWise Sidekick isn’t just about functionality; it’s also about financial prudence. The cost savings per technician help us manage our budget effectively, ensuring that our resources are utilized optimally.

Specifically, businesses save $1,042 per month by implementing ConnectWise’s Sidekick. Thanks to the power of AI organizations can achieve greater productivity at faster rates and limit the need for internal labor. Optimizing for both growth and overall spend.

Partner Benefits

ConnectWise Sidekick isn’t just beneficial for MSP’s like Managed Solution; it also extends its advantages to the broader TSP community. Its impact goes beyond our organization, fostering a network of collaboration and support among peers and clients.

 

Why You'll Appreciate ConnectWise Sidekick

Simplifying Tasks

ConnectWise Sidekick simplifies workflows with its automation capabilities. It handles routine processes seamlessly, allowing users to focus on tasks that require expertise.

 

Maximizing Resources

ConnectWise Sidekick helps minimize unnecessary expenses by optimizing resource utilization. Its cost-saving features enables maintenance operational efficiency without compromising on quality.

 

Enhancing Service Delivery

ConnectWise Sidekick enables swift, accurate solutions to businesses. Its AI-driven insights ensure that teams receive the support they need promptly and effectively.

 

The Added Value to Service Delivery Processes

 

Seamless Integration

ConnectWise Sidekick seamlessly integrates with ConnectWise PSA, enhancing the functionality of our platform. Its advanced features enrich our PSA experience, making it more robust and reliable.

 

Streamlining Operations

ConnectWise Sidekick streamlines our operations by automating manual tasks. Its efficient workflow management allows us to optimize our time and resources effectively.

 

Actionable Insights

ConnectWise Sidekick provides valuable insights derived from our PSA data. These insights empower us to make informed decisions that contribute to our clients' satisfaction and our business growth.

 

In conclusion, ConnectWise Sidekick isn’t just a tool; it’s a strategic asset that enhances operations by combing the power of AI and Managed Services. Its efficiency-driven approach, cost-saving features, and collaborative benefits make it an invaluable addition to our toolkit.

Ready to fall in love with the full potential of ConnectWise Sidekick? Contact us today and let’s explore the possibilities together.

Technology and Economy: Q & A with Sean Ferrel

Founded in 2002, Managed Solution was barely 6 years old when the 2008 financial crisis hit. Yet, even as a young company we managed (pun intended) to pull through and grow to become the organization you now know today. That is why, today, we're talking about technology and economy.

With that in mind, we sat down to interview our CEO, Sean Ferrel, to discuss the recent economic events and how they pertain to Information Technology and the Tech industry in general. Read on to explore a top-down examination of a post-covid financial climate and gather insight and advice for your business.

 

A Top-Down Look at the Economy

A lot has been a lot going on with the U.S. economy since the pandemic. Recently though, we’ve seen some real negative indicators with bank collapses on a level reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis. As a business leader, could you share some insight with us about today’s current economic environment?

Sean: In the last 3+ years there’s been a lot thrown at businesses. From COVID-19 to hybrid workforces; all the way up to how the housing markets have been affected. When people started to work from home it changed the places where people wanted to live. This drove a lot of inflation in certain areas that didn’t previously have these high-salary workers in the market before.

However, the housing market is one aspect. At the core of it, we could argue that there’s been a supply problem across the board. We see it an automobile makers and shipping components. For example, we rely on other countries for things as simple as [computer] chips. Manufacturers couldn’t get the chips to put into cars so a lot of cars couldn’t be built, which then created low supply, and the big companies with low supply were able to charge more for the commodities and goods we needed.

Even with our food and beverage companies. There was a problem there as well due to the lack of potential employees. So, whether it was auto-parts or workers in factories: businesses couldn’t produce as fast as they [normally] would. The demand for goods was still high, the supply was low, and ultimately people charged, and are still charging, more for their product.

Now, the more supply that these companies create and market - the less demand they might get for the product if it becomes more saturated. Meaning they’d have to bring down their inflated costs.

