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Break Free of the Telco: Unlock Better Business Voice and IT with an MSSP

Introduction

Managed service providers (MSPs) and telecommunications companies (telcos) both offer important technology services for businesses. However, they have key differences in their focus and capabilities.

MSPs are IT services companies that manage and assume responsibility for customers’ IT infrastructure and operations. This allows businesses to outsource IT needs to dedicated experts. MSPs provide services like cloud hosting, data backup, cybersecurity, and technical support.

Telcos are companies that provide telecommunications services like telephone, internet, TV, and networking. Large telcos install and maintain the physical infrastructure to deliver these services. They also bundle communication services into packages for consumers and businesses.

Both MSPs and telcos play vital roles in outfitting businesses with the technology they need. However, when it comes to advanced voice communications and IT services, MSPs have some distinct advantages over telcos.

MSSP Expertise

Managed security service providers (MSSPs) specialize in IT security services and have extensive expertise in protecting businesses from cyber threats. Their sole focus is on security, whereas telcos have to balance many different services.

MSSPs employ certified IT security professionals and engineers who are dedicated to staying on top of the latest cybersecurity threats and solutions. They use advanced security tools and follow proven methodologies to identify risks, detect threats, respond to incidents, and optimize defenses.

With an MSSP, businesses gain a partner that deeply understands their security needs. MSSPs assess each customer’s infrastructure, data, regulations, and risks to create customized solutions. Their security experts provide ongoing monitoring, management, and recommendations tailored to the client.

Unlike large telcos trying to sell bundled services, MSSPs are motivated to provide the best. Their reputation and specialist abilities give businesses confidence in their security and IT infrastructure. MSSPs alleviate the burden for internal IT teams to become security experts. With MSSPs, businesses can focus on core operations knowing their critical systems and data are secured.

Telco Expertise

Telcos have traditionally focused on providing network connectivity and voice services. They operate and manage the physical infrastructure that enables phone calls, internet connectivity, wireless networks, etc. This includes the “last mile” connections into homes and businesses, as well as the core backbone networks.

Telcos excel at delivering reliable phone and internet services at scale across their coverage footprints. They have extensive networks of cables, switches, routers, cell towers and other infrastructure to deliver these core connectivity services. While their expertise lies in operating complex physical network infrastructure, their experience in delivering higher level IT services is limited.

Telcos offer voice services like traditional landline phone service, VOIP phone systems, SIP trunking and other voice solutions. These are tightly coupled with the network connectivity they provide. However, telcos generally offer standardized voice products rather than customized solutions tailored to each business. Their voice service expertise is deep but narrow.

MSSP Integration

Managed Service Security Providers (MSSPs) have deep expertise in integrating multiple vendors and technologies into a cohesive IT environment for their clients. MSSPs maintain partnerships and certifications with all the major players in IT infrastructure, allowing them to seamlessly incorporate solutions like voice services, cloud hosting, backup and disaster recovery, network security, and more.

The key advantage of an MSSP is their ability to take an independent, multi-vendor approach to meet each customer’s unique needs. An MSSP will evaluate all the leading options and choose the best solutions to integrate for that client, without being tied to any particular vendor. They can mix and match elements from different providers into a customized environment which can also bring cost savings into a business.

In contrast, telcos primarily promote their own internally developed products and services. While telcos may partner with some outside vendors, their core focus is pushing their own voice, network, and cloud solutions. Telcos take a bundled “one size fits all” approach rather than independently selecting best-of-breed components tailored to each customer.

With an MSSP, clients gain the flexibility of a technology-agnostic partner integrating specialized solutions for their specific requirements. Telcos push their own branded suite of products which may not be the ideal fit. MSSPs focus on integration, while telcos focus on product bundles.

Telco Bundling

Telcos have limited ability to bundle and partner to deliver full IT and voice services. They are constrained by their own networks, products, and partnerships. For example, a telco may partner with 1-2 UC vendors to deliver voice services over their network. This means customers are limited to that vendor choice. The telco bundles their own network and voice/UC as a package.

In contrast, MSSPs have the flexibility to bundle best-of-breed solutions since they work with many vendors, networks, and partnerships. The MSSP acts as the integrator across multiple vendors, customizing solutions for each customer from also a cybersecurity standpoint. They are not limited to pushing their own products or a small set of partner offerings. The MSSP bundles solutions in an agnostic manner to find the ideal mix of IT and voice for each customer.

MSSP Customization

MSSPs have the ability to tailor their offerings to each client’s unique needs, creating customized solutions rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Their expertise allows them to assess each business’s specific requirements, workflows, and objectives to design and implement the ideal voice and IT infrastructure.

