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What is MSP, or what is a MSP?

Broadly speaking, MSP stands for Managed Services Provider.  A Managed Service Provider provides IT, and network services to an end user that may be an individual, a small business, or an enterprise.

Managed Services take many forms, but provide a service or set a of services that complement the IT services for an entity.  These MSP’s could be hosting companies, network providers for networking of multiple locations, or telephone service providers.

A managed service provider will provide the IT service that is needed, and will typically provide all the hardware and software that facilitate the management of the IT service.

Examples of Managed Services could be any of the following:

  • A company that manages the backups and disaster recovery services, ensuring that backups are scheduled and run successfully so that an organization doesn’t spend time wondering if they have good backup information for either recovery/discovery/archival purposes or for complete restoration in the event of a disaster
  • An IT company that provides monitoring, management, and/or helpdesk services or IT services to an entire small business’ or to an enterprise computer and network systems. This takes the burden off of the IT staff in larger organizations or a non IT person in a smaller organization that’s been tasked with taking care of users’ problems by assisting all the users in an organization directly.

The managed services provider in this case will typically take care of monitoring all systems to find that they are running properly or notify the organization of a potential systems error, to take action prior to any major systems downtime.

  • An MSP that manages the security systems for an organization, managing all security devices such as firewalls, managing user activity monitoring, monitoring all network activity to identify any potential network threats, monitoring of internet access to allow or disallow appropriate web usage, monitoring and management of antivirus type software, and management and monitoring of email filtering .

The MSP in this case will often provide the software/hardware to the organization and monitor this software.  The value to the organization is that they, not only get software that protects them, it’s managed for them so that they don’t have to worry if the systems are running or working properly.