Frequently Asked Questions for Managed Services

What are the signs that I need Managed Services?

We recommend getting a Managed Services Provider (MSP) if you experience any of the signs below:  

  • Your IT is bogged down with support requests that are beyond their core expertise.  
  • Your organisation does not have the advanced tools or skills to guard against cyberthreats.  
  • You rely on the reactive or break/fix support services of a part-time IT consultant that is turning out to be more expensive.  
  • You don’t have a long-term strategic IT plan to future-proof your business or take advantage of new technologies.

Our helpdesk and support engineers based in Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland and Perth can provide you with proactive IT support assistance. Get in touch with us at 1800 126 499 or email us at for more information about our Managed IT Services

What if we already have an internal IT department?

No problem. We work with many organisations where we complement their existing IT team either as their first-level of support or the point of escalation. We can work with you to identify the best arrangement that will suit your current business requirements.

Get in touch with us at 1800 126 499 to explore your options with Professional Advantage’s Managed Services.

How does PA’s Virtual CIO work?

The vCIO acts as your strategic IT consultant and helps you make the more important decisions around security, long-term IT plans, and budgeting. Our Virtual CIO (vCIO) reports to you three days a week, with a minimum of 2 months of engagement. 

Get in touch with us at 1800 126 499 or email us at to learn more about our vCIO services. 

How to choose the right Managed Services Provider?

Your MSP should have the following qualities.  

  • Deep product expertise.  
  • Strong track record for delivering results.  
  • Positive client reviews and references.  
  • Proven competency such as average response times, SLA hit rates, on-time delivery, etc.  
  • Ideally with local presence.  

What is a Virtual CIO (vCIO)?

A Virtual CIO (vCIO) is an IT executive who provides strategic guidance, formulates long-term IT plans and provides compliance and security inputs. Our vCIO service provides access to expensive but needed talent even to small and mid-size organisations without the hassle of recruiting or the high costs of salaries. 

Contact us at 1800 126 499 or email us at to learn more about our vCIO services. 

What is the difference between a traditional and modern MSP?

Traditional MSPs (managed service providers) offers organisations with support services that are focused on IT infrastructure and break / fix models. These were designed to support pre-cloud client server infrastructures, unintelligent desktop platforms, and predominantly “in-office” workplace models. Most traditional MSPs help your business with network services, server management, monitoring, and desktop support.

On the other hand, Modern MSPs put digital transformation at the heart of providing support services, enabling you to fully harness your cloud software investments by providing your organisation with a vision to adopt and embrace the tools you are licensed for. Apart from infrastructure-related support services, Modern MSPs help you turn your cloud software investments like Microsoft 365 into valuable solutions that help you differentiate your business in the market, engage your customers and employees better, and save time and money.

Compare traditional vs modern MSPs in more detail in this blog.

What are PA’s support hours?

  1. Normal Support Hours
    Support Hours. The hours of operation are between 9 AM and 5 PM (local Sydney time) Monday to Friday, excluding Australian National Public Holidays.
  2. After Normal Support Hours.
    The Support Team offer a 24-hour contact service. Three options are available to you depending on the urgency of your problem.
    1. Option 1
      Log your support case via our myPA Portal. A support team member will take ownership of your case during normal support hours.
    2. Option 2
      Leave a voicemail message with your company and contact details, plus a brief description of your problem, and a support team member will return your call at the earliest opportunity during normal support hours.
    3. Emergency out of hours phone support
      Should emergency support be required outside the normal support hours, assistance is available. By contacting the Support Hotline outside the normal support hours, you can follow the prompts to receive emergency assistance. Note: This service is provided on a ‘best efforts’ basis with no guarantee of resolution as a chargeable exercise and billed at double the standard consulting rate on a time and materials basis.

For the complete support service level guide, please refer to this page.

How does PA assign the severity level of my cases?

When assigning a severity level to your support case, we consider the severity of the problem, the business impact to your organisation, and whether there is a suitable workaround available. The severity level may change during the life of the support case. Please use the following as a guideline:

  • Severity 1 – Critical
    • Your entire system is inoperable and your organisation is critically impacted.
  • Severity 2 – High
    • You cannot use the system, or a function of the system is not working correctly and is affecting your processing. No workaround is available. Your business is severely impacted.
  • Severity 3 – Medium
    • A function is not working correctly but is not mission critical. Often a workaround will exist although the issue does need to be resolved. Your business is not seriously affected.
  • Severity 4 – Low

A question or request for information regarding existing systems, new products, or functionality.

