Speaking the Language: Key Managed IT Services Terms to Know

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Aug 4, 2021

"We’ll check with our MSP to find out if there is an API to integrate this RMM and PSM for better efficiency.” 

If you don't work in IT, chances are you may be scratching your head at the above sentence. Because, yes, IT professionals love their acronyms.

In fact, if you have ever looked for managed IT services for your business, you might have felt like you needed a translator to decipher potential options for managed IT services. But even though jargon can be frustrating for anyone that is unfamiliar, having this shared terminology also gives IT professionals the ability to accurately and efficiently reference complex technological concepts and solutions. To help bring you in the loop as well, we’ve listed some of the most common acronyms and key phrases that you’re likely to encounter when discussing potential managed IT solutions. Use this quick reference so that you can confidently collaborate with your managed service provider (MSP), and ask for exactly what you need.

What is a managed service provider (MSP) anyway?

Before we start, let's discuss the role of a managed service provider, or MSP. A managed service provider is typically a B2B IT professional team that provides—you guessed it—managed IT services, including IT security, technology vendor management, network design, software/hardware upgrades, or even daily IT operations. For many companies, outsourcing IT services is a no-brainer, increasing business efficiency, saving clients money, and keeping their networks and data more secure.

Most MSPs include services from other types of providers to offer a customized combination of solutions to clients. For example, Milner partners with several technology partners, including Barracuda, Lenovo, Aruba, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, RingCentral, WatchGuard, and Microsoft. 

Other common managed IT services acronyms, explained:

Anything as a Service (-aaS or XaaS): An "as a service" offering can refer to any technology service or product that is delivered through or using the cloud. You may be most familiar with many common Software as a Service (SaaS) applications like cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 or Amazon Web Services (AWS), both of which the operating environment is mostly irrelevant for the functionality of the application. There are also Platform as a Service (PaaS) apps that deliver a framework for software creation and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which are more customizable cloud infrastructure services. Milner even offers Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), or cloud-based, multi-modal communications services, to our clients. 

Application Programming Interface (API): Simply put, APIs connect programs to software systems, integrating multiple components of an IT workflow to function together. For example, when you pay for something on a retail website, there's often a payment platform like PayPal that is integrated or "plugged-in" to use without ever leaving the site.

Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR): This is a combination of processes that allow you to backup your data in the event that there is a disaster, attack, or failure, as well as recover and restores data and systems as quickly as possible. With the right BDR solutions, a business can avoid major technology disruptions and run more dependably.

Network Operations Center (NOC): Having a network operation center, means having a centralized location where IT teams monitor the status of networks and systems, often screening for cybersecurity threats and risks. Milner offers our clients 24/7/365 monitoring of your networks, for ultimate network and data security.

Private Branch eXchange (PBX): A PBX is a more traditional, hardware-based, business phone system that allows multiple lines, call routing, and other phone features like voicemail, to all happen simultaneously.

Professional Services Automation (PSA): Though “PSA” might most commonly refer to public service announcements, the acronym has a completely different meaning within the world of IT. A PSA is a type of software that helps manage or automate daily business processes, creating space for functions like customer service management, accounting software, or customer relationship management (CRM). 

Remote Monitoring Management (RMM): MSPs like Milner use remote monitoring technology to maintain clients' servers and systems from remote locations and create more automated system admin processes. This enables MSPs to serve a wider range of clients in different geographical regions, as well as increase IT efficiency for them.

Security Information Event Management (SIEM): Security Information Event Management utilizes both SIM and SEM technologies to pull and analyze data from apps and hardware to screen and report security threats. This also allows for the monitoring of systems in real-time so that network administrators are alerted to any issues, as well as to figure out how security events may have happened.

Security Operations Center (SOC): Your SOC is like your network's IT security detail, combing your systems for any indications of a security threat or attack. MSPs like Milner offer this service to keep clients protected from cybersecurity threats.

Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO): A vCIO, or an outsourced CIO, serves as a manager of a business's IT infrastructure, setup, operations, and planning. Yes, dedicated MSP experts serve as vCIOs for many companies that want cost-efficient ways to handle their technology needs. Learn more about how Milner's vCIO team can help your organization gain a competitive edge here.

Virtual Private Network (VPN): A virtual private network gives your business privacy online, through the creation of a private network, even when accessing a connection on a public network. A VPN ensures that your connection is secure and encrypted, making sure that sensitive data you access or share over an online connection is protected.

We'll speak your language: Managed services you can count on.

Whether you're a small business owner, an operations head, or an IT manager—Milner speaks your language.

Milner is the preferred MSP for a wide array of clients within the accounting, education, healthcare, non-profit, and other sectors. Our technology consultants will take the time to get to know your business and help you choose the right services and tech solutions to help your organization reach new heights.

If your organization is looking to improve productivity and cut expenses, we have managed IT service solutions that can help, request an assessment, or speak with one of our IT experts today.

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