They also have to pay more in taxes if they produce more of something. So, a lot of companies have kind of sat for a minute and said, “well, we're getting a lot of money for our product than we used to get, so why should we produce anymore just to get taxed more for it?”. Which is why many have continued to drive the same amount of supply out of their organization and the inflation has remained. Of course, there’s more nuance to it, but essentially that’s where we’re at.

I think the reason why we’ll run into the “recession”, however, is simply because the dollar goes less far. Things are more expensive and the only way to combat that is businesses paying their employees more. This is challenging and leads to businesses charging their customers more and it becomes a very vicious cycle. One that, unfortunately, will eventually come to a head when businesses can longer afford to pay their employees more and will likely automate their processes instead, or they’ll have to downsize. So, I do think there will be more layoffs coming.

What’s interesting though, we all read about the layoffs at Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. It wasn’t because the companies were doing poorly -- they have more cash in the bank than ever. It’s merely due to the fact that their demand is going to go down because of people’s dollar’s not going as far.

 

2008 v. 2023

How do you feel our current economic situation compares to that of 2008?

Sean: Compared to 2008, it’s a very different market. Back then it was the way banks were lending with negative amortization loans. Essentially, saying “we're going to loan you for this half a million-dollar house -- which you probably couldn't afford with your salary this much money -- and in three years we're going to increase your interest rate adjusted from an initial 5% or 4% interest rate up to 12%.

That increased the cost of the mortgage and people just got wiped out really fast. They couldn't afford it and hence we had a huge market where things were foreclosing, people didn't have the money and they borrowed against the home and their credit was tapped.

In today’s world though, people have been making a lot of money. It’s been a good economy for a long time, and I don’t think people are tapped credit-wise at this point, so we’re not going to see a big downturn where people are liquidating everything they have. But we definitely need to see some changes happen.

 

The Tech Industry

From your perspective, what are the main shifts the economy has had on the tech industry?

Sean: In the whole tech-sector; you have four things that happened in the workplace:

  1. Hybrid Workforce
  2. Heightened concern for cybersecurity
  3. Workplace culture shift
  4. Increased interest in the cloud

What I see there is a problem in general with “can technology solve it?” one, but two, “does the workforce for technologists -- like the people that we employ -- have the skill set”?

Technology has sprawled a ton, so it’s almost impossible to find enough talent out there to keep up. There's a huge lack of it from security talent to cloud talent, etc.

So, companies are struggling to find the right IT people who aren’t over-charging for the cost of their labor because, again, the employee-cost has inflated. That’s why now there’s this notion of Do More With Less. Technology and economy, obviously being closely interwoven in this concept. 

 

Doing More with Less (Technology and Economy)

Could you tell us what “doing more with less” looks like?

Sean: I think one question is; are companies ultimately building tools that are easier to manage by bolting them together? For example, Microsoft owns Microsoft Azure (the cloud).

They also own the operating system within the cloud, which is windows. Then they own the productivity software we all use, which is Office 365 -- and in that you have your communication tools like Microsoft Teams, collaboration hubs like Microsoft Viva -- all the way down to the computer with Windows operating system.

With that, they can control the market from a cost perspective and drive down costs for these suites of products. Not to mention, more Microsoft people in general are probably out there in the world studying and learning.

Making it a little bit easier to find people who do work in that area. And at the ultimate goal; it's easier to manage the process and the technology by consolidating into one or two platforms as opposed to having many, many vendors.

It’s similar to security too. Everybody's coming to market with amazing security tools that do detection at the endpoint or do secure app management to secure applications in the world. But now there's a lot of them and there's not enough resources out there to ultimately manage many different types inside of one business.

So, that's where the big picture of the project-based work consolidation is happening. You have more talent to manage better and more control & cost optimization by consolidating these infrastructures. Today's technology and economy are extremely closely related so business leaders need to emphasize having the right technology for their companies.

 

The Role of Managed Services

Could you speak about how this all ties into managed services and IT outsourcing? What benefit, if any, could customers gain from these types of services and solutions during this time?

Sean: As I mentioned before, you have the whole thing around hybrid and remote workforces. There are two things that happened:

  1.  Shifted working hours
  2. Changing workforce (great resignation)

Where previously companies had one IT person in the office. That’s not the same anymore. If people are working from home, they're working 24 hours a day. There's not really a regular 9 – 5 anymore.