Each active case will be assigned an agreed severity level. You can change the severity level of a case and therefore the priority by liaising with the Support Team.

For the complete support service level guide, please refer to this page.

What is PA’s initial response time?

PA will make commercially reasonable efforts to respond within one (1) hour during Normal Support Hours to confirm status and next actions.

One-hour response time

A response time of one hour is given to client's initial request. Following that initial response, the severity and commit times will be agreed and managed throughout the issue resolution process.

For the complete support service level guide, please refer to this page 

What is PA’s resolution times?

Case resolution is often an investigative process with many variables, and often requires collaboration and troubleshooting by various teams to determine the root cause to bring your case to resolution. Thus, providing target resolution times is difficult. We do commit to providing regular updates as we progress through the troubleshooting process, and we will continue to work the issue until it is resolved. 

For the complete support service level guide, please refer to this page. 

What is meant by managed security service provider (MSSP)?

Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) offers more focused support services around security like incident response, threat detection, security monitoring, and vulnerability management.

What are the benefits of managed security services?

Businesses benefit from engaging a highly specialised MSP through:

  • Reduced IT costs. Leverage the tools in Microsoft 365 to protect your business against cyber threats and get instant access to qualified support engineers and cybersecurity professionals without hiring a full-time headcount. 
  • Get proactive systems monitoring using Microsoft Defender Suite. 
  • Receive monthly reporting analysis to make sense of the alerts the MSSP received and the recommended actions for your IT environment. 
  • Benchmark against Microsoft 365 Secure Score. 
  • Single point of contact for licensing, consulting services, and support.

Contact us today to learn how your business can benefit from our MSSP.

What is the difference between an MSP and an MSSP?

You’ve probably heard of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and might be already working with a traditional MSP. 

At a high level, MSPs focus on IT infrastructure and operations, and the traditional ones help your business with network services, server management and monitoring, and desktop support.

On the other hand, modern MSPs, such as Professional Advantage, deliver what traditional MSPs do but put digital transformation at the heart of providing support services. This enables organisations to fully harness their cloud software investments by giving your business a vision to adopt the tools you are licensed for.

A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP, also like Professional Advantage) offers more focused support services around security like incident response, threat detection, security monitoring, and vulnerability management. With Professional Advantage being highly specialised in leveraging Microsoft 365 security solutions, our MSSP can help you build the visibility and coverage your business needs to defend against the latest cloud threats.  


What security solutions does Professional Advantage as an MSSP use in Microsoft 365 to protect my business?

As an MSSP that is highly specialised in Microsoft 365 security solutions, Professional Advantage provides your business with proactive systems monitoring through alerts via: 

  • Microsoft Defender for Identity – uses Active Directory signals and Microsoft’s cloud intelligence to protect against identity-based threats, compromised and malicious users, and lateral movement on your on-premises AD environment.
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpointthe Server and Desktop endpoint protection platform provides everything from prevention to detection investigation, response, and risk mitigation for endpoints.
  • Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps – detecting unusual behaviour across cloud apps to identify ransomware, compromised users, or rogue applications.  
  • Microsoft Defender for 365 – offering threat protection across email and other collaboration vectors like Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business and Office clients.  
  • Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Intune) and Azure Active Directory Conditional Access policies – receive a rapid incident response to critical issues and risks to mobile devices, non-compliant devices, dormant devices etc.  

How does Microsoft Secure Score help my business stay safer?

Microsoft Secure Score (previously known as Office 365 Secure Score) is a threat and vulnerability management tool within Microsoft 365 that measures and monitors your security posture. It lists improvement actions based on three buckets within Microsoft 365: identities, apps, and devices. A high score generally means you have an effective security posture, whereas a low score indicates having a higher susceptibility to a breach. It provides a report of the average scores for companies like yours, including Microsoft’s recommendations and best practices to fix it if you have a low score. 

Using the Secure Score provides you with a benchmark against companies of similar industry and size to yours which is a good reference point to compare and establish your own key performance indicators (KPIs). Learn more about Microsoft Secure Score, what is an acceptable score, and how it aligns with Essential Eight in this blog post.

New to Professional Advantage?

If you are new to PA and would like to get your Secure Score analysed, please sign up for your complimentary 60-minute assessment today. Our team will review and analyse up to 10 items in your Secure Score that need remediation and will provide high-level recommendations to improve your Microsoft 365 security. Sign up here.