10 Things to Consider When Looking for an MSP

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10 Things to Consider When Looking for a Managed Service Provider

As we outline the ten key considerations when looking for an MSP, remember that your choice will have far-reaching consequences. Your MSP will become a trusted partner, helping you navigate the ever-evolving IT landscape. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully evaluate your options to ensure you find an MSP that aligns with your business objectives, budget, and long-term goals. This blog briefly discusses 10 Things to Consider When Looking for an MSP.

 

1. Experience and Expertise

When considering an MSP, one of the most critical factors to assess is their experience in the industry. MSPs with a proven track record have likely encountered and successfully resolved many IT challenges. This experience can be invaluable in ensuring the stability and security of your IT environment.

Experienced MSPs have the knowledge and insights to anticipate potential issues, implement best practices, and provide proactive solutions. Their familiarity with different industries and technologies equips them to tailor their services to meet your specific needs, ultimately reducing downtime and increasing operational efficiency.

In addition to general experience, consider the expertise an MSP brings. Some MSPs specialize in specific technologies or industries, such as healthcare, finance, or legal services. Choosing an MSP with expertise in your particular field can be a game-changer.

 

2. Service Offerings

Managed Service Providers offer a wide range of services to meet the diverse needs of businesses. These services can include but are not limited to:

  • Network Management: Monitoring, maintaining, and optimizing your network infrastructure.
  • Cybersecurity: Protecting your data and systems from cyber threats.
  • Cloud Services: Managing and optimizing cloud solutions, such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.
  • Data Backup and Recovery: Ensuring data integrity and providing recovery solutions.
  • Help Desk Support: Offering responsive support for end-users and troubleshooting.
  • Infrastructure Management: Maintaining servers, hardware, and software.
  • Vendor Management: Coordinating with third-party vendors for seamless IT operations.

It’s essential to evaluate an MSP’s service offerings in the context of your specific business needs. An ideal MSP should not only offer the services you require but also be flexible in tailoring their solutions to your unique demands.

 

3. Scalability

Scalability is a vital factor when selecting an MSP. Your business will likely evolve and expand, and your IT needs will change accordingly. An MSP that can scale with your growth is crucial to ensure a seamless transition and continued support.

When an MSP can adapt its services to accommodate your expanding infrastructure and user base, you avoid the hassle of frequently switching providers. This long-term partnership enables consistency and a deep understanding of your organization’s IT requirements.

 

4. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are a critical aspect of any MSP contract. They are formal, written commitments that outline the specific services an MSP will provide, as well as the performance standards and expectations. SLAs ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of the services to be delivered and the quality of service to be expected.

The importance of SLAs in MSP contracts cannot be overstated. They provide a framework for accountability and transparency, helping to define the responsibilities of the MSP and set the expectations for your business. Without clear SLAs, it can be challenging to hold the MSP accountable for meeting your IT needs.

 

5. Security and Compliance

In today’s digital landscape, cybersecurity and compliance are paramount concerns for businesses of all sizes. Emphasize the significance of these aspects when evaluating an MSP. The MSP you choose should have robust security measures to protect your data and systems from evolving threats.

Additionally, compliance with industry regulations and standards is non-negotiable for certain businesses, such as healthcare or finance. Your MSP should demonstrate a clear understanding of these requirements and offer solutions that ensure your organization remains compliant.

An MSP should provide a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity and compliance. This includes regular security audits, threat monitoring, data encryption, and employee training to prevent security breaches. They should also be well-versed in industry-specific regulations and be able to implement processes and technologies to maintain compliance.

 

10-Things-to-Consider-When-Looking-for-an-MSP-Middle6. Customer Support and Communication

Responsive and effective customer support is fundamental when working with an MSP. Your IT needs may sometimes require assistance, and a lack of timely support can result in downtime and productivity losses. Highlight the importance of having a reliable support system in place.

A critical aspect of customer support is the communication channels available to you, and the response times you can expect. Discuss with potential MSPs how they handle support requests, including whether they offer 24/7 support and the methods for contacting them, such as phone, email, or ticketing systems. Understanding their response times for different issues is essential for evaluating their commitment to providing excellent customer support.

 

7. Pricing and Contracts

Managed Service Providers often employ various pricing models, and understanding these models is essential for making an informed decision. Standard pricing models include:

  • Fixed Fee: A set monthly or yearly fee for a predefined set of services.
  • Per-User or Per-Device: Paying based on the number of users or devices being managed.
  • Tiered Pricing: Offering different service levels with associated costs.
  • Pay-as-You-Go: Paying only for the services you use.

When entering into a contract with an MSP, transparency is critical. Clear and transparent contracts should outline all services covered, pricing structures, any potential extra charges, and the duration of the agreement. This transparency ensures both parties have a common understanding of the terms and expectations.

A well-defined contract protects your interests and avoids unexpected costs down the line. It also sets the foundation for a successful collaborative partnership.

 

8. Automation and New-age Technologies

The adoption of automation and new-age technologies is at the forefront of this transformation, offering businesses unparalleled advantages in terms of efficiency, cost savings, and staying current with IT trends.

MSPs that embrace automation understand the value of streamlining routine tasks, reducing manual labor, and enhancing efficiency. Automation tools can monitor your IT infrastructure 24/7, identify issues in real-time, and respond promptly, often before you notice a problem. This proactive approach not only minimizes downtime but also prevents potential disruptions to your business operations.

But it doesn’t stop at automation. Forward-thinking MSPs also harness innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and predictive analytics. These technologies provide several benefits.

Choosing an MSP that stays on the cutting edge of automation and new-age technologies ensures that your IT infrastructure remains agile, responsive, and in tune with the latest trends in the industry. This can be a significant competitive advantage, as it allows your business to adapt quickly to changing technology landscapes and remain efficient in an ever-evolving market.

 

9. Customization to Meet Your Unique Needs

Every business is unique, with its challenges, goals, and IT requirements. While some MSPs offer standard, off-the-shelf services, these may not fully meet the specific needs of your organization. That’s where the importance of customization comes into play.

A reliable MSP should be willing and able to tailor their offerings to suit your needs, aligning their services with your business goals. Customization is crucial because it ensures that the solutions provided by the MSP align closely with your specific challenges and objectives.

