by: John Gray, Chief Product Officer (CPO)
This blog post is the first in a series focusing on InterVision’s Managed Cloud Services (MCS). These posts will describe the depth and breadth of MCS and show how InterVision’s managed services benefit businesses of all sizes. This first post explains how and why businesses benefit from managed cloud services in general and why InterVision’s MCS is a premier offering.
These posts will provide insight into many aspects of MCS, including:
- Managed Services overview and value
- Features and functions of InterVision’s Managed Cloud Service (MCS)
- Processes, Tools, and Technology supporting MCS
- MCS product roadmap showing the rapid release of additional features
- Best practices review of MCS from the standpoint of Security, Operations, Performance
Why should you listen to me?
I‘m InterVision’s Chief Product Officer (CPO), and my team led the development of MCS. At InterVision, we operate an agile customer-focused approach to product development, which ensures we deliver products that our clients need. During my career, I’ve built businesses, built software products and services, and used managed services to propel those ventures. So, I’ve been both a managed service customer and a developer.
Who should keep reading this post?
Anyone who wants to maximize the positive aspects of technology while minimizing the negative aspects. Given that I am an executive but have spent much of my career as a hands-on engineer, I can discuss technology with many different audiences, showing how technology solves business problems and drives business outcomes, as well as deep technical discussions. This blog will focus on both aspects of technology: the business rationale underlying specific aspects of managed cloud services and then jump down into deep technical details and the critical processes and people that power the managed services.
Technology is increasingly vital to businesses and is rapidly changing.
To fully appreciate the value of InterVision’s MCS, we must first step back to consider the importance of managed services. These services manage technology environments, and technology is increasingly the foundation of a business’s day-to-day operations, growth, and interactions with customers, partners, and employees; technology is essential to a business. Furthermore, technology is undergoing rapid changes, and there are mounting daily security threats. It’s important to note that technology brings both great opportunities and existential risks for businesses. It’s wise to have expert help to best leverage and protect such an important asset. The question is whether to try to hire these experts or find a partner with many such experts. This is where partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) comes in.
Managed Services provide an array of benefits and improve agility.
In the simplest of terms, managed services are a way to outsource maintenance and repairs to experts. MSP services take pressure off an internal IT team giving them more time to work on technology tasks that allow the organization to grow and transform. As we have seen since 2020, many businesses have had to transform rapidly, and those using managed services were able to move more quickly and with greater confidence.
Managed Services are proactive and stop risks from turning into issues.
Break-fix services ruled the market for decades. When businesses experience a problem with a server, they would call an IT expert and try to explain the issue. If they were lucky, a solution could be found quickly. They would be stuck with expensive repairs and downtime if they weren’t. This type of reactive service was known as the break-fix approach, which is reactive. As businesses became more reliant on technology the reactive approach was not sufficient. A proactive approach was required, which led to managed services that offer constant and consistent monitoring of systems to prevent failures wherever possible.
It is in an MSP’s best interests to have your infrastructure pristine, so they don’t spend time and money fixing issues. It is a win-win situation where avoiding issues is good for the client and the MSP. The more we at IV understand a client and their technology and how it supports their business, the better we can proactively support the technology and help the client transform their business.
So, let’s look at the many benefits of managed services.
- Cost savings
Maintaining IT infrastructure and networks with in-house staff can result in substantial cost overheads, especially if you run a small or medium-sized business with limited resources. In the world of the internet and online transactions that occur 24/7, you need IT support staff 24/7, which can mean having three shifts; or learning to suffer the consequences of overnight failure. Some of the tools required are very expensive, and an MSP can buy those tools and spread the costs across many clients. An MSP like InterVision has people working three shifts, and we have the expensive best-of-breed tools–these allow InterVision to be both highly effective with the services we provide as well as highly efficient.