That means the calls are coming in more than ever. The person who worked internal IT doesn't want to be the person hanging on the phone taking those calls all day every day and it’s not like they can run into anyone’s house to get everything set. That’s why we see technical call-based Help Desks becoming more and more popular. So, outsourcing will continue to grow in a bad economy. Outsourcing and centralizing the tools that are being managed by companies.

The second reason why outsourcing is becoming bigger, is due in part to the great resignation. With the inflation of salaries and expense of increased employee turnover, people are looking at companies, like Managed Solution, instead.

 Beyond that, when it comes to enhancing security, making their users more productive, or having collaboration tools move into the cloud -- many companies are finding that the traditional IT teams are not always tooled up for this. That's why we're seeing more companies outsourcing a lot of that strategy as well; to help them build a long-term footprint that looks at the total cost of ownership. They’re asking organizations like us, “How do we optimize costs and better productivity for my new hybrid workforce of users and make sure we’re secure?”.

For us, it's a nice place to play in the industry right now, being sort of the managed service provider who outsources all this stuff and the consulting arm to be able to go out and help build the future architecture.

 

Advice to Fellow Tech Companies

We’ve established that the economy today is different than it was in 2008, but one thing they have in common is their negative impact on people and businesses financially. As a business leader who came out of that, do you have any advice or words of comfort for fellow tech companies like Managed Solution?

Sean: For tech companies like ours, it’s always been a good thing to have multiple vendors on your website such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Dell, etc. A lot of the traditional sense has been that those are kind of like VARs, or ‘value added resellers’, who could resell all these products and services.

But my advice, is that you’ve got to pick a horse. Make sure you understand what suppliers (Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, VMware, Cisco), are building that understand the economic climate. If cost is a big factor and businesses are having to do more with less technology, who's building the technology in one stack of products to ultimately give you all the tools that you need to be successful?

Consolidation is really where I think all businesses should try to head and are trying to head right now. So, ultimately, as it pertains to technology -- I think picking that horse that you think is going to be best in the race is key. Technology and economy is a huge conversation right now. Technology and economy are both make or break aspects for businesses today.

 


If you’re interested in speaking to one of our team members for more tech-guidance? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Want more resources or interested in more tech content? Head over to our blog page! Technology and economy is a huge conversation right now. Be sure to keep up with us to stay in the know!

8 Tips to Prepare your Business for a Recession

Don't lose your shirt during a recession -- read on for helpful tips and tricks to keep your business thriving!

 

Recessions can be challenging times for businesses of all sizes. Due to recent events, many businesses are fearful of what lies ahead economically. Thankfully, there is wisdom abound from the financial crisis of 2008, and a plethora of strategies to help you prepare your business for a recession so that you can maintain growth!

 

Diversify Your Offerings

During a recession, customers may be more cautious with their spending. As a result, businesses that rely on a single product or service may struggle to generate enough revenue.

That's why diversifying your offerings and opening new streams of revenue is a great way to get ahead. By expanding your product or service offerings, you can appeal to a wider range of customers and reduce your reliance on any single product or service.

To do this, consider areas of value your business has the capabilities of providing that you aren’t currently making any revenue off of, or additional products that you can invest in creating that may provide a great profit for you.

For example, a restaurant might consider offering catering services or selling branded merchandise. Alternatively, you could expand your menu to include more options, such as vegetarian or gluten-free dishes.

If, like us, you’re a tech company, this concept can still apply to you! Perhaps you have an abundance of expertise in your field that you can use to create and sell courses through sites like Udemy.

You might also consider challenging your expertise and adding more value to existing clients. For example, if you are a software provider with content writing talent, you can potentially use that to create a content writing service for existing clients.

 

Focus on Customer Service

During a recession, customers may be more selective about where they spend their money. That's why it's essential to focus on providing exceptional customer service. Providing consistent, quality customer service will help you build customer loyalty while also attracting new customers through word of mouth.

To do this, consider the areas that may affect the quality of service your staff provides. If there is opportunity to boost your teams’ internal engagement and morale, be sure to tune into that. Creating a healthy and engaged working environment sets the stage for your teams servicing to improve.

