What You Need to Know About the Managed Services Pricing Model

MSP Pricing.pngA managed service provider is the obvious choice if your business needs IT help -- but how much is it going to cost you? If you've been looking into MSP pricing, you may be getting a little confused... but you don't need to worry. Managed service pricing models can initially seem complex, but that can actually much better for your organization.

Consider the Services Offered by a Managed Service Provider

MSPs are set along a fairly wide spectrum. Some MSPs only handle things such as network monitoring -- they are essentially NOC providers and do little else. But other MSPs will handle absolutely everything related to your organization's infrastructure, ranging from 24/7 support to managing IT projects such as migration. Consequently, a business could see some pricing discrepancy; an MSP that seems a little "too cheap" could not be offering the same services as others. 

The Different Types of Managed Service Pricing

Even when MSPs have similar product offerings, there are some different types of pricing model that they may use. These include:

  • Per user. This is the traditional "per seat" license that many businesses are used to; however many users you have, your cost is calculated based on this. This is often a fairly fair pricing model, as most users will require an average amount of support.
  • Per device. This is similar to per user, but it's per actual device that is utilized across the infrastructure. About 41 percent of MSPs will use this type of billing; though it's a little more complicated than per user, it tends to work out to a more fair and accurate amount.
  • Per tier. A tiered pricing model will usually create several structured tiers of service that the MSP offers, based on the size of the organization and services rendered. This is often the easiest for an organization to track -- and the simplest for both parties.
  • Per service. There are also organizations that simply bill based on the services that they have offered; there's a flat rate, and they essentially become your IT department. This can be very valuable for organizations that simply want everything handled for them.

Priced to Scale

Regardless of the type of pricing model, there's one thing that remains consistent: the managed service provider is pricing based on the services that the organization truly needs. Nearly all MSPs price their services so that it is easy to scale them up or down depending on what is needed. Thus, while it may not be as simple as purchasing a license or paying a flat fee to an IT organization, it is going to be ultimately beneficial to the business, since you aren’t paying for services you aren’t using.

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The (Biggest) Advantages of Managed NOC Services

Managed NOC Services.jpgShould you manage your own network operations or outsource it to a third party? It all depends on your organization's current infrastructure and unique needs. For most businesses, a managed IT service will be able to provide a superior level of service and care -- while also saving an organization substantial sums of money. Here’s how.

Respond to Incidents Faster With 24/7 Support

Managed NOC services will be able to monitor your network 24/7 so that incidents are responded to and resolved immediately. Companies today simply can't afford disruption -- and a network going down overnight could potentially mean fires that need to be put out the next morning. A managed NOC service will constantly be working to ensure that your network is always available.

Mitigate Advanced Security Threats

Security threats are constantly growing. From DDoS attacks to intrusion attempts, a managed NOC service has both the expertise and the technology necessary to both detect and mitigate security threats. New security threats are developed every day, and it can be prohibitively difficult and time-consuming for any organization to attempt to deal with them on their own. A managed NOC service means that they don't have to.

Optimize Your Network for Better Performance

One of the key roles for an IT managed service is to future-proof your organization. A managed NOC service provider will not only be able to optimize your network for better performance now but will also be able to create an IT strategy for your organization. A better performing network isn't just going to improve upon your organization now; it's also going to make your business more efficient and scalable moving into the future. 

Consult With Experts and Specialists

NOC managed services include experts and specialist, who can tackle even the most difficult tasks and who can make sense of complicated network infrastructures. Companies that partner with an NOC IT service can tap into this wealth of knowledge any time they need to, rather than having to rely upon generalists or their in-house staff. These resources can be invaluable for organizations looking to optimize their network and infrastructure. 

Not only does using a managed NOC service make sense for most organizations, it's often the most affordable option. If you want to learn more about how an NOC service can save your business both time and money, contact CWPS.

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How an IT MSP Can Help Your Business to Drive Results

35815982_s (1).jpgYou already have a strong internal IT team. But that doesn't mean that a managed service provider (MSP) can't help -- far from it. An IT MSP isn't just for organizations that don't want to rely upon their internal IT staff. The benefits of an MSP are far-reaching, even for organizations that already have an IT team and strategy in place. Here are some of the ways an MSP can help your business drive results -- and help your IT department move forward.

