What Is A Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

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Updated: Sep 26, 2022, 12:00pm

What Is A Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

Table of Contents

Definition of a managed service provider, common msp coverage areas, how does an msp work, benefits of using an msp, how to find an msp, is an msp right for your business, frequently asked questions (faqs).

An organization responsible for managing and delivering services to another organization as per their requirement is called a managed service provider (MSP). The services provided by an MSP typically are ongoing and remote. Traditionally, an MSP was used to manage or deliver information technology (IT) services like infrastructure, security, networking and applications. But a modern-day managed service provider may also manage an organization’s other business needs, such as staffing, payroll , customer engagement and vendor management.

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In this article, we will discuss what an MSP does, what are the benefits of using an MSP and how you can find the MSP right for your business.

A service provider that manages one or more of your business areas to maintain business continuity on a day-to-day basis is a managed service provider. MSPs are used as strategic partners to improve operational efficiency of businesses of all types and sizes from small to medium-sized (SMBs) to government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Managed service providers have a pool of experts that can handle the most complex business processes. Thus, through MSPs, you get access to the best talent and latest technology available in the market without costs increasing quickly.

You can find a managed service provider to handle almost all your business processes. Traditionally, when IT infrastructure became crucial for business success, organizations started outsourcing their IT processes including Infrastructure installation and management, networking, security and data warehouses, this gave them access to the MSP’s expertise and capabilities without incurring high costs.

The same principle is now applied to any business processes in which organizations do not have in-house expertise and setting up the capabilities would require diverting resources from more important activities. For instance, with hybrid work models and multiple categories of employees―full-time, part-time, freelance, contractual and more―in every organization, human resources has become a complex process. So, many businesses choose to outsource their different human resources (HR) activities to professional employer organizations (PEOs) .

Business processes that are usually outsourced to a managed service provider includes:

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Once you have selected an MSP and the contracts and service-level agreements (SLAs) are in place, the service provider starts by fully analyzing the outsourced processes. This enables them to identify how to maximize resource utilization and reduce costs while improving process efficiencies. Their experts also identify challenges within your processes, which you might not have been able to do yourself.

Based on the analysis and liabilities and risk identification, the service provider builds a fully customized solution and provides ongoing maintenance and support for the outsourced processes.

Current business landscape is highly competitive and it makes sense for businesses to focus on their core competency. However other departments like staffing, HR , payroll and benefits administration, IT infrastructure and applications, are crucial for smooth running of the overall business.

MSPs have expertise in the processes that they manage. So, when you hire an MSP for noncore processes, you and your team can focus on activities that drive growth while ensuring that other processes are also being run by experts and not getting neglected. Here are some benefits of hiring an MSP:

Before you find an MSP to manage a business process/area, you need to assess your needs and decide on a budget for it. Ask yourself―do you have the necessary in-house expertise to handle the processes you are planning to outsource. If you have the expertise, is it available freely or will you need to reallocate from other projects? Also, you need to consider if you will need to hire more people.

If you do not have the necessary expertise in-house, what will be your expenditure in the short-term, such as initial establishment costs, and then the recurring costs in the long term if you want that capability in-house. You should be spending less than that amount on the managed service provider.

Once you have decided that hiring a managed service provider would be more efficient and cost-effective, make a shortlist of eight to 10 MSPs. Research into their past performance, available team of experts and testimonials from past clients to understand if they will be able to meet your needs.

Remember that it is not necessary that they have a prior experience that is identical to your requirements. If they have the necessary expertise and the willingness to provide what you want, that should suffice.

Talk to the service providers representatives and understand how they will be managing and maintaining the services. This will help you in comparing the shortlisted MSPs and reaching a conclusion. Needless to add, the MSP must be able to work within your budget.

An MSP with a proven track record of success is best for you but if someone is new but willing to learn and provide excellent services, you should be open to trying them out. Changing MSPs frequently does not bode well for business continuity and growth. So, explore their company culture and try to judge if you would be able to forge a long-term relationship with them.

How much should an MSP cost?

An MSP should cost less than it takes you to set up the capability in-house. While calculating the cost of setting up the in-house team, take into account not the initial fixed cost of hiring and buying tools but also recurring costs of employee payment and engagement.

What is the role of a managed service provider?

A managed service provider is responsible for delivering services, such as IT infrastructure and maintenance, security, payroll and benefits administration , vendor management, HR, and customer relationships management (CRM) to your business. They are further responsible for the day-to-day administration and management of these services.

How do managed services work?

The business area that you have outsourced is typically managed by the MSP using SaaS. The application creates users with requisite permissions, and they can use the application as if it were running in-house.

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Service provider strategies

Service providers face three alternative paths to success.

Service providers can be categorized into three distinct strategies depending on whether they lead, challenge or follow the market, and the chosen strategies directly correlate with market performance.

Key findings

Having an executable strategy is key to succeeding in any business. Selecting the right strategy based on business assets, market conditions and competitive landscape is critical. An Ericsson study looked at over 300 service providers around the world to see what similarities and differences can be found in their strategies, and identified the key characteristics of best-in-class service providers which successfully execute their strategy to maximize returns.

Service providers compete with distinct strategies

The three strategies that service providers were found to adhere to in this study are labeled quality-led, offering-led and industry-led. 1 Although the strategies have different focuses and are distinct, each is built upon several, common key elements, for which service providers put in varying degrees of effort based on their strengths and selected business goals.


Market leaders typically apply the quality-led strategy, often coming from the incumbent position, and therefore tend to maintain their lead in terms of network coverage and quality. The focus and investments are on network transformation, sites, spectrum and being first to deploy the latest technology to maintain their number one leading position in quality. Their marketing typically showcases their leading position in network performance. Often having greater resources than their competition, quality-led service providers are more selective and choose to have few strategic partnerships.


The offering-led strategy is mostly deployed by challengers. The ambition is to be first to market with new offerings. Prominent in this strategy is maintaining a high level of market innovation to capture market share, often with one-for-all offerings, coupled with targeted distribution. These challengers use extensive campaigns and promotional programs to gain traction and capitalize on their “first-mover advantage”. Offering-led service providers also work with multiple partners in the area of products and services. They typically use modern technology – such as AI – in their operations, as well as a wide use of omni-channel strategies for customer experience management.


Most service providers follow general market trends, referred to here as the industry-led strategy. These service providers are seldom, or never, first to market. This is illustrated by their approach to network quality, which is similar to the quality-led strategy, but without the ambition or potential to reach a leading position. This also applies to their go-to-market strategy for service offerings, distribution, campaigns and use of sub-brands. Industry-led service providers find success as fast followers, focusing on a value-for-money proposition that delivers what their customer segment desires, and typically have lower levels of average revenue per user (ARPU).


For this Ericsson study, 308 service providers, in 121 countries worldwide, were researched and analyzed using publicly available information. A strategy analysis framework, originally developed by C. Campbell-Hunt at MIT, was applied and revised to fit the telecom industry. Analysis of service providers’ financial performance, service offerings and network performance has been extended by cross-comparing the findings with other owned studies or external sources. Data was collected during Q1–Q3 2020.

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Figure 27: Network performance on a global level

Differentiation through sustainable leadership in network performance

Network performance data 2 shows the throughput delivered with a 90 percent probability, meaning 90 percent of the samples have better performance than shown in Figure 27. This illustrates that service providers with a quality-led approach successfully execute their strategies to build a network performance gap, having significantly better results in terms of downlink and uplink speeds as well as lower latency. Both offering- and industry-led service providers aim to have “good enough” network performance, trailing the quality-led operators but not investing as heavily in network transformation.

Today, 69 percent of the quality-led service providers have launched 5G for smartphones commercially, leveraging their position further through a moderate price premium on 5G. Only 31 percent of offering-led and 16 percent of industry-led have launched 5G. Although the offering-led group chose a price position very close to the quality-led, the industry-led service providers have a premium that is more than 50 percent higher than the others.

This indicates a skimming strategy in the short term, targeting early adopters rather than driving a quick uptake, whilst waiting for the market to be ready. Similarly, the quality-led are more active in the area of fixed wireless access (FWA), leveraging network performance to complement or directly compete against fixed networks. Of these, nearly 80 percent have FWA offerings on the market, compared to the average of 65 percent globally. Quality-led service providers will look to maintain their lead. Offering-led will have pressure to improve in this area to support innovative 5G services, like cloud gaming, that require lower latency and higher bandwidth than often provided today by this group. 3

A look at service offerings 4 reveals that offering-led service providers tend to couple network performance with specific use cases and end-user expectations, like promoting the best network for video streaming. Quality-led providers, on the other hand, mainly focus on coverage and performance and are more likely to have promotions that leverage network performance as well as their existing premium customer segments.

Strategies follow regional market conditions

At about 45 percent, the Middle East has the highest proportion of quality-led service providers, as the execution of this strategy requires large investments in the network. Western Europe seems to have the largest variation of strategies per market.

Within Africa, offering-led is the most common strategy, frequently offering a wide range of services linked to mobile subscriptions such as gaming, mobile banking and insurance. The quality-led strategy was not found here, similar to Central and South America.

Central and Eastern Europe deviates from the global average, with a significantly higher share of industry-led service providers and fewer quality-led service providers. Previously state-owned incumbents in Central and Eastern Europe typically held the number one position in the market with aspects of a quality-led strategy. However, the region shows a low percentage of quality-led service providers globally, indicating that incumbents here didn’t focus as much as their peers from other regions on network transformation, and didn’t keep up investment levels to score higher in our analysis. At the same time, global service providers, primarily from Western Europe, have often been acquiring the number two or three player in many of the markets. With the added financial support, they have then been able to move their position to match or even take the lead in terms of network performance.

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Figure 28: Spread of strategies within each region (percent)

Strategies reward different financial KPIs

The strategies give different outcomes when cross-analyzed against performance metrics, illustrating how the strategies support distinct business goals. Globally, industry-led is slightly ahead on revenue growth, with the most service providers amongst the top 50 in the world.

Quality-led service providers, on the other hand, take a firm lead for EBITDA, market share and ARPU leadership. The same is true when looking at capex to sales ratio, which would be expected, as the quality-led strategy is focused on network transformation and quality.

Quality-led service providers perform best in local markets for four out of six KPIs

Studying local markets where we have financial data for two or more service providers, and ranking each strategy based on the performance in each financial KPI, we can find out which strategy type takes which position in each market.

The offering-led strategy takes the top spot most often when looking at five-year revenue growth. Quality-led service providers have the highest market share as well as the best cash flow in the majority of markets. They also have the highest ARPU closely followed by offering-led service providers. The industry-led strategy takes the top spot for EBITDA, with quality-led just behind.

One KPI that stands out is the market share, where quality-led service providers are taking the number one place in more than half of the markets analyzed. Offering-led, on the other hand, places third in 50 percent of the markets.

This is likely a natural consequence of the market leader commonly choosing a quality-led strategy, whilst challengers tend to adopt an offering-led strategy.

Selection and execution are key to success

Service providers compete using distinct strategies, which give different returns. By understanding their local market conditions and business assets, best-in-class service providers challenge the market with a focused competitive advantage, optimizing their returns. Quality-led providers build and maintain a sustainable gap in network performance, offering-led innovate with service offerings and customer experience management, while industry-led act as fast followers. All these strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, and the adoption of a certain strategy is carefully considered by service providers based on their specific situation.

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Figure 29: The ranking of service providers which lead in KPIs, in their respective local markets

1 Fifteen percent of service providers scored low in the strategy elements analyzed, making it unclear which strategy they were executing. These have been classified as “other”.

2 Source: Ericsson analysis on Speedtest Intelligence® data from Ookla®, (Q3 2020). Data represents the lowest performing 10 percent of samples.

3 Ericsson Mobility Report, ”Mobile cloud gaming – an evolving business opportunity” pp. 25–28 (November 2020).

4 More service offering choices for the consumer: www.ericsson.com/en/mobility-report/articles/service-offering-choices-for-the-consumer.

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Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism

Open access

Service providers’ perspective on the luxury tourist experience as a product


Concepts of tourist experience and luxury tourist experience, framework for the luxury tourist experience product, discussion and conclusions, disclosure statement, additional information.

This study explores service providers’ perceptions of the luxury tourist experience as a product and its challenges in Finland. To examine the essence of this product, eleven narrative interviews with service providers were analyzed. The findings indicate that service providers facilitate prerequisites for a luxury experience based on the customer’s needs and motivations which may add meaningfulness. The aim is to make the customer feel special by recognizing the different value expectations of the customer. The Finnish luxury tourist experience aims to provide hedonic or eudaimonic wellbeing experiences, in which activities in nature and encounters with people create intrinsic customer value, and the customer’s active participation leads to experiential value. Furthermore, as the context of the experience is a non-commercial one where commercial aspects of the luxury product are combined with the experience, the possibility to gain prudential value may be present. The study suggests that the contemporary luxury tourist experience product can be based on different experiential value elements than those experiences enjoyed in traditional luxury destinations. Furthermore, the study supports the view that luxury services should be seen as a continuum.

The concept of luxury is fluid and dynamic (Cristini et al., Citation 2017 ), and it has changed in the last decades due to developments in society, technology, and the rise of the experience economy (Thomsen et al., Citation 2020 ). The traditional perspective of luxury refers to scarce products attached to the privileged elite, relating luxury with conspicuous consumption and gaining status (Nueno & Quelch, Citation 1998 ). The new form of luxury, unconventional luxury, approaches the concept as experiential, agentic, and epistemologically scarce, where the focus is on how luxury is experienced (Thomsen et al., Citation 2020 ). Due to the changing concept of luxury, it has been argued that luxury has transformed consumers’ search for meaningfulness by shifting from “having-to-being and from owning-to-experiencing” (Cristini et al., Citation 2017 , p. 101). Simultaneously, luxury has been argued to be based more on self-interest than status (Bauer et al., Citation 2011 ).

With the rise of experiential consumption and the search for meaningfulness, luxury spending as regards services has boomed (Chang et al., Citation 2016 ), creating prerequisites for experiential services such as luxury tourism, which is usually associated with wealthy tourists, who have substantial material resources (Popescu & Olteanu, Citation 2014 ). However, the expectations of the contemporary, heterogenic, luxury tourism consumer (Heyes & Aluri, Citation 2018 ; Thomsen et al., Citation 2020 ; Uriely, Citation 2005 ) may be based on attributes other than the expensive material factors traditionally attached to luxury at the present (Bauer et al., Citation 2011 ; Harkison et al., Citation 2018b ). Consequently, the concept of luxury tourism has widened from traditional luxury tourism products such as five-star hotels to a broad variety of luxury experiences that offers the consumer uniqueness and authenticity (Kiessling et al., Citation 2009 ; Veríssimo & Loureiro, Citation 2013 ).

Because of the multifaceted concept of luxury, and to accommodate this shift in consumer tastes, academics and practitioners need to understand experiential luxuries, which have been neglected in academic research (Yang & Mattila, Citation 2016 , Citation 2017 ); luxury research has been overlooked in service literature, and service literature is lacking in luxury literature (Wirtz et al., Citation 2020 ). Scholars have not yet adequately addressed the features of luxury service (Wirtz et al., Citation 2020 ), and there is a demand for further study in the area of experiential luxury in the context of hospitality and tourism (Correia et al., Citation 2016 ; Park & Reisinger, Citation 2009 ). According to Wirtz et al. ( Citation 2020 ), most studies that have been conducted in the luxury context have not researched luxury services as such; a gap that this study aims to fill.

The study was conducted in Finland. Even though in the Nordic context tourism experiences (Björk et al., Citation 2021 ) and hospitality research (Gjerald et al., Citation 2021 ) have traditionally strong roots (Lundberg & Furunes, Citation 2021 ), luxury tourism experiences are lacking from the Nordic discussions. Furthermore, previous studies on luxury services and luxury tourism have been conducted mainly in a context that offers traditional luxury tourist products (see e.g. Hwang & Han, Citation 2014 ; Lu et al., Citation 2015 ; Yang & Mattila, Citation 2017 ) based on conspicuous consumption; therefore, the existing literature is based on a limited background. However, as luxury consumption has moved towards an inconspicuous form, which can also be argued to require more research (e.g. Eckhardt et al., Citation 2015 ; Makkar & Yap, Citation 2018 ), this study responds to the call by researching the products of the luxury tourism experience in a Finnish context. It can be argued that Finland represents a destination of inconspicuous and unconventional luxury that responds to consumers’ quest for unique and authentic luxury tourist experiences (Iloranta, Citation 2019 ). Furthermore, the study responses to Thomsen et al. ( Citation 2020 ) call for more research on unconventional luxury by filling two gaps. Firstly, it responds to the need for a more comprehensive understanding of how products, services, and servicescapes can be designed to allow consumers to experience luxury moments that can contribute to temporary moments and transformations, leading to longer-lasting value. Secondly, it responds to the call by presenting how a different agency is embedded in and triggered by different contexts by giving an example of the products contributing to the Finnish luxury tourist experience. Additionally, this study takes a novel approach and responds to the lack of a service provider’s perspective in tourism research, as noted by Jensen and Prebensen ( Citation 2015 ).

Given this background, this study aims to enrich our understanding of luxury by arguing that the contemporary luxury tourist product aims for a different experience value than is traditionally assumed. The study contributes to tourism research by examining luxury tourism experiences. Furthermore, the study contributes to the discussion on luxury by researching experiential luxury services (e.g. Wirtz et al., Citation 2020 ) in the context of unconventional (e.g. Thomsen et al., Citation 2020 ) and inconspicuous (e.g. Eckhardt et al., Citation 2015 ) luxury. The study's objective is to investigate what the Finnish luxury tourist experience offers today, and the challenges service providers may encounter in offering it. To accomplish this task, this study responds to these questions by interviewing Finnish tourism service providers who are involved in luxury tourism service provision and planning its development.

The tourist experience concept has received remarkable attention among tourism researchers in the last two decades, and entire journal issues have been dedicated to the topic. Although there is no single definition of the tourist experience, researchers appear to agree about some of its characteristics: it is subjective (Ryan, Citation 2010 ), influenced by the traveler’s past experiences (Larsen, Citation 2007 ), and may consist of both memorable peak experiences and/or ordinary everyday experiences (Quan & Wang, Citation 2004 ). Tourist experience can be seen as a whole, consisting of expectations before and during the trip and memories after it (Larsen, Citation 2007 ; Tung & Ritchie, Citation 2011 ). Hence, service providers are unable to provide the experiences but only their prerequisites (Komppula, Citation 2006 ). However, to some extent, service providers can design, process, and facilitate tourist experiences (Jensen & Prebensen, Citation 2015 ) by involving tourists, personnel, and partners in the innovation processes (Jernsand et al., Citation 2015 ).

