What is an MSP?

If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably already seen us use the term “Managed Service Provider” quite a few times on our website and social media. However, it’s entirely understandable to have no idea what a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is, does, or why you’d benefit from hiring one. Even many professionals in the IT industry have no idea what an MSP is; we’re a growing industry, but the traditional form of tech support is still the commonly known variety.

So what is a Managed Service Provider?

The difficulty in that question is that every MSP varies, at least in some small way. Industry standards are forming, but given the different needs of a business of 10 and a business of 10,000, MSPs can have vastly different functions.

For small to medium businesses; the market Kogo is designed to support, I would define an MSP as:

  • 24/7 support, maintenance, and systems monitoring
  • Helpdesk and customer controlled support systems
  • Vendor management
  • Fixed fees

That last one is important. This is the fundamental difference between your standard tech support operator and an MSP. A tech support company will charge you for callouts, parts, and emergency responses, whereas an MSP will charge you a fixed, pre-agreed fee with no surprise costs in an emergency.

We have already written a series of posts about the benefits of Managed Service Providers, which you can see here.

However, let’s break down some of the reasons you’ll typically work with an MSP, and how it will affect your relationship with your IT.