What Is An MCSP?
Your Guide to a Managed Communications Service Provider
Posted on August 13, 2022 by Fusion Connect
Managed Communications Providers (MCSPs) simplify the operation and management of a business’s communications, from telephony to collaborative tools to customer support.
Businesses look to MCSPs to solve the communications challenges they face on an ongoing basis. From collaboration to customer service, communication is the backbone of business processes. It deserves a level of attention to which many enterprises can’t afford to devote internal resources. By partnering with an MCSP, you can pick and choose from the best and latest technologies to solve specific problems. Or, find a complete solution to all your communication needs.
Often, the first step in managed communication solution is a hosted PBX. The next step might be to integrate the hosted PBX to Microsoft Teams. All this runs on top of your existing internet connections. Your MCSP is responsible for making sure that those technologies are working. They can also provide managed internet connections to minimize issues and reduce the number of vendors involved.
By doing so, you get the advantage of having a single vendor who is responsible for the entire environment. This limits the problem-solving issues and removes any finger-pointing responses when issues appear. You can move the entire communications stack to one vendor. This reduces your internal investment in the hardware, software, and technology proficiency necessary to keep your communications and collaboration tools up and running. This is the expertise you are getting when you partner with an MCSP.
Top Five MCSP Benefits
Selecting an MCSP addresses many of the challenges facing modern business communications. Simplified management, flexibility, and reduced costs are just a few of the most obvious benefits customers see.
MSP Expertise #5
With an MCSP, you can easily keep a lid on costs. Predictable expenditures on preferred features and upfront per seat pricing make your service contract easy to plan annual finances for. When you add additional services, you know up front the impact on your monthly billing making it easier to project budget expenses throughout your fiscal year.
MSP Expertise #4
With the MCSP responsible for your communications services, you have a single point of contact for any issues with any of the services that you are using the the MCSP provides. They will be using their expert to keep the services up and running so you don't have to. Redundancy and contracted levels of availability assure that a single service going down won’t cause a crisis across all of your communication services.
MSP Expertise #3
When you need to add new users, locations, capabilities, and applications, MCSPs make scaling as simple as a single phone call. You don’t have to deal with multiple vendors to do something as simple as adding new phones, new application seats, or new features to your existing environment.
MSP Expertise #2
You can simplify managing your collaboration, web conferencing, and business communication tools. Your MCSP will provide a web-based management portal which, in many cases, allows unified management of your various tools and applications. Administrators no longer need to remember multiple passwords to access the management components of the various tools and applications in use.
MSP Expertise #1
Access to New Technologies
It’s the MCSP’s responsibility to provide the competence in running your communications infrastructure. This includes staying up-to-date with the latest software upgrades, the newest advances in the technology, and being able to analyze the benefits of industry changes that can best serve their customers. Since the services are cloud-based, the MCSP also takes on the responsibility of assuring that the latest security updates and patches have been applied when the most recent versions of the software are available.
MCSP Technologies and Manufacturers
Building Future-proof Communications Solutions
While many MCSP adopters start with basics such as a hosted PBX, this naturally leads to other VoIP solutions. Building on this starting point, enterprises often adopt a unified communications platform. In many cases moving to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), where the business can make use of collaboration technologies such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex.
If a full UCaaS solution is not required, or if you already selected a UCaaS system that does not integrate with your hosted PBX solution, selecting an MCSP that can deliver calling services for Microsoft Teams. Integrating your Teams deployment with your hosted PBX, gives you most of the benefits of your hosted PBX environment when integrated with the Teams solution.
The right UCaaS solution will allow the integration of the hosted PBX solution with those collaborative tools. Avoiding additional investments in point solutions just for those applications. From the user perspective, the communication tools within Teams or Webex will simply work. Allowing staff to create the voice and video connections necessary to build their collaborative workspace. Or, simply maintain their normal business communications.
You will be able to deliver a full-featured cloud PBX while extending the reach of Microsoft Teams beyond the Microsoft ecosystem. And as the system is cloud-based, any user with internet access has access to all of the features.
