While some semblance of normality begins to return to our working lives, both businesses and employees alike are either learning to readjust to their old ways or bracing themselves for a new future predicated on whatever practices they developed during the peak of the COVID crisis. People have been offered a rare opportunity to experience the “other side”; whether the grass was greener or not is another matter. In an ideal world, they will have reflected and garnered a fresh perspective and will use the lessons learned to drive any future decisions about what their “new normal” is.

The pandemic comes at a time of unprecedented availability of communications and collaboration technologies. For those who have now invested in these tools, they will be assessing what worked for them and how they can improve upon their practices. For those behind the scenes offering these tools, they will be scrambling to put their best foot forward for, what is likely to be, a continued increase in their adoption and usage. Within this channel of provider to end-user is often another key player – those who provide ongoing technical support to maintain and develop these systems. Enter Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

Many businesses that utilize AV technology will concurrently use an MSP. While this is by no means essential, it is undoubtedly the more forward-thinking model particularly if you’re a technology-reliant company. It is a much more holistic approach than its alternative (the break-fix model) in that it takes into account both the current and future technological needs of a company.

DMS is generally responsible for proactive monitoring and maintenance, carried-out remotely, with the objective of addressing issues before they become problems for our clients. Perhaps the greatest benefit, however, in adopting an MSP is the long-term goals which MSPs look to. By developing a partnership with DMS, a business can effectively align its technology requirements alongside its growth plans in order to realize their vision. Affordability will, of course, play its part but by having a set monthly cost you avoid unpredictable bills for impromptu repairs and it will cost a fraction of the amount for in-house IT.

Should a business encounter a technical issue and they do not use an MSP, they will have to use a break-fix service model. Just as the name suggests, support is provided ad-hoc, when needed. The approach reacts to problems and cannot pre-empt and therefore prevent larger-scale issues. While they work in the short-term and certainly have a place for companies who don’t rely on technology for essential day to day operations, they are generally viewed as outdated and regressive.

“Be proactive not reactive, for an apparently insignificant issue ignored today can spawn tomorrow’s catastrophe.”― Ken Poirot

It is undeniable that those in existing partnerships with MSPs would have been grateful for this decision during the height of the outbreak. DMS’ well established Managed Services Team provides a simple example of how our involvement helped to prevent a technical issue from becoming a business problem. One of our clients – a CEO of a Fortune 500 company – was having trouble with launching a critical video call from his home office. Since DMS provides on-demand support with any AV technology issue, we were able to immediately help him with connecting the call. It is this immediacy that sets MSPs, and DMS, in particular, apart. Those with active service agreements are readily able to access support with network connectivity, peripheral configuration, system testing, remote diagnostics, and necessary training.

Given the scale of the need for remote working during the pandemic, greater integration and connectivity is required and on a rapid basis. Without an MSP, this could have been a very timely and costly process. And while COVID 19 might be a singular event, it has inspired a shift in how we work. It has highlighted the potential problems that can occur if we do not have access to the right technology and the right technological support.

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Ruairi is a Director at DMS, and brings 15 years of experience in the industry.
November 30th, 2020