It’s also wise to consider investing in additional training for your staff. Ensure that your employees understand your business's values and are equipped to handle customer inquiries and complaints. You may also want to consider offering incentives to customers who refer new business to you.

 

Invest in Marketing

History has taught us that businesses who lean into advertising and marketing during recessions tend to perform better. It can be tempting to cut back on marketing expenses to save money. However, investing in marketing can actually help your business grow during tough economic times.

For one, increasing your marketing efforts in general allows you to reach new customers and increase brand awareness. However, and most importantly, marketing during a recession means there will be less competition.

Many businesses will try to get ahead by giving into cost-cutting temptation or will sadly not have the means to advertise, giving a small amount of other businesses more opportunity to shine. That being said, you want to be sure you budget your advertising and marketing efforts appropriately.

To make the most of your marketing budget, consider investing in online advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing campaigns. These forms of marketing can be highly effective and cost-efficient.

Leaning into free marketing tactics can also make a large impact on lead generation. For this we recommend rolling up your sleeves and putting in the effort to boost your SEO and social presence as much as possible.

Another great and cost-effective strategy is collaboration. Consider partnering with other businesses or organizations to co-promote each other's products or services.

 

Improve Operational Efficiency

This part probably goes without saying but it's essential to focus on improving operational efficiency to reduce costs and increase profitability. To better help you prepare your business for recession, look for ways to streamline processes and eliminate waste.

You may also consider outsourcing certain tasks to reduce overhead costs, but we’ll discuss that more later.

To improve operational efficiency, consider using technology to automate manual tasks. For example, you could use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage customer interactions, or a project management tool to streamline your team's workflow.

If this sounds a bit overwhelming, you can also look into freelancing or booking a consultant to help you identify inefficiencies and implement solutions.

 

Keep an Eye on Cash Flow

Cash flow is critical during a recession. Make sure that you are closely monitoring your cash flow and again, taking steps to reduce expenses where possible.

If possible, try negotiating with suppliers for discounts or better payment terms, and be on the lookout for opportunities to reduce inventory levels.

To manage your cash flow effectively, consider creating a cash flow forecast. This will help you anticipate your cash needs and plan accordingly.

You may also want to think about working with a financial advisor to help you develop a cash flow management strategy.

 

Partnerships and Collaborations

As the economy slows, it may prove challenging to fund new projects or initiatives. However, by forming partnerships and collaborations with other businesses, you can pool resources and achieve common goals.

To form partnerships and collaborate with other businesses, start by identifying businesses that share your values and target market. Reach out to these businesses and propose a mutually beneficial partnership or collaboration.

Using social media platforms or attending industry events are also great ways to network with other business owners and find potential partners.

 

Outsource Non-Core Functions

During a recession, it may be difficult to justify hiring new employees to handle non-core functions. That's where outsourcing can be a valuable tool. By outsourcing non-core functions, you can reduce overhead costs and free up resources to focus on your core business.

To determine which functions to outsource, start by identifying the tasks that are not critical to your business's success. This may include tasks such as accounting, human resources, or IT support. Then, research outsourcing providers and compare their costs and services to find the best provider that fits your budget.

Keep in mind that when outsourcing, it's critical to choose a provider that aligns with your business's values and goals. Look for a provider with a proven track record of success and good customer reviews.

It's also essential to establish clear expectations and communication channels to ensure that the outsourcing relationship is successful.

 

Outsourcing for Information Systems

Diving a little deeper here into our area of expertise, outsourcing some or all of your IT services can greatly benefit your business during a recession and in general.

Read our full article on that here. But to keep it short and sweet, outsourcing your information systems can help you reduce costs, improve efficiency, and access specialized expertise.

To outsource your information systems, start by identifying the specific functions of IT that you want to outsource. This may include software development, data management, cybersecurity, or Helpdesk support. Then research outsourcing providers that specialize in these areas.

Like all outsourcing goes, you want to be sure to choose a provider with experience in your industry and a proven track record of success. Look for a provider that offers a range of services and can provide customized solutions to meet your business's specific needs.