- Robust infrastructure allowing you to focus on your core business
Businesses’ technology infrastructures are growing in complexity. Many organizations now have workloads running in complex hybrid cloud environments with many moving parts. Having staff and expertise to keep this complex environment up and running robustly is an increasingly difficult task. Top managed service providers like InterVision have the mix of experts needed which allows you to remain focused on core business activities like sales and growth.Our managed service experts provide 24/7 support, keeping a check on the smooth functioning of all your IT systems hosted in the cloud. Updates and maintenance are handled for you to help protect against outages. InterVision uses automation for maintenance updates because we are doing similar updates for many customers – it makes sense for us to code the updates because we will use them many times. We build and test these scripted updates in our test environments. This allows your staff to focus on growing and transforming your business.
- Simplification of complex processes
Cloud infrastructure brings many benefits but also unique complexities, and many organizations now have hybrid multi-cloud environments which are even more challenging to manage, let alone optimize. A trusted managed service provider has all the processes, infrastructure, and technical specialists in place to handle the most complex of problems daily. As experts in the field, they focus on every single aspect while having contingency plans for the possible challenges that may lie ahead. MSPs have plans, processes, and staff that follow them all day and all night. The best MSP also makes continuing improvements to environments to optimize and achieve operational excellence.
- Disaster recovery and data recovery
For enterprises with IT infrastructure on-premise, a disaster or a critical server failure may leave them in disarray and seriously hamper their day-to-day business operations. By implementing in the cloud, the impact of hardware failure risks are almost eliminated. However, if not well-skilled in the cloud environment, support staff could accidentally delete servers and data. Furthermore, if support staff begin to use Infrastructure as code and make mistakes, they can wipe out an entire environment – so having skilled Cloud engineers is critical, but having a DR plan is equally important.Without DR a business risks losing data vital to their business processes. Keeping data recovery processes and tools operational all year round is increasingly critical because businesses depend entirely on their technology infrastructure but, most significantly, on protecting their data, both structured (databases) and unstructured (files and objects). DR readiness is another IT overhead task that businesses take on when they manage their infrastructure, or they don’t do it and take the risk of a business-threatening failure from a cyber-attack such as ransomware.
- Automatic updates and upgrades
As technology evolves and improves and new cyber threats emerge, there are new and improved updates and services daily. Often minor tweaks need to be made, but sometimes it is better to go for major upgrades. The decision of how and when to do this requires experience and critical judgment, and MSPs have staff with the necessary experience and judgment. Using automation scripts that have been rigorously tested is the best practice that MSPs follow, which increases the speed of updates and minimizes issues caused by updates.
- Faster response times
Whether a new requirement arises, or a network issue occurs, having a quick response time is essential so that a small anomaly does not become a catastrophe. MSPs focus on meeting their service level agreements (SLAs); if they don’t hit their SLAs, they generally don’t stay in business–InterVision has been an MSP for over two decades, so we know how to meet our SLAs.
- Easy access to more help
InterVision’s ability to provide cloud MS plus security, innovative application modernization, data analytics, and extensive on-prem skills from our decades of work with data centers is unmatched. Furthermore, in addition to our managed services teams, we have teams of highly specialized architects and engineers that help clients with migrating more workloads to the cloud, rearchitecting and modernizing apps, and providing data analytics, cost optimization, security assessments, remediation, and cyber-security incident response.
- Round-the-clock management
With the evolution of online business, staff working remotely from different time zones and at different hours, you need your technology infrastructure up and running day and night. To ensure smooth operations for any Cloud infrastructure, 24/7 support is essential.
- Ongoing value
One of the issues for a company like InterVision that provides very high-quality managed services; is that we can be forgotten because things are running smoothly and clients forget all that is going on behind the scenes. This is why we have regular reviews with our clients and continue to stay tuned in to their evolving needs and bring new ideas and new optimization and relate it to the client’s business and their goals.
As I was concluding writing this post, I was informed that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company has named InterVision to its Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Elite 150 category for 2023.
In my next blog article, I will explore InterVision’s MCS features and SLAs and you will see what separates us from our competitors.
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