Some key advantages of MSSP customization include:

  • Integrating new voice services and features that improve productivity, collaboration, customer experience, and operations. MSSPs keep up with the latest advancements and can recommend and deploy the optimal technologies for each client.
  • Optimizing performance, availability, and security based on the client’s size, industry, applications, and risk profile. MSSPs take a consultative approach to maximize reliability and data protection.
  • Providing hands-on support, training, and change management to ease transitions and help staff master new systems and processes. MSSPs ensure a smooth onboarding onto customized platforms.
  • Scaling services up or down as business needs evolve. MSSPs are flexible and agile, making adjustments to meet changing requirements over time.
  • Delivering truly personalized service and support. MSSPs assign dedicated teams who get to know each client’s preferences and priorities.

The ability to customize sets MSSPs apart from telco providers that tend to offer generalized bundles with little flexibility. MSSPs create the ideal environment to support each client’s goals and growth.

Telco Standardization

Telcos typically offer standardized bundles for business voice and IT services. This makes it easy for them to deliver at scale, but provides little customization or flexibility. Telcos aim to optimize profits through economies of scale, not tailored solutions.

Some downsides of the telco standardized approach include:

  • Generic service bundles that may not fit each business’ unique needs. One size does not fit all when it comes to technology.
  • Difficulty adjusting the solution as a business evolves. Rigid bundles make it hard to change components when needs shift.
  • No ability to integrate specialized third-party apps and tools. The telco’s bundle is a closed system.
  • Limited feature set within voice and IT tools. Vanilla offerings without advanced capabilities.
  • No consulting or guidance on getting the most from the technology. Telcos provide basic onboarding and support.
  • Slow response to issues and change requests. Large telcos tend to be bureaucratic and slow moving.

In summary, telco standardized bundles trade customization for scale benefits. This leaves many businesses with technology that doesn’t fully meet their needs.

MSSP Security

Managed security service providers (MSSPs) offer advanced threat protection that goes far beyond what telecom companies can provide. MSSPs utilize cutting-edge technologies like AI and machine learning to detect and respond to the latest cyber threats in real time. They also have in house experts with many years of experience specially in certain industries that most telcos do not have.

MSSPs employ 24/7 security operations centers staffed by certified experts to monitor networks, analyze threats, and rapidly respond to incidents. This level of expert security talent would be cost-prohibitive for most organizations to hire in-house. MSSPs stay on top of the threat landscape and update defenses as new threats emerge.

In contrast, telcos at best offer firewalls and antivirus software. Their security offerings lack the sophistication to defend against modern advanced persistent threats, ransomware, zero days, and other complex attacks. Telcos simply don’t have the security focus and expertise that MSSPs possess.

By partnering with an MSSP, organizations gain a depth of security that telcos cannot match. MSSPs provide advanced threat detection, proactive threat hunting, incident response, forensic analysis, compliance reporting, and more – delivering robust, enterprise-grade security tailored to each customer’s needs. For superior security, MSSPs are the clear choice over telcos.

Telco Security

Telcos typically provide only basic security and monitoring measures for their business voice and IT services. They may offer firewalls, spam filtering, and antivirus software, but lack advanced threat protection capabilities.

Telcos are principally not cybersecurity specialists, they are telecommunication specialist. Their security offerings are designed for the general consumer and business market, not tailored to meet specific business needs specially when it comes to compliance. Enterprises today face sophisticated threats like ransomware, data breaches, and DDoS attacks. Telcos are not equipped or flexible enough to fully protect against these risks.

Telcos also struggle to provide unified visibility and control across their different services. With voice, internet, mobile, and cloud solutions bundled together, businesses need integrated security monitoring and management. Telcos often deliver these as disjointed point solutions.

Lacking robust security measures opens businesses to substantial risk. Telcos promote their packages as all-in-one IT solutions when the reality is they only provide bare minimum security. Companies need advanced protections like Zero-Trust SASE, endpoint detection, Open-XDR SIEM, email security, CNAPP and more.

Telcos are voice and connectivity providers first. They cannot match the expertise of a dedicated Managed Security Service Provider. MSSPs focus solely on securing the modern enterprise. They bring far stronger security capabilities to the table.

Conclusion

When choosing between an MSSP and a telco for business voice and IT services, the key differences lie in expertise, integration, customization, and security.

  • MSSPs specialize in managed security services, with advanced expertise in threat detection, incident response, and compliance. Their core focus is on security. In contrast, security is not a telco’s primary business.
  • MSSPs excel at integrating disparate systems into a unified whole, stitching together complex technology environments. Telcos tend to offer bundled packages of their own products and services.
  • MSSPs customize solutions to each client’s unique needs and infrastructure. Telcos provide more standardized offerings.
  • MSSPs implement layered security models and advanced protections like SIEM. Telcos offer baseline security measures.

For these reasons, MSSPs are often a better choice than a telco for delivering customized, deeply integrated, and highly secure voice and IT services tailored to a company’s specific requirements. With specialized expertise and customer-centric approach, MSSPs go beyond the telco bundles of generic solutions.

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