 

Final Notes

As unpleasant as economic crisis are, there are so many creative strategies and opportunities to help your business thrive. By expanding your offerings, boosting your marketing, collaborating with other businesses, outsourcing, or doing combination of these things – you can prepare your business for a recession and whatever else life throws at you!

If you’d like to learn more about IT outsourcing, let us help walk you through the process to give you a better idea of what it looks like and how much you can save!

6 Benefits of Working with a Managed Service Provider 

(For small or one-person IT teams) 

 

There is nothing wrong with having a small IT team. When your company is starting out and the caseloads are simple, that small-scale department works well! Benefits of working with a managed service provider.

However, as your company grows, and your IT needs begin to stack up – you might find that working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) could be a match made in heaven (compared to traditional in-house additions). 

We understand that outsourcing may feel like a big step, so we want to speak to that and shed some light on all the ways that teaming up with an MSP can help you and your team succeed in all things IT!

 

Save Money

You may be surprised to find out that outsourcing usually saves companies money or provides more value for a lower cost. This is primarily because when you outsource, you no longer pay for the expenses associated with hiring a new team member, or members for that matter.

Most Managed service providers offer tiered (silver, gold, platinum) packages that allow you to set a budget that works for you while giving you a larger breadth of talent and support. 

Managed Service Providers can go beyond managed services to save you and your team money. From procurement to security, there are plenty of cost-saving services and software’s that come with the right outsourcing partner.  

Many MSPs (Managed service providers) have procurement experts that can provide you with more affordable and robust licensing opportunities. Furthermore, the right MSP should also be able to help you bolster security measures to ensure that your data and networks are secured.  

The latter being especially important for cost-savings, as Cybersecurity prevention is now estimated to save businesses up to $1.4 million per incident. 

Learn more about the financial benefits of MSPs in our recent article, where we discuss how outsourcing IT can help with cost-savings and potentially boost revenue.

 

Scale Support 

With an MSP you can scale your reach as needed. For example, at Managed Solution, cases are escalated up the ladder until resolved.  

blog post image for managed solutions blog on the 6 benefits of working with a managed service provider.

Meaning that if you get a case that you would like to assign to our team, we will align it with expertise according to its priority level and it will escalate up from there until resolved. 

Another great benefit of working with an MSP, like Managed Solution, is if the MSP you work with is a Microsoft partner – you also get t Microsoft Premier Support as a final escalation for the especially challenging cases that revolve around Microsoft services/ software. 

Furthermore, as your company’s IT needs grow, you will have the support you need to increase your overall service level in real-time. 

Your MSP will monitor your needs and offer guidance on what services should be scaled up or down. Helping to optimize user-satisfaction and cost-effectiveness, simultaneously.

 

Security 

By 2025 humanity’s data will reach 175 zettabytes. We’ll take a quick pause for you to look up zettabytes. There are about 21 zeroes following that 175.  

There is a TON of data available now, and as that pool grows, so too do its attackers. Last year alone global cyberattacks increased by 38%. 

Now more than ever security should be brought to the forefront of business conversations. When considering working with an MSP make sure they are security focused and can offer the abundance of tools and services you can leverage to ensure that your data is protected.  

Another one of the great benefits of working with a Managed Service Provider? Many MSPs offer the markets’ best and most current cybersecurity products and services. These include company-wide training, email two-step factor authentication, and network monitoring.  

Some can also provide software that leverages artificial intelligence to help you detect potential viruses and attacks. Another vital aspect of security is having a solid plan for data backup and disaster recovery, which, you guessed it, MSPs can provide. 

With disaster recovery comes the benefit of minimized downtime which can save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. An equipped and adept managed service provider can prove to be a vital resource for those worse case scenarios.  

But of course, with the amplified support and governance of your system and technology, the chances of disaster streaking are greatly decreased 

 

Onboarding and Remote Work 

With an MSP, your onboarding process becomes streamlined. You can work with your MSP to acquire, track, and manage technology for new hires as well as employees throughout your company. 

This is all done through a suite of Microsoft technologies including Active Directory, Intune and Autopilot. As a Microsoft partner, we recommend one of the best active directory software on the market, Azure.  

Azure active directory allows companies to manage applications, authentications, devices, domains, maintain governance, identity protection and so much more!  

