Managed v. Support Services: What is the Difference?

Could your organization benefit from some help? Of course it could. In today’s world, employees are constantly asked to take on multiple roles. At some point, however, people (and entire organizations for that matter) can lose touch with what gives them their competitive advantage. People start spending more and more time performing tasks that don’t actually contribute to real growth or improvements. When that occurs, it may be time to consider bringing in outside help so your people can refocus on more strategic and growth-oriented work.


So, what is the difference?

The question, then, is what kind of help is best? The options are numerous, but two of the more popular approaches are to leverage Managed Services and/or Support Services. While the two may seem similar, they are actually very different. If you forget everything you may have heard about these two service models in the past, understanding the difference is quite simple. The answer is literally in the names (manage and support). Supporting is the act of assisting or helping. Managing, on the other hand, infers more control, ownership and responsibility.


Managed Services

When organizations are looking to handoff the responsibility of an entire business function (i.e. Billing, HR, Finance, etc.), they should consider Managed Services. Within this arrangement, an organization would typically hire a managed service provider (or MSP) and pay them based on the perceived value of not having to perform that entire function internally. One of the key benefits touted by MSP’s is overall cost. Top managed service providers specialize in certain business functions and provide those services to numerous organizations simultaneously. This focus allows them to take advantage of economies of scale which can be passed along to clients as cost savings. In the most effective Managed Services arrangements, the managed service provider becomes an extension of the company they support.


Support Services

Support Services, on the other hand, involves helping or assisting an organization with certain more-specific activities. Individuals providing support under this type arrangement do not own the capability, they help enable it.  An example includes specialized resources that aren’t required full-time. Think of an organization that leverages primarily out of the box functionality within Salesforce. The maintenance required for this system may be minimal so the cost of employing a full-time Salesforce resource may be impractical (not to mention expensive). Instead of hiring, training and retaining a full-time employee for this part-time job, the organization could benefit from Support Services. In this example, the organization may simply buy a certain number of hours per month or per year from a company that is able to provide skilled Salesforce talent.


Who should be considering this?

If you are an organization looking to supplement your Salesforce capacity, considering support services should be on your agenda. Support Services offering’s, like Statêra’s, allows organizations to tap into and leverage some of the most qualified and knowledgeable Salesforce resources in the business.



About Jud

Jud McDonald is the Business Consulting Practice Lead at Statêra and has deep experience managing both Managed and Support Services. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Millsaps College.