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Managed Services Agreement (MSA)

Also known as a Managed Services Contract

Why you need a Managed Services Agreement (MSA)

If you are a Managed Services Provider then the Managed Services Agreement (MSA) is the perfect tool for you! You need a contract that will lock in the fundamentals of the services you provide and that can be used time and time again for every new client you take on. A contract that provides a clear understanding of obligations, payment, termination, and liability.

If you’re providing support and/or managing systems, you’ll need to ensure that your template is tailored to your needs. Support terms are different from build terms, so you’ll need a specialised approach – we can help you with that.

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What is a Managed Services Agreement (MSA)?

The Managed Services Agreement is the terms and conditions of your business ventures. It provides the Client with the answers to everything from response times and service levels to payment structure and responsibilities.

It’s ideal for medium-sized deals, where your customer may already have some in-house capability or the service is not business critical.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can a customer cancel a Managed Services Agreement?

A: Yes. A Managed Services Agreement will outline all scenarios and procedures for terminating an agreement. It is, of course, not as straightforward as clicking “cancel” like you would for normal subscriptions. If either party could terminate for convenience, the other party could be left financially exposed. In our MSA for instance, a party must give 3 month’s notice to cancel the “auto-renew”.

Q: What is the difference between a Managed Services Contract and a Master Services Agreement?

A: Both documents can be referred to as an MSA. However, Managed Services Contracts are specifically for Managed Services. A Master Services Agreement can instead be used for a wider range of projects whilst still providing a foundation of terms and conditions.

Q: Can a Service Level Agreement (SLA) be used instead of a Managed Services Agreement?

A: An SLA created for managed service providers (MSPs) usually details response time to fix faults, fees, details on down time, and normally works alongside an MSA. For an SLA to be as thorough and comprehensive as a full MSA they would have to be another 40 pages long! And that is fine, if you only have one or two Clients to work with… Most Microsoft Partners use one MSA for all their clients, only redrafting the smaller SLA; this way is the most time efficient.

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Table of contents

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Sample table of contents

Key facts

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For these Microsoft Partners

  • Managed Services Provider
  • ISV, Software, Apps and IP
  • System Integrators Professional Services Consultancy Partners
  • Hosting Partners
  • Licensing Partners

This is a 'Forever template'

We will continually update this template with the frequent Microsoft updates such as CSP and other flow down terms, plus we will update the relevant terms to ensure you can claim as many rebates as possible, and get recognised by Microsoft such as CPoR, (Claims Partner of Record) DPoR (Digital Partner of Record), and PAL (Partner Admin Link).

We will also continually update this template as the law changes, for example, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the effects of Brexit on our laws, as we untangle ourselves from the European Union.

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