Another technology that benefits from an MCSP deployment is the Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). A good CCaaS installation will give the business real-time visibility into how calls are being handled, and other key performance indicators, as well as reduce the cost per call for your business.
What Could an MCSP Do for You?
We asked 100 IT Professionals:
What could a Managed Communications Provider do for you?
With service offerings from virtual PBXs to complete UCaaS and CCaaS solutions, there is a broad range of capabilities available from your MCSP. Determining what you need to own and what is best served by your MCSP is part of the process of building that relationship.
49% would like an MCSP to manage communications tools and platforms
IT that is looking for control over collaborative tools and communications platforms will consider the MCSP as the single source for these capabilities, rather than the multiple point solutions providers they are currently using. With the benefits of dealing with a single provider and known costs, IT is better able to support their users and assure that the tools and applications connecting employees and customers are always available, without the need to commit additional internal IT resources and budget.
30% would like an MCSP to manage all communications, including UCaaS, CCaaS, Phones, and Internet
IT professionals who have studied the technology and business issues and understand why their businesses are best served by using an MCSP have done their homework and have determined which communications task absolutely need to remain in-house and the value of utilizing an MCSP to provide everything else.
21% would like an MCSP to manage lines and systems for phone and internet
Moving phone services to your MCSP is probably the most recognized task that IT considers when asked about MCSPs. Adding managed internet, with routing redundancies, failover, and dedicated connections between offices is a logical continuation of that thought process. But it’s also only a fraction of what your MCSP can offer. This is why you need to examine both your internal services and those that are available from your MCSP to determine where the various workloads belong.
MCSP for an Enterprise Business
Utilizing an MCSP is adopting a tool that can accelerate your digital transformation.
Enterprise businesses that encompass multiple locations, from remote offices to individual remote workers, can deliver the same communications and collaboration options to every user, regardless of location.
Simplifying the management of all of these services while getting much better control of the budget impact on IT makes this choice an obvious one for businesses that have done their homework. Using an MCSP to accomplish this allows internal IT to focus on other tasks that move the company’s digital transformation forward.
Business will be able to build an ecosystem of applications around the infrastructure of services provided by the MCSP to extract significant business value and free up resources. The MCSP will continue to deliver next-generation cloud-based capabilities with a constant stream of new features that the business can take advantage of. That offers the ability to expand the enterprise communications infrastructure at the pace the business requires with knowledge of what the future costs of expansion will be, from adding a single seat, to a collection of additional features and capabilities.
Freeing up resources, reducing or eliminating capital expenditures, and allowing internal IT budgets to be focused on business transformation and improvements. These are just a few of the benefits enterprise businesses gain from using an MCSP.
What is an MCSP?
An MCSP simplifies and improves business communications by addressing common business communication challenges. Internal resource constraints- such as budget, time, and technical know-how - are no longer impediments to business growth.
With a broad array of deployable technologies, from hosted PBX to managed internet access to UCaaS, an MCSP becomes a trusted partner and an extension of your internal IT resources. IT management can take a step back, evaluate priorities, determine where workloads need to reside, and build the strongest, most effective infrastructure possible.
The advantages of an MCSP are clear. Regardless of whether the employee base is in remote or hybrid office environments. With staff and projects in central office locations, remote offices, or individual workers accessing corporate resources remotely. Each of the available resources from an MCSP can make a noticeable impact on your bottom line. But, you realize the real value of the partnership when your MCSP consolidates, delivers, and manages all the products together.
Enterprise or mid-market, an MCSP expands your IT team’s capabilities and resources. Freeing those internal resources to work on growing your business. The MCSP will have the experience to quickly solve problems, propose solutions, and provide the knowledge necessary to grow your business and expand operations. All at a fraction of the cost of building these resources internally.
Why would a Managed Service Provider (MSP) also have a standalone MCSP offering?
The Managed Communications component of a Managed Service Provider gives the MSP a service that specializes in communications - a critical business function. Not all businesses are ready for - or, appropriate for - a full MSP experience. The ability to compartmentalize the offerings and develop specific areas of proficiency, means the MSP is able to deliver a top-tier communications solutions.
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