MSPs or Managed Solutions Providers are companies that endeavor to provide IT services to small and medium sized companies who’s industry is not IT.  At its inception, it was a good idea, IT is never good for a company’s bottom line.  It’s expensive and not revenue producing.  So if a small company can outsource their IT services to an organization who specializes in that (and in theory can do it more efficiently and economically!) then who loses?  But that isn’t the way most MSPs operate.

Like with any company, an MSP has to operate with profit in mind.  They have to provide a level of service that brings value to their customer without breaking the bank, and there’s a fine line between those two.

At its inception, intentions are noble and people are idealistic.  Everyone is willing to give a little more and try a little harder and the relationship works well.  But eventually the MSP starts seeing that they can reduce cost here or there.  They seek to “increase productivity” by requiring employees to be on the phone from the moment they arrive till the moment they leave.  They grow in size and bring on more customers without increasing staff which in lost productivity because of employee burn out and turnover.

With additional customers loyalty becomes divided.  Larger higher paying customer will  get more attention than smaller ones, which can lead to the companies not getting the attention they require to run their own business well.

As MSPs compete with one another there is no cohesion among them, no sort of standard, and little consistency.   This makes it difficult for the small business owner to know which MSP to use when they’re opening their business and need IT help and support.  Companies would do well to have their own IT staff, even if it’s a single person, who can tailor solutions to the business and won’t also be working for competitors instead of an MSP who is trying to make money based off their need, and do so while spending as little of their own money as they can by providing cookie cutter solutions to unique businesses.