What is a Managed Network

Managed networks are a popular IT solution for small and medium sized businesses. The ins and outs of exactly how they function though are still confusing to many new business owners. How do they work, why are they so popular, and what purpose do they serve? What is a managed network exactly?

How a Managed Network Works

A managed network is a network set up and overseen by a third party provider. This provider is often called a “Managed Services Provider,” or MSP for short. The MSP handles the software, the technical support, and the IT infrastructure for the client. As a small company grows, usually by around ten employees, business owners realize that everyone on their separate devices and servers just won’t work any longer. That is where managed network providers come in.

A managed network is managed remotely, delivered through the cloud. This means your MSP will rarely, if ever, be on-site and there is virtually nothing for a business owner to oversee themselves. The server space, software updates, antivirus, almost everything you can think of is managed by the provider.

Advantages of Using a Managed Service Provider

The two main advantages of using a managed service provider are cost and convenience. The MSP model allows small and medium sized businesses to have little to no IT staff in house while still benefitting from the use of a dedicated server and private network. Employees can share files and email clients with the knowledge that all information exchanged is private and secure.

MSPs handles all technical issues and will on-board new staff as well, meaning less time spent by valuable staff solving computer problems or setting up new hires. Let the MSP handle it. With a fixed cost model, there is no reason not to take full advantage of the services offered. You can also rest easy each month knowing that your IT costs are fixed and predictable.

How Managed Networks Came to Be

The idea of MSPs came about in the 1960s with the first telephone company to allow customers to pay a monthly fee to use telephone equipment owned by the provider. This model was very appealing to companies that did not have the need or means for switchboards and other communication equipment, but of course still needed to be able to manage multiple phone lines. As computer technology later emerged, this model was transferred to IT equipment and network management. The model has thrived because of the abundance of businesses that need the benefits of a computer network without the cost in-house IT equipment and staff.

What is a Managed Network?

In a nutshell, a managed network is a network of computers that is managed by an outside service provider, most often through the cloud. Server space, software updates, and technical support all come from this provider, allowing businesses without in-house IT staff all of the benefits of a full IT department. Managed networks are convenient and very cost effective in a business landscape where skimping on technology is nearly impossible.

Why Small Businesses Turn to Managed Service Providers

One of the largest costs associated with small businesses is the overhead. Even the most invested small business owners look to save money and cut costs wherever possible. With a huge portion of monthly costs being IT equipment and personnel, it’s no wonder that many small businesses turn to managed service providers. Managed service providers, or MSPs, are a great option for small businesses because they have low up-front costs and offer customizable plans. There is no need to buy all of that expensive IT equipment yourself and hire an IT staff when MSPs today make it so easy to get started.

Easy to Set Up

Sending tasks out-of-house when it saves both time and money is a no brainer. If you aren’t an IT wiz, and don’t want to invest thousands in IT equipment, an MSP will make your set up a dream. Most MSPs own the bulk of the IT equipment their clients need, and do all of the set up for them. You no longer need to do all of the research and leg work to find a cloud provider, set up an anti-virus, find a secure server, etc. Your new MSP will handle all of this for you.

Only Pay for Services You Need

Anyone who has worked with an in-house IT department knows that the work comes and goes in waves. For weeks on end your IT department will be slammed, but then a few days later there’s a lot of feet on the desks. With an MSP, you don’t have to worry about staffing IT personnel because your provider will handle your needs only as they come up. Have a new employee starting next week? There will be someone available to help with on-boarding, but they won’t be sitting around the next day waiting for more tasks. Also, should a problem arise, you now have an entire team at your disposal, and won’t have to pull an entire department of your company from their normal tasks to fix the issue. Small businesses have unpredictable needs – so it’s no wonder MSPs are so popular.

Predictable & Overall Lower Monthly Costs

With a manager service provider, you can enjoy a predictable monthly cost and lower overhead than with a traditional IT department. There will be a set bill amount that includes whatever services you’ve agreed on, which includes time spent on any tech support issues and on-boarding new employees. Your MSP is just as motivated as you are to keep everything running smoothly, so you will often even see less problems arise when using a provider. These low, predictable costs are understandably appealing to small business owners.

Small Businesses Turn to Managed Service Providers

Every year more small business pick MSPs to help them begin and grow their businesses. Choosing to send IT needs out-of-house proves to be an easy and more cost-effective option. When you succeed, they succeed.

Are you looking for a managed service provider? Check out what Cloud Colorado has to offer.

hosted exchange server

For small and medium sized business owners, growing technical needs can be a big cause of stress. Many business owners try to handle IT tasks themselves, but wind up wasting time on inefficient and unsecure methods. What most business owners don’t realize though, is that using a managed service provider actually saves money and, of course, an immeasurable amount of time. One of the most popular features for businesses is a hosted exchange server. It is a secure and easy way to run your company’s email with no purchasing of a server required!

Secure Server

By using a hosted exchange provider, all of your data is stored on the provider’s secure servers. As an IT company, hosted exchange providers have the know-how to keep their servers air-right and security measures up to date. A common problem with setting up a DIY email server is just not knowing how to properly secure your information from hackers or viruses. Providers stay on top of patches and updates for your software and know how to block the common ways hackers try to get in. With the amount of sensitive information email can hold, proper security is a must.

Anti-Virus Protection for Email

Did you know you should be running an anti-virus on your email? You can keep employees from un-knowingly downloading a virus or opening a phishing email by preventing those emails from getting to their inbox in the first place. With a hosted exchange server, your provider will run an anti-virus for you. They will keep the majority of spam emails from reaching your inbox and will scan all attachments for viruses automatically.

Great Tech Support – No Call Centers!

