4 Tech Services Your MSP Can Improve

by

Your MSP can improve the performance of 4 tech services.

Managed IT service providers (MSPs) offer much more than monitoring, management, cybersecurity, and support for your infrastructure, cloud applications, and users. MSPs oversee the digital nervous system of your enterprise. So they can quickly identify trouble spots with connected technologies to instantly coordinate remediation activities and modifications.

The source of IT noise is difficult for most users to identify. That’s why vendor technical assistance is such a valuable IT service. MSP engineers are already monitoring all of the endpoints on your network with automated tools and can rapidly isolate anomalies.

Although the following products and services are part of your network, some categories get overlooked. We’ll highlight common issues that arise and demonstrate ways your MSP can cut to the chase on your behalf.

Are you ready to get out of the tech business and spend more time on your own business? Read on and ask your MSP how they can take a supervisory lead in the following four areas.

 

#1 – Your MSP can Improve Structured Cabling Performance.

Also known as low voltage cabling and wiring, this connective tissue unifies all of the devices in your network together. Each piece terminates into the switch in your phone closet.

It’s easy to overlook this detail because you rarely see it.

The low voltage cabling needs a refresh roughly every seven years. This critical wiring also needs to be updated when you move. And with the work-from-home revolution, residential networks need to be wired for better performance and tighter security.

Using a laptop over an unsecured Wi-Fi connection doesn’t hold a candle to anchoring a laptop in a docking station with two double monitors secured by a firewall.

I used Wi-Fi for the first few months of the COVID pandemic before transitioning to a solution modeled after my office setup.

Your MSP can pinpoint the issue when you have difficulty connecting to applications or experience slower data speeds.

If it’s cabling and wiring-related, your IT provider can swiftly remediate with the appropriate low voltage vendor or cue up work orders to replace aging infrastructure or implement new data drops.

Learn More: Structured Cabling & Wiring

 

#2 – Your MSP can Improve Copier & Printer Performance.

Complications with networked devices and individual printers are common in most IT environments.

Large printers are subject to the same malfunctions that affect every other endpoint: degraded cabling, power surges, overheating in the telco closet, ill-timed firmware updates, errant firewall settings, and more.

The sooner you involve your MSP, the sooner they can engage their technical counterparts at your copier company to accelerate a resolution.

Many MSPs also have symbiotic relationships with copier vendors. Both entities can team up to:

  • Share ticket data to determine the root causes of problems
  • Analyze ways to save on costly ink consumption (I’m talking to you, personal printers)
  • Ensure copier lease rates are optimized based on your cost/performance requirements
  • Standardize document management systems on leases that start and end at the same time
  • Plan new document management solutions well in advance of any auto-renewals

Learn More: Edge Business Systems

 

#3 – Your MSP can Improve Office Security.

Access control, alarm systems, and video surveillance are part of your network. Each piece relies on power, Internet connectivity, switch capacity, data storage, firewall settings, and granular circuit specifications like SIP trunks (VoIP) and analog lines.

Some technologies (alarms, elevator phones, and fax machines) perform better with traditional wireline analog lines, also known as 1Fbs (twisted copper pairs), while their newer Cloud variants work seamlessly with VoIP.

Your MSP can not only help specify the correct circuits and integration configurations with your security company, but they can also interact with them anytime a technical mishap occurs. For example, your IT provider will know whether to call AT&T for a persistent 1Fb issue or Comcast for a recurring SIP trunk error.

Your MSP can also vet any special video storage requirements based on your industry, office location, and more.

If your office is located in a high-crime urban area, you will need heftier video storage capacity (and archiving timelines) to document potential break-ins. Having a network specialist facilitate between you and your security company is invaluable.

Lives, lawsuits, insurance coverage, and business continuity are at stake.

Is your IT provider capable of serving as a good faith gatekeeper and “tech speak” interpreter?

Learn More: Best Access Control Systems for 2022

 

#4 – Your MSP has AV System Integration Expertise.

Today’s AV solutions require system integration expertise from your MSP.

Related services include large format displays, ceiling microphones, wireless and wired presentation systems, and sound masking,

Greenfield projects, augmentations, and expansions are part of your IT architecture and should be represented on Network Diagrams and IT Roadmaps, typically designed and maintained by your MSP.

For this reason, your IT provider must collaborate with your AV vendor, including direct access to technical resources. AV has many moving parts and a heavy reliance on Internet access.

While your MSP is not a direct seller of carrier services (AT&T, Charter, Comcast, etc.), they are the shortest distance between two points during an outage.

This is handy when you’re conducting a presentation with a large prospect, and your video stream is pixelated and the sound is garbled. Just open a ticket with your IT provider, and they will contact both your ISP and AV provider to identify the problem. (And hopefully, save your meeting.)

Are you 100% positive your MSP has up-to-date contact information at your AV company?

Learn More: Vertical AVTV

 

Does Your MSP Help With Other Tech Services?

Not all MSPs include vendor technical assistance. Check your Master Services Agreement.

And be careful not to confuse vendor technical assistance with administration. Microsoft 365 (M365) administration is different than VoIP administration. Your MSP may purchase M365 licenses on your behalf, include them in your billing, and administer everything for you.

However, if you have Ring Central or Nextiva Hosted VoIP, one of those companies would be the default administrator (setting up new users, auto attendants, call treatment configurations, etc.) unless you make arrangements with your MSP to assume some variation of this role for a fee.

Learn More: Support vs Vendor Technical Assistance vs Administration

Does your agreement cover technical inquiries related to structured cabling, copiers, office security, and AV? Some do. Many don’t.

You’re in good hands if you can send a support ticket to support@yourMSP.com and count on them to help tie up all the loose ends.

Integris clients rely on us for these details and many others.

Jed is a Solution Advisor at Integris who has specialized in MSP solution development, sales, and marketing communications since 2003.

Keep reading

Signs an Email is Phishing: 5 Signs of Phishing in Your Inbox

Signs an Email is Phishing: 5 Signs of Phishing in Your Inbox

For years we've read articles teaching us to identify the signs an email is phishing. We all know the signs, yet we still miss the blatant indicators and take the bait. According to Security Magazine, citing SlashNext, "The first six months of 2022 saw more than 255...

Leveraging Shared Values to Build Company Culture

Leveraging Shared Values to Build Company Culture

Leveraging shared values is a powerful way to build a company culture around employee and client success. Reaching this goal is challenging in an industry known for overpromising and underdelivering quality IT support. Yes, the MSP business is complicated. Several...

A Personal Twist on Zero Trust Security

A Personal Twist on Zero Trust Security

The massive Australian data breach in late September inspires me to share a personal twist on Zero Trust Security. What makes this incident colossal? BBC News Australia reports, "Australian telecommunications giant Optus revealed about 10 million customers - about 40%...