Hiring a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) has some obvious benefits, such as a HelpDesk to call when issues arise and the peace of mind that your computer network is being monitored and maintained. At BSC, we also provide reports, best practices recommendations, updates on new technologies and consulting services. The cost factor that generally comes to mind in providing these services is the hours of technical support and consulting provided. What is far less obvious, however, are the hidden costs of providing our managed IT services. As an MSP client (or prospective client) of BSC, it’s important to understand these hidden costs in order to fully appreciate the value we provide.
Hidden Costs of our Managed IT Services
Network Monitoring: Monitoring a computer network requires sophisticated software installed and maintained on your network. That monitoring software generates certain alerts which are relayed, over the Internet, to Servers at our Data Centre. These Servers then relays those alerts to our technical team, who review and take action on them as needed. The Servers also provides many reporting capabilities.
Hidden costs include licensing of our monitoring/management/alerting software, plus the cost of the hosted Servers and maintenance of the Servers.
Microsoft Patch Management: A software application allows us to automate the application of Microsoft patches and updates to your computers. Before doing so, however, we review and manage the schedule of when these patches will be applied, to minimize the possibility of any disruption to your network. These patches are tested on BSC’s computers first, before being approved for client computers. Some computers are very sensitive to downtime and have to be closely monitored after hours to ensure they return to normal in a timely fashion after patches have been applied.
Hidden costs include licensing of this software and our management time.
Third Party Patch Management: A software application allows us to automate the application of a long list of popular third party software patches and updates to your computers.
A Hidden cost is the licensing of this software and review of these patches.
Ticketing System: A system to keep track of support requests and project work for our clients is critical to maintaining our service level and helping ensure no requests are missed. It also provides important reports.
Hidden costs are licensing fees for our ticketing software as well as customizing and maintaining the system to suit our needs.
Document Management System: A considerable amount of data is gathered and maintained for each of our Clients. This includes specifics about the services we are providing, technical information about the network including settings and certain passwords, key contact people etc. This information is kept in a highly secure portal.
Hidden costs are monthly licensing fees and time to keep all data current.
CRM System: In order to keep track of our emails, conversations, meetings and contracts with clients, we maintain a CRM system.
Hidden costs are software licensing fees.
Research: Time is regularly devoted to researching technical advances in the various areas we provide products and services. Keeping up with the rapid changes has always been demanding and is even more so in the area of cyber security.
A hidden cost is the considerable time devoted to this activity.
Training: Rapidly advancing technology means training needs to be an ongoing activity with any Managed Services Provider that wishes to keep on the cutting edge of their industry.
Hidden costs are course fees and time away from the office.
In summary, when considering the value of a Managed IT Services Provider to your organization, it is important to understand the underlying factors that help them do their job well and efficiently. You may come to feel your computer network is running smoothly on its own, when in fact the reason it is running so smoothly, is due to the behind-the-scenes working being done by your MSP.