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Guide to Managed Network Services: What You Need to Know

What is managed network services

Managing your network infrastructure can be challenging and resource-intensive. A managed network services provider simplifies these challenges by handling various aspects of your business’s network operations, from routine maintenance to advanced security. This enables your company to offload tasks such as network management, operations, upgrades, and troubleshooting to experts, while also ensuring that IT failures don’t disrupt your business operations.

Even without in-house IT experts, your business can still leverage best-in-class technology. Another benefit of working with a managed network service provider is their knowledge of the constantly evolving landscape of communications and network technology. They bring this knowledge and expertise to the companies they serve, allowing them to benefit from the latest innovations.

In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of managed network services. Discover why your business should work with a network service provider and how such a partnership can help you reduce overall costs, create a best-in-class network infrastructure, and mitigate cyber threats.

What is Managed Network Services?

Even companies with an IT staff are increasingly turning to managed network services. Given the rapid evolution of technology and the corresponding rise in cyber threats, nobody wants to be caught “network down.” When it comes to protecting your network, managed services are essential.

A managed network service provider maintains your systems with 24/7 updates and round-the-clock vigilance. Leveraging these service providers brings a team of experts specialized in various areas of IT management. They also utilize tools like AI to fortify networks and enhance customer service. If IT is the backbone of your business, managed network support is the reinforcement it needs to thrive.

Key Components of Managed Network Services Solutions

While many people associate network services primarily with the network itself, several other components work together to enhance your managed network infrastructure. Let’s explore these components in more detail.

Network Monitoring and Management

In industries like healthcare, banking, and government, networks often handle vast amounts of essential data, requiring robust management systems. If your company has high data traffic, managed network support is critical to ensure reliable and high-performing operations.

Providers offer continuous visibility to the managed network infrastructure by monitoring performance metrics, vulnerabilities, security logs, and more. They proactively anticipate and address threats to connectivity and assess suspicious traffic.

Security Services

Cybersecurity concerns continue to increase, with the manufacturing, finance, and insurance industries as the top targets. That’s why you need an ultra-secure network that helps reduce the risk of a breach.

A secure network perimeter can prevent a data breach or system outage, which could result in lost revenue, legal issues, and reputation damage. However, maintaining strong security requires specialized knowledge, tools, and ongoing monitoring that most small-to-medium enterprises lack in-house.

Working with industry experts who offer managed IT network services allows your business to operate smoothly while maintaining appropriate levels of risk management. For example,  security experts can implement strong firewall management with 24/7 attention and expertise, and also ensure you have reliable backup data.

Cloud Services Integration

As businesses continue relying on cloud-based applications for network management, service providers specializing in managed network services can assist them in integrating cloud services into their IT infrastructure.

A managed network service provider ensures that the WAN and internet connections between the company network and various cloud platforms run smoothly. They also monitor the network to identify and address any cloud-based issues, ensuring that performance and compliance needs are met. Meanwhile, your IT team can focus on other critical tasks instead of network upkeep related to cloud services integration.

Data Backup and Recovery

So, how do managed network services play a role in data backup and recovery? A network service provider implements a comprehensive solution that not only automatically backs up all critical data and systems but also conducts regular test restores to ensure the integrity of the backup files. Despite many companies addressing the possibility of data loss, the reality is that human error, power outages, and natural disasters can often lead to the loss of sensitive information.

Additionally, data can become missing or corrupted due to security breaches, hardware failures, or accidental deletion. In such cases, the service provider swiftly restores the missing data from the most recent backups, minimizing downtime and data loss.

Performance Management and Optimization

Being on top of your performance management also keeps you ahead of the competition. With managed services, network issues become a thing of the past. Managed service providers continuously optimize performance by analyzing bandwidth usage, traffic patterns, latency, and uptime. For instance, during anticipated congestion or slowdowns, they make strategic adjustments such as prioritizing critical traffic or increasing bandwidth capacity.

Network optimization ensures smooth operations for resource-intensive applications and delivers a seamless user experience. Managed network services providers monitor video, critical voice, and data applications and send performance alerts to your IT staff, helping them stay informed and responsive.

Network Device Configuration

Every business seeks a speedy network to enhance the customer experience and boost profits. You can enjoy streamlined and stable traffic with the right network device configuration. Outsourcing to managed IT network services ensures that devices such as routers, switches, firewalls, and access points are correctly configured to function securely and efficiently. Managed network support centrally manages all network devices in accordance with best practices, security policies, and the latest software updates.

Remote Access Services

For businesses using connected devices across different locations, quick response times are essential to streamline operations and boost productivity. A managed network service provider is invaluable for designing and maintaining a personalized remote access solution tailored to your specific needs. They provide all necessary hardware, software, and connectivity options, such as VPNs and multifactor authentication, without requiring you to invest in remote infrastructure and technical expertise.

For instance, an IoT Single SIM can enable connectivity anywhere in the world through the most extensive global communications networks, allowing remote access to IoT devices regardless of their location.