IT MSPs Help Keep You Current

An IT MSP is can develop a road map for your organization, showing where technology will go in the future and where the organization needs to move to in order to remain current. Furthermore, IT MSPs can examine existing strategies and ensure that the company is moving in the right direction. IT strategies are critical for businesses that want to protect themselves as they expand. Once an IT department has settled on a plan, an MSP can ensure that it moves into fruition.

IT MSPs Free Up Your Resources

IT MSPs are able to monitor and automate many of the day-to-day processes that would otherwise consume an IT department's time. By freeing up both IT and administrative time, an IT MSP empowers businesses to focus primarily on revenue generating activities. IT departments can innovate and create rather than having to focus on the mundane daily tasks and putting out fires. This also means that a company can invest more in talented IT professionals, who can give their organization an edge.

IT MSPs Provide an Outside Prospective

IT MSPs are constantly learning. An internal IT department may not always have time to research every single new technology -- but that's an IT MSP's job. MSPs are able to not only keep up to date on all modern solutions, but they can also leverage their experience with other organizations in order to resolve issues, create opportunities, and cut costs for your business. When working directly with the IT department, IT MSPs can make suggestions regarding both technology and processes from an outsider's perspective.

IT MSPs Streamline and Improve Upon Workflows

IT MSPs aren't just about technology alone; they are also about how the business relates to its technology. Managed services can take a look at an organization's workflows and identify and mitigate core inefficiencies that may be costing the organization money. By streamlining and improving upon workflows throughout the organization, they can substantially improve the business's bottom line.

As you can see, an IT MSP can be valuable in a variety of ways. If you need help executing your company’s IT strategies or staying current with the latest technology, contact CWPS today.

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Why Businesses Need IT MSPs Now More Than Ever

50065742_s (1).jpgBusinesses throughout all industries have always seen certain benefits from adopting managed service providers (MSPs) -- but it is now more than ever that they are growing to rely upon them. The way that business is being done is changing -- as are the threats that modern businesses face. Here are a few of the reasons why an MSP isn't just a good idea; it's a necessary one in today’s environment.

Cyber Threats Are on the Rise

Businesses are facing growing cyber security threatsevery day. It isn't just large enterprises being targeted; far from it. In fact, small businesses are most likely to be targeted, as they are least likely to have the technology and the training necessary to defend themselves. Cyber threats are becoming more advanced, sophisticated, and determined. Companies may face hundreds of attempts every day... and when one cyber security threat breaks through, they can experience thousands or even millions of dollars of damage. 

An IT MSP can protect against these threats, even for businesses that have an internal cyber security expert. MSPs can provide advanced technology solutions, which can scan for malware and viruses before they impact the organization. Managed service providers can provide always-on monitoring and troubleshooting, to mitigate threats such as DDoS attacks and ransomware before they can take a business down. Altogether, this means more consistency of service and fewer risks.

Companies Are Investing in a Mobile Workforce

Companies today are increasingly using remote workers. Remote workers aren't just more affordable. They can also allow an organization to reach the top talent throughout the globe rather than their local area. But a global workforce presents some challenges. Not only is there an increased need for security, as noted above, but there's also an increased need for productivity and collaboration technology. In order to better manage workflows, an IT MSP can setup the right cloud-based infrastructure from the start.

IT MSPs Offer Superior Scalability

When an organization needs to scale efficiently, an IT MSP can help. Companies today need to be more careful about scaling upwards; otherwise, they can potentially over-extend themselves and suffer dramatic losses. Rather than having to investigate and invest in speculative technologies and solutions, a company can instead rely upon an IT MSP to point them in the right direction. IT MSPs can future-proof businesses, finding solutions that will have easy and affordable upgrade paths and deploying resources to an organization only as needed. 

An IT MSP isn't just a tool; it's a partnership. Managed service providers can improve upon all levels of an organization's technology, for better efficiency, productivity, and security. For more information about the benefits of an IT MSP, contact CWPS today.