Customization ensures that you receive the maximum value from your MSP partnership, as the solutions provided are precisely designed to address your organization’s distinct needs and challenges.

 

10. Inquire About Response Times

When technology issues arise, prompt and effective responses are essential for minimizing downtime, ensuring business continuity, and resolving problems swiftly.

When evaluating potential MSP partners, don’t hesitate to ask questions about response times and the processes in place to address support requests. A reliable MSP should provide clear commitments on response times, typically outlined in their Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

By inquiring about response times, you can ensure that the MSP you choose has a support structure in place that aligns with your business’s need for quick issue resolution. This proactive approach to support can significantly reduce the impact of IT disruptions and ensure your operations run smoothly.

 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a pivotal decision for any organization. From assessing an MSP’s experience and expertise to examining service offerings, SLAs, security, and responsiveness, each factor plays a crucial role in determining the success of your MSP partnership.

Remember that the right MSP should not just meet your current IT needs but also have the flexibility and vision to support your growth and evolving technology requirements.

Protected Harbor is a top-choice Managed Service Provider in the US that checks all the boxes we’ve discussed. Their comprehensive approach to managed services includes the above.

If you’re ready to explore how Protected Harbor can be your trusted MSP partner, we encourage you to reach out for more information. Get a free IT Audit, discuss your needs, and discover how they can help your business thrive in the digital age.

Remember, the right MSP can be a game-changer for your organization, so don’t hesitate to take that first step towards enhancing your IT infrastructure and achieving your business goals.

5 Trends that Will Drive the MSP Market in 2023

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5 Trends that Will Drive the MSP Market in 2023

The managed services market is quickly becoming a significant player in the IT industry. It is estimated to reach $257 billion by 2023 and is projected to have a compound annual growth rate of 10.2%. With this growth comes the need for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to stay up to date with the latest trends in the industry. In this blog, we will discuss the five trends that will drive the MSP market in 2023.

 

Introduction to MSPs and the Managed Services Market

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) provide IT services and support to businesses. These services range from data backup and recovery to network security and monitoring. MSPs often act as an extension of a company’s IT department, taking on the responsibility of managing day-to-day IT operations.

The managed services market is rapidly growing as more businesses are looking to outsource their IT services to MSPs. Several factors drive this growth, including the increasing demand for IT services, the growing cloud computing market, and the increasing focus on cybersecurity.

 

What Are the Top Managed Services Market Trends?

The managed services market is constantly evolving, and several trends are driving its growth. Let’s take a look at the top trends for the year 2023.

 

The Rise of Automation in the Managed Services Market

The rise of automation in the managed services market is one of the most significant trends. Automation allows MSPs to automate repetitive tasks, freeing their staff to focus on more complex projects. Automation also reduces costs and improves efficiency, as companies no longer need additional personnel to manage these tasks.

Automation is also becoming increasingly popular in the managed services market because it provides more accurate results. By automating processes, MSPs can guarantee more consistent and reliable results. This increases customer satisfaction, as MSPs can provide services more quickly and efficiently.

Finally, many MSPs are turning to automation to provide better customer service. By automating specific tasks, MSPs can reduce the time it takes to provide customer support. This allows them to focus more on providing personalized customer service, which leads to increased customer satisfaction.

 

The Impact of Connected and Intelligent Technologies on the MSP Industry

Connected and intelligent technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming the managed services market. MSPs use these technologies to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and provide better customer service.

MSPs are using AI to automate processes, allowing them to provide more accurate results in less time. AI can also analyze data, allowing MSPs to identify trends and optimize their services.

MSPs are also using the IoT to monitor their clients’ networks and identify potential issues before they become a problem. This allows MSPs to provide proactive support and reduce downtime, leading to increased customer satisfaction.

 

5-Trends-that-Will-Drive-the-MSP-Market-in-2023-Middle-Cloud-based Solutions are Becoming Increasingly Popular in the Managed Services Market

These solutions allow MSPs to store data securely and cost-effectively and provide access to services from any device at any time.

Cloud-based solutions also offer MSPs scalability, allowing them to expand their services as their clients’ needs change quickly. This is especially important for MSPs that serve small and medium-sized businesses, as it will enable them to adjust their services as their clients’ enterprises multiply.

Finally, cloud-based solutions allow MSPs to provide more efficient services. Using cloud-based solutions, MSPs can access their client’s data from any device at any time.

 

Data Recovery Will be in Demand

Data recovery services will be in high demand in 2023 as businesses collect large amounts of data. Data recovery services allow businesses to recover data that has been lost or corrupted. This is especially important in a cyber-attack, as it can help enterprises quickly recover their data and minimize downtime.

MSPs specializing in data recovery services will be in high demand as businesses increasingly rely on their data in the coming years.

 

Increasing Focus on Cybersecurity in the Managed Services Market

The managed services market is becoming increasingly focused on cybersecurity. As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for secure networks and systems becomes more pressing. MSPs that specialize in cybersecurity services will be in high demand in 2023.

Cybersecurity services allow businesses to protect their data and systems from malicious attacks. These services include network security, application security, and data security. As businesses become increasingly reliant on technology, secure networks and systems will become more critical, and MSPs specializing in cybersecurity services will be in high demand.

 

Conclusion

For almost all industries, the upcoming year appears to be complicated. The MSP market’s successful players will recognize trends and modify their models to capitalize on them. They are the ones who will prosper in 2023 and beyond.

At Protected Harbor, we are committed to staying up to date with the latest trends in the managed services market. We are one of the top US MSPs, specializing in data recovery, cybersecurity, and cloud-based solutions. Goodfirms and Small Business Awards also awarded us for the leading IT and cloud services. If you’re looking for an MSP to help you stay ahead of the curve, contact us today to schedule a free IT Audit.

Unlock Your Business Potential with Managed IT Services

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Unlock Your Business Potential with Managed IT Services

Managed IT services can be a game changer for businesses of all sizes. Whether a one-person shop or a large enterprise, these can provide you with the resources, tools, and information technology expertise you need to succeed.

For most businesses, they were unheard of several years back. That’s because these services were offered only by the big companies. Fast forward to today, and managed services are now available to everyone thanks to a slew of cloud-based solutions.

