The evolution of SMEs began in the 1990s with the advent of application service providers (ASPs) who offered remote application hosting services. ASPs helped pave the way for cloud computing and companies that would provide remote support for clients’ IT infrastructure. What is a MSP?
SMEs are managed services, i.e. the practice of outsourcing responsibility for maintaining and anticipating the demand for a number of processes and functions to streamline operations and reduce expenses. It is an alternative to the on-demand outsourcing / repair or on-demand outsourcing model, in which the service provider performs on-demand services and bills the client only for the work done.
Under this subscription model, the client or client is an entity that owns or has direct oversight of the managed organization or system, while the managed service provider (MSP) is the service provider that provides managed services. The client and SME are bound by a service level agreement that defines the performance and quality indicators of their relationship.
Pricing model for managed service providers
Available at prices for individual devices, for users and covering all prices, the customer can choose the price that best suits their organizational requirements.
For individual device prices, the managed service provider imposes a fixed fee on the customer for each managed device.
For individual user prices, the managed service provider imposes a flat fee for each user, including users using one or more devices.
At the all-inclusive price, the managed service provider imposes a flat fee for all IT infrastructure support and management services.
What are the functions of SMEs?
For the most part, the term SME refers to IT services outsourced. In particular, SMEs regularly carry out the following areas of activity:
- IT infrastructure management
- Software inventory management
- Increasing cyber security to information systems
- Offering technical support for staff
- Managing user access accounts in client systems
- Offering fully managed hardware outsourcing
- SMEs can offer remote storage or servers and offer software as a service.
Challenges of managed service providers
In addition to prices, SMEs pay particular attention to the operating costs and maintenance costs of qualified employees. Work is usually the largest cost for SMEs. To control labor costs and improve efficiency, most SMEs use remote monitoring and management (RMM) software to monitor customer IT functions. RMM software enables MSP to remotely solve problems with servers and end devices. Thanks to RMM, SMEs can simultaneously manage IT systems for many clients. MSPs can also use automated scripts to support routine administrative functions of systems, such as checking hard drives for errors, without human intervention.