Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Implementing Managed Network Services in a Law Firm

The first step to implementing any new system is always onboarding. When bringing on an MSP (Managed Services Provider) you will need to deploy a monitoring and reporting management console. This will serve as a window into your business environment so that your network administrator can see and accumulate aggregate performance, security, connectivity and availability metrics, 24/7. For most MSPs, this will be as simple as a remote care application on each PC/Workstation that will allow them to manage all hardware and software assets from anywhere in the world at any time.

While we're on the subject of monitoring. Your new MSP will set up defined thresholds on each device and configure RT (real-time) alerts, notifications, and receipts. This system of alerts will notify them of current (and possible) issues, in many cases before you are aware they happening. These thresholds will also keep them up to date on the status of an issues remediation. 

A short period of time after setting up monitoring, the MSP will take the aggregated data, interpret it, and make recommendations to align your technology with your business needs. This can include anything from security vulnerabilities to licensing or compliance issues. They may suggest new hardware or software, and proper configurations, etc. This phase of assessment will serve as your primary alignment for proactive services and give you valuable insight into the state of tech at your firm. 

Your day to day technology management may be delivered to you in a variety of ways. Some activities will be automated. Any task your MSP is automating, such as preventative maintenance, data backups, virus scans and other updates will lower your costs and free up your MSPs resources to schedule other activities. For anything that is not being automated you should have 24/7 support from the help desk. Any member of your staff can pick up the phone and get immediate remote support. If the issue cannot be solved remotely then, a technician will get in their car and drive to you for onsite support. There are a few activities that require physical onsite support. Some companies, such as TaylorWorks, schedule a technician to be onsite once a month regardless of any issues to check up on the productivity of your network. This ensures that small issues are not being swept under the rug and everything is maintained properly. 

By this point in the process, your network, software and all related processes and integrations should be fully stabilized. So your MSP will now ensure continued stabilization and peak performance by delivering a full line of security services. These will prevent viruses, malware, spam and other malicious content. The services will include hardware and software firewall management as well as uniform antivirus and external spam filtration. Plus any other addition security protocol that may have been evaluated as needed for your business. From one end to the other all of your valuable IT-assets should be safe, secure and protected 365 days a year. 

MSPs perform system, bandwidth, equipment and traffic optimization to be sure that you are getting the best performance and comprehensive security during all hours. Therefore, they should be performing maintenance and continually be monitoring performance. Here at TaylorWorks you will have a dedicated VCIO meeting quarterly to go over personalized plans on optimizing your business's IT. 

The second to last step in your implementation has to be data backup. This ensures your entire network is backed up and rotated offsite. At TaylorWorks we do this using a Datto and optional cloud backup services. In the event of a data loss, comprehensive backup solutions will minimize damage, allowing data to be restored individually at the file level. Your MSP should be developing a custom disaster recovery plan for every level of breach. Whether it be a few misplaced emails, or an "Act of God".

Last but certainly not least, it's not good enough to simply tell you that an MSP is performing for you. We deliver custom monthly performance reports. These reports show you performance and security metrics and give you insight into your business' IT environment. Hand in hand with our VCIO they allow you to plan your next move. What gets measured, gets managed!


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