The expected value of the global IT Managed Services market is US$ 244670 million in 2022, and it is anticipated to reach US$ 399170 million by 2028, with a CAGR of 8.5% throughout the analysis period.

These cloud platforms offer potent tools which allow even the smallest businesses to get an edge over their competitors. This has led to almost every business owner/CEO, including Managed IT Services in their budgets.

You can handle your IT problems as a business owner. This is true for some businesses, but most large complex companies will be well served by outsourcing their IT service model to a managed service provider (MSP).

This article goes over why managed services for businesses are essential.

What is Managed IT Service?

Managed IT services are the ultimate in business technology support. Whether it’s security, disaster recovery, or network design, managed service providers eliminate the headache of keeping your business up and running.

Outsourcing, managed services, security services, data management, and cloud computing comprise the larger market for IT services. End-user spending on cloud computing is expected to reach nearly 500 billion dollars in the United States in 2022.

Managed service offering is a proactive solution that provides you with around-the-clock hardware and software support for your computer network. This means you’ll never have to worry about being left in the dark when something goes wrong — because a professional team of experts is all taken care of

These services typically include a variety of services, including:

  • Help desk support and remote monitoring and management.
  • Security monitoring and threat protection.
  • Software and hardware installation, configuration, and deployment.
  • Telecom expense management services.

Managed service provider msp companies provide their clients with 24/7 monitoring, assistance in identifying and resolving issues before they become problems, backup and recovery plans, and focus on improving other services designed to keep your business running smoothly.

Different Types of Managed IT Services

There are many types of managed IT services available, but here are some of the most common:

Managed Networks and Infrastructure – This service includes monitoring and managing remote servers, desktops, and laptops. These services also include application management support and help desk support.

Managed Security –Managed Security refers to outsourcing security operations and management to a third-party service provider. MSSPs offer a range of security services, including threat detection and response, vulnerability assessments, security monitoring, and incident management. They use specialized security software and tools to monitor and manage the client’s security environment, identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities, and respond to security incidents in real-time.

Managed Support Services – Managed support services provide all the technical expertise needed to keep your systems running smoothly without downtime due to technical issues or problems with software applications such as Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online and Microsoft Azure Active Directory Cloud Services.

Managed Wireless and Mobile Computing – This type of IT service involves the management of wireless networks, mobile devices, and applications. With these services, companies can have more control over the performance of their employees’ mobile devices by ensuring they are secure and up-to-date with the latest operating systems.

Managed Communication Services – Managed communication services are designed to help companies improve productivity by ensuring that all employees can communicate effectively with one another through email and instant messaging. These services also include other forms of communication, such as video conferencing, web conferencing, and more.

Software as a Service (SaaS) –  Software as a service provides clients with access to applications hosted on the cloud, typically through the internet. This means that users do not have to install or maintain any software on their systems. 

Unlock-Your-Business-Potential-with-Managed-IT-Services middleWhat are the Benefits of Using Managed IT Services?

Managed services are a great way to maintain your IT infrastructure’s security, performance, and reliability. This is especially true if you’re a small business or a startup company with no budget for full-time IT staff.

Of the 451 large businesses surveyed by 451 Research, 45% planned to collaborate with a MSP, and 42% prepared to deploy additional security software. The industry is changing as a result. Managing service contracts have replaced the old break-fix model in 59% of IT services.

Managed IT providers offer several benefits in their service level agreement sla over doing things yourself:

Contractual Terms: A managed service provider often has a contract in place with their clients that outlines the responsibilities of both parties. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding what they’re expected to do, when they’re expected to do it and how much they’ll be paid for it.

Reliability: An MSP will work hard to avoid any potential issues — from hardware failure to cybersecurity threats — so that you don’t have to worry about them taking down your entire system or causing data loss.

Cost Savings: It can help you save money by reducing spending on technology. Your service provider can take care of all your IT needs, from network management to infrastructure upgrades, so you only pay for what you use. This can save you more of your total cost of ownership.

Reduce IT Spending: These providers offer fixed monthly rates that allow you to budget for your entire year’s expenses upfront and avoid unexpected costs that could hurt your bottom line.

Dependable Service: Instead of wasting time troubleshooting problems yourself or waiting on hold with technical support, let us handle it! Our team will monitor your network 24/7, so you have peace of mind knowing there’s always someone available to help when something goes wrong.

Managed IT Services Provider Inclusion

To qualify for inclusion in the Managed IT support services category, a service provider must offer their clients a range of IT services and support:

  • Provide Constant Monitoring of IT-Related Functions: This includes monitoring of the server, applications, and network, as well as security systems.
  • Provide On-Demand Support: A MSP should have a team of technical experts that can be deployed whenever an issue arises. This could include a help desk, online chat, or phone support.
  • Provide IT Consulting: A good MSP offers advice and guidance on improving your business’s technology infrastructure and processes.

Final Words

The benefits of managed services are clear. By outsourcing their IT management services and maintenance, businesses can free up their internal IT staff to focus on more strategic initiatives and benefit from improved security, compliance, cost savings, and customer service. However, finding the right managed IT services provider for your business is essential. Be sure to look for a provider that has experience working with companies of your size and industry, is reliable and has a good reputation, and offers competitive prices.

If you’re looking for a managed services provider in Rockland County NY or Hudson Valley, Protected Harbor can help. Protected Harbor is one of the top Managed IT Services providers in the US and offered a range of services to meet your business’s IT needs.

With digital and technological techniques that support your company’s objectives, IT specialists at Protected Harbor will assist in transforming your enterprise. Reduce stressful day-to-day IT operations, minimize costly downtime, and improve operational maturity. Gain access to a whole team of IT professionals to help you manage the newest technology and a wealth of knowledge that will accelerate your growth, boost your profitability, and improve your business.

Get a free IT Audit today and unlock your business potential with Protected Harbor.

Best IT Company of 2022 by Best of Small Business Awards

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Protected Harbor Named Best IT Company of 2022 by Best of Small Business Awards!