Beyond Active Directory, if you need support in multiple cities/states, you will need to find a national or international MSP depending on your locations. This way you can ensure that you’re being supported in the correct time zone so that cases are promptly worked to completion. 

 

New Technology 

With technology evolving quickly and constantly, staying up to date on all-things tech can prove to be extremely costly.  

It isn’t always financially viable to invest in single-use technology. However, with an MSP, you can access the latest tech without having to make huge financial investments.  

This is because many MSPs offer procurement services that allow you to harness the latest technology at an affordable price. 

The right MSP should provide you with expertise and guidance as to which technology licenses and opportunities best fit your current and ever-changing needs. 

 

Focus on Tasks You Love 

When you outsource IT you get to be in control of what kind of work you do in your day to day, and how much you do in your day to day. 

You’re more in control than ever when you outsource. When you delegate tasks and projects, you free yourself up to focus on areas that you enjoy more or that matter most to you! 

In our recent case study with Red Door Interactive, Dennis Gonzalez, their sole, lead IT servicer claims that he is now able to spend less time focusing on low-level helpdesk tasks. Saving him both time and stress. 

Now Dennis is able to focus more on overseeing important projects and maintenance of cybersecurity, while also leveraging a large team in support and services. 

If you are considering outsourcing some or all of your IT, but do not know where to start, reach out to us! We are happy to help give you an idea of what an MSP partnership can look like for you.

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Microsoft’s Viva Connections is one of four facets of the Microsoft Viva Suite along with Viva Insights, Viva Learnings, and Viva Topics. Viva connections, specifically, is an application that drills into the employee experience to enable connection and engagement like never before.

With remote and hybrid work settings becoming the norm, connecting your team and preventing isolation is more important than ever. Read on to learn more about how this powerful tool works and how you can implement it to better your organizations culture.

The Objective

Viva connections’ goal is oriented around (drum roll please) …keeping people connected! It does this by offering users a a personalized view of news, conversations and groups with the same applications and devices they already utilize in their day to day, giving your employees have everything they need to stay engaged.

This application also focuses on enabling team members to contribute their ideas easily and freely, to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. Not only are you sure to gather key insights from your team, but you can drill deeper into them with polls and surveys.

These features and capabilities are imperative tools that allow you to create a culture where everyone feels their voice is heard and build trust in a fun and easy way!

Furthermore, Viva Connections lets you curate your dashboards to provide fast and easy access to company resources, such as events, holidays, even health and wellness reminders! With Microsoft Viva Connections, you can have all the benefits of a remote workspace, while still maintaining that ‘togetherness’ feeling of an in-office setting.

Primary Benefits

  • Expands upon already existing Microsoft capabilities to help you specifically target the growth of your company even in a remote setting.
  • Deliver information to team members on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Curate content and tools that best fit your team’s needs.

What Makes Connections Different?

Viva Connections amalgamates content from Microsoft 365 services like SharePoint, Teams, Yammer and more—into a fully-integrated and personalized, singular view for every employee. You can even integrate Viva Connections with other services such as stocks, weather forecasts, and vacation/ holiday schedules to boost engagement beyond Microsoft 365 content.

What ultimately sets Viva Connections apart from other engagement platforms is how customizable and scalable the service is. With Viva Connections, you can build your apps for specific objectives (as needed) and continue to personalize content to improve users’ overall experience as your company grows!

What all is Included?

Viva Connections combines the power of your SharePoint intranet with Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Stream, and other Microsoft 365 applications to allow companies to create and display more intentional content for their employees. These functionalities are delivered through three primary aspects of the application: Dashboard, Feed, and Resources.

Dashboard

As we mentioned, the Viva Connections Dashboard lets you to create a customized experience with Dashboard cards that give your employee's access to the most useful content, tools, and task lists for them. It is essentially a digital toolbelt for your team that allows you to pick the best resources for your current needs -- and change them out as you grow and evolve.

Feed

The Feed on Viva Connections allows users to connect from a tailored view and explore important announcements and relevant information -- and join in on conversations throughout the organization. You can optimize your Feed by delivering SharePoint and Yammer communities together.

Resources

Resources are the navigational links that are set up and customized in the SharePoint app bar from the home site. These resources will get displayed on both the desktop and mobile instances of Viva Connections.