The research on luxury tourist experiences is still scarce. Many of the studies conducted in the luxury context refer to tourist products with a high price, high-quality service, and material elements that create the environment for luxury (e.g. Chen & Peng, Citation 2014 ; Lu et al., Citation 2015 ). However, it is argued that the material elements do not define luxury anymore, rather for the consumer it is the perceived value and the experience (Kiessling et al., Citation 2009 ). Wirtz et al. ( Citation 2020 ) argue that determining something as luxury based on physical experience elements is not possible for services, which should also be approached via subjective perceptions, determined by the customer’s situational interpretation of the experience, processes, and tangible cues.

Luxury tourism experiences are seen as hedonically based consumption experiences (Lee & Hwang, Citation 2011 ), where consumers seek emotional and aesthetic content to gain pleasure (Bahri-Ammari et al., Citation 2016 ). It offers possibilities for being in the moment and opulence, supported by a superb location and setting in properties, delivering tailored attention and hospitality, where service providers’ performance and co-creation are valuable parts of the product (Harkison et al., Citation 2018a ). The luxury service experience provides a high level of personalized comfort and convenience (Chen & Peng, Citation 2014 ). Furthermore, the luxury tourist product is equated with details that add a sense of high quality to the experience, accompanied by valued senses of total escape, novelty, and exoticism with safety (Manthiou et al., Citation 2017 ). The service providers’ ultimate aim is to create prerequisites for a memorable experience (Ariffin et al., Citation 2018 ).

In the latest studies, luxury is connected to extraordinary moments in which consumers lose their sense of time and place (Kauppinen-Räisänen et al., Citation 2019 ). Wirtz et al. ( Citation 2020 , p. 682) define luxury service as “extraordinary hedonic experiences that are exclusive whereby exclusivity can be monetary, social and hedonic in nature, and luxuriousness is jointly determined by objective service features and subjective customer perceptions. Together, these characteristics place service on a continuum ranging from everyday luxury to elite luxury”.

In this study, the concept of the tourist product represents the service provider’s perspective of the experiential tourism service, referring to the service provider’s offerings targeted at the customer, having a certain price, and including a set of tangible and intangible elements. The tourist product is illustrated within the framework proposed by Komppula ( Citation 2006 ). Based on ideas presented by Edvardsson and Olsson ( Citation 1996 ), the framework comprises three basic components: the service concept, the service process, and the service system. The service providers provide opportunities for experiences generated through partially unique customer processes, and the central goal of the service development is to develop the best and right prerequisites for well-functioning customer processes and attractive customer outcomes (Komppula, Citation 2006 ).

The core of the tourist product, the service concept, expresses the kind of value the customer expects to experience and is based on their needs and motives (Komppula, Citation 2006 ). It describes the customers’ value expectations of the service offering, reflecting their desired value. The service concept refers to the desires, goals, and purposes of the customer needs (Woodruff, Citation 1997 ), and how customers expect the alternative products to satisfy them (Konu et al., Citation 2010 ). Even though there is no agreement among scholars regarding the value dimensions of luxury, and although a broad set of value dimensions are recognized, recent studies have discussed the consumers growing desire for pleasure and emotional value (Kapferer & Valette-Florence, Citation 2016 ; Kauppinen-Räisänen et al., Citation 2019 ) over solely symbolic, functional, financial or utilitarian benefits. Furthermore, studies have suggested that the perceived value may be related more to intrinsic goals with luxury; that is, consumers may search for deeper meaning and meaningfulness in luxury consumption (Cristini et al., Citation 2017 ; Hemetsberger et al., Citation 2012 ). The meaning of luxury is subjective, relative, and contextual, and it is embodied in experiential activities pursued by the consumer (Kauppinen-Räisänen et al., Citation 2019 ).

The service process includes and describes the customer process, which creates customer experiences during the trip (Komppula, Citation 2006 ). For the customer, the service process is expressed in the form of a service offering presented to the customer as a detailed description of each service module (e.g. accommodation, meals, activities) and/or an itinerary in the promotion materials. For the service provider, the service process is a description of the formal product, meaning the determination and definition of the chain of activities in the customer and production processes, which is, for example, illustrated in the form of a service blueprint (Komppula, Citation 2006 ).

The service system includes the resources available to the service process to realize the service concept (Komppula, Citation 2006 ). Applying the vocabulary of Walls et al. ( Citation 2011 ), the service system includes physical experience elements and human interaction elements. Physical experience elements refer to the atmosphere of the facilities (cleanliness, comfort, décor, and style), dimensions stimulating various senses (lighting, color scheme, soundscape, and smells), space/functionality, and symbols, signs, and artifacts (Walls et al., Citation 2011 ). Human interaction elements, comprising both personnel (e.g. Mossberg, Citation 2007 ) and other customers (Mossberg, Citation 2007 ; Walls et al., Citation 2011 ), may support or destroy the experience (Komppula et al., Citation 2016 ). These factors have a major effect on customers’ feelings (Brunner-Sperdin & Peters, Citation 2009 ). Several researchers have pointed to the meaning and importance of guides and tour leaders in the creation of positive and memorable tourist experiences (e.g. Arnould & Price, Citation 1993 ; Hansen & Mossberg, Citation 2017 ). Both parts of the service system are significant in the consumer experience and satisfaction in the luxury service context (e.g. Walls et al., Citation 2011 ; Wu & Liang, Citation 2009 ).

This paper uses qualitative data drawn from narrative interviews with Finnish luxury tourism service providers. In the narrative interview, the participants are urged to express their own experiences of the phenomenon in their own words, which allows the phenomenon to be explored extensively from the interviewee’s perspective (Eriksson & Kovalainen, Citation 2008 ). This may provide unexpected insights for the researcher about the topics (Eriksson & Kovalainen, Citation 2008 ). As luxury is a subjective concept with emotional dimensions, narratives are seen as well-suited for describing such experiences (Ardelet et al., Citation 2015 ).

The study’s research approach is interpretive, holistic, and contextual. That is, the world is seen as socially constructed and subjective, where perceptions and experiences may change and differ for each person (Eriksson & Kovalainen, Citation 2008 ). Knowledge and understanding of the context are vital for the researcher because meanings and social constructs are context-based (Hudson & Ozanne, Citation 1988 ).

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Table 1. informants, their position in the organization / company and luxury service sector of operation..

The interviewed companies had been operating for between 3 and 130 years, covering urban and rural areas. Four were based in the metropolitan area, five in Lapland, one in Eastern Finland, and one in Western Finland. The number of staff working in the companies ranged from two to 150 full-time employees. They also used part-time employees during high seasons. Eight of the companies were privately owned independent companies, and three belonged to a larger hotel group.

Furthermore, the privately owned companies considered themselves to be small enterprises. Those, who defined themselves as a private travel company, served ultra-rich consumers and provided the customer with all the services during their trip, and the same employees worked with the customer from the moment they arrived at a destination to the point when they left. All the interviewees were the owners or founders of the company or worked at a managerial level. Six of the participants were male, and five were female, ranging in age from 31 to 56. The interviewees’ work experience in the hospitality and tourism industry ranged from 5 to 38 years.

Data collection was carried out at the participants’ venues, which enabled the researchers to familiarize themselves better with the locations, servicescape, and companies. The interviews were conducted in Finnish between February and June 2018 and lasted between 50 and 90 min. Before the interview, details of the research ethics, such as anonymity and voluntariness, and the interview aims were presented. Having briefly covered the background information about the company’s operations, the interviews began with a question about how the interviewees defined luxury and how these elements were visible in their product. Although narrative interviews are often pre-planned, the interviewees were encouraged to speak freely and without interruption. When necessary, more detailed questions (see Appendix 1) were asked to enhance the researcher's understanding. All interviews were recorded, and the final transcriptions consisted of 162 pages of verbatim text.

Qualitative content analysis was chosen as a method for analysis, as the aim was to achieve a concise and extensive description, with categories sharing the same meaning that describes the phenomenon (Elo & Kyngäs, Citation 2008 ). Abductive logic based on the previous literature on the tourist product was applied in the categorization, after which each category was analyzed more deeply to identify patterns or differences within the topic. The content analysis formed 14 main categories, which consisted of 85 subcategories. Furthermore, within two of the subcategories one more extra layer was created to make the themes more concise. In all the subcategories, there were 1497 different codes. Appendix 2 summarizes the content analysis categorization. To validate similarities in the findings, the analysis was cross-checked by two researchers familiar with the topic and context.

The finnish luxury tourist experience product

There was a Brazilian couple who traveled to Finland because they wanted to know why we were the happiest nation in the world. They wanted to understand how it was possible because we didn’t have servants at home. We brought experiences from Finnish culture to them, did things together, added high-quality service, and tied it all together with storytelling. Maybe they took something home with them. It’s about wellbeing experiences, combined with privacy, personalization, and tranquility with nature and its purity. It’s about doing, learning, being, and experiencing. They enjoyed and related to nature. The experiences were simple things from Finnish culture – they just needed to be highlighted. Interviewee 7.

Figure 1. Example of a product created for a typical luxury tourist experience.

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It’s a holistic experience from the moment they step off the plane until they leave. Sometimes, we even start storytelling before the trip. Everything needs to go smoothly. So, it also requires flexibility, because we’re dealing with people’s experiences and nature. Our guides have a huge impact on this, because they’re with the customer almost 24/7. Interviewee 8.

This sounds funny as our customers fly in private jets. For example, we teach them why we save water in Arctic regions. When you explain the sustainability factors, and why and how we do things, they usually value it a lot … Here, you can experience the silence of the forest. That may be frightening for some people, but it’s a safe experience with us. You can hike wherever you want, pick fresh berries, drink straight from the brook or lake, and breathe air that is pure and good for you. You have an opportunity to slow down and connect with yourself, be forgotten in the moment. Interviewee 1.

We’re a forest nation with a strong relationship with nature. Gold and marble isn’t part of our culture and wouldn’t be authentic. It is not only the accommodation; rather it is what happens outside. These days, people want warmth, a smile, great nature, and a good food experience – intimate experiences that get you closer to human beings, culture, nature, and the sense of their presence. Interviewee 10.

These material things, the details and aesthetics, need to be there, and they need to be right. In the end, however, the recognition of our customers concerns people and how they meet and connect with them with warmth and presence, which may lead to the relationship reminding more like a friendship. Interviewee 1.

I respect my employees a lot. They know our product and concept well, and they know what’s essential with luxury. And we’ve discussed difficult situations with the customer and given examples of how to deal with them. So they have the ability and permission to adjust the service according to the customer’s wishes. Furthermore, our customers are here to enjoy their holiday in privacy with their families, they are not here to sign autographs. Therefore, we require strict confidentiality. Interviewee 8.

Challenges with the luxury tourist experience product

Realizing that such customers are in a totally different financial situation to ours and discussing what is seen as luxury are essential with this kind of service product. Interviewee 3.

This requires a certain type of person. They need to be willing to do this sincerely, and they’re passionate and flexible. As personnel costs are so high in Finland, we can’t have as many personnel here as they would have at a hotel in Dubai, for example. We have to replace them with the kind of people who are truly there for others. Interviewee 5.

There was a time when our subcontractors were a little intimidated by our company, because they felt luxury was such a strong word. When we explained to them that it was actually more about the authenticity of their product and how they told the story of Finnish culture than it was about traditional luxury, they understood. Interviewee 1.

As we’re creating the product from the beginning every time, we need to know what’s valuable to our customer. Travel agents don’t always understand this, because they’re used to just booking a holiday for their customers at a resort somewhere. That’s not our way of doing things, because we’re creating a memorable experience for a particular customer. Interviewee 1.

It’s difficult to compare our product to the traditional one, because we’re dealing a lot with things that come from the experience of nature and how you can commercialize it for the customer expecting a traditional luxury experience. It’s a balancing act between expectations of what we have here [all the resources from the material to the human] and luxury. But here you can have your experience in total privacy whenever you want, using the elements we have here, and we do it in the best way we can. Interviewee 8.

First of all, the findings of this study suggest that products designed for the Finnish luxury tourist experience aim to respond to the contemporary luxury traveler’s quest for unique, authentic, physically and intellectually stimulating experiences that add novelty and meaning to their lives. As ( Citation 2019 ) note, prudential value, i.e. meaning, meaningfulness, and wellbeing, can only arise in non-commercial contexts, where experiential value contains activity, freedom, and relaxation. Hence, the essence of a Finnish luxury tourist experience product is a combination of non-commercial context, i.e. nature, and commercial product features that may provide prerequisites for experiencing more common value dimensions attached to luxury, and, possibly more intrinsic value aspects creating possibilities for meaningfulness and authenticity during the experience. Furthermore, the elements may enable an eudaimonic experience because it is tailor-made according to the customer’s needs and wishes. The study supports the view of Huta and Ryan ( Citation 2010 ) in arguing that tourism product activities cannot be categorized as hedonic or eudaimonic because the engagement of individuals affects the experience. This study’s findings also respond to the call of Knobloch et al. ( Citation 2017 ) by offering an example of a tourist experience product that aims to transcend hedonic elements and achieve eudaimonia; the study further supports their idea that experiential research into tourist experiences should be broadened to include the concept of eudaimonia.

Secondly, according to this study's findings Finnish luxury tourism service providers aim to make their customers feel special. As an expression, feeling special is multidimensional, referring to status, privilege, or close relationships and the feeling of being cared for, for example. Hence, the service providers must understand customers’ needs and expectations in order to maximize customer experience, evoking value perception (Haeckel et al., Citation 2003 ). However, value has different meanings for different people, and the same person may find different values in different situations (Rokenes et al., Citation 2015 ). Service providers, therefore, need to find a balance between different luxury value expectations and their heterogenic luxury consumers. The findings of this study are in accordance with Correia et al. ( Citation 2014 ) indicating that for ultra-rich customers for whom “money is not an issue”, a luxury tourist experience refers to privacy with family in a resort that supports a hedonic value, and for the wealthy “ordinary” consumers it may refer to a different, exquisite experience. Therefore, luxuriousness relates to something extraordinarily different to our daily life.

Thirdly, contrary to earlier studies on luxury tourism, our findings suggest that the Finnish luxury tourist experience is based on the active role of the customer. It is recognized in tourism research that tourists, in general, seek intensity from their activities, which entails discovery and hands-on, multisensory experiences of tourism, as well as interaction and involvement (Bryon, Citation 2012 ). However, this kind of involvement has not been visible in the findings of studies conducted in traditional luxury tourism and hospitality contexts. Instead, earlier studies typically refer to reactive value with service excellence, suggesting that the customer plays a passive role and is served and pampered by employees (e.g. Bahri-Ammari et al., Citation 2016 ; Chen et al., Citation 2015 ; Lee & Kim, Citation 2019 ). While the company responds to the customer’s search for intrinsic value, that is focusing on the value that serves the consumer's self-interest, the versatile activities represented when experiencing the Finnish luxury tourist product offer opportunities for the customer to play an active role that further adds to its experiential value. Mathwick et al. ( Citation 2001 ) define such an approach as playfulness, which aims to enrich the escapism and enjoyment within the experience. The recent study of Holmqvist et al. ( Citation 2020 ) recognized hedonic escapism as part of unconventional luxury experiences, a view also supported by this study.

The findings of this study are in line with earlier studies of luxury tourist experience product (e.g. Chen & Peng, Citation 2014 ; Harkison et al., Citation 2018a ; Manthiou et al., Citation 2017 ), indicating that the luxury tourist experience product is a holistic experience where quality, a hassle-free atmosphere, unique convenience for the customer, and ease and comfort are the central elements. However, the findings suggest that there is a difference in the expectations of the service level and composition of the product based on different customer groups, which confirms the notion of Wirtz et al. ( Citation 2020 ) that luxury services should not be categorized as such but rather they should be seen as a continuum. In the highest ultimate luxury level or as described by as Wirtz et al. ( Citation 2020 ) the “elite luxury” level, the product offering is tailor-made in collaboration with the customer in the pre-trip phase. At the other end of the continuum is the ready-made regular luxury service packages aimed at the masses. Furthermore, during the phases of the trip, the customer insight and co-creation is regarded at different levels based on the customer groups. At the ultimate level, guides and personnel acting on the frontline with the customer play a vital role in creating prerequisites to the meaningfulness of the experience for that certain customer by storytelling and keeping the product flexible.

The findings support Hansen and Mossberg ( Citation 2017 ) view and see the guide’s role in the luxury tourist experience as facilitating immersion and creating meaning for the individual. The guides and personnel connect the physical experience and human interaction elements with natural storytelling, referring to Bryon’s ( Citation 2012 ) relational guide as a storyteller. Storytelling affords a sense of authenticity and allows a “behind the scenes” experience that may add value to the luxury traveler's experience in the form of cultural capital. Furthermore, as the co-creation of the product may be very meaningful to the customer, the relationship with the service provider is more profound, which can be seen in the post-trip phase, when possibly the relationship ultimately becomes more in the style of a friendship.

Finally, our findings suggest that the physical experience elements do not necessarily bring value for the luxury tourist, but rather, the material features provide the basis for the atmosphere of the servicescape, which needs to be of high quality. This is in line with Harkison et al. ( Citation 2018b ), who note in their study that more staff, more marble, and other expensive elements do not necessarily create the prerequisites for a luxury experience. Rather, the value of this product the Finnish luxury tourist experience is formed by connections with nature, which may boost happiness and pleasure, and expand self-understanding and create greater self-awareness (Capaldi et al., Citation 2014 ). The focus of the product in the Finnish luxury tourism service system is on the elements of human interaction and encounters with the customer, which are in line with the study of Ariffin et al. ( Citation 2018 ), and these create the most customer satisfaction in the luxury service experience. Therefore, it is also understandable that customer insight and personnel aspects were regarded as the most significant challenges in luxury tourism service provision. The findings further support Harkison et al. ( Citation 2018a ) in emphasizing the essential place of teamwork, guidance, and attitude among personnel in supporting the creation of a luxury experience.

