Difference Between Managed Services and Freelancers

In a complex environment, such as what we have now where challenges like the unstable economy, rising cost of living, and competitive environment, companies seek to maintain stability or want to focus their resources on their core competencies. They are often faced with a predicament of choosing their outsourcing provider between having a managed services provider or freelance workers.

Unknown to many, there is a big gap between in these two outsourcing options. In this ever-competitive market, there are several important considerations in choosing a managed service provider over a freelance worker.
managed services

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Infrastructure

One of the differences between hiring a managed service agency and a freelancer is the former’s capability to support big and time-consuming projects with their infrastructure. Freelancers are often home-based, their access to high-end technologies is only limited to what is available in the consumer market.

Also, most of the novice freelancers are not yet capable of using a fast and reliable internet connection.  This compromises their communication with their clients and/or customers.

Managed services providers invest heavily in their infrastructure to meet even the most challenging tasks delegated to them. This includes advanced workstations, e-mail facilities, groupware applications, office applications, and even server maintenance facility.

They also have the capacity to purchase the fastest internet connection available in the market.  This, ensures seamless communication and collaboration between the managed service professionals and the client.

Industry-Specific Expertise and Commitment

Another factor that separates fully managed services agency from freelancers is the quality of their talent or expertise. Although freelancers have the capability to do the job, they often accept job orders from other clients which might influence the quality of their performance.

In a managed services context, an outsourced job is properly divided among staff. Depending on the nature of the outsourced job, each staff is only designated to do a specific part of the task, thus allowing them to fully concentrate on it. This results in a superior performance and output handed on time.

Managed service providers follow a strict set of procedures in hiring employees.   The screening process may take several steps to include assessments and test which increase the possibility of finding a matching candidate.  
Payment

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Payment Terms

One of the key distinctions of managed providers to freelance is that the bills are based on meeting key Service Level Agreements, ensuring the quality of services and/or products- which is beneficial to the client.

Managed service providers are known to directly tell their clients of the upfront and monthly fees, thus allowing to anticipate the exact figure that you have to deal with which makes it easier for clients to manage their finances.

In freelance services, the payment usually depends on an informal agreement between the freelancer and the client. They also charge much lower than managed services which makes them ideal for short term projects, or unexpected deliverables that need to be done as soon and as cost-effective as possible.

Full Support from The Agency

Managed service providers focus on the proactive provision of services rather than reactive. Their proactive approach in addressing minor and/or major glitches in your processes ensures that non-core operations are running smoothly 24/7. By doing so, managed services actually avoid disruptions to the business flow altogether.

Companies that provide outsourcing services also employ team leaders or supervisors to help oversee the work of your staff. This ensures that the outsourced project follows the quality guidelines stated in the contract.

Continuity of the Project

Project continuity is another factor to consider when outsourcing a project. A freelancer may have a less structured work schedule, causing project delays. However, their work structure may also allow the client to just pull out from the project and just pay the freelancers for the initial output they have already finished.

On the other hand, managed services providers invest in some technologies to ensure the security and continuity of the projects such as backup and disaster recovery program, and high-end data security software.

Accountability

A report from the Help Desk Institute revealed that 72% of companies who sourced fully managed service providers measure and are accountable for their performance. In contrast, only 50% of self-managed services solutions, including freelancing, measure and are held accountable for their performance- revealing that a managed service providers are far stricter in following Service Level Agreement compared to freelanced SLA.

You can generally count on managed service providers to be upfront and to inform you in a timely manner about changes to their platforms, services, or business structure that directly or indirectly affects your business.  
management

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Management

A lot of companies today are striving to cost-effectively achieve optimum quality in all aspect of their business. Getting ISO certification would be extremely hard if some of your biggest backend projects are not checked regularly, let alone guided.

In freelancing context, seldom do companies have the chance to closely monitor and track each project’s deliverables. This loss of control often results in late submissions of outputs, or worst, projects with poor quality.

In comparison, although your outsourced staff is working remotely, managed service agencies give you the opportunity to fully control the staff of your choosing.   This is done through use of technology such as remote desktop screen monitoring, among others.

Managed service providers strongly encourage their clients to have a normal management-staff relationship with the outsourced employee- all through the use of modern communication tools such as instant messaging and video call applications such as Skype. This ensures that each task delegated are in line with your company’s standard and each project milestones are all accomplished on time.

It takes a lot of resources to monitor freelancers in time of distraught and operational imbalances. Investing too much time, effort and money in searching a freelancer to improve your non-core operations are too impractical these days. Focusinc is an outsourcing company that specializes in fully managed services. We assure to provide you with the right people to deal with your day-to-day operations, right process to improve your overall efficiency and right tools to do the job right at the first time. Contact us today to learn more about managed services. Just go to our website at www.focusingroup.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more details.
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