In the mobile app, users can view resources by selecting the Resources tab. This type of functioning provides users with a familiar navigation structure and allows them to open sites, pages, news, and more—right from their mobile devices.

How to Increase Engagement with Viva Connections

It’s no secret that better engagement leads to higher creativity and productivity. However, a huge challenge for businesses in the remote era we find ourselves in, is developing a culture where that kind of engagement flourishes.

What we (and obviously, Microsoft), have found, is that by connecting and unifying your employee’s, you can build that spectacular culture and enthusiasm in your workplace. Viva Connections allows you to do just that in following ways:

  1. Personalize

Delivering a modern, custom experience by pushing relevant content, information, and resources to your users in one place, enables a more purposeful way for your team to engage.

  1. Simplify

Personalizing your engagement platform not only makes the experience more tailored to your team members, but it also makes it easier for them. By customizing the dashboard to your preferred settings for navigation, appearance, and etcetera… you can simplify and therefore streamline communication throughout the application.

  1. Target

Keep your eyes on the prize, so-to-speak. If your goal is to build connection and unity within your company, then you need to get involved with resources that are built to specifically target that.

Ultimately, finding an application or tool that fits your teams’ specific needs for improved connection can be a major step to reaching your engagement goals.

How to Implement

Viva Connections integrates seamlessly into with Microsoft Teams where users will be able to access it. Your organization can easily deploy Viva Connections by building onto existing capabilities in Microsoft 365. Click here and let us help you and your team adopt viva connections today!

 

Outsourced IT: Maintaining Growth During Economic Downturn

Since the pandemic began in 2020, businesses have faced one financial strain after another. The economic state we’ve found ourselves today has certainly raised concerns. Although we are not currently in a recession -- most experts agree that we may be heading for one in the following year.

That being said, no one can really predict the future – especially not when it comes to economics. However, we can prepare for it. Regardless of what is thrown your way, rest assured that there are tools and resources that can help you can tighten the financial belt while also increasing revenue.

One key area of opportunity is in your very own IT infrastructure! In fact, there are many ways that you can leverage and optimize IT assets for growth, even during economic downturns.

Reduce Costs

Reducing costs are important for an onslaught of obvious reasons, but you may be surprised to find just how much an outsourced IT infrastructure fit can help your company’s cost-reduction.

Having fully staffed senior expertise in-house can be expensive. By outsourcing, you can provide your team and clients with the support of knowledgeable IT professionals at an affordable price. You can even find a plan that is customized to your business’s specific needs – learn more here!

Leveraging a quality MSP is not only a wise-investment in-and-of itself, but the money you save by making this calculated switch is then free to be invested further into revenue-building initiatives. More on than below.

Maintain and Increase Revenue

As we mentioned, saving money by utilizing external IT will allow you to re-invest that money into your revenue operations. But furthermore, by putting necessary but mundane tasks into the hands of outsourced IT support, you and your team are free to build upon key strategic ideas to bring in even more (you guessed it) revenue.

This makes outsourced IT a wise investment of both time and money, and only enables your company more access to resources that will allow it to thrive in any climate. Not to mention, you’ll be advancing your customer service during a time-period where nurturing long-term business relations is especially crucial.

With a quality MSP, you’ll still be able to meet your IT needs and while also satisfying the needs of your customers. Quality IT technicians with excellent customer support are a critical part of maintaining the business of clients.

It is important to note that where you outsource to is a critical part of your success. International IT companies are notoriously unsatisfactory for callers. Likewise, a spread-thin in-house IT team simply won’t be able to meet the demanding needs of customers.

That is why we encourage you to look for companies who can offer 24/7*365 support on a national level. This quality service allows you to really boost your position in the eyes of clients, form those lasting relations, and reap in new business via word-to-mouth marketing from satisfied clients.

Protect Data During Vulnerable Times

Not only does having the support of an MSP allow you to capitalize on areas of opportunity, but it also ensures that your key data is protected. It’s no secret that hackers are increasing their attacks daily, and they know that economic stress leaves companies vulnerable and spread thin.

