The Managed Service Provider vs. Vendor Management System Debate

As organizations increasingly rely on the cloud and third-party vendors to deliver IT services, managed service providers (MSPs) and vendor management systems (VMSs) play an increasingly important role in ensuring uptime, security, and regulatory compliance while also saving money. 

But which one should you choose? This article explores the similarities and differences between MSPs and VMSs to help you decide which managed IT service better suits your business needs.

What’s a VMS?

A VMS is an application that automates and standardizes what used to be a labor-intensive, paper-based manual process. It allows you to track vendors, manage contracts, schedule payments, and even automate invoices in one place.

What is an MSP?

An MSP is a company that provides IT support for multiple clients. There are two main types of MSPs: internal and external. Internal providers are employees who work within an organization to provide services, while external providers are independent contractors hired by an organization to provide services on its behalf.

How Are These Services Different?

  • MSPs are responsible for managing multiple vendors, while VMSs are focused on managing one vendor at a time.
  • MSPs can be more flexible in their approach to vendor management because they aren’t tied to a single vendor at any given time. On the other hand, VMSs are designed explicitly for managing one vendor at a time.
  • MSPs are typically more focused on managing a vendor’s service, while VMSs are more concerned with managing a vendor’s relationship with an organization.

It’s hard to understand how MSP and VMS are different without being able to visualize them. However, there are some key differences between these two approaches to vendor management. One approach isn’t necessarily better than another; they simply serve different purposes in an organization.

When Do You Need an MSP Over a VMS?

A ConnectWise VMS works for vendors with smaller products, whereas an MSP can work for vendors with a larger number of products. So if you’re managing more than ten different products, it might be better to use an MSP instead of a VMS.

When Do You Need a VMS Over an MSP?

There are various situations where having a VMS is ideal over an MSP. On top of those listed above, you might need to use a VMS if you want more control over what happens with your data than an MSP can provide. Also, if you have strict compliance requirements that require you to keep your data in-house or under your direct control.

When Should You Use Both in Tandem?

A managed service provider (MSP) could take care of your data security, while an IT vendor management system (VMS) would handle new applications and software updates. The MSP’s services are more proactive in nature, while VMS are more reactive. In short, they complement each other very well.

VMS or MSP? With both having their own advantages and disadvantages, one thing is for sure: these are two systems that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. So how do you choose between them? In our opinion, it depends on your business needs.

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