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 A Manage Service Provider Primer

A Manage Service Provider Primer

We’re often asked what is a managed service provider? How is it going to help my startup business, or get my existing business to the next level?

IT is important, but how is a managed service provider going to solve my technology issues?

Let’s discuss a common misunderstanding with the difference between someone who’s an IT professional and a managed service provider.

Difference Between an MSP and an IT Professional

An IT professional who’s hired for a service, has a defined scope of work. That book of work is usually a single IT service or support event. The professional goes in, does what he needs to do, and then vanishes into thin air. Maybe or maybe not seen again. He or she is proficient and has an expertise, but that expertise pertains to a set of skills that’s specific to the task at hand.

An MSP is an altogether different service and a different ask. As service provider, as is, The Selenium Group, is a complete full-service and comprehensive IT solution. Its services are designed for long-term benefits and partners with the business to facilitate the businesses goals and success.


Cost is going to be relative to the services that your business needs. That need is going to vary. That being said, most experienced and reputable IT service providers are going to provide you a service at a fixed cost per month. So as a business you can manage costs effectively.

A paid by the hour IT service is never a good idea. It certainly doesn’t benefit a business in any way. An IT professional will probably go by this hourly rate. So keep that in mind.

An MSP’s process of billing is going to be, as is the case with Selenium, will be based on the number of users you have in your organization as well as based on the number of IT services in your service portfolio.

Selenium services the local Toronto business area with over 100 distinct IT services in the IT service portfolio. Too many to generically give an exact cost per user. There is however a set of core services that is provided.

Core Services Of An MSP

Not all MSPs are the same. Something to consider when you’re doing your search. Many providers will include the basic, including;

  1. IT Help Desk
  2. Desktop Support
  3. Remote Support
  4. Onsite Support
  5. Network Support
  6. Mobile Support
  7. Printer Support
  8. Application Support
  9. Installation Services
  10. Server Support (File Server)
  11. Maintenance
  12. IT Consultation

For a few of those services, such as onsite and IT consultation, additional fees may apply depending on the ask.

The industry that an IT service company is managing, can have an impact on the base set of technology services that are provided.

Our core services are geared towards IT services for private wealth management companies, and law firm IT services. With that, here is a list of added features that we add to our service level agreements.

  1. Cyber security monitoring
  2. Cyber security troubleshooting, alerting, and service hardening
  3. Risk Assessment (high-level)
  4. BCP, DR, and IRP plans (Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Incident Response plan).
  5. Pen Testing (high-level)
  6. Vulnerability Testing
  7. Vendor Management
  8. Patch Management
  9. Change Management
  10. Problem Management
  11. Projects
  12. Infrastructure monitoring and reporting
  13. Procurement and Strategic Sourcing
  14. Third-Party Due Diligence Services
  15. Server Support (any and all servers)
  16. Phishing Testing
  17. Cyber security training one-on-one

As well as a few more incidentals.

IT Consultation

This is the real benefit to a business. If your service provider has years of experience, the value you can get from consulting with your provider can be enormous.

Selenium has been providing IT consultation services in the GTA for over 20 years. In that, we have worked on and with a huge variety of business types, services, and IT business requirements. From small business with a few staff, to managing a security firm with over 700 employees.

You’re always going to get better results utilizing a firm with more experience. If your IT service company has 3 to 5 years’ experience. They’ve not even gotten their feet wet in the business. In this case, the more experience the better.

How To Tell If Your MSP is an MSP

There are plenty of IT server companies, that claim they’re Managed Service Providers. They’re not always an MSP.

The best way to distinguish between the ones that say they are, and the ones that are, is to look at their service portfolio.

If their services don’t include the added 12 services that are noted above, or something similar, then they’re not.

Think of an MSP as an IT superstore. Whereas an IT company that provides IT services, is like a variety store. They have the necessities but you’re not going to do your shopping full time at the 7/11.

There is no point to having more than one IT services managing your business. That is a disaster waiting to happen. As an MSP, we won’t share IT responsibilities with anyone. Realistically you can’t. You can’t have two drivers, driving the same vehicle, it just doesn’t work.

If you would like more information on our service portfolio, please contact us at your convenience.

Be careful when choosing an MSP. Choose quality, and experience.

The Selenium Group Team

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