Managed services can take many forms depending on the organization, industry, and need being served. When it comes to education, however, managed services are particularly beneficial. Here's everything you need to know to leverage these solutions in your educational organization.
Managed Services, Defined
The most important thing to know about managed services solutions is that they're not the same as outsourcing. They're certainly similar--for example, you still choose a third-party partner to take on your responsibilities and provide support in certain areas--but the key difference is that you don't give up control. In reality, it's more like a partnership.
Take a look at this quick glossary of managed services terms to see how everything fits together:
- Managed services: This is an umbrella term for services managed by a third-party expert in a particular area of business workflows, such as printing or IT.
- Managed services provider: A "provider" is the partner you choose to structure and deploy your managed services. This company learns from you, works with you, and provides ongoing support for changing educational needs.
- Audit: Most managed services begin with an audit--a process by which your provider gathers data on your workflows, devices, needs, challenges, and more. This data will be used to choose targeted solutions.
- Solutions: Solutions come in many forms, from software upgrades to workflow optimization techniques. You'll always have the final say on which solutions are implemented, and your provider will track outcomes so you can make informed decisions.
Types of Managed Services
There are many different kinds of managed services. They have some overlap, especially where technology is concerned, but each focuses on a different core element of your workflow.
Here are the most common types of managed services for education:
Managed IT services is all about your tech. Software, hardware, networks, security--your provider looks at all of it, including how you use technology and where you could make improvements. You'll get structured guidance on reducing your IT spend, securing connections, troubleshooting, and more.
Although many assignments and other school files are digital these days, there will likely always be a need for printing--which means there will always be a need for managed print. This solution helps you take control of printers, supply orders, print habits, and more, creating optimized fleets and smoother workflows.
Some providers offer document management as a service; others offer it as a solution you deploy and leverage on your own (such as a software tool or system). If you choose the service option, you'll get help organizing files, extracting data from physical documents, streamlining workflows, restricting document access, monitoring activity, and taking control of your workflows.
##Benefits of Managed Services for Education
No matter what kind of managed services you choose for your educational institution, one thing is clear: You'll see all kinds of benefits. Here are just a few examples of what you can expect:
Almost every education organization knows what it's like to stretch every dollar. Managed services help you do that in ways that never feel like "cutting corners." From identifying and eliminating wasteful practices to condensing and optimizing tech fleets, these solutions are designed to help protect your budget without impacting your efficiency or productivity.
Schools have workflows like any other organization, but those workflows take different forms and can be difficult to oversee. That's where managed services come in. By improving visibility across your school, tracking and analyzing key data, and improving habits at every level, managed services enable you to take control of workflows no matter how complicated they get.
Student data and other types of information must be protected--but also accessible to the right people. With managed services, it's easier than ever to control access, identify security vulnerabilities, close gaps, and ensure the right people have the right abilities.
Between tight budgets and new tech needs, schools are always trying to keep up. Fortunately, managed services can help keep you flexible and efficient, even when the landscape changes. Scalable, customizable, and always ready to shift based on your needs, managed services are a great way to prepare for the future without locking your school into any single approach.
In conclusion, managed services can help with everything from printing to juggling documents--and that makes them a perfect fit for the fast-moving world of education.
Contact us today to see what managed print can do for your educational institution!