Have you ever been in the middle of a technical crisis, dialed a help line, spent an hour on hold, only to end up speaking with someone reading from a script with no real knowledge of the issue? Yeah, us too. That is why having a local provider to take your calls and handle any issues right when they come up is so appealing. With hosted exchange, and Cloud Colorado in particular, your provider is located in the U.S. and connects you to real specialists when you have a problem.

Provider Handles Everything

With hosted exchange, your provider handles all of those complicated and time-consuming email related tasks for you. New employees will be on-boarded quickly, employees leaving will have their accounts forwarded, and helpful tools like distribution lists will all be set up by the provider. Don’t compromise convenience just because you can’t figure out how to set up a certain feature. Save time and money with a hosted exchange server.

Switch to a Hosted Exchange Server

Cloud Colorado is a hosted exchange provider with over 25 years of experience. We help companies every day reduce their time spent on technical problems and save money by switching to a service with predictable costs. Stop losing a day of work every time someone has a technical issue. Switch to a managed services provider. Learn more about Cloud Colorado’s hosted exchange and other services.

IT tips for the construction industry

One of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry is keeping up with changing technology. As new technology comes out, it is often the newest or the largest companies that are the first to implement it, leaving the mid-sized, older companies behind. The top reasons companies don’t quickly adapt to new technology is that they think it will be difficult or expensive to implement. The reality is though, tech is getting cheaper and cheaper. And there’s a reason new technology puts the competition ahead: it makes life easier. Sure, there’s always a learning curve, but adapting to these IT tips for the construction industry listed below will make your employee’s lives easier and increase productivity. Keep reading to understand why.

Managed IT Services

In construction, most employees are hardly ever in the office, or in one place for that matter. With a majority of time spent on the road and on job sites, it doesn’t really make sense to have an IT department in one place, either. The reason many construction companies have switched over the Managed IT Service Providers can be summed up to convenience and cost. With remote IT services managed in the cloud, your IT provider can be anywhere your employees are. Using a provider versus an in-house department also saves companies a lot of money every year. A managed service provider can get employees up and running faster and will usually own all of the servers you need to use. In addition, the equipment you do purchase will last longer.

Remote Desktop

Remote desktop technology has been a huge game changer for the construction industry. With remote desktop, employees can log into their familiar desktop from any device and in any location. On the road, on a job site, or in the office – all of their settings, files, and programs will be just as they left them. Remote desktop is incredibly convenient for the construction industry because it means less lugging around equipment and less computing power is needed when all programs and files are stored in the cloud.

Mobile Project Management

Modern project management software has brought productivity way up for the construction sector. Most software it is cloud based, so it is accessible from any device and updates in real time. It makes collaboration much easier when the entire team can see updates and receive notes instantly for on-going projects. With a mix of employees in the office and on-site, mobile project management software has been very useful in construction.

IT Tips for the Construction Industry

For construction companies, keeping up with changing IT trends can mean the difference between being an industry leader, and getting left in the dust. Although some tech fads come and go, many are here to stay. Change can be intimidating in such an old industry, but to stay competitive, construction businesses must be willing to adapt. With the bar set higher for productivity and real-time updates clients expect the latest and greatest in technology.

What Does Managed IT Services Mean

A managed service provider, often called an “MSP,” is a third-party contractor that manages services from an offsite location. IT service providers essentially take on everything that an in-house IT department would normally be responsible for. They provide server space for companies to use, run system updates, and even manage data and cyber security. For business owners, it is usually an “out of sight, out of mind” type of all-inclusive IT partner.

How Does Managed IT Services Work?

Managed IT services often work like this: the contractor (or MSP) owns the IT equipment that businesses use and manages all upkeep. This would mean that the provider would own the servers that the company uses, is responsible for running updates, network maintenance, cyber security, and so on. In today’s landscape, this often includes cloud computing services as well, but not always. Services are usually customizable to a company’s needs.

Payment is often in the form of a flat monthly fee and corresponds with what services the business uses and what sort of memory space their data takes up. This system means that the MSP is just as motivated as you are to keep things running smoothly and efficiently; they don’t profit from problems. It is usually more cost effective that hiring IT staff for companies that are smaller or are just not technology savvy.

Why Businesses Use Managed IT Services

Companies of every size use managed IT services. Many small businesses are stuck in an in-between space where they need the security and reliability of IT staff, but are not quite large enough or need enough services to warrant hiring IT staff in-house. Using a managed IT service provider is more cost effective for small businesses and offers professional cyber security and system maintenance, which many small businesses lack. The consistent monthly payment makes IT expenses predictable.

Managed IT services aren’t just for small businesses though. Many medium and even large businesses prefer to use an IT service provider for a few different reasons. One instance where an MSP makes more sense is for businesses that have many locations and/or many remote employees. If your staff is not all in one place, there is not really an advantage to having an on-location IT department. Another example is companies in industries that are just not in the business of technology. A number of companies in older industries, like construction and manufacturing just to name a few, might realize they need to step up their IT game but just aren’t familiar with it or don’t want to learn. Hiring an MSP becomes simply a more convenient option for today’s necessary data security and mobile computing.

Advantages of Managed IT Services vs. Traditional Model

With a managed IT service provider, you are locked into a predictable monthly cost. Your MSP is truly a partner, rather than a service provider that makes more money when you have technical problems or when systems break down. The MSP has the same goal as your company: to keep things running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. That is why the model of managed services is becoming increasingly popular in the IT world.

Managed IT Services

The demand for managed IT services grows as business technology needs continue to change. With each passing year there is a new trend in tech that businesses need to keep up with to stay competitive. Hiring an MSP contractor to manage your equipment, updates, back-ups, and the whole nine yards is an attractive option. It is often more cost effective, too!