Like many industries, the managed service and channel provider landscape has shifted considerably this year. As companies around the world continue to adopt remote operations at lightning speed, many have turned to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for assistance. The current economic and workplace conditions have reinforced the need for MSPs and the critical IT services they deliver. The post below outlines the role MSPs play in helping businesses adapt to new challenges.
A managed service provider is a company that remotely manages a customer’s IT infrastructure and/or end-user systems. This management typically takes place on a proactive basis and under a subscription model. Today, the terms “cloud service provider” and “managed service provider” are sometimes used synonymously when the provider’s service is supported by a service level agreement (SLA) and is delivered over the internet.
An MSP can replace a company’s IT department entirely or provide a single niche service. The industry is evolving to provide expertise to all points of the globe and makes cutting-edge technology available at a low price.
MSPs have played an important role in business continuity this year. A few issues MSPs have helped their customers address include:
- Remote network access. Virtual private networks (VPNs) are essential tools for allowing remote employees to safely connect to the company’s network. However, those who had never worked remotely might be unfamiliar with VPN technology. MSPs can provide guidance on installing and configuring VPN clients, as well as setting up authentication and permissions to safeguard data and identities.
- Conferencing and collaboration solutions. Team collaboration tools with integrated video and web conferencing capabilities have become a part of the everyday routine for many individuals in the workforce, allowing employees to connect and communicate with colleagues and customers who are also working from home. MSPs can help teams install and configure team collaboration software and stay connected whenever and wherever.
- Cloud support. Cloud resources are essential for enabling remote work, providing anytime/anywhere/any device access to key applications, services and storage. As with any new tool or applications, new teleworkers may be unfamiliar with many of the cloud-based applications their company has set up to use while working from home. MSPs can provide guidance on selecting, implementing and configuring cloud applications and services – as well as troubleshooting solutions if any speedbumps arise.
- Security. The increased dependence on software, applications and devices outside company control creates new attack surfaces. Remote workers may need guidance to ensure they are using good security practices from home and MSPs can help users install security software to ensure that application updates and patches are properly applied. They can also create and offer security training to help customers navigate and avoid potential traps by hackers.
Powering Messaging with Telecom APIs
In addition to providing these services, MSPs have an opportunity to separate themselves from the pack by offering on-demand messaging services to their customers.
On average, consumers send more text messages than emails every day. Further, the benefits of embedding real time communications features into business and consumer applications are being realized more and more. MSPs that can effectively take advantage of the opportunity to provide customers with messaging capabilities will see a positive impact to their bottom line. However, in order to offer messaging to their customers, MSPs should leverage telecom APIs.
For MSPs, APIs are the gateway to providing reliable, flexible and scalable voice and messaging solutions for customers. Utilizing APIs now will help to distinguish competitive advantage in the long run and will, in turn, provide business customers with advanced capabilities, which can result in enhanced engagement and customer satisfaction.
How can Flowroute help?
For MSPs who want to offer applications or services that incorporate text messaging, Flowroute’s Messaging API provides programmatic control to build intelligent SMS and MMS interactions into apps and services. With the Flowroute Messaging API, developers can enable SMS and MMS-based customer interactions using new or existing numbers, receive detailed usage records, customize routing, provision in real time and gain access to our SDK library. With Flowroute, you can unify your calling and messaging experience with one provider, one number and one API.
Flowroute’s SMS and MMS capabilities can easily be integrated into applications via an API to create seamless customer experiences that deliver intelligent, personalized text interactions. Flowroute customers can provision numbers on the fly, making it easy to create text-enabled long code or toll-free phone numbers through the Flowroute API or manage portal.