What is an MSP? Businesses looking to scale and stay current with their technology are outsourcing technical work. They are using managed services providers (MSPs) instead of maintaining an in-house IT department.
MSP is a relatively new business model in IT operation. Growth of the managed services market is estimated to increase 10 percent year-over-year through 2022, according to a Markets and Markets report published last fall. Now is a great time to get familiar with what managed services providers do for the businesses they serve. Now is also a good time to add MSP to your job search keywords.
What do managed services providers (MSPs) do?
Managed services providers offer and manage a service (or bundle of services) for a business on an on-going basis. Their services may be provided on site at the client’s establishment or offered remotely through cloud computing.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are choosing to work with MSPs because of the reliability and stability using cloud computing. Support is often available to clients of an MSP 24/7. Each business-to-business relationship has an agreement, which states what services are performed and how the two businesses will operate once the partnership is in place. Fees for the service may be paid on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
Think of an MSP as a subscription service providing day-to-day technical support for a business’ operations, cloud-based network, security monitoring, or management of their IT infrastructure.
Your experience is as valuable as your technical talent working for MSP
Employees of managed services providers work directly for the MSP and indirectly for clients. This means that interpersonal skills like customer service, honed from previous job experience (like prior interviewee Adam McCarty’s time in Hospitality) become particularly important. You are responsible for effectively communicating with stakeholders on both sides of the service agreement. In a more complex scenario, some employees of MSPs manage multiple client accounts. They must balance the expectations of each client, perform their technical work, and be transparent and communicative with everyone.
Two St. Petersburg College Titan alumni who are working for an MSP in different roles were interviewed about their work.
Khoi “Tiger” Chu, a 2016 SPC graduate, talked about his first six months working remotely for GuidePoint Security, LLC as a Virtual Security Operations Center (vSOC) Analyst.
And check out an earlier interview with Adam McCarty to learn more about his experience working on site for clients of his MSP employer, Lair Services, Inc.
Titan Alumni Interview, Tiger Chu: Why I chose to work for a Managed Services Provider
- SPC Graduate: Khoi “Tiger” Chu
- Employer: GuidePoint Security LLC
- Title: vSOC Analyst (virtual Security Operation Center)
- Length of Time in Position: Eight months
- Education: Associate in Science in Computer Networking, CCNA Certificate, SPC, December 2016
Tiger’s employer, GuidePoint Security LLC, runs high-availability virtual security operations centers and has team members available 24/7. When he chose to work there, the flexibility of having a remote position weighed heavily on his decision.
“For my job, as long as there is a reliable internet connection, I can work. I can stay more focused working from home and in my comfort zone. I only commute to the office when our clients are visiting,” Tiger said.
For those who crave flexibility in their schedule but are sick of the gig-economy, the emergence of managed services providers locally (many with benefits) could be the next best step.
How does Tiger stay connected with his managers, team members, and clients?
- “I use Slack to communicate with my team.”
- “Meet face-to-face weekly with our clients using Zoom video conferencing.”
Tiger also explained that large businesses are choosing MSPs as a cost-saving measure over hiring, training, and retaining, in-house cybersecurity staff.
A typical shift
- I monitor our security information and event management (SIEM) software for suspicious events.
- Validate the strange activity, then document and manage my incidents in our case management system.
- We use a ticketing system to report the incidents to our clients.
- He regularly answers questions his clients raise, and provides guidance to resolve their issues.
With small, medium, and large businesses choosing to invest in technical talent through managed services providers, your next search on a job board should include MSP.
Earn your CCNA and CompTIA Security+ Certifications Free at SPC
Students looking to position themselves for work with managed services providers can leverage their technology degree from SPC through earning industry certifications aligned with their coursework. The Carl D. Perkins IV Grant for Career and Technical Education will fund exam fees for high-performing students. With opportunities to earn credentials from CompTIA, Cisco, and EC-Council, and a private Pearson VUE authorized testing center, SPC makes taking the next step on your career path easier.
For more information on these certifications, contact Julia Meyer, Certification Testing Coordinator in the Career Connections department at SPC.