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7 Ways an IT MSP Can Help Your Internal Team Save Time

Save Time.jpgAn MSP doesn't necessarily have to replace your in-house IT team. In fact, an MSP can instead be utilized to get the most out of your in-house team. There are many ways an MSP is able to help your internal IT team save time. This gives your IT team the opportunity to work on more important things. Here are just a few ways an IT MSP can help.

1. By providing help desk support. IT MSPs can provide help desk support for most of your tier I, tier II and tier III calls. IT MSPs can also be directed on where to escalate specific issues, so that only the team members necessary get involved. 

2. By improving efficiency. IT MSPs can conduct a thorough assessment of your current operations, improving efficiency with both new procedures and new technology. MSPs have the experience and expertise to identify issues with an organization and quickly respond to them.

3. By assisting with short-term IT projects. IT MSPs can create a game plan for your short-term IT products and help you achieve your goals. These short-term IT projects can be everything from upgrading your physical infrastructure to transitioning to a cloud-based network.

4. By optimizing on-boarding and migration. IT MSPs have managed hundreds of migrations. Not only are MSPs able to detect and mitigate problems before they become issues, but they can also advise your organization on the best and easiest migration paths.

5. By identifying ideal technology and solutions. IT MSPs can drill down to the core technologies that your organization needs. That means you don't have to test out dozens of software solutions to find the one that works for you -- and you don't have to invest hours of time in research. 

6. By locating ideal vendors and carriers. IT MSPs are very knowledgeable about the best vendors and carriers to use. Not only this, but many of them already have established relationships and negotiating power. Rather than going in blind, you can get the services that you need at the best possible price. 

7. By being available outside of regular hours. IT MSPs are available 24 x 7. Rather than having to wait for your internal IT team to respond, you can begin work on critical projects or issues right away. This allows you to leverage an always on IT team while still keeping your internal staff for your daily operations.

These are only the top benefits to working with an MSP. Outsourced IT solutions give businesses access to an entire IT department at a very low cost, and the advantages to this never stop coming. CWPS can give you a more thorough overview of the MSP process and how it benefits your specific organization. Contact CWPS today to get started.

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Selecting Hybrid Cloud Solutions? Partner With an MSP

33491176_s.jpgHybrid cloud adoption is undeniably on the rise. This is leading to increasingly complex cloud environments, many of which can be both difficult to implement and to manage. Partnering with an MSP is a simple way to get all of the advantages of hybrid cloud solutions alongside the ease-of-use that managed services can provide.

Current Trends in Hybrid Cloud Computing

Organizations are using both public clouds and private clouds for different applications and resources. Different cloud models may be used for different workloads, while some clouds may be reserved for an organization's most critical assets. Whereas before a company might have a single private cloud and a single public cloud, today they can have multiple clouds of both types. Companies may have a single cloud simply for data while maintaining different clouds for each of their applications. Through the use of these disparate clouds, a hybrid cloud solution can become quite unwieldy.

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Not only are there many moving parts, but these parts are all interacting with each other and integrating separately. Ideally, the goal is to establish a seamless hybrid cloud environment, in which both public clouds and private clouds can work easily together. The system needs to be able to work consistently, even as data is moved from one cloud to another.

Integrating and Establishing a Hybrid Cloud Solution

MSPs are experts in both developing and integrating a hybrid cloud solution. Where a hybrid cloud solution already exists, a managed service provider will be able to offer ways to improve consistency and seamlessness between each cloud solution. Where a hybrid cloud solution hasn't yet been established, an MSP will be able to develop a solution from the ground up that is tailored to the organization's current and future needs. Either way, the MSP will be able to optimize and tighten the hybrid cloud, so that it operates consistently and offers the organization the resources that it requires. MSPs will also be able to secure the hybrid cloud effectively; otherwise, security will be determined by the weakest link.

Many organizations are going to find themselves moving to a hybrid cloud infrastructure if they haven't already. In fact, some organizations may already be using a public and private cloud architecture without proper integration. Through the use of an MSP, better integration can be achieved, and an organization can make better use of its existing resources. For more information about MSPs and their benefits, contact the experts at CWPS today.