This study contributes to the luxury literature, luxury tourism, and luxury service literature by providing an example of an unconventional luxury tourist experience product. The study’s findings may help tourism providers tailor their offerings into more meaningful and memorable experiences, especially in their interaction and engagement with their customers. The study’s findings may also increase the understanding of the elements of an unconventional luxury tourist experience product that will add value to the customer. By relying on intangible aspects of the luxury experience, the destination and service provider may gain longer-term value than competing with other destinations and providers with physical product elements. Furthermore, at the operational level, if managers and staff are aware of both hedonic and eudaimonic effects and their potential impact on customer’s wellbeing and lives beyond the consumption activity itself, their motivation and engagement to create the prerequisites for such an experience may increase.

As luxury is a cultural notion, and the findings of this study are limited to Finland, the results are not generalizable worldwide. However, this study provides an example of a typical Finnish luxury tourist experience product that may increase the understanding of new and unconventional nature-based luxury. This insight may be of interest in all Nordic countries when targeting the luxury tourism market. Furthermore, as luxury tourism may be the first to lead the recovery of tourism in the post-pandemic era (ÓNeill, Citation 2021 ), luxury tourism may be offering one way for the recovery of Nordic tourism and hospitality industry as well as opening the discussion for potential research avenues (Lundberg & Furunes, Citation 2021 ) in Nordic service research (Gjerald et al., Citation 2021 ) and tourism experiences research (Björk et al., Citation 2021 ).

Future research should explore products for the unconventional luxury tourist experience from the customer’s perspective to discover if the experience is valued in the same way as it is from the service provider’s perspective. More research on the similarities and differences in this field is needed to highlight the products of the contemporary luxury tourist experience and the heterogeneity of luxury tourism consumers. Future studies need to understand the customer’s economic background better as it may have a considerable impact, especially in studies of the perceived luxury values of customers. Most of the studies conducted with luxury consumption have analyzed the consumer, many of whom may be wealthy but not ultra-rich. Moreover, as the current study shows, there are differences in the consumer background and value perceptions from the service providers’ perspectives. Furthermore, future studies might also investigate how these experiences contribute to the wellbeing and quality of life beyond the actual consumption experience.

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).

Appendix 1. Interview guide:

Background information of the company and participant

Probes for each question: Can you give me an example? What do you mean by that? Could you explain and describe that a little more?

Appendix 2. Content analysis categorization

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The in-house team, the subpar msp, another way for it: the a+ msp, the 5 types of it providers.

If you’re in the marketplace for an IT provider, it’s important to know your options. The type you choose depends on your business needs. In our experience, there are five types of IT providers ranging from least IT support offered to most IT support offered. They are:

It’s important to note the amount of IT support offered doesn’t always correspond to the amount of IT you actually require. We’ll define these five types of IT providers so you can make the best educated decision.

Small businesses that use an outsourced micro-company — often just a one-person venture — do so for a few reasons. This can range from appealing low prices or minimal IT needs by the business. The risk of using a Fixer is blind spots. With just one person solving problems haphazardly, it’s difficult to see the entire IT environment. This means possible problems or future opportunities can be missed.

Sometimes that so-called trunk slammer isn’t enough, or the business decides IT isn’t a priority altogether. In these cases, there’s usually someone, like an office administrator, who acts as a pseudo IT person. Sometimes the company knows about this. Often, it’s hidden work done just to keep the office running. This leaves the office administrator to juggle both IT and their actual responsibilities.

In medium-sized businesses with one in-house IT employee, that person is given a huge challenge to overcome. Handling every aspect of a business’ IT isn’t easy. It’s certainly not possible to do well with only eight hours in a work day.

Things are going to slip through the cracks. The first victim is proactive IT. Proactive IT is the practice of foreseeing potential problems and opportunities, planning where to go and pivoting where necessary.

With only so much capacity, the One-man Island is left with two choices:

We’ll let you guess which choice most people would make.

There’s also the risk of losing your One-man Island to another company. The tech unemployment rate hit below 2 percent in 2018 . IT employees are in high demand which leaves your business in a precarious position. If the one person who knows your IT leaves, what will you do?

Large companies are a different story. Because they tend to have a dedicated in-house IT department, they already have an idea of how the business wants to progress. These departments are special because they have the technical know-how to get the job done.

Types of IT Providers - In house team

In any IT environment, we deal with two worlds: reactivity and proactivity. But here’s the problem. Proactivity always suffers for the urgent 911 problems. That’s why In-house Teams should be operating in the proactive sphere, focusing on moving the business toward long-term success rather than daily reactive issues. Leave those reactive issues to another source.

We’ll be the first to admit that some MSPs are less than superior. Just because a business goes by the term “managed service provider,” it doesn’t mean they truly deliver all-encompassing services. In fact, Subpar MSPs tend to be break/fixes in disguise.

These businesses don’t take on any heavy responsibility for uptime, support, data protection and security. Instead, they limit their scope of services to the bare minimum, advertise the low rate and proceed to ignore necessities like proactive planning. Or worse, Subpar MSPs add those necessities on for a steep fee.

Suddenly, what seemed like a great value is uncovered to be bare-bones service, leaving your company exposed to a number of IT problems.

What does this mean for you? It means good MSPs aren’t cheap. In fact, the more expensive a contract, the better the MSP is likely to be. Why? Because they understand their value enough to risk intimidating potential clients based on cost.

On the surface, some MSPs may seem like a great deal for your budget. But where they get you is hidden costs like overtime fees or charging extra for onsite support. So if you take an MSP at face value, agreeing to partner without determining exactly what they’ll be providing you, you may be paying for inferior service.

The A+ MSP is a qualified and experienced IT provider. The A+ MSP’s work is contingent on how that MSP transfers risk from your company. A+ MSPs work in a highly defined process and service level agreement (SLA) based model. In other words, the A+ MSP has a real desire to fix your IT problems or they’ll start losing money

These SLAs describe the agreed upon service, document service level targets and specify the responsibilities of the service provider and client. In this way, your contract is specific to your business’ IT environment.

A+ MSPs provide a predictable IT spend, allowing your business to budget better. These types of IT providers offer covered services (those outlined in the SLA) such as maintenance, hardware upgrades and disaster recovery. Through this, your business isn’t inundated with the extra fees you can expect from the Subpar MSP.

By providing a holistic view of your IT strengths and weaknesses, you can see what the Fixer cannot and what the One-man Island can’t act on. For the In-house Team and One-man Island, partnering with an A+ MSP could be a great decision. They’re now freed to implement long-term strategic plans for the company.

Before choosing an IT provider, you have to look critically at your IT needs. Ask yourself, “What does my business need to thrive, not just survive?”. When you’ve answered that, the right choice will be clear.

iVenture Solutions is an award-winning managed service provider delivering superior IT solutions to clients across Florida. As a leading-edge IT firm for small and medium-sized businesses, we provide a diverse range of services covering the entire scope of IT including maintenance, support, hosting and more. Through rapid response time, reduction of chaos and the right people, our expert team of IT professionals will fulfill your technology needs. At iVenture, we give you more time to do what matters most.

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How professional service providers can delight customers and deepen connections

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Right off the bat, clients at Baker Tilly in Windsor, Ont. are greeted by the firm’s “director of first impressions,” sending the message their customer experience will be a good one. BAKER TILLY

Back in May, 2021, when many businesses were cutting their operating hours or shutting down completely, one pharmacist in downtown Toronto was opening up shop and providing health care services when it suited customers best.

Alexander Mihaila admits he took a risk opening his independent boutique pharmacy – Mister Pharmacist – in the middle of a pandemic, but he was confident he could provide a customer experience he wasn’t seeing in big chain pharmacies in the area. “My outside banner says, ‘you are more than a prescription’ and I really did want to create a space where people didn’t feel rushed and would be comfortable asking any questions about their health,” says Mihaila.

Half of his 800-sq.-ft. pharmacy is a waiting room, complete with hardwood floors, a comfy couch, and a fridge stocked with free refreshments. During the height of COVID-19 vaccinations, Mihaila even provided free first-aid kits to anyone who got their shots at his store.

Professional service providers like Mister Pharmacist are recognizing that customers want to feel valued, or they’ll go elsewhere. Whether it’s via follow-up calls, around-the-clock access or waiting room amenities, customers’ expectations around service experiences are escalating.

As they become used to digitization and convenience in other areas like food service and retail, they now expect that across the board.

At Mister Pharmacist, Mihaila leverages technology to ensure he is always accessible to customers. “If they call the pharmacy and get voice mail, it directs them on how to text me,” he says. “Texts are always coming in and if I can answer right away I will, even if it’s just to tell them I will get back to them later that day.”

Sandra Greene is president and chief strategist at Toronto-based SG Consulting, which specializes in helping companies enhance their customer experience. She says the excuses around understaffing that were prevalent during the pandemic no longer fly. “If you’re understaffed, then fix it,” says Greene, noting that genuine human connection can have more impact on customer loyalty and spending than operational efficiency. “People want personalized service with as little friction as possible and an organization to understand their unique needs.”

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A modern reception area awaits clients at Baker Tilly. BAKER TILLY

For those looking to enhance service experiences for their clients, Greene advises creating an organization-wide statement on how they want their customers to feel, and then to design their space and services around that. “Ask customers about their experiences and listen with an open mind,” she says. “Understand what the root causes of those gaps in expectation are and then address them.”

At Baker Tilly in Windsor, Ont., a focus on customer experience has earned the company top votes as best accounting company in the city five years running by the Windsor Star. Managing partner Scott Dupuis says it’s a focus on building meaningful relationships that keeps the business thriving with some 2,000 clients and growing. “We’re getting more and more people calling us saying they’ve heard about our services from existing clients,” he says. “Some of it’s also our competitors dropping the ball in terms of providing a poor customer experience.”

Clients who visit the office, which is in a redeveloped historic building, are greeted by a live receptionist whose title is director of first impressions. “People come in and notice that title on a plaque on her desk and it sends a message that this first experience needs to be a good one,” says Dupuis. “They get offered a coffee and there is a little banter back and forth.”

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The waiting room at Mister Pharmacist in Toronto is complete with hardwood floors, a comfy couch, and a fridge stocked with free refreshments. MISTER PHARMACIST

Baker Tilly is also leveraging digitization to improve efficiencies and keep communication lines continuously open. Whereas people calling in before could expect a response within 24 hours, Dupuis says it’s now texts and emails that get responded to within hours. “It’s not necessarily that we have an answer for you today, but we’re letting you know we’re working on it and will get back to you tomorrow or in a week, depending on the complexity,” he says. The growing acceptance of video meetings during the pandemic is also providing more opportunities to quickly connect with clients when it’s convenient for them. “We’re also getting to a point where we’re using technology internally to do things faster, so we can spend more time on the advisory side of our business.”

Dupuis says another key to enhancing the customer experience and building loyalty is retaining good staff, especially in professional services where turnover rates are high. “Our customers like dealing with the same people year to year as that builds a comfort level,” he says. By tailoring employees’ roles to their strengths and what they enjoy doing most, he says the firm has been able to keep turnover rates at just five per cent. “We have a very positive environment here, so it leads to better ideas and solutions – and I think our clients see that too.”

Greene says it’s important for professional service providers to remember it takes time to make changes that stick when it comes to improving the customer experience. “You don’t have to come up with the perfect solution from the start and can pilot ideas first,” she says. “Design something new and then try it with a few customers and get their feedback before you roll anything out.”

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Our rating of the Best Internet Service Providers (ISPs) of 2023 consists of companies offering fiber, cable, digital subscriber line (DSL), satellite, and fixed internet services across the U.S.

Tied for the No. 1 spot in our rating of the Best Internet Providers of 2023 are AT&T and Verizon, followed by Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, Mediacom, and Astound Broadband. In a three-way tie for No. 8 are CenturyLink, Frontier, and HughesNet. Optimum, Viasat, and Suddenlink round out our list.

Keep reading to learn more about the Best ISPs of 2023.

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Our Best Internet Service Providers Rating

#1 AT&T Internet #1 Verizon Internet #3 Xfinity Internet #4 Cox Internet #5 Spectrum Internet #5 Mediacom Internet #7 Astound Broadband #8 CenturyLink Internet #8 Frontier Internet #8 HughesNet Internet #11 Optimum Internet #12 Viasat Internet #12 Suddenlink Internet

Compare the Best Internet Service Providers of 2023

The Best Internet Service Providers of 2023 receive accolades across many different subratings including fiber, cable, digital subscriber line (DSL), and satellite. If you’re looking for a new ISP, these companies are top-rated.

Spectrum Internet promotion price is $49.99/mo for 12 months. Wireless speeds may vary.

Best Internet Service Providers in Detail

AT&T Internet

$55.00 and Up

AT&T Internet is best for:

People who need fast upload speeds

Shoppers looking for the fastest possible connection

Residents of urban areas who can get its fiber service

AT&T Internet is not recommended for:

People living in rural areas or planning to move there

People looking for bundled deals on internet and TV

Verizon Internet

$39.99 and Up

Verizon Internet is best for:

Users who need fast uploads as well as downloads

Anybody who doesn’t want a data cap

People looking for discounts on bundles of internet, streaming services, and cell phone service

Verizon Internet is not recommended for:

Price-minded customers who can get by with a slower connection

People who need download speeds above one gigabit per second

Xfinity Internet

$45.00 and Up

Xfinity is best for:

Shoppers who want to bundle internet, TV, phone, and home-security service into a single bill

People who prioritize fast downloads

Users who consistently stay at or under a terabyte of data a month

Xfinity is not recommended for:

Users looking for fast uploads

People who will use a great deal of data

Buyers not in the market for a TV bundle

Cox Internet

$29.99 and Up

Cox Internet is best for:

Reliable, fast service

Included mesh Wi-Fi router

Free Wi-Fi hotspots

Cox Internet is not recommended for:

Those who want to pay month-to-month

Customers who don’t want a data cap

Spectrum Internet

$49.99 and Up

Spectrum is best for:

People who don’t want to worry about a data cap

Customers looking for a traditional bundle of internet and TV service

Shoppers looking for a provider with some of the widest possible coverage

Spectrum is not recommended for:

Users who require fast upload speeds

Budget-minded shoppers who don’t need especially fast downloads

Mediacom Internet

Mediacom is best for:

Those who want consistently fast speeds

People on a budget

Households that want mesh Wi-Fi

Mediacom is not recommended for:

Those who don’t want a data cap

Customers who don’t want to pay higher prices after a year

Astound Broadband

$25.99 and Up

Astound Broadband is best for:

Those on a budget

Customers interested in the latest technology

People who want to use their own equipment

Astound Broadband is not recommended for:

Consumers who need true gigabit speeds


CenturyLink Internet

$50.00 and Up

CenturyLink is best for:

Those who want to lock in a plan price

People who don’t want to sign a contract

Households that use a lot of data

CenturyLink is not recommended for:

Customers who want to bundle services

People who want excellent customer service

Those who live in an area with slower DSL speeds

Frontier Internet

$32.99 and Up

Frontier is best for:

Online gaming

Households that need lots of data

Symmetrical speeds

Frontier is not recommended for:

High-use internet households (if fiber internet isn’t available)

Households that need DSL speeds in excess of 115 megabits per second (Mbps)

HughesNet Internet

$64.99 and Up

Hughesnet is best for:

Those in rural areas with no other options

Light internet users with 5 devices or less

Customers who don’t need a lot of speed

Hughesnet is not recommended for:

Online gamers or people who stream large amounts of video

Households on a budget

People who work from home and use video conferencing

Optimum Internet

$24.95 and Up

Customers on a budget

Residents of the greater New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area

Not recommended for:

People who want straightforward, simple plans and pricing

Users who live outside of New York and a few other select locations

Viasat Internet

Viasat is best for:

People in rural areas

People without access to DSL, fiber, or cable internet

People who mostly use the internet to surf the web and check email

Those looking to bundle services

Viasat is not recommended for:

People who enjoy streaming videos

Suddenlink Internet

$19.99 and Up

Suddenlink is best for:

Budget-conscious shoppers

Those looking to customize their internet plan

Suddenlink is not recommended for:

People looking for consistent pricing

Those who want a lower-priced plan without data caps

How To Choose the Best Internet Service Provider

When shopping for internet service, it's easy to compare some factors, such as cost. Other things, like customer service, are harder to gauge unless you have direct experience with the company. Below we explain some of the most important factors to think about when searching for a new internet provider:

Internet providers and connection types vary widely in price. The most affordable plan costs about $15 a month and provides download speeds of 30 megabits per second (Mbps). However, some eligibility restrictions may apply. This is adequate for basic web surfing, streaming high-definition video, or engaging in other high-bandwidth tasks. On the other end of the spectrum, an ultra-fast gigabit connection usually starts at $65 to $80 a month or more.

For those who can’t afford internet access, the FCC has put in place an Emergency Broadband Benefit to help even more households connect to the internet. The program assists low-income families that are struggling to access the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic. An eligible family can receive a monthly discount for internet service and a one-time discount towards the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.

Overall, internet access in the U.S. remains relatively expensive. "Most ISPs are still falling short of providing good service at an affordable price," the American Customer Satisfaction Index noted in its 2019 telecommunications report . On the plus side, broadband service providers are building out their networks to make them faster for more people, which costs a lot of money. Further, Ian Greenblatt , leader of the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Intelligence team at J.D. Power, says that performance and reliability have also improved over time. This demonstrates that customers are indeed benefitting from ISPs' continued technological investments.

Although you may not need the fastest speeds available, your internet connection should be fast enough for what you do online. If you experience a lot of latency or buffering, you may want to upgrade to a faster plan. For more information, see our What is a Good Internet Speed? guide . Changing to a different connection type – such as from DSL to cable – can also help. See our breakdown below on the different types of internet service.

See which internet service providers offer the fastest speeds in our rating of the Fastest High Speed Internet Providers .


It can be incredibly frustrating when you want to do something online, especially something important, only to find that your internet service has gone down. Greenblatt also notes that the speed and reliability of an internet service provider are two things that affect customer satisfaction the most. "It simply has to work," explains Greenblatt. "You have to be there when I need you."

Some internet bills are easy to understand, while others can be almost indecipherable. Were you charged more than you expected, with little or no explanation? Choosing an internet provider that provides easy-to-read bills. Also look for an ISP that lets you pay using your preferred method, be it Apple Pay or a paper check.

Because it's hard to gauge many of these factors before signing up with an ISP, find trustworthy feedback on the company first. Use our Best Internet Service Providers rating to see which companies earn high scores from professional, unbiased sources. In addition, friends and neighbors may be able to recommend (or discourage you from using) their current internet provider.

Types of Internet Service

There are four main residential connection options for broadband internet: cable, fiber optic, satellite, and DSL. Although it’s too slow to be considered broadband, you can also get internet service in your home through dial-up. Some cell phone providers can give you access through a wireless connection or hotspot. However, our ISP guides do not cover these options.

