publish date: March 28, 2022
Of all the various services that Intellicom provides to our customer base, probably the most universally appreciated and valuable is our Managed Services. Managed Service Agreements have become the standard method for most small and medium-sized businesses to effectively manage their IT investment. So what is Managed Services?
Most basically, it is an agreement between a company that values technology which enables them to run their business, and a company that is proficient at monitoring, managing and responding to issues affecting the technology. The agreement is structured in a way that maximizes performance, reliability, and value. The common lynchpin with Managed Services is a managed server, or servers. It matters not whether the server is a physical server or a virtual server running on a physical piece of equipment. It also matters not whether the server is on the premises of the business or hosted at a data center. Managed Services providers are equipped to manage these devices across a range of environment types and configuration types. In addition to servers, most Managed Services Providers also manage a company’s workstations.
So, about “managing” these servers and workstations… what does that mean? For companies like Intellicom, when we manage these devices we install what’s called a software based RMM agent (for Remote Monitoring & Management). There are a few different flavors of these agents, and the one that Intellicom uses is powerful, and among the few “gold standard” tools in this realm. Once installed, these agents constantly report in on a large number of performance indicators… for example free disk space, temperature, general server health, etc. For items that fall outside of tolerances, service tickets are raised and our team begins responding. For some issues, the software itself has been programmed to run scripts to address the out-of-bounds issue. Again, the software is quite powerful – and effective at helping keep our customers’ servers and workstations humming. Another key component is patching. A Managed Service agreement typically includes regular patching for whitelisted critical Microsoft patches. This process is usually automated and the patches and reboots occur during a maintenance window in the overnight hours to prevent costly downtime.
In addition to the performance & reliability value a Managed Services Agreement provides, there is another common reason so many small and medium-sized businesses choose them: efficiency. Even for a business that can afford a full time IT staff, things like illnesses, planned vacation time, and turnover can impact the ability to quickly respond to emergent issues. With managed services agreements in place, the company is provided reliable coverage without lapses, and also a usually broader range of expertise to address the myriad issues which can affect an IT environment.
When planning for how best to manage your IT investment, a deep look at the value of managed services makes good sense. We are always happy to talk, and provide a wealth of relevant data about the costs and benefits of an MSA relationship with you – let us know if you’d like to schedule a discussion!