Protected Harbor, a family-owned Managed IT Service Partner in New York, was named the Best IT Company of 2022 by the Best of Small Business Awards. The Best of Small Business Awards is an annual award recognizing the achievements of small and medium-sized businesses within the United States. This award acknowledges small businesses’ hard work and dedication to providing their customers with the best possible service. The award is based on customer feedback, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

“We are honored to have been selected for this prestigious award, and we are proud that our hard work and dedication have been recognized by the Best of Small Business Awards,” said Protected Harbor CEO Richard Luna. “We are grateful that our clients allow and entrust us to eliminate their technology problems, allowing them to focus on their business and mission.”

The Small Business Expo which is America’s largest and most popular Business-to-Business networking event, trade show, and conference, actually presented The Best of Small Business Awards. Coincidentally, while attending the Small Business Expo in New York this past year, Protected Harbor was notably one of the most popular exhibitors in attendance.

Previously, Protected Harbor was also recognized as a top cloud computing company in the US by Goodfirms, and as a top managed service provider by DesignRush.Best IT Company of 2022 by Best of Small Business Awards middle

Protected Harbor has been recognized by The Best of Small Business Awards for the company’s commitment to our customer’s happiness. During voting, Protected Harbors’ approach to customer service was recognized as going beyond just solving problems and closing tickets. The company aims to connect on a human level, getting to know its clients and their client’s business so Protected Harbor can function like an extension of their team.

Protected Harbor prides themselves on providing their clients with the best IT services possible. Their team of professionals are dedicated to ensuring that their clients receive the highest quality services and products. The company strives to offer their clients the most innovative solutions to their IT needs.

The organization has more than 14 years of experience implementing cutting-edge engineering solutions focused on managed services, cloud migration, networking, and collaboration. Protected Harbor’s staff is highly knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of IT, from network security to cloud computing. The company keeps up with the latest trends and technologies to ensure clients receive the most up-to-date solutions. They understand that technology is constantly evolving, and they strive to stay ahead of the curve.

Protected Harbor’s innovative approach to offering managed services is redefining business technology. The IT experts at Protected Harbor will help lessen stressful day-to-day tech challenges, decrease expensive downtime, and boost operational maturity through digital and technical strategies that complement your company’s goals.

Protected Harbor is one of the many IT companies in the area that specializes in various services, such as IT assistance, remote workforce support, IT infrastructure, cloud migration, VoIP phones, and data center hosting. The company differentiates itself from other MSPs by prioritizing customer satisfaction. They also offer 24/7/365 unrivaled customer service. If you run into a problem at any time, you can always count on them to address it, no matter how late in the evening or early in the morning.

Protected Harbor looks forward to continuing to provide their clients with the best IT services and products in the years to come. The company’s main objective is to create an interpersonal relationship and understand their client’s company so they can work as an extension of their client’s staff. The result of this connection is evident in the fact that customer referrals mainly drive their business, and they have a 98% customer satisfaction rate. Protected Harbor is the last IT company you will ever need to hire. Get in touch now to experience what effective collaboration and outstanding customer service looks like.

5 Benefits of Hiring a Managed Services Provider

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5 Benefits of Hiring a Managed Services Provider

Today’s businesses are faced with myriad challenges. The growth of digital technologies, the Internet of Things, managed services, and other connected devices have exposed organizations to new threats and accelerated the pace of change. As a result, organizations must adapt faster than ever to stay ahead of their competitors.

Users need to balance increasing responsibilities without sacrificing performance or security. Many businesses are moving from standard IT support services to managed services providers that can meet all their IT needs with a single vendor.

Managed service providers (MSPs) offer more than just essential managed IT support services; they provide strategic business services that integrate with the end user’s existing technology infrastructure. This article highlights the 5 benefits of hiring a managed services provider to leverage these benefits within your organization.

  • Reduce Costs

A managed services provider can reduce the costs of your technology in several ways. First, by leveraging economies of scale, MSPs can obtain better pricing on hardware and software services than they can as an individual organization. This can be expensive if you are currently responsible for buying and maintaining all your technology. You can reduce your costs by 10% to 30% or more by using MSPs to meet your technology needs.

Additionally, MSPs provide better service than many in-house IT departments. And according to a recent study, managed services providers can reduce costs by an average of 14% in the first year. This can amount to a significant amount of money, depending on the size of your organization.

  • Unified Platform to Manage All Services

An MSP can fulfill your business’s IT management services through a unified platform. All services are integrated through a single vendor that manages your technology. This can be especially beneficial when having all your systems and devices connected through a single system.

Unified platforms can link multiple applications and devices through a single system. This allows your organization’s employees to easily access their business applications from any location. This can result in improved productivity and more timely decision-making.

  • Built-In Security Features5-Benefits-of-Hiring-a-Managed-Services-Provider-19-Dec-middle-image

MSPs can offer several built-in security features, including identity and access management, intrusion detection and prevention, data encryption, and more. Building a secure network isn’t an easy task. If your organization doesn’t have the expertise you need to implement and maintain a secure network, you won’t be able to meet today’s security challenges.

Managed services providers offer many built-in security features to help protect your data from cyberattacks. They also provide security services that allow you to meet regulatory compliance requirements and protect your data from cyberattacks.

  • Accelerated Problem Resolution

Because managed services providers are responsible for all aspects of your technology, they can respond to issues more quickly and with a more consistent level of service. They can meet challenges more rapidly because they have dedicated teams of experts responsible for each technology solution.

Hiring an MSP can accelerate the speed of problem resolution and reduce employees’ time without important services. The average time for managed service providers to resolve a problem is six hours or less, compared to three days for organizations that work their own IT.

  • Better Service Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Compared to IT service providers or day-to-day service providers, Managed services providers offer better service continuity and disaster recovery services. Suppose your organization is currently responsible for handling its own continuity and disaster recovery services. In that case, you may need help to meet regulatory compliance requirements or keep your business up and running in the event of a disaster.

With managed services, you can be confident that your business will remain up and running if a natural disaster or other event disrupts your technology. MSPs can meet regulatory compliance requirements and offer more comprehensive continuity and disaster recovery plans than many individual organizations.

Managed services providers can help you meet regulatory compliance requirements related to cybersecurity and privacy. They also can provide 24/7/365 monitoring to detect potential outages and offer more advanced and redundant systems to ensure business continuity and continuity of operations in the event of a disaster.

