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When I speak to VARs about the managed services industry, it is commonly defined by two key services: network management and security management. However, for VARs that seek to provide managed services to the growing and highly underserved market of small businesses, managed services must include more than network and security management.

Although those services are essential to the model, small businesses need more. Small businesses seek a partner that operates as their entire IT department. For example, VARs must provide a communication path to clients that allow for resolution of user issues in a timely and effective manner. This can be easily achieved with an incident management process that enables client requests to be defined and tracked to completion. The Service Desk commonly serves as the contact for your customer for all IT-related issues or incidents. In addition to logging and tracking user requests, the Service Desk provides a first-level of remediation by solving issues over the phone.

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