To learn more about the different types of internet connections available, read our guide What Is an ISP? guide. 

Cable Internet

Cable internet is the most common type of broadband connection in use, mainly because it uses the same infrastructure as your TV. This can help you save money if you haven’t cut the cord yet and made the switch to streaming services. Offers exist that allow you to bundle your internet and cable TV subscription as a package to lower the price on both.

Cable internet is also a popular option because of its cost. Based on plans we rated in Our Best Internet Providers of 2023 guide, you can get a basic broadband connection for under $40 per month. Cable is a favorite because of its speeds as well. Those who choose it can enjoy download speeds from 175-, 275-, and 500-Mbps.

To learn more, see our rating of the Best Cable Internet Providers .

Fiber Internet

If you’re looking for top internet speed, then fiber is the way to go. Although cable internet can deliver excellent download speeds, its upload speeds are much slower. Fiber has matching download and upload speeds . That makes a fiber connection great for people who send large amounts of data, like small businesses with cloud backups, or those who like to share high-definition videos across the web.

Fiber internet is desirable for heavy internet users such as online gamers. It has little packet loss and low latency, which means less disruption during gaming sessions and other usages. Likewise, those who participate in videoconferencing and stream videos should have few connection issues and less chance of frozen screens when connecting over fiber. However, according to FCC data collected in June 2020, fiber is only available to about 44% of the U.S.

To learn more, see our rating of the Best Fiber Internet Providers .

Satellite Internet

These days, most people living in metro areas probably don't consider satellite for high-speed internet, but this is still one of the top choices for much of rural America. Almost every county in the U.S. – including some remote areas of Alaska and Hawaii – have satellite internet as a broadband option, according to the FCC. In comparison, only 55% of rural areas can get high-speed access through a cable provider, and less than 20% have fiber optic internet available. Satellite internet may not be the best choice for gaming, but it still fills a void for internet service in some of the more remote areas.

To learn more, see our rating of the Best Satellite Internet Providers .

DSL Internet

DSL is slowly getting replaced by faster, more reliable broadband connections like cable and fiber internet. However, many people have limited high-speed provider options in their areas, especially in rural communities. In these regions, DSL offers much faster speeds than dial-up, and it tends to be faster and more consistent than satellite internet. In our research of the Best Internet Providers, we found that DSL plans tend to cost less than similar plans from satellite internet.

If you're a mild internet user that mainly surfs the web or streams TV on one device at a time, DSL may work well for you. If you have a busy household with lots of people getting online at the same time – especially if two or more are using data for streaming or online gaming – DSL isn't going to cut it.

To learn more, see our rating of the Best DSL Internet Providers .

Fixed Wireless Internet

Fixed wireless internet is a type of internet service that uses radio waves to connect rural and underserved areas to the internet. Many rural or underserved areas may be without the infrastructure that would allow ground internet options, such as fiber, cable, or DSL. Instead, this type of broadband connection uses an antenna to communicate with a tower within 10 miles of your home.

Fixed internet can still be somewhat affected by weather. However, it has lower latency (length of time to relay data) than satellite internet, making it another option for some rural areas.

See which areas of the country have the best access to the internet in our Internet Access Rankings .

5G Internet

5G home internet is a type of fixed wireless internet service, meaning it functions without the use of any physical cables, similar to satellite internet. Where 5G internet differs is its signal reception. 5G internet receives a signal from a much closer wireless hub directly to your 5G receiver, and it has low latency, or faster upload and download speeds.

5G home internet runs on the same network as your 5G smartphone, but while your smartphone has roaming capabilities, a 5G home internet connection is limited to one location – your home. It’s important to note that 5G home internet has the potential to offer fast speeds and wider plan options, but professional reviewers typically recommend fiber (if it’s available in your area) or cable since both are often more reliable internet connections.

Which ISPs Offer Bundles?

All of the companies that made our Best Internet Service Providers of 2023 rating offer more than just internet service. Several are also cable companies or telecommunications giants that can bundle the cost of internet service with another service they provide. Bundles can save you money because the combined package is normally less than the cost of each service individually. Most companies on the list will give you a discount if you select cable TV and an internet plan. Some even offer a landline for your home phone, a cell phone plan, and/or home security bundles with their internet plans.

The Best Prepaid Providers of 2023

If you’re on a budget or have a fixed income, you may be interested in a prepaid internet service provider. Prepaid providers can offer internet services without many of the overhead costs normally associated with installation and equipment rental. Two companies made our Best Prepaid Internet Service Providers rating.

If you’re looking for an ISP that is contract-free, doesn’t require a credit check, and has potentially lower equipment fees, visit our guide to the Best Prepaid ISPs to learn which ones might work best for you.

The Most Affordable Internet Plans of 2023

Internet access doesn't have to cost $100 or more each month. We analyzed the internet plans offered by the Best Internet Service Providers of 2023 to find the least expensive options, based on monthly price. Companies that made our rating for the Most Affordable Internet Services Providers are listed below. Follow the links in the companies' names to read our full reviews. You can also read more about the Cheap Internet Service here.

If you find the cheap internet companies in our ratings too expensive, visit the FCC to learn about its Affordable Connectivity Program. The program offers discounts between $30 to $75 per month to qualifying households that need internet access.

The Fastest Internet Plans of 2023

If you want the fastest internet speeds possible, fiber optic internet is your premier choice. It has some of the fastest download and upload speeds available. Note that every choice in our rating of the Fastest Internet Plans is fiber.

However, do you really need an ultra-fast gigabit connection? Find out how to select the right internet speed level, see what broadband services are available in your area, and get tips on increasing your internet speed in our Fastest Internet Plans guide .

Visit our guide to Local Internet Service Providers to find the best ISPs in metropolitan areas across the country.

Gaining access to broadband internet can be a challenge for those who live in rural areas with little of the infrastructure needed to provide broadband speeds. With satellite being the most widely available internet provider, it’s an appealing option if you live on a farm or in a less populated area. DSL is often set up in these areas as well. However, if you’re looking for cable or other options that could reach where you are, check out our ratings of the Best Internet Service Providers for Rural Areas. One of these companies may service your area.

In online gaming, if you want to savor victory, then your internet connection needs to be as flawless as your game play. While a fast internet connection can’t guarantee a win, an unstable connection can quickly deliver a loss before you’ve had a chance to compete. That's because connections prone to lagging and delays can adversely affect your performance during a game. So getting a high-speed internet plan is paramount if you want optimal online gaming.

The FCC recently reported that latency, a measurement of internet delay, improves as the internet speed increases. In order to help you make an informed decision, we’ve used this report to determine which internet providers had the lowest latency. To learn more about latency and to see the top ISPs visit, the Best Internet Providers for Gaming .

Coupons and Discount Codes

If you want to save more on some of our top rated internet service providers, check out these ISP deals:

Internet Service Providers

Best Local Internet Service Providers

Find the best internet service providers in major metropolitan areas. See a full list of cities here .

To learn more about Internet Service Providers, visit our guides:

Related 360 Reviews

You may also be interested in the following reviews of related services:

Our 360 Methodology for Internet Service Providers

Wh y you can trust us: 25 internet service providers researched.

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An Overview of ITIL Service Providers and Portfolios

ITIl Service Providers - Invensis learning

The ITIL service providers and service portfolio are the two phases of the same coin. While one of them takes care of the supply of services between the internal and the external customers, the other makes sure there is an efficient mix of services that will support the entire service strategy. Let’s try to understand each of the ITIL Service Strategy and Service portfolios in detail.

ITIL Service Providers

The service provider is an organization that provides IT support services to internal and external customers.

There are 3 types of ITIL service providers:

ITIL Service Provider - Invensis learning

ITIL Service Providers: Internal Service Provider (Type I)

Internal service providers exist in an organization to deliver IT services to a particular unit only.

Since they are attached to a particular unit, they can dedicate their time and resources to providing the best possible support to the business unit.

They will also be more familiar with the requirements and problems of the business unit and can solve them faster.

The managers of the business unit have everything under their control.

The transactions are more transparent, and the costs are under the direct control of the management of the business unit.

If the company has multiple business units, this type of service provider will exist for each unit, thereby creating duplication of manpower and resources.

There is a higher risk of market failure associated with Type I service providers as they serve a single business unit and have nothing to fall back on, in case things don’t go the right way in the business unit.

ITIL Service Providers: Shared Service Provider (Type II)

Shared service providers deliver IT services to multiple units in the same organization.

They eliminate duplication of personnel and resources as they provide IT services to several business units across the organization.

Each business unit ends up spending less on maintaining the IT service provider as the costs are spread across several business units.

Since shared service providers have a heavy workload and have to keep costs to a minimum, their equipment can get outdated over time and replacements would be unlikely.

These service providers have to be flexible to cater to the varied needs of different business units. This prevents them from specializing in service.

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ITIL Service Providers: External Service Provider (Type III)

External service providers deliver IT services to customers outside the organization.

In large organizations with multiple departments, it is usual to have a mixture of internal service providers and external service providers.

One of the main advantages of using an external service provider is that the company need not worry about capital investment such as the purchase and maintenance of equipment used by the service providers.

There is a fixed cost to be paid to the service provider, and the company does not have to worry about paying individual salaries or overtime as it is the duty of the service provider itself to manage that.

Businesses find it more flexible to use external service providers.

For a small business unit, it is economically not viable to invest in expensive IT equipment which would serve only limited roles. But outsourcing IT services is more cost-effective since it allows them to avail themselves of the benefits of the best equipment without paying for its ownership.

ITIL Service Portfolio

In ITIL, the service portfolio is the core information repository for all the services in an organization. The service portfolio describes the services which are presently being considered and developed by the service provider. This is in addition to its present contractual commitments; ongoing service improvement plans (SIPs) and the services which the company no longer provides.

A service portfolio is defined as the complete set of services that are managed by a service provider. The service portfolio is used to manage the entire lifecycle of all the services. It includes three categories:

Service pipeline (Proposed or under development)

Service catalog (live or ready for deployment)

Retired services

A service portfolio can also include third-party services which are used by the service provider as an integral component of the services it offers to its customers. A service portfolio portrays the commitments of a service provider and its investments across all its customers and market spaces in that the service provider operates or intends to operate in.

Internal service is a type of service which is delivered to the departments or business units in the same organization. External service is a type of service which is delivered to external customers who are outside the service provider’s organization.

There is a significant amount of difference between internal and external service as the former supports an internal activity and the latter achieves business outcomes. Internal services, however, have to be linked to external services for their contribution to be measured and understood.

Classification of Service Portfolio

Classification of Service Portfolio - Invensis learning

By classifying services into ‘supporting,’ ‘internal’ and ‘external’ categories, it is possible for a service provider to differentiate between the services which actually support internal activity and the services which actually achieve business outcomes for customers.

They are classified as the following:

Support Services

They are services that are not used by businesses or external customers directly.

These services enable the IT processes and services used by the IT service provider to provide other services that are not directly visible to the customer.

The performance of the supporting service is managed by OLAs.

Supporting services are defined in a way to permits the interdependencies between IT components to be identified.

They show how the components are used to deliver internal and external customer-facing services.

Support services can exist so that they can be combined with other supporting services.

Internal Customer-Facing Services

They are the services which are directly supporting more than one business process that is being managed by an internal customer.

These services enable the IT processes and services used by the IT service provider to provide other services that are not directly visible to the customer. Internal customer-facing services are managed by SLAs and are underpinned by supporting services.

Internal customer-facing service is identified and defined by the business.

If a service cannot be perceived by the businesses it is engaged with; then it would be considered a supporting service and not a customer-facing one.

Internal customer-facing services depend on a set of integrated supporting services which are not visible to the customer.

Management of internal customer-facing services is done as per service level agreements.

External Customer-Facing Services

The services which are supplied by the IT department to external customers are called external customer-facing services.

These services are provided in a way to enable the organization to meet strategic objectives, which is why they are considered business services.

External customer-facing services are managed through a contract.

As per the organization’s strategy, the service is provided free or charged for.

The ITIL Service Providers and service portfolio makes sure the supply of services amongst the internal and external customers is efficient with enough services to support the entire service strategy in the organization. Learn more about such processes and best practices with ITIL 4 Foundation certification training and take your service management career to the next level.

Learn more about Service Management best practices through Invensis Learning’s IT Service Management certification training on ITIL V4 Foundation Course , SIAM Foundation , SIAM professional , VeriSM , etc.

ITIL Service Management


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Service Providers

Service providers implement detailed telephony device controls. A telephony service provider (TSP) provides call controls and a media service provider, if it exists, provides control over the media stream.

All telephony service providers execute in the TAPISRV process. Service providers can create threads in the TAPISRV context as needed to do their work, and be confident that none of the resources they create will be destroyed by the exit of any individual application. The TAPI Server translates application commands as needed into a consistent set of commands known as the Telephony Service Provider Interface (TSPI).

Media service providers execute in the process space of the application, allowing for the fast response sometimes required in media controls. The TAPI DLL provides for consistent adherence to the Media Service Provider Interface (MSPI).

For more detailed coverage of the service providers, please see TAPI Service Provider Overview .

Underneath the telephony service provider DLL, the service provider can use any system functions or other components necessary. These functions include CreateFile and DeviceIoControl , which work with independent hardware vendor-designed kernel mode components and services, as well as standard devices such as serial and parallel ports to control external, locally attached devices. They can also access network services (such as RPC, Windows Sockets, and Named Pipes) for client/server telephony.

The Telephony service provider user interface DLL is loaded by TAPI into the process of an application that invokes any of the service provider functions that can display a dialog box (for example, TSPI_lineConfigDialog ). The service provider can also cause its associated UI DLL to be loaded and executed in the process of an application if the service provider needs to display UI at unexpected times, such as to display the Talk/Hang-up dialog box displayed by the Universal Modem Driver (UNIMODEM) when a data modem is used to dial an interactive voice call using TSPI_lineMakeCall (not normally considered to be a UI-generating function).

The proxy request handler is a full telephony application that normally executes on a telephony server (the same server on which the telephony service provider is executing for the associated line devices). This architecture, rather than the WOSA service provider architecture, is used when a particular service is more appropriately implemented in an application than in a driver on the server. For example, the ACD Agent management functions are implemented in a proxy request handler rather than in a service provider.

The UNIMODEM driver service provider for modem control is available on Windows Server 2003 operating systems, Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT. Windows Telephony also includes a generic kernel-mode Telephony Service Provider Interface (TSPI) mapper, KMDDSP, that allows service providers to be implemented as kernel-mode device drivers.

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The Editorial Board: Raise for direct service providers is too small to maintain that workforce

Legislators and the governor must again consider the case of direct support professionals and provide a higher cost-of-living adjustment.

It seems nearly every year New York State’s budget fails to meet the necessary threshold of funding to pay direct support professionals and the not-for-profits that hire them. This is wrong. Again.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, who to her credit, included a 5.4% cost-of-living adjustment into her budget last year, included only a 2.5% cost-of-living adjustment to provide services for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities into her executive budget. This pittance of an increase is far below the rate of inflation and a setback to addressing the workforce crisis.

It’s not just that direct service providers working for nonprofit agencies make about $15 an hour, barely over minimum wage. At the same time, state employees doing the same work are set to receive increases bringing their starting wage to $23 an hour, if Hochul has her way.

Representatives of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York, which includes People Inc., Aspire of WNY and other organizations, point out that the cost-of-living adjustments they request are supposed to arrive every year, and be tied to the consumer price index. It is good that Hochul included some small increase which provides a base for advocates to negotiate with the Legislature, but when inflation is at its peak, a 2.5% cost-of-living adjustment is effectively a cut and does not allow the non-for-profits to invest in workforce, or meet operating expenses such as transportation, food and utilities. The Legislature should take the 2.5% and turn it into the 8.5% these vital services need.

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The state share of funds it would require to provide that size increase is $121.5 million. Including a wage increase for the nonprofit direct support professions similar to the one set for the proposed raise for the state’s workers, the total cost would come to $247 million It’s not an unreasonable among against the backdrop of the entire state budget – proposed at $227 billion – and the fact that those agencies got nothing for more than a decade.

Much of this has to do with stresses on the workforce. Just as the rest of the world, these agencies are struggling to hire and retain employees. That is partly due to the pandemic, but these agencies were struggling well before the appearance of Covid-19. The problem was a lack of funding. What is more, the workforce providing personal and other essential services consists disproportionately of women and women of color, making this an economic justice issue. It is more than an inconvenience for BJ Stasio, co-vice president of the board of directors of the Self-Advocacy Association of New York, a position to which he was elected by his fellow self-advocates and peers around New York. He needs the people providing essential services to remain on the job.

Employee retention at these agencies is a problem, worsened by the fact that direct service providers working for not-for-profits can quit and go work for a state-run agency that pays much more for the same work. Or those same providers can apply for any number of less stressful, higher-paying retail or fast-food jobs.

These hard-working direct service providers working for not-for-profits become close to their patients and loathe having to leave for other jobs, but they cannot afford to stay on at noncompetitive wages. Paid appropriately, these same workers would be economic generators. As Stasio said, “Without the staff who support me, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.” And that includes traveling to Albany to rally for a higher percentage increase for direct support professionals.

What’s your opinion? Send it to us at [email protected] . Letters should be a maximum of 300 words and must convey an opinion. The column does not print poetry, announcements of community events or thank you letters. A writer or household may appear only once every 30 days. All letters are subject to fact-checking and editing.

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Top 10 Cloud Service Providers In 2023

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Do you wonder what cloud service provider is good for you? Here is a report on the top 10 cloud service providers, their services, features, locations, and more.


Whether it's infrastructure, Software, applications, services, products, or even an operating system, everything is making its way to the Cloud. As a result, billions of dollars are being invested in cloud migration. In this detailed article, I'll review the most popular cloud providers, their offerings, and which cloud provider you should choose for your cloud services from a developer perspective. 

Cloud computing has multiplied over the past several years. As such, businesses are increasingly transitioning to different cloud services. In this article, I'll review some of the best, most popular cloud providers and their offerings, pricing, and features. I will also explain which cloud provider you should choose and why. 

Cloud computing is Web-based computing that allows businesses and individuals to consume computing resources such as virtual machines, databases, processing, memory, services, storage, messaging, events, and pay-as-you-go. Cloud services often improve upon older ones—for example, the pay-as-you-go model charges for resources as they are used. Unlike traditional computing, you do not need to pay if you do not use any resources. Instead, like a water connection or an electricity line, you have a meter that keeps track of your monthly usage. You then pay for that usage at a given rate.