 

Streamlining IT Management

Small businesses face an ever-growing array of challenges, from maintaining cybersecurity to ensuring seamless technological integration. Amidst these complexities, managing an efficient and secure IT infrastructure emerges as a pivotal task for sustaining competitiveness and growth. However, for many small businesses, navigating the intricacies of IT management can be daunting and resource-intensive. This is where Managed IT services for small businessses emerge as indispensable partners, offering tailored solutions to alleviate the burden of IT management and empower businesses to focus on their core objectives. Through strategic collaboration with IT managed services, small businesses can unlock new avenues of efficiency, resilience, and innovation, positioning themselves for sustained success in today’s digital landscape.

 

Maximizing Business Resilience

Companies must develop innovative business models to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment. This often involves leveraging the latest information technology to optimize operations, improve customer experiences, and achieve business goals. However, with the increased reliance on technology comes the increased risk of data loss, which can have serious consequences for businesses of all sizes. That’s why many companies turn to security service providers MSSPs, for assistance.

MSSPs are third-party organizations that specialize in providing various security services to businesses. They offer various services, including data loss prevention, incident response, and security monitoring, to help businesses stay protected against cyber threats. They also offer Service Level Agreements, or SLAs, which specify the level of service that a business can expect from the MSSP.

One of the key benefits of working with an MSSP is that they can help businesses develop a comprehensive incident response plan. This involves identifying potential threats, establishing protocols for responding to incidents, and regularly testing the plan to ensure it is effective. This approach can help businesses minimize cyber-attack impact and quickly return to normal operations.

 

Conclusion

The managed services model provides significant benefits over standard IT support services. It enables businesses to reduce costs, access better technology, and improve productivity. When organizations hire managed services providers, they can focus on their core business activities by outsourcing their technology needs.

When you think of an MSP, you might imagine a provider focusing on a limited set of products and services, with a technician who comes to your business on a set schedule to perform maintenance work. While many MSPs fit this description, Protected Harbor is different. Thanks to our customer-centric approach and experts, we can deliver peace of mind and a near-seamless customer experience.

It’s not an MSP at all. It’s more of a managed security service, providing monitoring and protection for your business’s critical IT infrastructure. What sets Protected Harbor apart from other MSPs is its tailored approach to each client’s unique needs. And with a team of seasoned engineers, analysts, and consultants, you can expect the utmost professionalism.

Contact our expert today to learn how we’re built differently. We are also giving away a free IT Audit; get one now!

Managed Services vs. Cloud Computing

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Managed Services vs. Cloud Computing: What’s the Difference?

Suppose you’re a CIO of a company or just an employee. In that case, it’s likely that sooner or later, you will have to deal with two opposing forces: on the one hand, the demands of your organization and the increasing need for agility, and on the other, your team’s inability to manage everything in a digital world. These two factors often lead to a choice between having a managed services contract, which relieves some pressure from your technical department by allowing them to use third-party companies instead of managing services themselves or going all-in with cloud computing.

Managed services and cloud computing can help businesses streamline operations, automate processes, and make data-driven decisions. They also have several things in common that make understanding the differences between managed services and cloud computing more accessible. Managed services and cloud computing are two popular ways organizations outsource their technology needs. Managed services refer to outsourcing day-to-day technology management, including data management systems and IT infrastructure management. On the other hand, cloud computing refers to using cloud-based services to store and access data securely.

Whether you’re a business looking to cut costs or develop an online presence, knowing what these services are and how they can benefit your organization is essential. Read on to learn more about the similarities and differences between managed services and cloud computing.

What is a Managed Service?

Managed services refer to a type of outsourcing where a company owns the technology and staff of another company, but not the business process or the customer relationship. A managed service provider (MSP) offers customers various types of managed services, governed by a service level agreement (SLA). This agreement outlines the expected level of service, including response time, issue resolution, and performance metrics.

One popular type of managed service is data management. This involves the storage, retrieval, and security of customer data. Another type of managed service is information technology services, which include the management of an organization’s technology infrastructure, such as servers, networks, and software applications.

Protected Harbor offers clients various managed services, including data management, cloud computing, migration, and information technology services. We work with our clients to develop customized SLAs that meet their specific needs and provide them with peace of mind knowing that their technology and data are in good hands.

There are several reasons why companies choose to partner with us for their managed services needs. One of the main reasons is our expertise in data management, which helps clients improve their data security and compliance. We also offer various managed services, including cloud-based solutions, which provide our clients the flexibility and scalability they need to grow their businesses.

For example, a hosting company outsources the management of its infrastructure to a third-party company. The customer’s website is hosted on the managed service provider’s cloud. The ordered service provider has managed the hosting for the customer for a fee.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of resources and services through a network of shared hardware and software that reside on remote servers and are accessed through a network. This means you don’t own or manage any technology but instead access it via the Internet cloud. You can, for example, use a shared spreadsheet on someone’s computer over the Internet without knowing anything about the computer’s technical setup.

It is also referred to as “virtual computing.” A cloud provider like Amazon offers various storage, computing, and software services. The advantage of using a cloud provider is that it saves you time by letting you outsource tasks that used to take up a lot of your time, like managing the technical setup of employees’ computers, to a service provider.

Managed-Services-vs-Cloud-Computing-Whats-the-Difference middle

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Cloud providers offer several advantages over managed services providers. First, you get access to a broader range of services and benefits, like automatic backup and disaster recovery. The second is that you don’t have the costs associated with data center maintenance or power. Another advantage of cloud computing is that you are not limited to using the technology of a single provider since the cloud is an open network where anyone can offer a service. This means you can access a broader range of technologies and services without being limited to the ones a managed service provider offers.

Managed Services vs. Cloud Computing

Managed services and cloud computing benefits organizations looking to improve their technology capabilities. With managed services, organizations can benefit from expert monitoring and management of their technology infrastructure and data management strategies that can help them extract valuable insights from the data they collect. With cloud computing, organizations can benefit from scalable, cost-effective solutions allowing them to access their data anywhere.

Managed services can help organizations leverage machine learning and business intelligence to make informed business decisions. At the same time, cloud computing can provide the flexibility and scalability needed to support growth and innovation. Both approaches can offer high data governance and security, which is critical for organizations that handle sensitive information.