VoIP Services

Managed network vendors are critical in upgrading your telecom-managed network infrastructure to offer more cost-efficient and feature-rich services. A provider installs, configures, and maintains your business’s VoIP system, ensuring voice-optimized network infrastructure for high-quality calling. Additionally, the provider continuously monitors call quality and network performance to quickly address any issues that arise.

POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) Transformation

As carriers continue to retire their copper POTS lines, businesses are moving from legacy analog systems to modern digital solutions. However, POTS line replacement and network upgrades can be complex and typically require specialized expertise. Outsourcing managed network support can significantly simplify transitioning from traditional POTS lines to more modern voice services. The network support team will design and implement the new voice network infrastructure to support cloud-based POTS replacement.

Managed Wi-Fi

Managed Wi-Fi significantly reduces downtime and operational costs while enhancing customer satisfaction. By outsourcing to an expert provider, businesses ensure their network is optimized for high performance and robust security. Providers design, install, and maintain the wireless infrastructure using the latest access point technology and configure secure authentication, encryption, and guest access capabilities.

Additionally, they continuously monitor network usage to detect potential threats, weaknesses, or performance issues. In an ever-evolving business environment, an equally high-speed and reliable network is crucial.

Wireless and Mobility Services

What is managed network services’ role in ensuring wireless and mobility services? A managed network provider maximizes the benefits of wireless connectivity and mobility by designing and deploying a scalable wireless infrastructure. They manage centralized monitoring and management of access points, switches, and controllers to ensure optimal Wi-Fi performance across various locations. The availability of remote troubleshooting and round-the-clock support relieves your internal IT staff from the burden of maintenance, allowing them to focus on other strategic areas.


6 Benefits of Working with a Managed Network Service Provider

Focusing on your core operations, including the crucial aspect of network infrastructure management, is essential to stand out and be among the businesses that succeed in the long run.

So, what is managed network services’ role in helping you maintain that focus and drive your business forward? What are the benefits of working with a managed network service provider over independently maintaining your managed network infrastructure?

Partnering with experienced providers can offer major advantages:

1. Reduce IT Costs

Utilizing managed IT network services significantly lowers overall technology expenditures. Providers take on financial responsibilities for equipment purchases, software licensing, maintenance, and staffing support. This approach eliminates the need for upfront capital investment. It reduces the ongoing costs associated with employing full-time network personnel, often at a fraction of the cost of maintaining an in-house IT department.

2. Focus on Business Operations

Outsourcing daily network management responsibilities frees your internal IT staff to focus on strategic initiatives supporting revenue growth and enhancing customer outcomes. Your IT team can shift from handling break/fix issues and routine maintenance to exploring innovative technologies.

3. Scale as You Grow

Unlike traditional capital-intensive network expansions, managed networks provide dynamic scaling of bandwidth and resources through a flexible consumption model. This allows your network infrastructure to adapt rapidly to changing business needs without major overhauls, ensuring you remain agile and future-ready.

4. Ensure Regulatory Compliance

No company should suffer financial losses due to non-compliance issues. The good news? Providers track policy changes on a global scale. They efficiently update systems, implement controls, and conduct audits to ensure infrastructure meets all requirements. Leveraging their expertise removes the burden of compliance, which can be complex due to stringent data privacy, security, and documentation regulations.

5. Gain Peace of Mind from Proactive Support

Having a dedicated team managing your network infrastructure minimizes potential issues, security vulnerabilities, and performance glitches. Providers can proactively identify and address concerns before they lead to disruptive outages, giving you the assurance that expert assistance is always available.

6. Improve Network Reliability

Managed network services ensure constant vigilance over network security, which can be challenging for internal IT teams. Providers employ full-time security analysts who utilize AI and machine learning to deliver insights that surpass the capabilities of most internal teams. With robust network integration, firewalls, and regular audits, these services significantly enhance security defenses. Moreover, through managed services, access to advanced technologies such as SD-WAN and the latest in 4G LTE and 5G networks guarantees scalability and exceptional application performance.

7. Optimize Communications

Outsourcing to a vendor with a proven track record in SD-WAN can significantly optimize your communications, creating a superhighway for your data. This technology not only enhances your network’s efficiency and reliability but also dynamically manages network traffic. It does this by intelligently routing data across the most efficient paths and automatically adjusting to bandwidth demands and network conditions. This results in faster, more secure, and resilient data transfers across multiple locations, ensuring optimal performance even during peak times.

Make the Transformation with MetTel

Managed network services are essential for any business aiming to scale effectively. With the right solutions, you can achieve optimized network performance through centralized visibility and analytics on traffic, bandwidth utilization, threats, and more. These technologies and intelligent process automation significantly speed up incident resolution.

MetTel is recognized by Gartner as a Leader in their Magic Quadrant for Managed Network Services. In addition, Gartner acknowledges MetTel for the following strengths: Network Automation; Intelligent Process Automation; Customer Satisfaction; Security; SD-WAN; Federal Government; POTS Transformation; and Mobility. Contact us if you have any questions about the benefits of managed network services and if you would like to explore communications and network innovations.

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