Here are some key advantages of cloud computing:

Cloud computing can be divided into three major categories, Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

IaaS offers the entire IT computing infrastructure, provisioned and managed over the internet. The key components of IaaS are used to replace existing development and test environments, virtual machines, website hosting, storage, backup, networking, servers, operating systems, middleware, data, applications, and high-performance computing (HPC).

According to Gartner Magic Quadrant, AWS leads among top cloud services providers, followed by Microsoft and Google Cloud in the IaaS position. 

Top Cloud Service providers

The PaaS component of cloud computing offers a complete development and deployment environment in the Cloud, including dev, test, QA, debugging, and deployment tools and services. SaaS is Software developed and hosted by someone else. Businesses or individuals can use them as needed.

Today, most top cloud service providers offer all these services. The two leaders in cloud computing are Amazon and Microsoft, followed by Google, Alibaba, and IBM. This article will compare the top cloud computing providers and their categories.

top cloud service provider

According to a report by Canalys, worldwide cloud infrastructure services spending increased 34% to US$55.9 billion in Q1 2022 as organizations prioritized digitalization strategies to meet market challenges. The latest Canalys data estimates expenditure was over US$2 billion more than in the previous quarter and US$14 billion more than in Q1 2021.

Top cloud service vendors

Here is a list of my top 10 cloud service providers: 

The following table summarizes the top 3 key players and their offerings in cloud computing.  For Q3 2022, AWS reported revenue increased 27 percent year-over-year to $20.5 billion from $16.5 billion in Q3 2021. In addition, AWS's operating income was $5.4 billion, compared with an operating income of $4.9 billion in the third quarter of 2021. 

For the same quarter, Microsoft reported revenue from its Intelligent Cloud of $20.3 billion, which increased 20 percent from the previous quarter in 2021.  Google Cloud says revenue of $6.86 billion, up from $4.99 billion in 2021. However, its losses widened slightly, from $644 million to $699 million.

#1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

top cloud service provider AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an Amazon company that was launched in the year 2002. AWS is the most popular cloud service provider in the world.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world's most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 165 fully-featured services from data centers globally. Millions of customers use this service.

AWS's revenue in 2018 was $25.6 billion, with a profit of $7.2 billion. The revenue is expected to grow to $33 billion in 2019.

AWS Services

AWS offers hundreds of services. Some of these include Virtual Private Cloud, EC2, AWS Data Transfer, Simple Storage Service, DynamoDB, Elastic Compute Cloud, AWS Key Management Service, AmazonCloudWatch, Simple Notification Service, Relational Database Service, Route 53, Simple Queue Service, CloudTrail, and Simple Email Service.

The following graphic lists the various categories of services available in AWS. The right side of the list includes AWS's featured services.

top cloud service provider AWS services

AWS Security

Cloud security is the highest priority for AWS. As a customer, you will benefit from a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations.

AWS security offers infrastructure security, DDoS mitigation, data encryption, inventory and configuration, monitoring and logging, identity and access control, and penetration testing.


AWS provides 40+ compliance certifications for the global, US, and other countries. Here is the list of various supported compliance certifications:

top cloud service provider AWS compliance

AWS global availability

AWS offers the most significant global footprint in the market. No cloud provider offers as many regions or Availability Zones (AZs). This includes 78 AZs within 25 geographic regions around the world. Furthermore, AWS has announced plans for nine more AZs and three more regions in Cape Town, Jakarta, and Milan.

top cloud service provider AWS locations

AWS Certifications

AWS certifications are divided into four categories: Foundational, Associate, Professional, and Specialty.

top cloud service provider AWS Certifications

#2. Microsoft Azure

top cloud service provider Azure

Microsoft Azure is one of the fastest-growing clouds among them all. Azure was launched years after the release of AWS and Google Cloud but is still knocking on the door to become the top cloud services provider. Microsoft Azure recently won a $10 billion US government contract.

While Microsoft Azure's revenue is difficult to predict, Microsoft broke down its last quarter's revenue into three categories: Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and Personal Computing. The respective revenue was $11.0 billion, $11.4 billion, and $11.3 billion.

Microsoft's Azure revenue is expected to grow between $33 billion to $35 billion. This makes Azure one of the most profitable cloud services in the world.

Azure Services

Azure offers hundreds of services within various categories, including AI + Machine Learning, Analytics, Blockchain, Compute, Containers, Databases, Developer Tools, DevOps, Identity, Integration, Internet of Things, Management, Media, Microsoft Azure Stack, Migration, Mixed Reality, Mobile, Networking, Security, Storage, Web, and Windows Virtual Desktop.

top cloud service provider Azure services

Azure, the Intelligent Cloud

What makes Azure the most attractive and intelligent is its exclusive offering of Microsoft's previous products and services in the Cloud. Azure's cloud supremacy revolves around its intelligence. Azure provides the most advanced and maximum number of intelligent products and services.

Microsoft's Windows operating system Windows and database SQL Server are now available in the Cloud via Windows Virtual Desktop.

Microsoft's mixed reality technology (products for HoloLens) is also available in the Azure Cloud.

Microsoft's TFS and VSTS are now available in Azure via Azure DevOps.

Microsoft's popular Office suite and enterprise products, such as Sharepoint and Power BI, are now available as Office 365 and PowerXXX tools in the Cloud. Furthermore, some of the most popular and advanced developer tools and compilers are available in Azure via various UI, workflows, and interfaces.

Microsoft is a leader in AI + Machine Learning, and Microsoft Cognitive Services is one of the company's most advanced offerings.

Azure Security

Azure offers the most advanced security products and services. The following table lists Azure security options:

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Azure Compliance

Azure offers 90 compliance certifications for global, US government, region-specific, and industry-specific. The following is a list of Azure compliance certifications.

top cloud service provider Azure compliances

Azure Stack

Azure Stack is a service of Azure that allows enterprises to run apps in an on-premises environment and perform Azure services in your data center. Azure Stack syncs with global Azure and upgrades when new services and updates are available on Azure.

Azure Stack

Azure for Government

Azure for Government is an exclusive cloud designed for federal, state, and local US government agencies.

Azure Government

Azure Government offers government exclusivity. As a result, only US federal, state, local, and tribal governments and their partners have access to this dedicated instance with operations controlled by screened US citizens.

Azure Government offers the broadest and most compliance certifications. It runs on six government-only data center regions; all granted an Impacted Level 5 Provisional Authorization.

Azure global availability

Azure offers more data centers around the world than any other cloud provider.

Azure locations

Azure Certifications

Here is a list of Microsoft Azure certifications.

#3. IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud, developed by IBM, is a set of cloud computing services for businesses. Like other cloud service providers, the IBM cloud includes IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS services via public, private, and hybrid cloud models.

Compute, Network, Storage, Cloud Packs, Management, Security, Database, Analytics, AI, IoT, Mobile, Dev Tools, Blockchain, Integration, Migration, Private Cloud, and VMware.

Annual revenue: $19.16 billion

#4. Google Cloud

google cloud

Google cloud platform is Google's Cloud. Like AWS and Azure, Google Cloud offers similar services in various categories, including computing, storage, identity, security, database, AI and machine learning, virtualization, DevOps, and more.

Here is a list of complete products and services categories for Google Cloud Platform services:

AI and Machine Learning, API Management, Compute, Containers, Data Analytics, Databases, Developer Tools, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Hybrid and Multi-cloud, Internet of Things, Management Tools, Media and Gaming, Migration, Networking, Security and Identity, Serverless Computing, and Storage.

Google products in the Cloud also offer G Suite, Google Maps Platform, Google Hardware, Google Identity, Chrome Enterprise, Android Enterprise, Apigee, Firebase, and Orbitera.

Google Cloud Services are available in 20 regions, 61 zones, and 200+ countries.

Google cloud locations

Google Cloud's annual revenue is close to $8 billion.

Google Cloud Certifications

Here is a list of Google cloud certifications:

#5. Oracle Cloud

Oracle Cloud

Oracle cloud platform is the cloud offering of Oracle corporation. Oracle Cloud offers IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and Data as a Service (DaaS).

Oracle offerings include the following:

Oracle IaaS offerings are Compute, Storage, Networking, Governance, Database, Load Balancing, DNS Monitoring, Ravello, and FastConnect.

Oracle PaaS offerings are Data Management, Application Development, Integration, Business Analytics, Security, Management, and Content and Enterprise.

Oracle SaaS offerings are CX, HCM, ERP, SCM, EPM, IoT, Analytics, Data, and Blockchain Applications.

Oracle DaaS is the Oracle Data Cloud.

#6. Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba cloud

Alibaba Cloud, founded in 2009, is registered and headquartered in Singapore. It was initially built to serve Alibaba's e-commerce ecosystem and is now offered to the public. Alibaba Cloud is the largest cloud provider in China.

Alibaba offers various products and services in multiple categories, including Elastic Computing, Storage and CDN, Networking, Database Services, Security, Monitoring and Management, Domains and Websites, Analytics and Data Technology, Application Services, Media Services, Middleware, Cloud Communication, Apsara Stack, and Internet of Things.

Alibaba Cloud is available in 19 regions and 56 availability zones around the globe.

Alibaba Cloud's revenue is $4.5 million annually. 

Which is the best Cloud for you?

According to Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), AWS is a leader in its ability to execute, but Microsoft's Azure leads as a visionary. Google is third in the race, followed by Oracle, Alibaba, and IBM. However, the best Cloud is very relative, and often it depends on the types of services your business needs. While both AWS and Azure are neck to neck in pricing, innovation, and services, some services have better offers than others.

So, how do you decide which cloud service provider is best for me? Here is a detailed article I have written on this topic that might help you answer your question: 

What is the Best Cloud Service Provider for My Business ?

The Verdict

Microsoft Azure and AWS are necks to neck in the race for cloud supremacy. Both offer similar products, services, and costs. However, Google, IBM, and other clouds are improving daily.

If I chose a cloud provider for my business, it would have to be Azure or AWS. The reason is apparent: both companies are way ahead in the race. You cannot go wrong with either of these.

If other clouds offer specific tools and services, you may also decide upon alternatives. For example, IBM Watson is a unique product used in IBM's cloud service.

Most large enterprises use multiple clouds. For example, one of my clients uses AWS for file storage and messaging, Azure for DevOps, database and developer tools, and Google's Cloud for documents and emails.

One size doesn't fit all. You need to figure out what your needs are and which Cloud fits you the best.

I reviewed the top 10 cloud service providers in this article based on their revenue, popularity, and service offerings. Read What is a Cloud Service Provider  to learn more about cloud providers. Also, read How to Choose the Best Cloud Provider For Me .

Respective product websites including Microsoft, AWS Inc, Google Inc., and others. Logos are the copyright of their respective owners.

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10 Top SOC as a Service Providers [Pros and Cons]

Updated on: February 28, 2023

Nivedita James

10 mins read

10 Top SOC as a Service Providers [Pros and Cons]

Cyberattacks and associated crimes are always on the rise, especially these days. With this, the need for SOC for every organization has also skyrocketed. 

SOC as a service (Security Operation Centre) is a cloud-based set of services like comprehensive protection, continuous monitoring, and threat detection services on a subscription model. 

SOC-as-a-service providers are those organizations that offer services like protecting vulnerability detection and management, VAPT services, and more to customers based on their needs. 

However, maintaining an in-house SOC can be a daunting task, especially for up-and-coming companies. Here are some factors that you should keep in when choosing between top SOC as service providers: 

Top SOC as a service providers are: 

This article will detail the top SOC as a service providers, the services provided by them, and their pros and cons in detail. Furthermore, it will also elucidate the factors to keep in mind when looking for a good service provider. 

Top 10 SOC as a Service Providers

1. astra pentest.

Astra's Pentest Suite

One of the top-notch data security audit tools, Astra Pentest provides expert security audits with the assurance of zero false positives to find all the weak spots plaguing one’s security.

Astra provides continuous hacker-style penetration tests to identify and exploit vulnerabilities through vulnerability scans. This helps organizations gain an in-depth understanding of how an actual hack would affect their systems, network, and data. 

Astra Pentest provides a world-class comprehensive vulnerability scanner capable of finding vulnerabilities using NIST and OWASP methodologies. These vulnerabilities are identified based on known CVEs, OWASP Top 10, SANS 25 , and intel from various reliable sources. 

With total ease of use and navigation, Astra’s dashboards win customers over with their great user experience. The dashboard displays the vulnerabilities found in real-time with the severity scores and provides an option of collaboration with the target’s development time for quicker smoother patching.   

Astra helps maintain compliance with its compliance-specific scans for regulatory standards like PCI-DSS, SOC2, GDPR, ISO 27001, and HIPAA. Compliance scanning has a dashboard dedicated to it. 

Well-detailed reports are yet another alluring feature of Astra’s penetration testing services. These reports have the scope of testing explained, vulnerabilities found on scanning, methods employed for exploitation of vulnerabilities, and the damages and information revealed from exploiting them as well. 

Based on this, the report also mentions the CVSS scores for these vulnerabilities and well the detailed steps to take to patch them up. These reports are extremely useful for organizations when it comes to patching, or for documenting purposes for an audit.  

Astra pentest certificate is a must-have and is only provided to customers who patch all the vulnerabilities found in the security weaknesses audit and obtain a rescan to ensure that there are no further vulnerabilities. 

This certificate is publicly verifiable and can be displayed on customer websites to showcase its reliability and security-conscious nature. This brings about more customers who trust the services offered by your network. 

Astra provides 24*7 expert assistance to its customers through e-mails, phone calls, and even the dashboard. Customers can touch with any queries they have regarding any vulnerabilities within the reply box under every vulnerability detected. 

Zero false positives are a sure thing with Astra’s thorough vetting which is done by expert pentesters based on the automated pentest results obtained. This double-checking, therefore, ensures that the customers don’t have to worry about any false positive vulnerability detection. 

Make your Website / Web Application the safest place on the Internet.

2. symantec.


Symantec’s cloud workload protection provides automated security measures for your cloud providers and customers alike. 


Established in 1985 Sophos Cloud offers simplified enterprise-level solutions for cloud security including 24/7 cloud threat detection and response, native protection, and security automation for DevOps.


Rapid7 provides world-class application security, vulnerability management, and SIEM services.

Other services provided by this company include penetration testing services and vulnerability scanning. 

Also Read- Qualys vs. Rapid7

5. AlertLogic


AlertLogic is a well-known SOC-as-a-service provider that provides managed threat detection and response services (MDR). 

Their holistic services include 24*7  threat monitoring, incident validation, remediation, log management, and more. 

Could have better end-point protection. 


Qualys provides its cloud customers with continuous monitoring, vulnerability management, compliance solutions, and web application firewalls. These services make Qualys a top cloud security solution contender.  

7. Arctic Wolf Networks

arctic wolf networks

This company provides managed detection and response solution that is available 24*7. It includes constant monitoring of networks, cloud environments, and endpoints. 

Arctic Wolf eliminates alert fatigue and the possibility of any false positives while customizing responses catered to the organization. 

8. Netsurion


This company has a Peerspot rating of 7.8 out of 10. It provides SOC as a service with a managed open XDR (eXtended Detection and Response) with services like threat hunting and response, attack surface coverage, and cybersecurity services that are highly adaptive. 

9. Secureworks

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This company provides both managed and extended detection and response services. It combines security analytics, threat hunting, round-the-clock support, and incident response together. 

The dashboard provides complete visibility to the user in terms of network, cloud environment, and endpoints, making the correlation of events much faster. It also comes with other services like prioritization and threat triage, remote incident response services, and more. 

10. Palo Alto Networks

palo alto networks

Palo Alto Networks provides an all-around malware detection service as well as a next-generation firewall with high-end capabilities. It provides network speed and threat protection due to its streamlined organization. 

Now that we have seen the major top SOC as service provider contenders with their services and pros and cons, you might be wondering how to make the right choice. 

Well, fret not, the next section service to help you analyze the factors to consider when choosing a provider.   

Factors to Consider When Choosing A SOC as a Service Provider?

1. capacity for threat detection.

Top SOC as a service provider continuously monitor your organization’s assets and detect a threat in a timely manner. 

They also must be proficient in the deft handling of vulnerabilities so as to keep your organization and assets safe from any breaches or hacks. 

2. Good vulnerability management services 

Upon the detection of vulnerabilities, the provider must also give appropriate remediation steps, POC videos, and more to ensure that the developers can easily fix the vulnerabilities.

The whole point of SOC as a service is to ensure that the developers can work on creating bug-free applications without compromising on security. Hence the delegation of vulnerability management makes their services more efficient. 

3. Dashboards with contextual collaboration

The dashboard provided by the SOC as a service company should provide timely alerts, quick accessibility to reports, and steps for remediation. 

It should have features for collaboration between the SOC team and developers within the dashboard itself. 

4. Comprehensive VAPT Services

The SOC providers should also have the provisions to carry out regular vulnerability assessments and penetration tests according to your requirement. 

This rigorous testing ensures that all the vulnerabilities are detected before they are exploited. 

With penetration tests, one not only detects the vulnerabilities but also understands the level of impact from its exploitation. 

Let experts find security gaps in your cloud infrastructure

Benefits of soc as a service over in-premise soc, 1. quick identification and remediation.

Since SOC as a service provider is dedicated to protecting your assets 24/7, it reduced the burden on in-house security through quick detection and remediation of any vulnerabilities.

Constant monitoring and real-time alerts provided by SOC as a service provider help you keep your assets safe and secure. 

2. Reduce Risks

SOC as a service provider helps you by reducing the chances of a breach and its remediation expenses like legal fees and other incurred costs from the damage done by such risks. 

3. Cost Efficient

You can get a monthly subscription for SOC as a service based on your needs. This is far more cost-effective when compared to the cost and operating expenses of running an in-house security operations center. 

4. Scalability

Businesses are seeing unprecedented growth and changes more quickly than ever before. 

Therefore it is equally essential that the security operations center be just as agile and scalable according to the growing and changing needs of customers. 

5. Compliance

SOC-as-a-service providers provide constant monitoring, detection, and remediation of any vulnerabilities your assets may have. By doing so, they help you maintain the necessary global security standards that your organization needs to be compliant with. 

This article has detailed the benefits of choosing among the top SOC as a service providers like Astra Pentest and others mentioned. Opting for SOC as a service makes scalability and budgeting easier while putting security in the front seat of your organization’s procedures. 

So make a wise and informed decision today to secure your assets from the get-go! 

What is SOC as a service?