Ultimately, the choice between managed services and cloud computing will depend on an organization’s specific needs and goals. For organizations that require more control over their technology infrastructure, managed services may be the better choice. For organizations looking for more flexibility and scalability, cloud-based solutions may be the way to go. Regardless of the approach, organizations should seek a provider that offers a high level of service, data integration, and data warehouses to ensure they can make the most of their technology investments.

Managed vs. Platform as a Service

Managed services generally have a more limited scope and a more focused purpose than cloud computing. They are often used to supplement existing IT service delivery rather than replace it. A managed service usually has a defined scope and duration. The range includes the service type and the effort required to deliver it. The time of the contract is generally shorter than the scope. A platform as a service (PaaS) is a service that gives you access to an Application Programming Interface (API) that you can use to store your data and run specific programs, like a payroll service.

Conclusion

As you can see, managed services and cloud computing both have a lot of potential benefits, but it’s essential to know the differences between them to make the right choice for your organization. Both are effective ways to alleviate some of the pressure from your IT team and get access to resources that are not owned or managed by you. Suppose your organization is experiencing challenges managing the increasing volume of data created, the growing need for agility, or both. In that case, it might be worth analyzing the costs of managed services versus cloud computing.

The level of trust that Protected Harbor has received from its customers is evident from the fact that we have been recognized as the top cloud computing company in the US by Goodfirms. We have been rated highly among the people of the Internet because we offer a wide range of affordable cloud computing services at different levels of customization. With the wide range of cloud computing services we offer, every business can get the cloud computing services they need.

We are committed to protecting the safety and integrity of your data, no matter where it lives. Contact us today to learn more about your organization’s managed services and cloud options.

Protected Harbor Recognized as a Top Managed Service Provider by Design Rush

Protected Harbor Recognized as a Top Managed Service Provider

 

Protected Harbor Recognized as a Top Managed Service Provider by Design Rush

 

Today Protected Harbor was recognized as one of the Top Managed Service Providers by DesignRush, a B2B (Business to Business) marketplace for agencies. This accreditation is only given to companies that have been thoroughly researched and analyzed based on their history, vision, business model, products or services, company executives, and advisors.

“At Protected Harbor, we aim to set the standard for excellence in managed services and technology. We want to help businesses and individuals get the best-managed services, from designing their infrastructure to cybersecurity. We want to simplify the technology adoption process and allow companies to quickly make informed decisions about the future of their business technology.” – Richard Luna.

Previously, Protected Harbor was also recognized as a top cloud computing company in the US by Goodfirms.

Protected Harbor was chosen by DesignRush for demonstrating a commitment to technical excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction while serving small to mid-size businesses.

DesignRush helps companies select the ideal firm that can best represent their brand, comprehend their objectives and collaborate successfully with them. Protected Harbor’s 90+ Net Promoter Score for their Managed IT Services, Network and Infrastructure Services, IT Help Desk, and IT Support made the company a perfect fit.

This recognition is a testament to the company’s commitment to excellence in customer service and exceptional customer support. Protected Harbor strongly emphasizes customer satisfaction and pays close attention to the needs of its existing customers. By providing high-quality security services and utilizing live chat and customer support tools, the company has improved customer satisfaction and retained its customer base.

Protected Harbor also conducts customer satisfaction surveys to ensure that it is meeting the needs of its customers and addressing any concerns they may have. Through these efforts, the company has achieved a low churn rate and maintained a high level of satisfaction among its customers.

The dedication to providing an excellent customer experience has helped it to stand out in a crowded market and solidify its position as a top-managed service provider.

Protected Harbor helps local, and national businesses use technology to solve their business problems and are committed to driving digital transformation for small and midsize businesses.

The company has over 30 years of experience deploying advanced engineering solutions centered on collaboration, cloud migration, networking, cyber security, and Managed Services. With Protected Harbor, businesses and organizations can feel confident that their data is secure and protected in the cloud.

Protected Harbor Recognized as a Top Managed Service ProviderThe award of Top Managed Service Provider by DesignRush recognizes Protected Harbor as a top IT Company and technology consultant whose forward-thinking approach to providing managed services is changing the landscape of the business technology.

With digital and technological techniques that support your company’s objectives, Protected Harbor’s IT specialists will help reduce stressful day-to-day tech issues, minimize costly downtime, and improve operational maturity.

Like many other local IT companies, Protected Harbor helps with everything from IT support, remote workforce solutions, and IT infrastructure to cloud migration, VoIP phone systems, and data center hosting.

But unlike traditional MSPs, we pride ourselves on our customer’s happiness. That’s why we ensure our 24/7/365 customer service is second to none. Whenever you need us, we’re always here. Got a problem at 2:00 am? A live person will be there to answer your call and resolve the issue before sun-up.

Protected Harbor’s approach to customer service goes beyond just solving problems and closing tickets. We aim to connect on a human level, getting to know you and your business so we can function like an extension of your team.

That is why over 90% of our business comes from client referrals, and we have a 98% customer retention rate. Protected Harbor is the last I.T. company you will ever have to hire. Contact our team today to experience what a true partnership and excellence in customer service is like.[/vc_column_text]

Red Flags: It’s time to switch your IT Managed Service Provider

Redflags its time to switch your it managed service provider

 

Red Flags: It’s time to switch your IT Managed Service Provider

Technical hiccups happen regardless of your business’s size, niche, or geography. And outsourcing your IT infrastructure services to an MSP provides you with a dedicated team that can handle all such issues. This team is always on alert to address any problems, getting you back up and running as soon as possible. You hire MSPs to fix your problems and reduce your downtime.

But fixing issues and keeping it running are slightly different things, though. If you find your MSP fixing the same issue numerous times, you’re probably with the wrong MSP. Actual MSPs must be less product-focused and more focused on solving client problems. In addition to billable hours, your MSP should track the uptime of your systems.

Sometimes with specialized services, like those an MSP provides, it can be hard to assess how well they perform their job. But the bottom line is that outsourcing your IT to a managed service provider (MSP) is supposed to make your life easier. If it doesn’t, something has gone wrong. There are subtle signs that your MSP is no longer the right fit for you. A few questions to introspect are:

How often has your MSP not even known there are issues until you tell them? Do you consider your MSP as an on-demand IT service provider?

