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what is managed services

Managed services is the practice of outsourcing the management of business processes and resources in order to cut costs, increase performance and reliability, access hard-to-find skills, or accomplish other strategic goals.

In modern IT, there are two types of managed services: IT services and application support. IT managed servicesact as the bridge between the IT infrastructure and workforce. Application support works on the backend to maintain and administer the IT infrastructure. Depending on what is managed, services usually include some degree of infrastructure as well, such as cloud hosting or networking.

Expert Insight: Nick McCall, Basis Consultant

IT Managed services descend from the “break-fix” solutions of the early computer era. In the past, companies would hire third-party providers to inspect their systems for faults at regular intervals, and come in for emergency managed services calls if something failed.

Over time, a number of business and technology advances led to the adoption of a more comprehensive and proactive managed services model. On the business end, there was a growing competitive drive to cut costs and focus on core over context tasks.

Even more important, however, was an increasing reliance on IT. Companies could no longer afford to wait for the technician to come in and fix a broken server or get the network running again — the productivity costs were too great.

Technology continues to become more complex and specialized, increasing the competitive advantages of managed IT services and application support. Technological developments like automation, virtualization and self-service provisioning had more companies moving to the cloud and outsourcing a greater range of positions.

What is Managed Services — IT Services

IT services help companies make use of their landscapes and handle the connection between the internal network and the outside world. These include:

  • Incident resolution services, such as help desk and mobile support
  • Business support services, like new employee onboarding
  • Infrastructure services, like network support

What is Managed Services – Application Support

Application Support helps companies install, run, maintain and upgrade the complex or mission-critical applications they rely on. These services include day-to-day software administration, monitoring and upgrades. For example, SAP Basis support staff or a team migrating your ERP from on-premises hosting to the cloud.

What is Managed Services – IaaS Enablement in the Managed Cloud

Many types of managed services come with IaaS enablements, allowing companies to package support with hosting. Companies can pick from a range of managed service models, ranging from hyperscale clouds designed with developers in mind, to managed application providers who specialize in running mission-critical production environments in a custom-built managed private cloud. Organizations can also divide outsourcing between multiple providers, or use managed services for staff augmentation in a few critical areas.

However, in practice the level of service available is limited by the managed services model. Companies opting to have an ERP services provider without hosting competencies will not receive the same level of application support. This can complicate day-to-day monitoring and administration as well as upgrades, and reduce the benefits of working with MSPs in the first place.

Working with a managed application provider is the ideal solution for demanding production environments, such as SAP. As your SAP partner, Symmetry can oversee your entire enterprise landscape, from upgrades and migrations, to security and compliance monitoring, to day-to-day administration.

We also provide flexible support for companies who wish to supplement in-house talent with outside expertise, or just need occasional support when workers are sick or on vacation. If a worker retires or leaves, this can mean the difference between a frantic search for someone to keep the system running, and an easy, disruption-free transition.

Contact us to learn what our managed services can do for your organization.

Nick McCall, Senior Basis Consultant

Nick McCall is a Senior Basis Consultant on Symmetry's consulting team, delivering expert technical day to day system monitoring support directly to Symmetry’s valued SAP customers. Nick goes beyond performing daily database administration by also providing SAP system troubleshooting and problem solving – he is always willing to learn the latest SAP trends and advises customers to take advantage of new technologies should it fit their business needs. He pairs his sound technical knowledge with outstanding customer service. This is demonstration by his work on large customer project initiatives, most recently working on: S/4HANA 1809/1709/1610, Fiori FES 5.0, AWS/Azure implementation, SLT, BOBJ/BODS, Solution Manager full implementations and configurations, domain migrations – homogeneous, database upgrades, compressions, reorgs, and much more. Nick’s skilled approach ensures Symmetry’s clients receive highly disciplined support instilled with industry best practices to keep their SAP system continuously running smoothly.