SOC as a service (Security Operation Centre) is a cloud-based set of services like comprehensive protection, continuous monitoring, and threat detection services on a subscription model.

Who are the top SOC as a service providers?

Top SOC as a service providers include Astra Pentest, Symantec, Rapid7, and AlertLogic among others.

What are the steps in a penetration test?

A penetration test usually starts off by defining the scope, which is followed by scanning the determined assets for vulnerabilities, exploiting them, and reporting the learnings found.

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Job Accommodation Network

The Interactive Process And Service Providers

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered employers to provide effective, reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. To help determine effective accommodations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), recommends that employers use an “interactive process,” which simply means that employers and employees with disabilities who request accommodations work together to come up with effective accommodations.

Service providers may play an important role in the interactive process. For example, they may be called upon to provide information about accommodation solutions and/or assistive technologies that will optimize job performance or they may be asked to provide documentation in support of an individual’s accommodation request.

For a better understanding of when service providers may be included in the interactive process, the following is an example of what the interactive process might look like.

Step 1: Making an Accommodation Request

The interactive process starts with an accommodation request by an individual with a disability. An individual can request an accommodation at any time during the application process or while employed. In general, individuals should request accommodations when they become aware that there is a workplace barrier that is preventing them, due to a disability, from competing for a job, performing a job, or gaining equal access to a benefit of employment. The EEOC also has indicated that a family member, friend, service provider, or other representative may request a reasonable accommodation on behalf of an individual with a disability.

So what constitutes an accommodation request? According to the EEOC, an individual may use "plain English" and need not mention the ADA or use the phrase "reasonable accommodation" when requesting an accommodation. Therefore, any time an individual indicates that he/she is having a problem and the problem is related to a medical condition, the employer should consider whether the individual is making a request for accommodation under the ADA.

Service providers may be working with individuals with disabilities through job placement, vocational rehabilitation, or any other career development program. In these instances, a service provider may make an accommodation request on behalf of a client or may assist a client in making the request.

The EEOC ( Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship (EEOC Guidance ) provides the following example:

An employee has been out of work for six months with a workers' compensation injury. The employee's doctor sends the employer a letter, stating that the employee is released to return to work, but with certain work restrictions. (Alternatively, the letter may state that the employee is released to return to a light duty position.) The letter constitutes a request for reasonable accommodation.

Tips for Service Providers:

Step 2: Providing Information

Once an accommodation request has been received, the employer is allowed to gather whatever information is necessary to process the request. Necessary information may include documentation of the disability and need for accommodation. In some cases, the disability and need for accommodation are obvious and no additional information is needed. For example, if an employee who recently started using a wheelchair indicates that he needs a ramp to get into the workplace, the disability and need for accommodation are obvious.

In other cases, employers may need additional information. For example, if an employee with a non-visible disability indicates she is having trouble completing her work tasks because of her disability, the employer does not have enough information to provide effective accommodations. The employer needs to know what limitations are interfering with job performance and what specific work tasks are an issue.

Service providers can play an important role in providing information regarding an individual’s disability and functional limitations. For example, a vocational rehabilitation counselor may have results from an assessment or evaluation that explains what an individual specifically needs to perform job tasks.

Step 3: Exploring Accommodation Options 

Once the employer has identified the individual’s limitation that is causing a problem and has identified what that problem is, then the employer is ready to explore accommodation options. At this step, employers should be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. This is the time to brainstorm and consider what might work.

When exploring accommodation options a service provider, such as an ergonomist, may do a job analysis, which could include an ergonomic evaluation to assess the work environment and define any potential problems. Some service providers may be able to provide feedback to determine what assistive technology options may be deemed appropriate as an accommodation.

Step 4: Choosing an Accommodation

Once accommodation options have been explored, the employer gets to choose what accommodation to implement. If there is more than one option, the employer should consider the preference of the employee, but is not required to do so; the employer gets to choose among effective options and can choose, for example, the lowest cost accommodation.

When an individual feels strongly about a certain accommodation, service providers may be able to help the individual develop ideas to try to convince the employer to choose the preferred accommodation. These ideas should focus on how the accommodation will benefit both the individual and the employer by overcoming limitations and making the individual more productive.

If the employer still is not convinced to choose the preferred accommodation, service providers can suggest that the employer try out the accommodation. If it does not work, the employer is free to choose a different accommodation. One thing employers might want to do when testing accommodations is to make a written agreement with the individual that the accommodation is being tested, how long the test will be, and what will happen if the accommodation does not work. That way, no one is surprised when the accommodation is revisited down the road.

Step 5: Implementing the Accommodation

Once an accommodation has been chosen, the employer must implement the accommodation. Service providers can be an integral part of this step in the interactive process. For example, service providers can help train the individual how to use an assistive device or software. When equipment is involved, service providers can help properly install the equipment and train the individual how to use it. In some cases, an individual may need continued support while adjusting to an accommodation and a service provider, such as a job coach, can assist during this stage. Service providers also can provide feedback on the effectiveness of the accommodation once it is in place.

Step 6: Monitoring the Accommodation 

An important but often forgotten part of the interactive process is monitoring accommodations after they are in place. In some cases, an accommodation stops being effective for various reasons such as: the individual’s limitations change, workplace equipment changes, the job changes, the workplace itself changes, or the accommodation becomes an undue hardship for the employer.

Because changes occur, employers may need to revisit accommodations. If an accommodation is not working as anticipated, service providers may be able to provide additional assistance or suggestions for alternatives. Service providers also can assist when equipment or technology needs routine maintenance or updating. For example, if a software company releases a new version of its software, an assistive technology specialist can help the individual learn how to use the new version.

In situations where reassignment is necessary, service providers can provide information to the employer about any accommodation suggestions or recommendations for a new position.

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Open Access


Research Article

Perspectives of homeless service providers on their work, their clients, and the healthcare system

Roles Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

* E-mail: [email protected]

Affiliation Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

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Roles Conceptualization, Investigation, Methodology, Supervision, Validation, Writing – review & editing


Table 1

To describe the perspectives of homeless service providers who work for Chicago organizations that primarily serve persons experiencing homelessness.

A qualitative, cross-sectional study of Chicago homeless service providers (n = 17) consisting of a semi-structured interview and the Attitudes Toward the Homeless Inventory (ATHI). Interviews were analyzed for themes and patterns using inductive approach.

Four categories of 16 themes describing homeless service providers’ perspectives and perceptions: 1) perspectives on work, 2) perspectives on the general population of those experiencing homelessness at large, 3) perceptions of the population of those experiencing homelessness based on client interactions, and 4) perceptions of hospitals and healthcare.


A richer understanding of the perspectives of homeless service may provide guidance in recruitment and training of workers in this area and offer insight into caring for persons experiencing homelessness in hospital settings.

Citation: Qian CW, Hauser J (2022) Perspectives of homeless service providers on their work, their clients, and the healthcare system. PLoS ONE 17(5): e0268765. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0268765

Editor: James Mockridge, PLOS: Public Library of Science, UNITED KINGDOM

Received: November 28, 2020; Accepted: May 6, 2022; Published: May 26, 2022

Copyright: © 2022 Qian, Hauser. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

Funding: The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Sociologists and public health professionals have long recognized structural determinants of homelessness and consequent poor health outcomes among the population of those experiencing homelessness [ 1 ]. Prior studies have explored the relationship between homelessness and structural factors including housing market dynamics (rent levels, lack of low-cost housing), poor economic conditions (recessions, high unemployment rates), demographics (race, age cohort), and the presence of safety net programs [ 2 ].

While the general population in the United States has increasingly favored structural interventions to combat homelessness [ 3 ], recent survey data show that people in the U.S. are less sympathetic toward individuals experiencing homelessness as compared to their counterparts in Canada, where homelessness is equally prevalent [ 4 ].

Participating in service work involving interactions with individuals experiencing homelessness seems to have a positive effect on attitudes of participants toward the service recipients. A 2000 study of undergraduate students assigned to work at a homeless shelter compared to control individuals showed increased positive attitudes toward individuals experiencing homelessness [ 5 ]. Additionally, a few studies have looked at attitudes of healthcare trainees after intentional clinical exposure to individuals experiencing homelessness during training. After a two-week required homeless health care rotation, primary care residents had a greater belief that homelessness had societal causes and were more willing to interact with individuals experiencing homelessness [ 6 ]. Family nurse practitioner students after participating in homeless outreach clinic showed an increase in their beliefs about the social causes of homelessness, an increased belief that more can be done about homelessness, and increased willingness to connect with homeless individuals [ 7 ].

What are the perspectives of individuals whose careers involve providing services to persons experiencing homelessness (PEHs)? Few studies have explored the experiences of these individuals, referred to in the literature as homeless service providers (HSPs). A 1991 study examining health care providers’ perceptions of barriers to caring for PEHs found that while providers were supportive of their clients who were experiencing homelessness and rejected that the stigma of homelessness as a deterrent of care, they also believed that characteristics of their clients, namely their lack of motivation and inability to carry out treatment recommendations, could be major barriers to care [ 8 ]. A qualitative inductive study of HSPs in a Midwestern city working with homeless noncustodial fathers describes emotional, relational, and systemic factors that affect HSPs’ experiences with their clients, such as a sense of hopelessness, the importance of building rapport and establishing trust with their clients, and the need for a holistic approach to serving this population [ 9 ]. Another study exploring perspectives of resident physicians at two large northeastern urban emergency medicine residency programs found that caring for patients experiencing homelessness affects residents emotionally in complex, multifaceted ways, including emotions dominated by frustration and feelings of futility in caring for PEHs [ 10 ]. Finally, a study interviewing nurse practitioners on their experiences providing care to PEHs delineated five themes surrounding motivations for their work, challenges to providing care to a unique population with unique needs, values and beliefs of the providers, the evolution of relationship between providers and patients, and lessons learned [ 11 ]. Our study will further capture a breadth of attitudes and perceptions that focus on the HSP experience, particularly those employed to serve PEHs.

It is valuable to gain insights into the experiences and perspectives of HSPs, because we know that their attitudes and reactions to their work and their clients are intricately related to the experiences of PEHs. Some studies have examined the perceptions of HSPs from the perspective of PEHs. A 2011 study of mothers experiencing concurrent homelessness and substance use disorders at a Midwestern city shelter showed that these mothers had negative perceptions of service providers, including feeling not understood and feeling judged, desiring more support from service providers, and fear of service providers pertaining to disclosure of information that may cause them to lose their children [ 12 ]. A Canadian study interviewed PEHs to explore the nature and meaning of welcomeness and unwelcomeness in health care settings and found that PEHs perceived experiences of unwelcomeness as acts of discrimination against them [ 13 ]. Finally, a phenomenological study exploring service encounters from the perspective of women experiencing homelessness described themes of interactions with HSPs that range from dehumanizing to humanizing, dependent on the PEH’s perception of power dynamics and trust with the service provider [ 14 ].

Despite the importance of HSPs’ attitudes and perspectives on the experiences of PEHs receiving services, there is little research concerning the perspectives of HSPs who have significant contact with the PEH population. In this study we sought to describe the perspectives of HSPs who work for organizations that primarily target their services toward PEHs in the city of Chicago. According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and the US Census Bureau, approximately 3.2% of the population of Chicago in 2017 were experiencing homelessness [ 15 ] [ 16 ], and many were likely serviced by organizations in Chicago that provide food, shelter, skills training, healthcare. As of January 2020, there are 91 agencies in Chicago working to end homelessness [ 17 ].

In order to more fully understand the lives of HSPs, we explored themes and patterns in their perspectives and attitudes toward their work, their clients, and the healthcare system. Our hope is that this study will help to inform recruitment, retention, and training efforts to focus on relevant and prevalent rewards and challenges that HSPs experience in their work. We also hope to increase awareness for improvement opportunities in the current healthcare system to better serve PEHs.

Materials and methods

This was a qualitative, cross-sectional study of current HSPs (n = 17) at five Chicago non-profit organizations that predominantly serve PEHs: Chicago Help Initiative; Heartland Alliance Health; Lincoln Park Community Shelter; The Night Ministry; and Pacific Garden Mission. Interviews were conducted face-to-face on-site where the HSPs worked. Each HSP first completed the Attitudes Toward the Homeless Inventory (ATHI) [ 18 ] that was administered on a sheet of paper. Each HSP was given as much time as needed to fill out the ATHI by pen without additional commentary or assistance from the author(s) who remained present in the room. After the ATHI responses was collected, the HSPs then immediately completed a half-hour, semi-structured interview conducted by the first author on the same day.

Ethics approval

This study was approved by the Northwestern University Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Exempt Review ( https://www.irb.northwestern.edu/exempt-review/ ) as data was analyzed anonymously. Written informed consent was obtained for all individual participants, and all participant organizations gave their permission to be identified by name.

Selection of organizations

We endeavored to have a wide array of perspectives in our sample to mitigate selection bias of our data that may result if we were to only focus on a subset of roles, services, or types or organizations. We deliberately sought out organizations that varied in organizational structure, size, geographic location, affiliation (i.e. faith-based), and services offered. Within each organization, our aim was to diversify on roles and tenure in the field of homeless care. We acknowledge there may still be selection bias even in light of these efforts. And while the diversity allows for better representation of HSP perspectives, it also presents unique challenges to analyzing interview data for common themes across participants and drawing conclusions from the diverse array of backgrounds.

The five organizations were selected to represent perspectives from a diverse sample of service providers to PEHs in Chicago. These included:

There was no relationship between the researchers and participating organizations. Six organizations were initially identified through internet searches for Chicago non-profit organizations serving individuals experiencing homelessness, with emphasis placed on maximizing diversity of organizational services including shelter, healthcare, food, substance use treatment, and case management. With the exception of Night Ministry, the first author acquired contact information through each organization’s website. HSPs from five of the six organizations were included in the study, with no refusals of participation from any selected HSPs. HSPs from the sixth organization were not identified or interviewed due to difficulty with communication with the organization’s contact person. Participating organizations and each individual HSP understood that the researchers were interested in eliciting HSP perspectives on their work and clients.

Selection of HSPs

To simplify the logistical efforts for each organization, we asked the contact person from each organization to select HSPs for us to interview. We asked the contact person to select HSPs representing a variety of roles (e.g. front-line, managerial, etc.) and length of time with the organization. The only eligibility criterion was at least part-time employment with the organization. An exception was made for two long-time volunteers at an organization where there was only one employed HSP. Three to 5 HSPs were interviewed at each organization for a total of 17 HSPs. The authors did not consider data saturation in determining sample size but instead focused on researcher feasibility within the study timeline as well as prioritized diversity of HSPs and organizations.

Attitudes Toward Homelessness Inventory (ATHI)

This is a validated 11-item Likert scale questionnaire containing 4 subscales that assess for Personal Causation (i.e. willingness to affiliate with homeless people), Structural Causation (i.e. belief that homelessness has societal causes), Affiliation (i.e. belief that homelessness is caused by personal characteristics) and Solutions (i.e. belief that homelessness is a solvable problem). Higher scores indicate non-stigmatizing attitudes [ 18 ]. (See S1 File for the complete inventory.) Alpha coefficients describing internal consistency within each subscale are 0.72 (Personal Causation), 0.73 (Structural Causation), 0.65 (Affiliation), and 0.60 (Solutions). The alpha coefficient for all 11 statements in the inventory is 0.71. Preliminary validation studies of the ATHI show that subscales collectively accounted for 62–67% of variance in the ATHI [ 18 ].

Development of interview script

The interview questions were developed by the authors based on review of literature about perspectives and attitudes toward PEHs, personal experiences with HSPs and PEHs, and consultation with experts in the field of homeless healthcare.

An initial set of 19 interview questions were piloted with the first two HSPs in our sample. Questions were asked in topical groups in order of priority to the researcher, and the primary purpose of the pilot interviews was to determine the amount of questions that could be answered within a half hour time frame. For both HSPs, we were able to ask all questions in our interview script. For the final interview script, the questions were rearranged in a more logical order after debriefing between the two researchers. HSP feedback was not solicited. Additionally, due to overlap in responses, three questions about HSP perceptions were combined into one and two questions about job entry were combined into one. Finally, two new questions asking about specific examples of interactions with clients were included.

The final interview script consisted of four sections, including: “mapping a typical day,” “motivations for work,” “perceptions,” and “miscellaneous,” totaling 18 questions for an approximately half-hour interview. We asked HSPs to walk us through a typical day in their work lives, and then we focused the majority of our interview on asking about their perceptions of PEHs, their work, and the healthcare system. (See S2 File for the complete interview script).

Collection of interview data

The first author conducted all of the 17 interviews, and the second author was present for six of these interviews across four different organizations. No other individuals beside the participant and the researcher(s) was present during each interview, and no repeat interviews were conducted. An audio recording was used to collect the interview data, with permission from each participant. Field notes were made during the interview, and no notes contained participant identifiers. Each interview was subsequently transcribed for data analysis, and transcripts were not returned to participants for comment.

Data analysis

We analyzed narrative data using methods of content analysis and used an inductive approach (grounded theory) [ 19 ] to coding (i.e. categories were developed during the coding process) to analyze data for themes and patterns of the interviews. A qualitative data organizer application (Dedoose) was used to assist with coding, and reliability was checked among the two authors. Codes reflecting thematic content of the participants’ answers were developed by the authors based on first few interviews and then these codes were generally applied to subsequent transcripts. However, given the diverse nature of the HSP sample across different organizations and roles, the authors were also intentional about highlighting new and unique patterns and concepts that arose in subsequent transcripts. All transcripts were read by both authors who met to discuss how they coded text. Although no formal mechanism was used to track disagreements about text assigned to different codes, any differences were resolved by discussion. At several points in the process, codes were reviewed and grouped into themes which were further grouped into broader categories.

The final draft of the manuscript for journal submission was shared with participants as courtesy, but no feedback on the findings were solicited.

Interviewer characteristics and biases

At the time of the study, the first author was a Doctor of Medicine (MD) candidate with prior qualitative data collection, coding, and research experience. The second author is an internist and palliative care physician (MD) who has prior qualitative research experience in areas of palliative medicine. He has over 20 years of experience working with individuals experiencing homelessness, including regular volunteer experience at a suburban homeless shelter (not selected for this study).