The answer to this question is about strategic fitment. Do you consider your MSP a transactional partner or partner to work with you? It’s not enough that your MSP is fixing IT issues that arise. They should proactively assess hardware and software needs and security practices bi-annually or quarterly. And this can even be outside their written contract (scope of work). Proactive maintenance makes all the difference when it comes to IT management.

A good MSP should regularly monitor your IT infrastructure and identify issues before they become bigger problems, and they should have the expertise to provide proactive support and guidance. If you feel like you’re having to tell your MSP about issues and they’re not taking a proactive approach, you may want to consider finding a different provider that can better meet your needs.

Do your MSP over-promise and under-deliver?

It is important to carefully evaluate the capabilities and reputation of any MSP before entering into a partnership. This can include checking references, researching customer reviews, and reviewing their offerings and guarantees.

Some MSPs may over-promise and under-deliver, while others may provide high-quality services and support. It is important to thoroughly research and choose an MSP that aligns with your organization’s needs and priorities and to establish clear expectations and performance metrics to ensure that the MSP delivers on its promises.

MSP industry has cut-throat competition. And to survive, many MSPs rely on the effectiveness of their salespeople. However, the challenge with this method is that sales calls or pitches often commit big promises upfront to secure your business.

In reality, the service provider might not have the capacity or competency to deliver such services. Reviewing your IT service agreement lets you pick areas where your MSP hasn’t delivered up to its promises.

 

MSP Red Flags smallDoes your MSP have the vision to plan and execute for the future? How good is your MSP in project management skills?

The sole purpose of your MSP is to provide reliable IT services. And that can’t be achieved with a myopic view of day-to-day operational issues. Your MSP must champion taking cues from regular issues, devise long-term plans that put you in the driving seat and execute with a transparent governance model.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your current IT-managed service provider, it may be time to consider switching to a new provider. One red flag to look out for is if your current provider struggles with cloud migration or the free flow of information.

Another red flag is if your provider cannot accurately write a scope of work document or create a service level agreement. If your provider is not delivering on project objectives or not meeting the agreed-upon project plan, this may also be a sign that it is time to switch.

Additionally, if your provider is not knowledgeable about cloud infrastructure or data center management, this could be a red flag.

Do they track response time? How well do they handle complaints? Does your MSP manage stakeholder communications effectively?

One of the best indicators to answer this question is MTTR (Mean Time To Repair/Resolve/Recovery/Response), MTTF (Mean Time To Failure), MTTA (Mean Time To Acknowledge), and MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure).[1] These can be good baseline or benchmark that starts more challenging conversations regarding the process, RCA methodologies, response protocols, and more.

Another issue to watch out for is if your provider is unfamiliar with the project goals and deliverables or cannot create a project plan that aligns with these goals. If the provider’s team members are not working collaboratively or the provider’s business model does not align with your organization’s needs, these can also be red flags.

Ultimately, it may be time to switch if your provider is not delivering the expected service level. When making the switch, be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions of the new provider’s service agreement and work closely with them to ensure that the project is delivered successfully.

How well does your MSP align with your organization’s culture? Do they own your issues? Do they consider your users as their ‘own’ users? Do they track CSAT?

Can you ring your MSP at 2 AM and be assured that someone will be working on the ground to resolve a critical business issue. Does your MSP empathize with you in a significant outage and work tirelessly to bring back the system? Does your MSP think about the solution first or bring the contractual scope of work in every discussion? How well does your MSP resonate with your user community, values, and vision?

If answers to the above questions are No, is your service provider an MSP then? Yes, an MSP is responsible for a specific and agreed set of technologies for an agreed-upon subscription cost. But, if your MSP only does time and materials on a break-fix basis, they aren’t an MSP.

It would help if you didn’t forget that an MSP is a Managed Service Provider. The effectiveness of managed services lies in their simplicity. They augment your competency rather than you shifting your operational complexities. Actual MSPs think beyond their scope, which benefits your entire landscape.

Final Words

If you’re not receiving the level of service you expected or if you feel your provider is not actively working to solve your issues during a contract period. This can happen, and you have the right to switch when it does.

When it comes to choosing a manage service provider in rockland county NY to handle your company’s tech needs, trust is key. Partner with Protected Harbor, when our members think of us, they don’t just think of us as an MSP. We are more than that.

We will walk you through the process of selecting the best solution for your company’s specific needs. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have access to our years of experience and you can manage all of your company’s IT tasks, request support, and configure your team’s profile settings.

If you need help managing your business, Protected Harbor is the go-to MSP in Hudson Valley New York. Together we will identify areas of improvement, outline a road map for change, and put a process in place to track your progress. Contact us for a free IT Audit.

How do leading MSPs differentiate themselves from the rest

how do leading MSPS differentiate themselves from the rest

 

How do leading MSPs differentiate themselves from the rest?

MSP’s operating model is a paradigm shift from reactive to proactive support.  This means one KPI for an MSP must be to ensure your IT doesn’t fail while ensuring optimal performance.

It all starts with a growth-oriented business model. The most successful MSPs focus on delivering genuine value to their customers, continually improving their offerings, and scaling their businesses. To grow their businesses, MSPs can focus on increasing the amount of business they do with existing customers, acquiring new customers, or increasing the average value of each customer. So, beyond keeping your IT lights on, MSPs that stand out provide good business value for their job. Here are a few differentiators of modern MSPs.

Advanced security offerings

Cyber-attacks are mainstream, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses. Threats are more frequent, targeted, and a lot more complex. According to a Accenture — Cost of Cybercrime Study report, around 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses, and only 14% are prepared to defend themselves. A quality MSP company should ensure you are safe from online threats rather than waiting for the disaster. Instead of dealing with cyber attackers or ransom calls as they come, a good MSP can target vulnerabilities in advance and shut them down before it becomes a problem. Yes, some attacks can penetrate even the best of systems. However, robust threat prevention will de-risk the threat of an unexpected event. Your MSP must offer a comprehensive plan that can prevent even sophisticated threats.

