Keeping up to date with technology is just as much a challenge for IT service providers as it is for the people they serve. The other thing that has changed and will continue to, is customer expectation and needs.
It was not too long ago when IT companies made money when your computers went wrong. This business model was referred to as the ‘break-fix’ model. In fact, some smaller IT shops still operate this way.
The break-fix model is not a great fit for many business owners, as it makes it hard to budget for IT expense and when unforeseen IT issues occur businesses often end up having to take budget from other areas of the business.
In came the next IT business model to remedy this. Welcome the Managed Service Provider or MSP for short.
An MSP had a very different model to the traditional break and fix in that it is in fact in the interests of the MSP to ensure their customers’ machines are up and running, as it costs the MSP money when they stop working. The customer has a fixed price cost per user per month and this entitles them to unlimited support.
The MSP was all very well with a traditional computing model but with the rise in cloud computing this brought us the Cloud Service Provider or CSP for short. A CSP will focus on the cloud elements of a company’s IT infrastructure and often this is Public Cloud i.e. using Microsoft or Amazon services.
To keep the flow of acronyms going there is another model that sits in amongst these called a value-added reseller (VAR) and in most cases MSPs were also a VAR. A VAR basically resells other technology providers solutions to their customers.
That’s a lot of Acronyms!
The truth is, the customer does not really care what the various business models are called they just want value for money and working computers and systems. The fact that it’s all potentially messy with multiple suppliers will only serve to confuse business owners further.
What they really want is one business who looks after all of the technology, even if it is across multiple suppliers and services – they want one company to manage it all for them and ensure they get their two goals of value for money and working computers.
Time for a new Acronym.
What growing businesses today need is a Total Solutions Provider (or TSP for short).
So, what exactly is a TSP? It is the one technology-focused partner that looks after all of your IT, Technology and Cloud Computing requirements.
This means that you have one point of contact for your IT and technology needs and that contact/company will manage all the different requirements, services and relationships for you.
Why is this important?
Using separate companies and services will require you to manage multiple relationships and often if things do not work, this results in finger pointing and nobody taking responsibility. How often does your new IP based phone system go down and they blame the Internet Provider?
Using a TSP takes all that potential pain away as they take responsibility for managing all the relationships and you have a single point of contact.
In summary, Total Solution Providers offer the same sort of all-in-one ease of use that made Microsoft Office popular, allowing an office to work with one company for all their needs. This serves to reduce overheads both in finding solutions and in implementing them at the office level.
However, this type of service provider must be picked even more carefully than VARs, MSPs, and other individual service providers.
Finding an effective Total Solution Provider means picking and choosing carefully, looking throughout the market for a firm that offers what you need and has a proven track record of delivering on that.
For this purpose, you might consider contacting a member of our team for more information on how BCS can be your Total Solutions Provider and start making your technology investments work for you to achieve your goals.