The authors were initially interested the research topic out of personal curiosity about the perspectives and attitudes of service workers who regularly interact with individuals experiencing homelessness. Prior to the study, the first author had an encounter with an HSP who shared about her frustration at PEHs and appeared to place blame on some of her PEH clients for the state they were in. This was surprising to the first author, who was under the impression that HSPs, in contrast with the general population and in alignment with many sociologists and public health experts, have significant empathy toward PEHs and attribute the cause of homelessness to systemic failures. The authors sought to explore the generalizability and relevance of these sentiments across a broad diverse array of situations. Thus, many of the questions asked in the interview script initially stemmed from personal interest, and the questions provided a foundation upon which to sort HSP responses into themes and patterns. In the discussion section of this article, we provide further comments on how our own backgrounds and experiences as well as our role as researchers have affected the research.

Sample characteristics

We interviewed 17 homeless service providers in a variety of different roles, including 2 volunteers, 3 executive positions, 2 mid-tier director positions, 2 community/outreach roles, 5 healthcare roles (1 Doctor of Medicine (MD), 2 nurse practitioners (NP), 1 registered nurse (RN), 1 medical assistant (MA)), 1 counselor, 1 case manager, and 1 administrative assistant. Of the 17 HSPs, 10 identified as female and 7 identified as male.

Based on their description of their role and day-to-day responsibilities, participants were divided into three categories depending on their interactions with their clients: Direct Service—Non-Health (DSNH), whose role predominantly involves providing non-healthcare services; Direct Service–Health (DSH), whose role predominantly provides healthcare services; and Administrative (AD), who spends 75+% of the time involved in non-direct service work. It is important to note that many in the AD category at the time of the study have spent significant time in direct service roles prior to transitioning to a predominantly administrative role. Table 1 further describes HSP characteristics.



Initially we hypothesized that there would be notable patterns in responses across these three roles (DSNH, DSH, AD given differing levels of exposure and types of interactions with PEHs. While we could not conduct quantitative analyses given sample size limitations, we also did not find any evident differences in ATHI or interview responses between these three groups. This is likely due to the fluidity of roles in our sample, as almost everyone in the AD group had previously worked in more direct client-facing roles prior to their current less client-facing administrative role. Additionally, those in the DSH group that provided healthcare services typically also described non-healthcare-specific tasks such as addressing social needs in their work that at times resembles the roles of those in the DSNH group. Nevertheless, we have disclosed their respective role groups when presenting direct quote examples in our interview results following.

Attitudes Toward Homelessness Inventory

Fig 1 shows the breakdown of HSP responses to the Attitudes Toward Homelessness Inventory (ATHI). The inventory consisted of 11 statements about homelessness to which HSPs rated 1 to 6 in terms of agreement, with 1 = strongly agree, 2 = agree, 3 = unsure but probably agree, 4 = unsure but probably disagree, 5 = disagree, and 6 = strongly disagree. The statements with the highest frequency of “strongly disagree” included “I feel uneasy when I meet homeless people” (Q10), “A homeless person cannot really be expected to adopt a normal lifestyle” (Q11), and “There is little that can be done for people in homeless shelters expect to see that they are comfortable and well fed” (Q6). The statements with the highest frequency of “strongly agree” included “Recent government cutbacks in housing assistance for the poor may have made the homeless problem in this country worse” (Q2) and “I would feel comfortable eating a meal with a homeless person” (Q4).


The distribution of responses across 11 different statements of the ATHI. Red colors indicate disagreement with the statement, and green colors indicate agreement with the statement.


The score for each ATHI statement was assigned based on HSP response of 1–6. Reverse scoring was implemented for statements 2, 3, 4, and 9 so that high scores would reflect positive, non-stigmatizing attitudes, consistent with high scores for the other statements. Average score and standard deviation across 17 HSPs were calculated for each ATHI statement. The statements were further grouped into 4 belief subscales, and average and cumulative scores for each subscale were calculated. Finally, an overall average and cumulative score for all 11 statements were calculated. Table 2 shows these results, including a range of possible scores.



Perspectives and perceptions: Categories and themes

In our interviews we found 4 categories and 16 themes ( Table 3 ).



Category 1: Perspectives on their work.

In terms of backgrounds and how HSPs ended up in the field of homeless service work, 1 HSP described their personal conviction from observations of the PEHs in the community, 1 was influenced by the values of their upbringing, 3 were inspired by past work experiences with other underserved groups, 4 had prior tangential exposures to homeless service work, 2 had personally experienced homelessness, 2 came straight out of training and thought it was a reasonable option in which to apply their training, and 3 were “just looking for a job”.

Entry into the field : job versus mission . HSPs fell into two general categories with regards to entry into the field of homeless service: “mission driven" (i.e. “doing this work because it has meaning”) versus “job driven” (i.e. “pursuing this job and then finding it meaningful”). In the words of an HSP who pursued their job out of personal conviction,

My daily commute to school—you would see a lot of them on the streets pan handling or just sleeping in certain bus stops and that kind of tugged at my heart […] what is that I can do to provide help and assistance or to be able to reduce the numbers of homelessness on the streets of Chicago ? That’s when I started getting involved in any type of homeless outreach . (HSP 12, DSNH)

On the other hand, others were less intentional initially upon entry into the field of homeless service, but over time they developed a deeper relationship with the field.

…when I was applying , I was just applying for a job because I needed a job at the moment . But I stayed because I felt a home , I felt like I’m needed , like I’m doing something that means something . (HSP 7, AD)

Motivation : Making a difference . HSPs felt that their jobs are gratifying and that they are motivated by experiences of witnessing life changes.

The best part is seeing people get into housing , that’s something I’ve always been my favorite part of the job and it never gets old . When someone finally gets keys to their own apartment , that’s definitely the best part . […] It’s very satisfying knowing you helped make it happen . (HSP 9, AD)

Some had personally experienced homelessness or difficult situations themselves and found it especially rewarding to be able to “give back.”

…I truly believe that I’m here and I’m supposed to help others just like somebody helped me . They helped me when I was on drugs and tried to get my life together . So I’m a firm believer I should be giving that back . (HSP 15, DSNH)

Challenges : Systemic versus individual behavior . HSPs described challenges that referenced PEH behavior (e.g. refusal to accept help, participate, comply to rules; drug relapse, mental health barriers), and some comments appear to place blame on PEHs for their circumstances. One HSP commented,

They are kind of stubborn . They do not sometimes listen . Let’s say you tell them "ok you have an appointment […]” I give them a list , a reminder , […] and if you cannot make an appointment please call . The disappointing part is they do not follow through or they do not call after all the work that you did for them . […]After giving them everything . "Here’s the appointment" was not typed in 11 font , it was typed in 20 font , how can you miss that ? And it’s like there’s no appreciation . That’s the disappointing part . (HSP 17, DSNH)

Another HSP shared about an incident of violence that made it difficult to provide care.

We did have a client we were seeing on the West side in an encampment . He was apparently violent . […] He told another worker that he was going to kill us all . And he grabbed a piece of our equipment and ran , that was pretty challenging . Because now we can’t go back to that encampment and there are other people there who really do need our help . (HSP 13, DSH)

HSPs also mentioned systemic challenges, particularly the lack of resources and affordable housing.

Let’s just start with the federal government and its funding and whatever it is these days , the lack of state budget—there’s no affordable housing anywhere , there’s no subsidized housing , HUD is a joke—a neurosurgeon running HUD ? Like all these policies that are starting to come out , they’re downers . (HSP 6, DSH)

While some comments centered on either the individual PEH or systemic challenges, other comments illustrate challenges that blur the line between individual and systemic.

A classic example is—people get a mobile housing voucher Section 8 where they can locate any apartment that will take them , and they have a limited time to find an apartment , and so you say “find an apartment , get in the system , whether or not you live in it , ” and they say “no , ” because many of these are older African American men who want to live on the North Side . […] They want to be in a place where they can live safely , and that means most of the time the North Side . They’ll say “no I haven’t found an apartment on the North side I like”–[I say] “I don’t care , get an apartment , get in the system , whether or not you ever visit that apartment as long as it’s paid for by Section 8—take it , keep it , and then transfer out , but you have limited time to do this . ” […] So the argument that’s being made that “you have a limited time , here’s the solution to a problem , ” instead doesn’t result necessarily in people acting on that solution which they could … (HSP 3, AD)

Here we see that the HSP is frustrated that PEH clients are adamant about finding an apartment on the North Side yet fail to realize that they should prioritize accepting any apartment opening regardless of preference so that they can be in the system at all, as transfers to North Side apartments are significantly easier once they are in the system. However, there is a fundamental systemic issue that underlies the HSP’s frustration toward individual PEH behavior—that there is an insufficient amount of affordable housing options available in safer neighborhoods. Thus, we see how systemic barriers cause problematic individual reactions that are difficult for HSPs to navigate.

Category 2: Perspectives on general PEH population at large.

Multiple causes of homelessness . HSPs acknowledged that there are many different factors that could lead a person to experience homelessness, and each individual may come from different situation. Common factors stated by HSPs include mental illness and substance use.

There’s a huge variety of people—they bring a huge wealth of talent , a huge wealth of life experience , recurrent themes again are addiction and mental illness in the broadest possible definition . […] I remember talking to a guy who leaned over one time and said–“I don’t tell everybody this but my name is actually Han Solo . ” I’ve got a guy named Vern Superfoods , can’t be his real name . So that’s a clear mental illness , paranoia , delusions that people can bring with them… (HSP 3, AD)

This HSP additionally noted,

… a huge proportion of people who come to us have a very limited or small families . One of the things we rely on to get us out of trouble is often family and if you don’t have family that often isn’t there . So if I were to lose my job , my sister wouldn’t turn me out , my brothers wouldn’t turn me out , […] if I didn’t have family around me , my resources become much less . So resources have to be thought about in terms of social connection and family connection and not just income . (HSP 3, AD)

Other HSPs cited systemic and political roots as causes of homelessness.

I can give you the standard answer—it’s multifactorial , nobody has just one cause of homelessness . But why are people homeless ? It’s because our economy is horrible and we treat poor people bad and we suppress them . We just need a revolution—people are homeless because there’s no low-income housing , because the state hasn’t had budget , because Donald Trump exists , because White House . . . and it’s getting worse , but it’ll probably get worse before it gets better . (HSP 6, DSH)

Diversity of PEH population . HSPs noted that PEH population is more than the “single man on the streets begging for money” that the public typically encounters, including children, families, working poor, refugees, and “couch surfers”.

It’s a wildly diverse group of people , which I wouldn’t have had visibility on from my previous view which was mostly street homelessness and people panhandling , the sort of "visible face" of things—there are a lot of families , a lot of young folks…I think that’s the biggest change in impressions—from the single man usually on the street visibly poor asking for money or very visibly mentally ill to a good portion of our folks who just don’t have access to healthcare and mental health or substance abuse—or other drivers are not their issue at all , they’re just very poor… (HSP 4, AD)

Some HSPs distinguished a subgroup of PEH commonly referred to as “rough sleepers” who avoid shelters and instead spend their nights on the streets or in encampments.

There’s this impression that people want to be on the streets . I think that’s exceedingly rare . I’ve not heard it yet , but I do hear people choosing not to be in shelters with a lot of frequency . Couples often can’t be in shelters , people with pets can’t be in shelters , they’re pretty dangerous places to be . If you add a little paranoia into the symptoms of what someone’s living with , being in a shelter is a very difficult place to be . So people often choose streets vs shelters , but that doesn’t mean they want to be on the streets necessarily . (HSP 4, AD)

Housing is most pressing need . Among the many needs of the PEH population, housing was believed to be the most pressing.

…there are lots of needs , but being on the streets makes everything worse , and getting off the streets makes everything better—you can store proof , you can store your personal papers , you’re safe , you’re not constantly moving , you’re not constantly threatened—it’s such a huge difference . (HSP 3, AD)

Misperceptions of general population . According to HSPs, the general population’s most problematic misperception is that everyone in the PEH population is “on drugs or alcohol” and viewed as “lazy.” HSPs urged the public to take time to see who these people really are.

A lot of people think it’s their problem , they picked it , they’re lazy—that’s not necessarily the truth . There’s a lot of things that go deeper . The root of the situation is much worse than what they think , it’s not just all surface . You have to dig deeper to see what’s really causing their problem—mental state , et cetera et cetera… (HSP 2, DSNH)

Other HSPs said that another problematic misperception is that it is easy to get out of homelessness.

People tend to believe that it’s just easy to one day say "you know what , I’m homeless right now , I’m going to change that , I’m going to get a job" because you hear tons of people say "hey go get a job" or "this is by choice" "get yourself out of the streets yourself" things of that nature . People tend to disregard the fact that it does take an emotional toll on you , just like when you lose a parent or when you lose a child or something happens in your life that gives you some type of trauma . I believe that every person in this world will at some point in time face some level of depression , will face some level of emotional crisis or have an emotional breakdown , and we all become vulnerable . Unfortunately some people aren’t mentally or emotionally strong enough to get themselves out of that hole , they need a support system . But if you’re consistently reminded that you’re not valuable , that you’re in a position you’re in out of choice , you tend to fall deeper into that hole . […] So it’s not as easy as it seems to try to get themselves out of the streets , out of the funk that they’re in . (HSP 12, DSNH)

Approaching PEH outside of work . Almost every HSP said that when approaching PEH on the streets asking for monetary help outside of their work, they would engage the PEH in some manner.

Depends on circumstances and where I’m at , where I’m going , what time I have available . If I’m driving I don’t generally like do anything but smile and make eye contact . On the street every once in a while I’ll sit down and just ask someone what’s going on , what’s up . Every once in a while I’ll give money . I don’t know that there’s any rhyme or reason , it’s generally indicated by the level of time I have available , but I will always smile and make eye contact , say hello . Always always always . (HSP 11)

Many would also refer PEHs to services provided by the organization they work for.

We have cards that I give out that direct them here . I will buy someone something to eat , but I won’t give them money . Because I feel like I’ve been manipulated in that way before , so now if you’re hungry I will feed you , I will point you in a direction where you can get housing or a bus card , but I won’t just give you money . (HSP 7, AD)

HSPs acknowledged that PEHs encountered on the streets often use money for drugs or alcohol. Most thus choose not to give cash.

I’m very sad that in this country—and that really bothers me—that people are out on our streets for one reason or the other . I do not on the streets however , give them money . […] I’ve had several of them say to me , “don’t give me money , I’ll use it for the wrong thing . ” It makes me sad . (HSP 1, DSNH)

In light of this, some HSPs said that they would still give cash to PEHs they encounter out of respect of choice. One HSP reasoned from her own personal experience.

I usually give it to them if I have . A friend of mine said "well no , don’t give them because they just gonna’ buy drugs with it" and I always say "well I don’t know what they’re gonna do , I don’t know their situation but I used to panhandle too . And somebody gave to me . " (HSP 15, DSNH)

Category 3: Perceptions of PEH based on client interactions.

Perceptions change over time . HSPs acknowledge that as they have been exposed to the field of homeless care through interactions with their clients, their perceptions have changed over time. Some elaborated on the importance of the “human connection”:

I used to be very weary of going up to a homeless person and try to stay away , and now I think they just want you to say hello , because a lot of the people that are here are not ones you necessarily see on the streets . These people either live far away or they stay far away , they’re not the people you see in our neighborhood that are just sitting out begging for money . I used to be afraid of homeless people , kind of like sheering away . Now whenever I see somebody that looks familiar I’m like running up to them to say hello , I approach them in the streets instead of running away . (HSP 2, DSNH)

Other HSPs shared that as they have worked with this population they have found that “it is not always what it seems.”

I came here thinking that people who use drugs and are addicted to drugs are a certain way , and I don’t think that anymore . Like we have one person who was started on heroin when he was 9 , by his mom . So when you know that back story—and what happened to his mom ? Why was she so damaged that she couldn’t see that that wasn’t the right thing to do ? I feel like that really changes you when you see what people have gone through . (HSP 8, DSH)

HSPs came to empathize and relate to the circumstances of their clients, acknowledging that they themselves are only “a paycheck away” from experiencing homelessness.

…even though I may not be homeless today , but there are many people out there who are literally one paycheck away from being homeless . And I know that if I was in that position I would desire some type of grace or compassion to be shown toward me . So I try to have that perception of just being very compassionate no matter who it is , what it is , or what you may think instantaneously of what it could be . (HSP 12, DSNH)

“They are just people” . This expression came up during several interviews, as HSPs described their clients as no different than any other individual in society.

Everybody has their own story about what happened with them , so my perception is just that this is just a human being who had different things happen in their life and this is where they are now . (HSP 14, AD)

Another HSP said,

I’ll just say that people who are experiencing homelessness are just people who have been denied housing or haven’t had access to housing for a multitude of reasons , but when it comes down to it—homelessness is just a housing status and doesn’t really define anyone in any other way . (HSP 10, DSNH)

Resilience of PEH . HSPs applauded PEHs for their talent, intelligence, and strength amidst the circumstances they face.

…they’re very very intelligent human beings . I think that people have a myth or say things like they’re lazy—they’re just not . […] They just need to be connected to somewhere where they can utilize resources and the staff is highly trained and is compassionate and have empathy to work with the individuals that is just having just a little itty bitty challenges going through in their life . Just because they’re not housed , does not mean they can’t be successful . (HSP 5, DSNH)

Another HSP shared,

There’s one person in particular I have met and know who has just been through a lot of trauma in their life and really don’t have the social support I have and probably too often take for granted , and just seeing this person come through what they have come through and still are able to maintain a positive outlook and persist in achieving their goals and want to give back to the community and have gratitude—I’m thinking of a specific person but at the same time I’m realizing that that happens often . (HSP 10, DSNH)

Respect for choices . HSPs described the approaching clients as dignified individuals whose decisions and choices should be respected.

We have people that use drugs that still want to use drugs , and we want to support them , that’s their choice . If they want to continue using heroin , how can we ensure that you’re not going to get HIV or hepatitis and respect them that they are valued and they can make the choices that they deserve to make ? I just think that it’s challenging on a daily basis to meet people where they are and to convince them that you are not there to do more harm , that you are there to respect them and to treat them with kindness and compassion . (HSP 8, DSH)

Ambivalence towards PEH . In responses where the HSP described PEHs in a negative light (e.g. angry, demanding, no appreciation, stubborn), the statements were immediately followed by a rationale.

… many times they’re demanding and that’s okay […] I feel that this is a secure place for them and this is someplace that they have some control . New volunteers have to realize that because they’ll find them offensive and demanding and that they do seem a little abrupt at times . […] …many of them do not open up to you until they’re familiar with you and make sure that , you know , you just aren’t a fly-by-night , that you’re trying to know them and even after that time , they’re very hesitant at many times . You have to get through that . (HSP 1, DSNH)

One HSP described a silver lining in moments of frustration.

