A managed network is an outsourced communication network that is developed, controlled, and managed by a service provider. Managed service providers deliver services through either a cloud or in-house infrastructure. This setup allows organizations to outsource their IT needs. There is a wide range of managed network services that include basic network access, virtual network services, and transport services like leased WAN and LAN connections. They also have few options that include WAN optimization, network administration, virtual private network, unified messaging, and security firewalls.
MSPs are of different sizes and they use data centers to host their managed services. The industry of MSPs provide managed services to both small and large businesses worldwide. They offer managed services with service-level agreements (SLAs) that describe the quality, availability, and responsibilities which are agreed between the user and the service provider.
Handing over network management and service management to a third-party MSP comes with both advantages and risks. Customers need to be clear about their service requirements through SLAs with their service providers. These companies must constantly take measures such as monitoring MSP performance and checking out compliance with the terms of the agreement.
History of Managed Network Services
Managed services have evolved over the years due to the advancements in technology. When seven independent entities of Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) were established, they were offering local telephone services when a breakup took place within the monopoly of the Bell System in 1984. This event made changes to customers’ contracts by distributing them from one provider to various entities. The competition between these entities paved the way to the growth of managed connectivity services.
Application service providers offer remote application hosting services, eventually evolving into remote customer’s IT network. These companies began to be referred to as the Managed Service Providers (MSPs). However, the MSP service model is different from managed network service providers.
Advantages of managed network services
SMBs find MSPs as a go-to option due to the financial and space constraints to house IT resources. It also lets them managed network services without the expense of hiring more staff.
MSPs are equipped with the latest technology where they can offer solutions to networking issues like integration, tech support, and troubleshooting. Large companies find MSPs as the best option when there is a need to deploy new technologies. Managed network services allow companies to have their in-house staff focus on more business-related tasks. By doing so, they could boost operational efficiency as MSPs take control of the required services and address issues when needed. MSPs offer a proactive approach to managing networks remotely. They could constantly monitor and prevent IT problems to avoid disruptions in business operations. Larger organizations also hire MSPs whenever there is a tight budget constraint.
Managed network services pricing model
Business organizations sign a service contract with MSPs for specific services that they could utilize effectively. The pricing model is based on various factors such as the type of services, interface, speed, etc.. Enterprises can fix the budget and choose specific types of services in the process of choosing a managed network service.