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3 Ways An IT MSP Can Help You Modernize Your Workplace

64921064_s.jpgWhile today's workplaces may have the ultimate goal of modernization, very few of them are actively working towards it. Companies may also feel pressured by the idea of change or simply not know where to begin when it comes to modernization. But a modern workplace makes sense for today's organizations, especially SMBs -- and they don't need to do it on their own. An IT MSP can help modernize a workplace without significant investment or disruption.

Why Should SMBs Modernize their Workplace?

SMBs need to work with limited resources to grow, expand, and stabilize. Modernizing a workplace makes it easier to leverage existing resources for more substantial results; through technology, a smaller number of employees can have a far greater impact. Modernization makes it possible for SMBs to work with remote employees in addition to working while on the go and provides SMBs the ability to protect their business infrastructure in terms of security.

How Can IT MSPs Help?

Collaboration technology. Cloud collaboration systems such as Cisco Spark or Interactive Intelligence provide a consolidated environment through which employees can communicate, trade ideas, and work. For SMBs, a collaboration system enables them to leverage employees from anywhere in the world, in addition to being able to work from home. An IT MSP can help in integrating, managing, and upgrading this type of technology.

Cloud-based communication platforms. In the modern workplace, calls are routed using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) solutions instead of traditional call centers. Cloud-based communication platform like 8x8 removes the need for costly hardware and makes it easy to manage and monitor calls. This also provides businesses with a wealth of data, helping them to make better business decisions when it comes to things like customer service and sales.

Mobile security. One way in which businesses have no choice but to modernize is through mobile support. Mobile devices are going to be used for business -- it's simply up to the company whether or not they are going to properly secure their system. MSPs can establish solid mobile security measures, to enable companies to leverage the power of mobile devices without opening themselves up to unnecessary risk.

Modernizing a workplace doesn't have to mean disrupting current operations or spending a substantial number of resources. With the help of a managed service provider, many SMBs can begin integrating modernized operations into their companies today. For more information about the benefits of both modernization and managed service support, download our free eBook today.

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Considering Security as a Service? Partner With a Managed Service Provider

47677359_s.jpgCyber security is becoming a bigger, more complicated issue than many organizations are prepared to handle on their own. In fact, a single data breach can cost an organization up to $4 million in damages. This is where security-as-a-service shines. Security-as-a-service can provide your organization with a sophisticated, easy to deploy security systems at a fraction of the cost. A managed service provider can help you select a security-as-a-service solution and integrate it with your current environment.

1. What is Security as a Service?

Through security-as-a-service, an expert security provider is able to offer their security solutions to an organization on a subscription basis. The security service provider manages the day-to-day operations, upgrades, and troubleshooting of the security system, while the organization is able to reap the benefits of a more advanced security system than they could otherwise support.

2. What are the Advantages of Security as a Service?

Superior knowledge. A security-as-a-service company focuses on a single thing: providing security. They are able to stay current on modern security trends and risks, and react proactively to potential vulnerabilities. When engaging a security-as-a-service provider, an organization is able to engage a wide array of expert specialists within their field. Otherwise they would have to rely on their internal IT team, which will often be comprised of generalists.

Superior resources. Modern security systems don't just require expertise -- they also require resources. A security-as-a-service provider will have the hardware and software resources that an organization would not be able to acquire -- at least, not without them being prohibitively expensive.

Superior savings. Because a security-as-a-service provider operates on a subscription basis, the organization only needs to pay a low, flat rate fee every month. Otherwise the organization would need to invest in on-site security professionals, off-site security consultants, and a physical infrastructure.

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3. Why Choose a Managed Service Provider to Implement Security as a Service?

When it comes to implementing security-as-a-service technology, an organization still needs someone to integrate the system with their own current infrastructure. A managed service provider can help. MSPs can be brought in anytime during the process and will be able to advise the organization on the right security system for them. Not all security-as-a-service systems will support the same types of business or features; an MSP provides a valuable third-party link between the technology and the organization. The only alternative would be to bring in a costly security consultant.