Thriving though economic decline makes maintaining security, compliance, data protection all-the-more important. This can be achieved with a pro-active IT management approach when you leverage the support of outsourced IT experts.

In short, working with an MSP will enable to you focus on the important strategic decisions while also ensuring your data is secured.

In conclusion, as we go forward into the economic unknown of 2023 considering IT outsourcing can give you a leg up in the game. The right managed service provider can allow you to reduce costs, increase revenue, and keep that precious data protected in even the most tumultuous climate.

Also do keep in mind that even outside of economic crisis these benefits remain true for clients that utilize an MSP.Outsourced IT Service blog featured image depicting group of helpdesk workers at their desks.

“Our switch to Managed Solution was like a breath of fresh air. They carefully and competently analyzed our entire ecosystem and suggested changes (not one option, but multiple) to better our systems. There were a number of cost efficiencies put into place…”– Jeffrey G. Penta, CEO, San Diego Eye Bank”

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helpdesksandiegoWhat is an IT help desk? An IT Help Desk is a resource center designed for users to contact when they are having problems with their IT services, software, applications, and more. An IT Help Desk, which can also be referred to as a Managed Operations Center or Network Operations Center, creates a multi-tiered troubleshooting approach by having personnel with extensive technical knowledge available at all times. An IT Help Desk provides your business with a team of experienced, certified engineers ready to assist your users with their technical issues.
In this article, we'll cover the various benefits of using IT help desk support and why it might be a viable option for your business.

Learn about the top 6 benefits in this video:

Business Benefits of Using IT Help Desk Support

  1. 24/7 technical support improves operational efficiencies by reducing time users spend to fix incidents or problems. This is especially beneficial if you have a fully or partially remote workforce or operate a 24/7 business yourself. With those employees working around the clock, 7 days a week, it's imperative to have someone there that can support them when software or hardware goes down or stops working.
  2. Speaking with a certified technical support specialist makes resolving IT issues quick and easy, which can reduce crankiness in the workplace. We all know how frustrating technology can be, whether it's your fancy new TV or a software update on one of your devices. By providing employees with an IT help desk, you're giving them the support they need when challenges arise, leading to less frustration and more productivity. As a result, happier employees.
  3. A local IT Help Desk provides immediate response time to support tickets and communication with an actual person (not a recording) the same day. Additionally, if they are local to you, then they can provide on-site support if necessary. Sometimes hardware needs troubleshooting that can't be done via phone, video conference, or remote sign in.
  4. Having an IT support system in place provides a smooth and easy mechanism for users to receive service while eliminating internal technical service requests, which can reduce downtime for multiple employees. Your technical employees on staff should be focusing on bigger, more strategic tasks and projects rather than the mundane, daily tasks of software and hardware issues.
  5. With diverse credentials, training and experience, technical support specialists have resources to fix a wide variety of system errors - not just basic speed bumps. Additionally, by having an outsourced IT team support you, rather than one or two internal IT employees, it widens the skillsets available to you.
  6. Having a strong technology infrastructure can boost efficiency leading to increased ROI and allows those organizations to get ahead of their competition. If your employees' technology works, they're working and ultimately, are more productive.
  7. IT Help Desk engineers practice incident management to help spot problems before they occur, identifying the root cause of frequent recurring incidents. This allows you to protect yourself from external threats, eliminate repetitive issues and complaints, and prevent issues from becoming a larger problem.
  8. IT support specialists have experience working with many different industries and likely organizations similar to your business. This can provide a strategic advantage.
  9. IT specialists not only support your employees, but they can recommend tools that make it easier to communicate and collaborate on tasks. Additionally, they can help justify or eliminate IT spend where necessary to optimize your investment.
  10. Additional support for your IT staff. Mid-size and large businesses partner with IT companies that offer Help Desk support to provide an additional resource for their internal IT staff.
  11. When you apply the cost per call for the various call flow models for IT Help Desk services, you can see financial impact.
  12. IT Help Desk support services can give your business a new way to generate revenue, attract and retain clients and compete in a quickly changing IT environment.

Interested in learning more about our help desk? Click here.

Download the Checklist: 10 Questions You Should Be Asking Every Managed IT Services Provider before outsourcing your IT help desk.

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