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Small Business

Work with your service provider to simplify the technology experience within your business

Cloud Services” is a broad term you hear tossed all over the place, and there are enough subcategories to confuse you for days; Infrastructure as a Service, Software as a Service, and Platform as a Service to name a few.  But let’s face the facts here; you really don’t care how a service is classified, you just care what it can do for you.  In an earlier article I went through the basics of cloud computing. Now I want to take your knowledge to a deeper level that can impact the operations of your small business by introducing you to “Managed Services.”

Managed services are, as the name suggests, network management services delivered from the cloud.  You can consider the cloud to be your service provider’s regional operations center for a tangible reference.  Although not the only source, service providers are the typical providers of managed services. In a nutshell, they manage and monitor your networking equipment in exchange for a monthly service fee.

Here are a few of the standard managed services that you can get from a service provider.  Each service provider will personalize the names of its services, and may not even use the term “managed” for fear of confusing customers.But now you are “in the know” and are able to ask for more information using industry terms.

Managed Internet Service

Your service provider can guarantee your Internet speed by optimizing your network and providing dedicated bandwidth to your business.  Additional features that may be packaged with this are website hosting and virtual private networks to connect remote site; such as a warehouse; to your central company network.

Managed Security Service

Rather than merely placing networking equipment with embedded security at your business, you can also have a service provider monitor network activity patterns and pre-emptively strike against security threats before they infiltrate your business.  As a result, your small business can conduct business securely while protecting users, information, applications, and the network.

On top of that, your service provider can provide your employees with secure remote access to your company’s information. The service provider can customize levels of privacy and security to fit your needs.

Managed Voice over IP Service

You can have a robust telephone system at your business and outsource the complicated and time-consuming system-management duties.  Your service provider will provide call control to direct your phone calls to the appropriate location, monitor voice quality, add or remove lines, and troubleshoot when issues arise.    You only need to sit back and enjoy using a feature-rich phone system.

Across these three managed services, there are numerous shared benefits that stem from utilizing a service provider’s technology expertise.

Now that you are familiar with some of the services you can get from your service provider, don’t hesitate to reach out to one in your area and ask about how their services can meet your business needs.  To prepare yourself for this conversation, check out these 5 questions to ask a service provider.

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