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Managed Help Desk Services

Managed Help Desk Services Defined

The managed help desk is an outsourced IT help desk, where service and technical support is provided by a managed service provider (MSP) at a set cost. An organization may choose an outsourced IT help desk option that provides full support to their end-users, or their managed help desk may be used to supplement internal services.

The outsourced IT help desk is different from the service desk in that it offers the traditional support provided by an IT helpdesk: just-in-time training, workarounds for common issues, answers to how-to questions, etc., while the service desk is a more strategic organization that manages requests for goods and services in addition to providing technical support. In fact, using the outsourced help desk as a subset of the service desk enables the service desk to focus on providing their core services more effectively while the managed help desk provides the day-to-day transactional support.

How Do Outsourced Managed IT Services Help My Business?

The outsourced IT help desk provides transactional services at a set fee, enabling internal IT staff to focus on more strategic services and IT management to manage overall support costs. The outsourced help desk manages routine technical support, while internal resources focus on building knowledge and automation, along with other strategic tasks.

Managed Help Desk ServicesIn the context of modern service management, the outsourced help desk enables the IT organization to gain better control over operations by enabling technical support to be managed by an experienced provider. The internal service desk and IT support can then focus on managing improvements to service delivery. Thus, the outsourced help desk provides traditional help desk support while the internal service desk focuses on proactive activities like incident management, problem management, and developing knowledge for end-users and outsourced IT help desk use.

Using outsourced IT help desk services enables greater flexibility while maintaining budget stability and enables the IT organization to roll out new technologies more quickly by providing appropriately skilled support personnel. These initiative-driven needs are often covered by the project budget, enabling the ability to add resources without impacting the operational budget. This enables the IT organization to scale project support without decreasing operational capabilities and affecting other business services they support.

In this relationship, the outsourced help desk provider takes on the risk and burden of providing support, while the project team focuses on their rollout and the service desk and IT support continue their focus on core functions, ensuring large-scale changes don’t negatively impact the delivery of operational business services.

Thus, an outsourced managed IT help desk helps the business by providing IT with the ability to stabilize their budget while increasing their capabilities for rolling out innovative business solutions.

At a more tactical level, the managed IT help desk enables organizations of any size to support their business more effectively:

  • In a digital world, even small businesses need help desk support services. The outsourced IT help desk enables them to offer 24 x 7 help desk support and compete with larger organizations without hiring and managing the staff needed to deliver support internally.
  • In larger organizations, the outsourced IT help desk offloads the tactical work that drains IT operational resources, enabling them to focus on their core business.

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Advantages of a Managed IT Help Desk

While these are one set of general business advantages of the Managed IT help desk, it’s worth looking at all of the benefits of outsourcing help desk services:

Services Offered by a Managed Help Desk

The terms managed help desk or outsourced IT help desk can cover a variety of services under their service umbrella:

  • Help desk technical support manages end-user support needs via telephone and other channels contracted by the business. This can include service portal ticket initiation, email, chat, and phone offered 24 × 7 or to suit a business calendar.
  • Help desk monitoring and/or operational support services provide services traditionally offered by a network operations centre (NOC) or operations desk. These services provide 24 × 7 monitoring of technical systems and applications for operational issues and cyber-attacks. These services may also include monitoring automated run-books and restarting failed jobs.
  • Help desk onsite support is often available, enabling organizations to save the cost of staffing a widespread footprint. This support is often partnered with the managed help desk, taking second-level tickets that require onsite repairs.
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This wide range of services is one of the major benefits of the outsourced help desk, along with the ability to provide consistent and reliable 24-hour help desk support on a 24 × 7 basis. There are several benefits that should be considered by the digital enterprise:

  • An outsourced help desk can provide more than technical support for users. Managed help desk services that include operations and monitoring on a 24 × 7 basis alongside 24-hour help desk support enables the organization to lower downtime by ensuring adequate and knowledgeable global support around the clock. Technicians taking calls are also monitoring systems or in contact with the operations part of the team, enabling them to identify and respond to major incidents more quickly and provide timely updates to end-users.
  • The support provided by a 24 × 7 outsourced help desk means there is always a single group of technicians monitoring systems, working tickets, and taking calls. Support is not transferred to a different country at the end of a business day or in some cases between internal and external organizations. This retains ownership within a single organization making it easier to ensure accountability for all issues that occur, regardless of the time of day.
  • Support can be delivered off-premises, with remote control capabilities, 24 × 7 to any location. This means that end-user support is as good at branches as it is in the corporate offices. Customer-facing business personnel can count on being able to get support quickly regardless of where they are located.

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It’s important to remember that the 24 × 7 help desk support offered by a professionally managed help desk can often be better than support provided by internal staff. Managed help desk providers have years of experience in delivering these services and are focused solely on these services, unlike IT who are focused on defining and delivering core business services. They have robust training programs to get people on board and up to speed quickly and keep growing their technical support. One of the best advantages of the outsourced IT help desk is that they specialize in delivering excellent 24 × 7 help desk support, and their employees are people who enjoy working in this high paced arena rather than entry-level technicians looking to get a start and grow out of the help desk into senior IT roles. This is one of the key benefits of outsourcing help desk services: access to experienced help desk professionals 24 hours a day.