Cloud services and automation

Modern MSPs are switching to cloud-native solutions and automation levers to improve the quality of their services. Cloud solutions provide scalability and on-demand disaster recovery to their clients. Automation brings efficiency with lower dependency on humans, thus reducing manual errors or discrepancies.

Innovation

Best IT service companies focus on innovation, which can benefit their customers. These companies know the importance of tracking the latest industry trends. With their help, you can utilize digital technologies to get ahead of competitors. Best MSPs are not stuck with their approach and technology and update their offerings based on trends, geography, and industry. For example, new forms of cybercrime develop every year. A company that focuses on innovation will know how to safeguard you from further attacks.

Value creation

Leading MSPs consult and advise on the best technologies or tools. They help build a customized program based on your business goals and strategic vision, manage the program’s implementation, and run daily operation and maintenance of those critical functions. MSPs must keep up to speed with the latest developments and develop new services to keep delivering value to their customers.

how do leading msps differentiate themselves middleCustomer Experience (CX)

CX has already been the buzzword for the last half a decade. The concept was initially driven by big consulting firms and is now necessary for IT customers. As modern users prefer being at the center of things, they expect self-service via knowledge forums, chatbots, and service catalogs, i.e., omnichannel communication. A helpdesk managed service provider supports these areas to improve your NPS and CSAT. Your in-house team can focus on the strategic aspects of improving tech adoption.

Adaptability and Resilience

The disruption caused by the pandemic demonstrated that adaptability and resilience — from both MSPs and their customers — are essential to survive. As companies adopt a hybrid working culture, MSPs must shift their operating model to suit the situation. E.g., MSPs need to equip their employees and clients with the right tools to support remote working remotely.

 

Conclusion

Top MSPs know how to stay ahead of the curve, keep their customers engaged, and offer value-added services that make their customers’ lives easier. As technology advances and changes the way businesses are done, MSPs must keep up with the latest trends. To stay ahead of the curve and deliver top-notched service to their clients, MSPs must stay informed about the latest technological advancements and customer demands.

Protected Harbor’s team of IT experts is dedicated to providing its clients with dependable IT solutions that meet their unique business needs. With its remote monitoring and management capabilities, our solution enables clients to access their IT team whenever needed — no matter where they are. As a hudson valley new york manage service provider we specialize in small- to mid-sized businesses and offer scalable and flexible services to fit client needs. We also offer 24/7 on-site or remote monitoring, data recovery, and an SLA. We offer a free consultation to help you determine the best solution for your business. Contact us today!

Other MSPs approach vs. Protected Harbor Customer-centric approach

Other MSPs approach vs Protected HarborOther MSPs approach vs. Protected Harbor Customer-centric approach

The arrival of the internet opened new doors and pushed the IT industry in new directions. With the growing consumer base of the internet and accompanying challenges, a need for solution makers became indispensable. Several IT solution providers, including value-added resellers (VAR) and managed service providers (MSP), came into play. They offered their services and solutions to the industry, such as infrastructure management and cloud servers. A solution provider is simply a vendor who answers all your IT needs with their products. These MSPs competed not only to capture the industry by taking small and mid-scale enterprises as their clients but to deliver cost-effective solutions to every need of the customers. Click here to know more about the IT solution providers, VAR and MSP.

What do they have in common?

After expanding cloud computing in the IT sector, they have broadened IT solution possibilities further. The solution providers now offer Infrastructure as a service (IAAS), software as a service (SaaS), desktop as a service (DaaS), and other on-demand offerings. The solution provider either builds and manages its cloud services or recommends (resells) the services of a public cloud provider like Amazon web services or Microsoft azure.

An IT solution provider, Value-added reseller, or Managed service provide what all of them have in common: they are simply software reselling, services, and pre-bundled packages in the name of a solution. For example, if your system is affected by viruses, they will provide you with the antivirus of any XYZ company. After installing it on your computer, if the product key is not working or you suffer from a data loss, the solution provider is not responsible. The same applies to most MSPs as they resell the cloud and infrastructure management services from a public cloud provider. If you face a technical issue, the provider plays the middle man forwarding your concerns to the original service provider while you are rendered helpless. These are not managed security services by any means as they lack the infrastructure to solve or eliminate any potential threats by themselves and rely on the end managed services network.

These solution providers and MSPs are just selling pre-bundled package solutions designed to attract most consumers and solve their percentage problems. The point to note is that no two clients are the same. Small-scale and mid-scale enterprises have their own set of requirements and issues. They switch to managed services companies as they are the most efficient options in the market compared to setting up your own data center infrastructure management (DCIM). Conclusively, the IT managed service companies follow the product-centric approach to design a product and sell it to as many people as possible rather than the customer-centric approach to design a specific product for one particular client.

Protected Harbor’s customer-centric approach. How is it different?

We follow a seamless 360-degree approach while catering to the clients, and the process is integral to our brand’s culture. Protected Harbor’s market differentiator is highly customer-centric, keeping the customer at the center and formulating a strategy focusing on delivering the best experience by providing tailor-made solutions for every individual customer.
Being among the top managed security service providers, we keep customers at the center of our business philosophy and foster a positive experience at every stage of the customer’s journey.

Protected Harbor has its own hosted, in-house servers and networking equipment to eliminate costs, redundancies, and security risks. The hardware investment made by Protected Harbor is a critical factor in providing a positive experience to the customer. This increases control over safety and security with the flexibility to design and deliver services as per demand. We take pride and accountability for the security of the clients’ data with exceptional infrastructure management. The issues are solved in-house rather than waiting for the third-party, public service provider to do so.

The technology improvement plan is another benchmark strategy followed by Protected Harbor. We listen to customers’ needs, assess what needs to be done, and design the system accordingly. It’s an ongoing development strategy that suggests the best possible steps to enhance the experience and elate the customers. Customer satisfaction is the core of our business, and we challenge ourselves to exceed the expectations.

The choice is yours!

Since it’s no longer a secret as to how we do it and deliver industry-leading quality services, with the complete focus on customer satisfaction, we exceed the limits and expectations with our feature-rich cloud services, data center management, all-around IT support, and security 99.99% uptime with application outage avoidance (AOA). To move forward with a software reselling MSP or a dedicated customer-centric, IT-managed service provider. The choice is relatively simple.