MSPs Lead Businesses through the SaaS Maze

Countless businesses trust Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to deploy, manage and support infrastructure solutions both in the cloud and on-premise. The reason is simple. They are the best at eliminating downtime and providing superb user support.

Savvy businesses also recognize the value engaging their MSP in the search and support for the right applications and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for their business. Forrester Research says that IT partners aren’t just critical for the successful deployment of SaaS products, but the management aspect is a real value-add.

SaaS is software running on remote hardware that is owned, managed and delivered via the Internet on a pay-for-use or subscription basis. Without purchasing hardware or software, businesses just connect to the cloud. Deployment takes as little as a day.

Fixes and new features are regularly implemented. It does away with obsolescence. There’s also Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that guarantee availability. There’s no commitment beyond the subscription period, so risk is minimal.

SaaS apps are readily scalable. Capacity is on an on-demand basis. There’s no up-front capital expenditure. And, those using SaaS are “greener” because they share computing resources of the MSP.

When an MSP provides businesses with SaaS, it starts with Planning & Design. From there, the steps are Procurement, Deployment, Management and Governance. In essence, the MSP handles the entire service process.

That said, the advantages of SaaS implemented by an MSP include:
• Rapid deployment
• Easily updated
• Guaranteed uptime with SLAs
• Reduced long-term risk
• Unlimited scalability
• Environmentally friendly

SaaS: Those Best for Your Business
Some of the more popular SaaS apps include CRM, Citrix applications, QuickBooks, Google Apps, Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365. These are usually associated with individual user productivity.

Then, there’s security. This results from the persistent and escalating attacks against business data. It includes anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-spyware software. Also, network protection, such as Network Access Controls (NAC), authentication, authorization and encryption. These services benefit the entire business and are user transparent.

A growing number of small to medium businesses (SMBs) rely on MSPs for these services. Businesses earn a number of benefits by subscribing to SaaS offerings through an MSP. MSPs:
• Provide apps that benefit SMBs with limited budget and/or IT resources.
• Invest in hardware and software amortized over many customers, which means a lower total cost of ownership for SMBs.
• Support staffs with specialized IT core competencies, ensuring higher availability and faster problem resolution.
• Give an immediate ROI by offering contained costs, usually a single monthly invoice.
• Offer one-stop shopping and consolidated billing for various services from many vendors.
• Handle all network and PC management issues, usually with 24/7 support.

It’s vital choosing an MSP that promotes all SaaS solutions. It gives your business a competitive edge and a cost-effective approach to productivity. While there’s still SMBs that shy away from cloud, there’s comfort in knowing an MSP objectively analyzes each business situation to make sure you get what’s best for your business.


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