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Posts from February, 2014

MPA Networks Named to CRN’s Pioneer 250 List of Top US Managed Service Providers

Monday, February 24th, 2014

MSP_2014_2We are thrilled to be named to CRN’s Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list as one of the MSP Pioneer 250. CRN is the leading media outlet for technology vendors and solution providers attempting to understand sales and service channels. The annual list recognizes the top technology providers and consultants in North America.

This year, CRN’s MSP 500 is broken down into several categories. The MSP Pioneer 250 recognizes IT firms with a business model heavily weighted toward managed services focused on small and medium size businesses.

It is our sincere hope to remain MSP Pioneers and continue providing  the highest level of IT management throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for many years to come! Thanks for being with us every step of the way.

Use IT Standardization to Enhance Workplace Productivity and Limit Downtime

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014


What is IT Standardization?

Standardization refers to the general uniformity of desktops and laptops across an entire business. Ideally, all workstations and laptops should be identical (or as identical as possible), including uniform software versions and configurations. This process of standardization leads to greater reliability and solid ROI.

How does Standardization affect Productivity and ROI?

Well, let’s say an employee’s workstation computer breaks or your business suddenly experiences a growth spurt. If there are identical spares available (which we recommend having on hand for these exact reasons), you can be up and running as productively as possible in no time. Individual desktop customizations typically translate to extended downtime.

Similarly, if a desktop glitches and you need to call the IT guy in to fix it, he should be able to diagnose and repair the issue much faster if there is uniformity with the other desktops he’s worked on previously (and which he most likely set-up for you in the first place).

Rapid Rollout and Roaming Profiles

IT standardizationOne of the most effective IT Productivity features we like to implement for our clients is some sort of rapid rollout technology. This method allows us to roll out a brand new workstation for a user in a matter of minutes instead of loading everything from scratch. Obviously, standardization is key here.

Another feature we commonly implement is roaming profile capability.  With roaming profiles, a particular user isn’t tied directly to a workstation, but can log in to any other workstation in the office and still do his or her work.  This is only possible if everyone has a “similar” workstation. In addition, we configure each user’s My Documents Folder to store their data on the server – that way, when they log out of a workstation, their data is backed up to the server.


Standardization is key to enhancing ongoing workplace productivity and limiting the potential for lengthy downtime.





How do I Love my Managed Service Provider? Let me Count the Ways

Friday, February 14th, 2014

love my managed service provider

In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s take a moment to spread some MSP love and appreciate IT Services providers everywhere.

How do I love my Managed Service Provider and hotshot team of network support engineers? Let me count the ways:


  1. They deliver IT Peace of Mind. 
  2. They give technology therapy sessions.
  3. They use their geeky smarts to good use – designing, implementing, and protecting business-critical IT systems.
  4. They ensure all employees have the right technology tools to accomplish their work productively (and if something breaks, they’ll work tirelessly to fix it).
  5. They implement networks and monitor their performance 24/7.
  6. They configure and maintain desktop computer systems.
  7. They monitor the critical aspects of a server environment and manage server performance.
  8. They monitor for viruses, hacking attempts, and other security breaches.
  9. They ensure security systems, including antivirus and firewalls, are functioning properly and up-to-date.
  10. They acquire and install new hardware and software (so you don’t have to).
  11. They implement and manage data backup systems.
  12. They help businesses recover after a disaster or data loss event.
  13. They design and install VoIP systems to improve business communications.
  14. They help businesses move to the cloud, if it’s a strategic fit (they’ll help you figure that out too).
  15. They keep businesses running smoothly and work proactively to reduce the threat of technology-induced downtime.


Any other reasons why you love your MSP? Comment below!



3 Tips to Leverage Your IT Labor Costs

Friday, February 7th, 2014

I’ll make a decent bet that your greatest Information Technology costs are not related to hardware and software. In fact, they’re probably not related to physical technology at all.

What is Your Greatest IT cost?

Support labor!

IT labor costsIT labor costs can be incredibly expensive, especially when an IT Services firm operates on a bill-by-the-hour business model, which is quite normal for outsourced IT service.

These costs are further exacerbated by the plethora of incompetent or inexperienced IT technicians.

If you’re considering hiring an outsourced IT Support and Services firm, read on for some important points to consider to best leverage your IT labor costs.

Tips to Leverage Your IT Labor Costs

Go with Experience

We’re going to let you in on a dirty IT-industry secret: competent, experienced IT people get better results per hour spent, and consequently, per dollar spent, than the masses of IT newbies flooding the industry today.

The differential between Trainee rates and experienced Network Engineer rates do not reflect reality when compared with actual value. One would expect Trainee rates to hover around 25-50% of a Senior Engineer’s rates, when in actuality, they are typically about 60-100%.

In a nutshell, you will be paying the same amount of money (or very close to it) per hour for less experienced IT service as you would for exceptional IT service. And it’s almost guaranteed that a more experienced technician will be able to diagnose and fix your issues much faster and for less overall cost than a team of newbies.

When in doubt, go with experience!

Expertise in your Industry and Business-Type

Whether you are a small investment advisory firm, a medium sized law firm, or a burgeoning health clinic, you need an outsourced IT team that knows the ins and outs of your business.

It’s not enough for an IT Provider to have “experience” – the team should have specific expertise in your industry and with other businesses of your size/type. Your IT Provider should know your industry-specific concerns before you even have to think about them. This will save you money, time, and loads of stress in the long run.

A Flat-Fee, Insurance-Like Program

Outsourced IT support doesn’t have to come in the traditional Bill-by-the-Hour model. With bill-by-the-hour service, where is the Managed Service Provider’s incentive to fix your network problems in a timely manner? Where is the incentive for partnership?

IT support business partnership

A flat-fee, subscription-based IT Management program covers everything you would expect from outsourced IT service, minus the headaches. Think of flat-fee IT service like an Insurance program. For the same cost every month, you are 100% covered for both proactive IT management and any unforeseen issues and labor expenses. An IT Managed Services firm that operates on a flat-fee model would much rather deliver the most reliable network environment possible and prevent problems from ever happening than spend time and money fixing them.

This proactive, not simply reactive, role in your business’ success will save you time and money, and is our best recommendation for leveraging your IT labor costs.


If you’re interested in learning more about flat-fee IT service, look no further than MPA Networks.

MPA made history as the first IT Provider to offer such a program and specializes in this insurance-type model. Even better – MPA has been in business over three decades (the longest of any IT Provider in Northern California) and has the experience to handle your unique situation.

MPA Networks is committed to your ongoing success, not the accumulation of time and materials hours. MPA’s flat-fee approach includes all service and labor, even emergencies, so you need never worry about Bill-by-the-Hour costs.

MPA Networks provides superior outsourced IT service to the San Francisco Bay Area, the Peninsula, San Mateo County, and San Jose.


Take a look at MPA’s Reliable Networks Managed Service Program for more information!