Security-as-a-service is a fantastic solution for any organization currently dealing with security challenges. If you feel that your organization could benefit from security-as-a-service, CWPS can help.

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4 Things That the Best IT MSPs are Offering in 2017

63236422_s (1).jpgIT moves fast -- how are the managed service providers keeping up with it? As IT trends shift, the best IT MSPs are able to shift their service offerings alongside them. This is what makes IT MSPs so incredibly valuable for organizations that want to stay abreast of the current technology. If you're shopping around for an IT MSP in 2017, these are the features that you should be looking for.

1. Tools that utilize artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is one of the most advanced and powerful tools today, used for everything from improving cyber security to automating routine business tasks. An artificial intelligence system can balance the load on a network, take advantage of existing resources, and protect the network from intrusion. As artificial intelligence becomes even more advanced, it will also be used in tools that can supplement an organization's workload.

2. Comprehensive cyber security solutions. Security is one of the chief concerns for many organizations -- and for good reason. Security threats are one of the fastest moving areas in IT. The best IT MSPs provide complete, all-in-one security systems, which should include: authentication and identity services, network and traffic scanning, and the ability to identify suspicious behavior.

 3. Support for multi-cloud infrastructures. Modern companies use both private clouds and public clouds. The challenge has now become integrating these infrastructures. The best MSPs can help organizations make the most out of their cloud platforms, optimizing the existing systems and ensuring that they can work well together.

 4. Sophisticated collaboration technology. Collaboration is everything when it comes to business. New collaborative programs offer multiple communication channels while maintaining best-in-class security. An MSP can build a collaboration environment for your organization from the ground up, customized and tailored to your company's needs. The best collaborative systems today are available through the cloud and provide advanced features, such as workforce management and performance analytics.

One of the principle advantages of a managed service provider is that they can analyze and implement new technology for your organization as it becomes available. And that makes the above features incredibly important; any MSP who isn't able to offer these advantages is not keeping up on the latest trends. For even more information about the incredible benefits of an IT MSP, check out our brand new eBook or contact us today.

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How IT MSP Can Help Your SMB Embrace the Internet of Things

InternetofThings-1.jpgThe Internet of Things can be at once an attractive and terrifying prospect, especially for SMBs. Though the Internet of Things can represent a significant competitive advantage, it also carries with it a non-trivial security risk. As the Dyn DDoS attack in October of 2016 showed us, IoT devices can open businesses up to a variety of cyber attacks.  But that doesn't mean an SMB is going to be able to avoid the IoT altogether.

The Growing Importance of the Internet of Things

When we say the Internet of Things, what we're really describing is a network of Internet-capable devices. Your company's printers, for instance, may connect to the Internet so that it can report on its current resources. It may even be able to initiate an order for new ink or new paper. Internet of Things devices are designed to streamline and improve business operations -- and are designed to leverage often limited resources. It's this ability to improve efficiency and automate mundane tasks that makes this technology valuable for SMBs. Through the IoT, SMBs can better manage their operations with the resources that they already have available.

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Improving IoT Security and Integration With an IT MSP

The problem with the Internet of Things is that it is difficult to secure. Every new IoT device that's connected to a network becomes another potential vulnerability within the system. But that doesn't have to be the case. Managed solutions providers can successfully improve the security of a network so that the Internet of Things is not a significant risk. MSPs can improve IoT security and integration through the following:

  1. Analyzing an SMBs current infrastructure to determine exactly how the IoT should be implemented and integrated.
  2. Creating an IT roadmap to streamline and smooth over any potential implementation and integration issues.
  3. Securing and encrypting data so that IoT vulnerabilities are less likely to compromise critical business assets.

Creating a multi-layered security system that can protect business assets from being accessed.

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Ultimately, SMBs have so much to gain from the IoT that they can’t ignore this technology -- but they also need help implementing and securing their IoT infrastructure. An MSP is the ideal candidate to integrate the Internet of Things into an existing small business and ensure that no security vulnerabilities have been created. And that's not the only benefit of an IT MSP.

If you're wondering whether your business could benefit from an MSP, download our free eBook.

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