Unlike the past decade when IT services were ancillary functions in an enterprise, IT services today are mission-critical contributors to your core operations. Thanks to the Information Age and 4th Industrial Revolution, predictive analytics and data-driven decision-making have taken over from rear-view reporting, and IT services are central to both of these functions.
Managed services solved many challenges that enterprises faced in running their IT and data infrastructure. However, it came at a cost – having multiple contracted helpers who must work together to run a seamless enterprise. Considering the complexity of current business environments, this has become a headache for many companies, hence the need for integrated IT management services.
Who Are Integrated Service Providers?
Integrated IT service providers are contracted vendors who offer most or all of the IT services that an enterprise needs. For example, the company may offer Telecom and Business phone services, cloud services, internet and connectivity management, and IT and network management under one roof.
In this scenario, the business entrusts all its IT and related functions to one service providers, and they handle any phone, hardware, software, or networking issues in the company.
A Case for Integrated Service Providers
Every company today – even those with internal IT departments – will need to outsource some of their IT functions. Using fewer service providers offers the following benefits:
- Seamless integration of software and hardware
- Greater accountability and faster response times to arising problems
- Greater flexibility and scalability in response to changing enterprise needs
- Greater privacy and security with fewer vendors accessing company data
If you have run into any of the following issues, it’s time to think about integrating your IT and telecom services:
Difficult Growth or Scaling
Managing several providers presents a challenge when the company outgrows (or needs to downgrade) its present IT deployments. The business must negotiate with each provider separately and then ensure no gaps (or costly overlaps) exist in the new deployments.
Arduous Management of Distributed Teams
Following the pandemic, many companies are still maintaining partial or entire distributed teams. Such companies heavily rely on cloud deployments and VoIP services to power company operations. It is easier when your IT, data and telecom services come from the same provider, especially when managing a distributed workforce.
Lack of Resources
Managed IT services have put IT hardware and software services within the reach of small and mid-sized companies who could not afford skilled IT workers or the purchase costs of enterprise software. Such businesses can make even greater savings by having the same vendor offering IT management services. Not only can they get discounts, but they also decrease administrative levies that come with multiple vendors.
Downtimes and Slow Response to Arising Issues
In case of network, software, or other system failures, your IT service provider should jump in quickly to prevent interruptions to your business. However, because they have different scopes, you may have to liaise with several service providers before finding a solution. This is difficult and takes time, and during this time you are losing employee productivity and revenue.
Security and Privacy
Cybersecurity is at the forefront of any managed IT service provider’s mind. However, as the provider only has control over their own systems, it becomes more complex to secure your entire business environment.
However, when you have an integrated provider in charge of all your systems, you limit the number of third-parties with access to company systems and that vendor can secure your entire IT environment with ease.
What to Look for in an Integrated IT and Telecom Service Provider
There are many IT management vendors and service providers, and not all of them will be suitable for your business. These are the most important qualities and proficiencies to look for in an integrated service provider:
Transparency in Packages and Pricing
The provider should have a pricing catalog that enumerates all their offerings and packages. You should receive 24/7 support, maintenance support, deployment and staff training support, and clear pricing for add-on services.
An integrated service provider is only useful if their offerings are compatible with the systems your company already knows and runs. In this regard, it is more helpful to extend the scope of an existing vendor on your roster, e.g. adding telecom services to your IT management vendor or vice versa. Of course, this is subject to your satisfaction with the services they already offer.
Excellent Support and Service
IT managed services are selling a service as well as products, and so, apart from technical proficiency, the vendor must have a stellar service record. Consider also that this vendor can access your most sensitive data. Therefore, they must have glowing references and reviews from existing customers. Apart from that, ask about their security plans and how they deal with breaches when they occur.
Integrated IT Services: The Future of IT Service Provision
The truth is that many enterprises, particularly small to mid-sized enterprises, cannot afford to maintain a dedicated in-house IT team. The modern workplace needs tens to hundreds of tools and proficiencies beyond the skillset of a small IT department, which is how managed IT services became popular.
If you’re thinking about integrating your IT and telecom services to a one-stop shop, consider IT Voice. We offer the entire breath of IT, Communications, and Network management solutions and support. You can trust us to deliver robust and seamless service to power your business operations.
Contact us today to learn more about our integrated IT and telecom services.