What Are Managed IT and Professional Services? How Do They Help Government and Educational Organizations?

By using managed IT and professional services, government and education (Gov/Ed) organizations are better positioned to keep pace with technological innovations and improve overall performance. They can rely on service providers for a wide range of managed IT services, professional services and construction solutions. But what specifically are these services and how do Gov/Ed organizations benefit?

Managed IT Services

Managed IT services include a variety of data networking options, including Managed Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access, Managed Point to Point Networks, Managed Local or Wide Area Networks  and Managed Wireless Local Area Networks. The right provider will provide and install your router, offer proactive trouble-ticketing and monitoring of your network, and provide a 24/7 customer portal with strong reporting functionality so you can understand performance and usage. These additional services take the complexity of managing a router out of the equation, help solve any potential network issues more quickly, and help IT managers determine when their network is approaching capacity and is in need of an upgrade.

Here’s a summary of each of these services:

  • Managed EDIA – Managed EDIA stands for “Managed Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access.” This service is designed for Gov/Ed organizations that need a dedicated, highly secure connection with more bandwidth between their Local Area Network (LAN) and the public Internet.

Some of the most impactful benefits of Managed EDIA include:

  • Cost Efficiencies – If you connect all of your sites using Managed ELAN, you can use a single EDIA connection to share Internet access across these locations. Purchasing a single, larger bandwidth connection eliminates the need to purchase separate connections for each site. In addition, you only have to access one firewall.
  • Improved Performance – With a dedicated connection, you don’t have to share bandwidth on a connection to the Internet with other businesses.
  • Simplified Management – With Managed EDIA services, your provider will handle all the network complexities, such as managing and maintaining your router. You can also easily integrate Managed EDIA services with other data and voice applications.
  • Symmetrical Connections – You’re able to use the same high-speed service for both data downloads and uploads.
  • Scalability – Depending on the needs of your organization at any point in time, you can adjust your bandwidth requirements up or down.
  • Managed E-LINE – Managed E-Line stands for “Managed Ethernet Line.” This service provides dedicated point-to-point connectivity over a private network instead of the public Internet to improve quality and security.

Two types of Managed E-LINE solutions include Ethernet Private Line (EPL) and Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL). EPL provides point-to-point connectivity for each circuit. Using Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) ports, EPL ensures dedicated transport through the network. By employing dedicated point-to-multipoint virtual circuits, EVPL reduces the need for CPE ports.

Managed E-LINE services offer a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Cost Efficiencies – Managed E-LINE provides a lower cost-per-Mbps than other legacy services, such as frame relay or Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).
  • Improved Performance – Like with Managed EDIA, a dedicated connection ensures you don’t have to share bandwidth to the open Internet with other organizations. With Class of Service (CoS) and Quality of Service (QoS) agreements, you can also prioritize traffic for critical applications.
  • Simplified Management – With Managed E-LINE services, your provider manages and maintains the network equipment. You can also easily integrate Managed E-LINE services with other data and voice applications.
  • Symmetrical Connections – You’re able to use the same high-speed service for both data downloads and uploads.
  • Scalability – Depending on the needs of your Gov/Ed organization at any point in time, you can adjust your bandwidth requirements up or down. 
  • Managed ELAN – Managed ELAN stands for “Managed Ethernet Local Area Network.” Targeted to multi-site organizations, this service is the multipoint version of Managed E-LINE. With Managed ELAN, you can extend your native Ethernet environment to connect multiple locations within a metropolitan area.

Two common Managed ELAN solutions are Ethernet Private Local Area Network (EPLAN) and Ethernet Virtual Private Local Area Network (EVPLAN).  EPLAN provides any-to-any connectivity and enables traffic to flow directly to its destination for fault-tolerant business continuity. EVPLAN offers an additional level of control by employing virtual LAN IDs that determine which locations can communicate directly with each other.

Managed ELAN benefits include:

  • Cost Efficiencies – Managed ELAN offers a lower cost-per-Mbps than other legacy services, such as frame relay or Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).
  • Improved Performance –With Class of Service (CoS) and Quality of Service (QoS) agreements, you can also prioritize traffic for critical applications. With the right provider, you’ll also experience low latency and low packet loss.
  • Simplified Management – With Managed ELAN services, your provider manages and maintains the network equipment. You can also converge voice and data onto a single network.
  • Scalability – Depending on the needs of your organization at any point in time, you can select from a range of bandwidth options. 
  • Managed Wireless LAN – Managed Wireless Local Area Networks (Managed Wireless-LAN) eliminate a cable connection and provide anytime, anywhere connectivity from any device within a limited geographic area. Managed Wireless-LAN can either replace a wired network or be added to an existing wired network.

Noteworthy benefits of Managed Wireless-LAN include:

  • Improved Mobility – By eliminating the need for a cable connection, Managed Wireless-LAN can support the “Bring Your Own Device,” or BYOD, movement. Employees and the public can use their own devices to access government services.
  • Bandwidth-Intensive Application Support – Managed Wireless-LAN can support high-bandwidth applications including video streaming, VoIP and IP surveillance.
  • Enhanced Cabling Infrastructure – If your existing cabling infrastructure won’t support advanced applications, you can eliminate the need to replace it by implementing a Managed Wireless-LAN solution.

Professional Services

Professional services refer to any projects related to building, maintaining and upgrading networks and technologies. An experienced service provider can manage a wide variety of projects, the tasks associated with these projects, and the vendors working on the projects. By turning to a service provider, Gov/Ed organizations can better focus on their core strategies.

Often these services are associated with construction projects, such as:

  • Installing wireless networks and security monitoring systems
  • Designing demarc extensions
  • Conducting site surveys
  • Providing project management
  • Wiring of, or re-wiring among, campus buildings
  • Designing internal cabling
  • Providing fiber-lit services and dark fiber construction

For more information on how managed IT and professional services can help Gov/Ed organizations, download FairPoint Communications’ new white paper. This informative resource discusses how your organization can use IT investments to overcome challenges and accomplish goals. Titled, “Using Next Generation Technology Services to Solve IT Budget Challenges,” this new white paper outlines how investments in data, voice, data center and managed IT services can actually improve your organization’s financial situation.

To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation from an experienced Gov/Ed sales representative, contact FairPoint Communications at 1-866-984-3001. For more information on FairPoint’s technology services, visit our website.

Vice President Karen Romano is Vice President, Government and Education at FairPoint Communications, a leading provider of advanced communications technology in northern New England and 14 other states across the U.S.