… a lot of them don’t try to get out of the situation they just are so comfortable with… some of them try to go to education programs we offer them and try to better themselves but some of them are just comfortable with just the status quo and coming back and coming back—makes me feel that some of my work is not really going that far , but on the other hand it makes me feel like at least I’m making them feel good for what it’s worth . (HSP 2, DSNH)

Category 4: Perceptions of hospitals and healthcare.

Negative views toward hospitals . HSPs’ perceptions were frequently negative, recounting anecdotes of poor treatment of PEH in emergency department and hospital settings.

We know of more than one person who has gone to a place and been kicked out . We actually brought somebody to a place once because we were told that’s what we could do , and when they saw that they were homeless and dirty , they took them from the front of the building where we dropped them off and they walked them through the building and let them out through the back door so they immediately got them out of the building… (HSP 14, AD)

Another HSP described attitudes toward PEH in the hospital setting as such:

It’s often easy to distance from people who are homeless and come through the door and like "oh there’s that person again" or "they’re on drugs"—something that pushes them away . So hospitals are super unsatisfying for homeless people , they don’t have great resources to connect people to , and building relationships with [homeless service organizations] has been also pretty tricky . (HSP 4, AD)

Of the positive perspectives noted in HSP interviews, many included being able to obtain insurance.

I think now it’s funny there are a lot of people wanting to help the homeless get healthcare . Free . The healthcare , like the Obamacare , all the Medicaid plans , they’re really good plans . People get really good care , they don’t have any co-pays . I always tease them I say "boy I wish I had your insurance . " […] If you can get them signed up , they have good healthcare . (HSP 16, DSH)

A few HSPs also mentioned a Chicago Emergency Department housing initiative based at University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) [ 20 ].

I think that it’s been cool to see some of the hospitals stepping up , even though it’s strictly out of fiscal solutions or wanting to save money on their end , but I think it’s pretty awesome that they’re creating housing for some of the most frequent ER visitors that are housing insecure . So I really like that because it’s creating a real solution . (HSP 11, AD)

Hospitals as entry point . HSPs believed hospitals could partner more with organizations and refer PEHs for follow-up on health or non-health related needs.

Every once in a while I’ll get a call from a hospital , somebody from the hospital looking to get help for somebody and it’s just clear that they’re not very familiar with homeless services or homeless systems . […] Hospitals are one of the areas where people can go to get referred to a shelter . Some people who work in hospitals don’t realize that’s the case . (HSP 9, AD)

According to another HSP, hospitals could also help by recording homelessness to provide accurate data of homeless healthcare needs.

Let’s teach everybody who puts a diagnosis in to use that homeless diagnosis code , because if you can prove to the insurance companies how many people are actually experiencing homelessness , there may be more money from the managed care organizations for housing and to keep people out of the ER and hospitals , it’s going to be cheaper to house them than it is to pay for their hospital bills . […] But people need to code homelessness as a diagnosis . It isn’t one [right now] , and they need to know it’s there . (HSP 6, DSH)

One HSP talked about the nuances of identifying homelessness in the hospital.

They can record homelessness better […] One great unknown is actually how many homeless people there are […] HUD defines homelessness as streets and shelters . HRSA is a broader definition including all instability—renting by the week , renting by the month , sleeping with family , couch surfing , etc . So hospitals could record that in a more sensitive way . If you ask someone if you’re homeless , it’s incomplete by definition […] You have to have better ways of generating that data , understanding what homelessness is . (HSP 4, AD)

Homeless healthcare organizations . Some HSPs noted that federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) provide great services to PEHs but have limited mental health services and need more funding.

We don’t find it particularly challenging to find people healthcare . We have a good relationship with a health clinic […] we actually have a nurse practitioner come every week to see our guests , and she can facilitate appointment referrals . So we don’t have as much of a challenge getting primary health care . It can be more of a delay trying to get people an appointment with psychiatric services , mental health care . (HSP 9, AD)

This study has described the perspectives of a diverse group of HSPs and documented their work experiences and attitudes toward the field and their clients. In both the ATHI and our open-ended interviews we found a range of opinions and experiences that overall suggest that HSPs have compassionate attitudes toward their clients and the population of those experiencing homelessness while expressing frustration at systemic issues and individual biases against this population. Below we summarize major findings and consider implications of our results.

Quantitative data from the ATHI showed that on average HSPs score highest on willingness to affiliate with homeless people, followed by beliefs that homelessness is a solvable problem and that it has societal causes. HSPs feel least strongly that homelessness is not caused by personal characteristics. These results complement our findings from interview responses in which HSPs describe empathic attitudes toward their clients experiencing homelessness while acknowledging the role of individual factors (mental illness, substance use, etc.) in entry into homelessness.

For comparison, there are three studies we are aware of that have used the ATHI to assess change in attitudes. An evaluation of primary care residents showed average total scores of 45.4 and 51.7 pre- and post- homeless healthcare-focused curriculum [ 6 ] while another study with internal medicine residents showed average total scores of 46.0 and 53.0 pre- and post- intervention [ 21 ]. A study of nurse practitioner students showed average scores per ATHI statement were 3.88 and 4.38 pre- and post- participation at a homeless outreach clinic [ 7 ]. In comparison, the average total score for HSPs in this study was 53.2 and the average score per ATHI was 4.83, which are comparable to that of the post-exposure scores in these studies. These high baseline ATHI scores are expected of our sample of HSPs whose interview responses show overall positive attitudes toward their clients and the general population of those experiencing homelessness.

In our qualitative analysis of open-ended interviews, we described the views of homeless service providers (HSPs) in four categories that consisted of 16 themes in regard to their perspectives on their work, their clients, and homeless healthcare. These categories developed from their interviews included (1) perspectives on work, (2) perspectives of general PEH population at large, (3) perceptions of PEH based on client interactions, and (4) perceptions of hospitals and healthcare.

Perspectives on work

With regard to entry into the field, HSPs generally came from two paths: one in which they were intentionally seeking a meaningful career, and the other in which they were merely looking for a job and found themselves working with this population. Regardless of entry method, almost all HSPs found satisfaction and meaning in being able to make a difference in the work that they do. In describing challenges, HSPs expressed frustration at both systemic factors (e.g. lack of affordable housing, political agendas) and also acknowledged issues of mental health, substance abuse, and unemployment. This is consistent with Seiler & Moss’s findings in their interviews with nurse practitioners, who described making a difference as a motivator for their work and also acknowledged the complexity of providing care to this population due to mental illness and substance use [ 11 ]. HSPs recognized the challenges and frustrations that come with their work, yet their motivations stemmed from a genuine desire to help individuals experiencing homelessness and are fed by their rich experiences and encounters with PEHs that make their work ultimately redeeming. We see a similar mix of sometimes conflicting emotions seen among emergency medicine residents in Doran et al’s study where residents are frustrated by the limits of their ability to impact PEHs and yet find the work very rewarding [ 10 ]. The findings in our study suggest that for most HSPs, the meaning and inspiration of their work are key reasons for their continued connection to the field.

Perspectives of general PEH population at large

In describing the general PEH population, HSPs urged people to consider individuals experiencing homelessness in a more nuanced way than the stereotypical image of “street homelessness and people panhandling” (HSP 4, AD). They described that these individuals come from diverse backgrounds and circumstances, including those who work full time and yet do not make enough income to afford housing, those who find themselves facing multiple economic and social stressors (e.g. divorce, family death, fire) that led to housing insecurity and homelessness. A study of causes of homelessness among older individuals newly experiencing homelessness found similar patterns across urban areas in three countries- the US, England, and Australia. The study found that participants became homeless through a combination of personal problems (e.g. death of a close relative or relationship breakdown), welfare policy gaps, and service delivery deficiencies [ 22 ].

When it came to approaching PEHs outside of work, HSPs made a distinction between this setting and the PEHs with whom they worked directly. Some HSPs worried that some of the individuals who ask for money on the streets do so as part of substance use disorder. One HSP said that someone with a sign on the street had admitted to her that the message and story on their sign was fabricated. Almost half of the HSPs said that they do not to give money to PEHs, while the rest said that they may give money though not every time. Almost all HSPs said they would typically engage PEHs outside of work, at least saying hello and acknowledging them each time. These findings seem to imply that HSPs apply their positive attitudes toward their clients to their response to PEHs on the streets asking for money, but HSPs vary in whether they give money. From the perspective of PEHs who “panhandle” in public spaces, PEHs describe a range of interactions with passersby, including being subject to acts of violence and receiving kindness and support while panhandling. They call for greater empathy, saying that “even a smile helps” [ 23 ].

Perceptions of PEH based on client interactions

HSPs noted that their own perceptions have evolved over time as they have worked in this field, as they reflect on stories of PEHs as victims of unfortunate life circumstances and factors outside their control. There was a common pattern of acknowledgement that PEHs are “just people” and that as HSPs have gotten to know these individuals, they have been moved by stories of incredible resilience amidst struggle. HSPs also described PEH attitude and behavior concerns (e.g. stubbornness, violence), suggesting that these were reasonable given difficult circumstances and emphasizing empathy and respect of choice. HSPs from Rogers & Rogers’s study similarly call for compassion and increased sensitivity by providers, describing something akin to “meeting clients where they were” [ 9 ]. The findings in our study show a resistance to stereotypes as HSPs recognize the diverse behaviors and experiences of their clients. This has implications for how HSPs are recruited and introduced to the work, such as emphasizing the opportunity to learn from the unique perspectives and experiences of PEHs.

Perceptions of hospitals and healthcare

Many HSPs expressed frustration and disappointment in hospital management of PEHs. They recounted situations of inappropriate treatment and recommended inclusion and bias training for staff. Experiences of PEHs in the healthcare system are extensively explored in empirical literature. PEHs have described being dehumanized and treated with disrespect as well as feeling invisible, labeled, and stigmatized by healthcare providers who lack compassion for them [ 24 – 26 ].

HSPs also offered practical suggestions including increasing identification of homelessness (as hospitals are often entry points into help for PEHs) and adequate referral to organizations with expertise in assisting these individuals. Though HSPs noted that hospitals have at times failed to treat PEHs appropriately, they were pleased with homeless healthcare organizations that properly serve PEHs respectfully and competently and also acknowledged the efforts of hospitals in Chicago to house emergency room utilizers who experience homelessness [ 20 ]. Finally, HSPs understood that while medical care is important for someone experiencing homelessness, greater priority should be placed on housing PEHs as this intervention would significantly improve their overall physical health. This is an area that others have identified and that might have the most concrete implications from our study: there continue to be studies around identifying “housing first” as a remedy for homelessness [ 27 ]. The perceptions of the HSPs in this study also suggest that more specific policies and procedures from hospital emergency departments may be a valuable set of interventions to consider.

Researcher reflections

It is an important feature of qualitative research that it is impossible to completely remove the researcher from the research [ 28 ]. This is a challenge, but can also add to the richness of this method. The authors acknowledge that our position as researchers may have influenced participant responses. For example, it is possible that HSPs felt the need to defend the work they do and the clients they work with because of their notions of common misperceptions about PEHs in the general population. This may have been evident in the “ambivalence toward PEH” theme, in which HSPs described PEHs in a negative light but quickly followed with a rationale, as if to defend their negative sentiments and their PEH clients.

As discussed in the methods section, the authors recognize that our backgrounds and experiences may have informed the structuring of the study. It is also important to acknowledge that similarly our experiences may have influenced the overall interpretation of the data. The two authors represent Asian-American and White-American racial backgrounds as well as identities in dominant categories (e.g. mental and physical ability, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, education). We have never personally experienced housing insecurity or homelessness and do not know of any close friends or family members who have had such experiences. Additionally, we also bring perspectives as physician and medical student with experiences working with PEHs in medical and hospital contexts. These backgrounds and perspectives may have helped us to ask particular questions and analyze responses, but they may have also created blind spots that hindered our ability to extract insights from the data. It is difficult to exactly articulate our influence over the outcome of the study, so we share these thoughts and encourage readers to carefully examine the data and conclusions.

Limitations of the study

Due to the qualitative design of the study, this study does not provide a representative sample of perspectives of HSPs, but rather an in-depth consideration of the perspectives of a small group of workers. HSPs interviewed were selected by each organization’s contact person, some of whom intentionally referred us to longtime or seasoned employees, suggesting a possible bias of perspectives in our sample. A more open recruitment strategy would have mitigated some of the selection bias present this study.

Timing of administering ATHI.

For each of our HSP participants, we first administered the ATHI and then immediately followed with the interview component. Thus, it is possible that the HSPs may have been primed by the ATHI statements when giving open-ended responses to the interview questions, thus influencing the interview data compared to a scenario where HSPs complete the ATHI after the interview. The advantage of completing the ATHI first is that it allows HSPs to begin to contemplate their opinions to the statements that can be further elaborated during the interview. For example, the ATHI poses statements pertaining to personal causation versus structural causation of homelessness, and the interview sought to elicit perspectives around causes of homelessness and thus nicely built off of the ATHI.

Interview length.

Half an hour may not have been enough time to elicit perspectives of HSPs fully. Our pilot interviews suggested that the questions could be completed within the time frame, but some HSPs elaborated on answers at greater lengths and were unable to complete all 18 questions though all HSPs gave responses to questions within each of the four main sections of the interview script. As a result, our data collection resulted in fewer than 17 unique responses to each of the 18 questions asked, though all relevant topics were discussed with each HSP.

Organizational patterns.

HSPs who work for the same organization tended to respond in similar patterns and themes. For example, HSPs from a faith-based organization had responses that incorporated faith as part of their motivation for working with this population. HSPs from a healthcare organization were able to discuss homeless healthcare in more depth.

Despite these limitations, this study provides a rich description of HSP experiences and their attitudes toward their work, PEHs, and homeless healthcare, suggesting overall positive attitudes toward the population of those experiencing homelessness while having mixed attitudes regarding healthcare for these individuals. This study provides a unique set of voices from an important group of stakeholders in the homeless service industry. As various sectors, including healthcare, assess and address the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness, it will be helpful to gain the perspective of those whose careers entail serving this population. Specifically, the insights and advice offered by HSPs regarding healthcare for PEHs may provide initial ideas for medical training curricula and hospital partnership with organizations to serve this population. At our affiliated medical school, for example, this study helped to lay the foundation for a two-week clinical rotation in homeless healthcare at one of our participating organizations.

Additionally, a richer understanding of HSPs’ experiences may serve as guidance in recruitment and retention of workers and volunteers in this area. Literature has shown that about one-third of those working in human service sectors such as homeless care experience burnout [ 29 , 30 ], which may be a potential explanation for the high turnover rate seen in these jobs. While burnout is significant in the homelessness sector, there is evidence to suggest that organizations can play a role in protecting workers against burnout. One study found that availability of perceived relevant training was positively associated with service provider work engagement and negatively associated with burnout [ 31 ]. Another study introduced the “Florence Nightingale effect” that higher perceived client suffering was correlated with higher job satisfaction and lower burnout among staff, and this relationship was mediated by greater identification with the organization [ 32 ].

In our interview data, we saw that HSPs expressed frustration toward systemic challenges as well as difficult individual PEH behaviors, and both can be reasonably expected to be associated with burnout. However, none of these themes were explicitly linked to any concerns about burnout or job dissatisfaction in the interview responses. Instead, our study portrayed HSP motivations to serve the PEH population despite challenges in their work, including a strong desire to help and success stories that fuel HSPs in the midst of frustration and potentially shield from burnout. Further studies exploring perspectives of former HSPs who have left their positions and the human service sector altogether may provide insight into understanding retention and turnover as well.

Supporting information

S1 file. attitudes toward homelessness inventory (athi)..


S2 File. Interview script.



We want to thank all of the homeless service providers whom we interviewed and the following experts in the field of homeless healthcare who have helped with the development of the interview script and manuscript by means of consultation:

Dr. James O’Connell of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (Boston, MA)

Dr. David Rosenthal of Yale University School of Medicine (New Haven, CT)

Dr. David Buchanan of Oak Street Health (Chicago, IL)

Dr. David Buck of University of Houston College of Medicine & Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston (Houston, TX)

Encyclopedia Britannica

Internet service provider

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Read a brief summary of this topic

Internet service provider (ISP) , company that provides Internet connections and services to individuals and organizations. ISPs may also provide software packages (such as browsers ), e-mail accounts, and a personal website or home page. ISPs can host websites for businesses and can also build the websites themselves. ISPs are all connected to each other through network access points, public network facilities on the Internet backbone .

The rise of commercial Internet services and applications helped fuel a rapid commercialization of the Internet. This phenomenon was the result of several other factors as well. One important factor was the introduction of the personal computer (PC) and the workstation in the early 1980s—a development that in turn was fueled by unprecedented progress in integrated circuit technology and an attendant rapid decline in computer prices. Another factor, which took on increasing importance, was the emergence of Ethernet and other “local area networks” (LANs) to link personal computers. But other forces were at work too. Following the restructuring of AT&T Corporation in 1984, the U.S. National Science Foundation took advantage of various new options for its national-level digital backbone service, known as NSFNET . In 1988 the U.S. Corporation for National Research Initiatives received approval to conduct an experiment linking a commercial e-mail service (MCI Mail) to the Internet. This application was the first Internet connection to a commercial provider that was not also part of the research community . Approval quickly followed to allow other e-mail providers access, and the Internet began its first explosion in traffic.

In 1993 federal legislation allowed NSF to open the NSFNET backbone to commercial users. Prior to that time, use of the backbone was subject to an “acceptable use” policy, established and administered by NSF, under which commercial use was limited to those applications that served the research community. NSF recognized that commercially supplied network services, now that they were available, would ultimately be far less expensive than continued funding of special-purpose network services.

Also in 1993 the University of Illinois made widely available Mosaic , a new type of computer program , known as a browser, that ran on most types of computers and, through its “point-and-click” interface, simplified access, retrieval, and display of files through the Internet. Mosaic incorporated a set of access protocols and display standards originally developed at the European Organization for Nuclear Research ( CERN ) by Tim Berners-Lee for a new Internet application called the World Wide Web (WWW). In 1994 Netscape Communications Corporation (originally called Mosaic Communications Corporation) was formed to develop a Web browser , Netscape Navigator, and server software for commercial use. Shortly thereafter the software giant Microsoft Corporation became interested in supporting Internet applications on personal computers and developed its Internet Explorer Web browser (based initially on Mosaic) and other programs. These new commercial capabilities accelerated the growth of the Internet, which as early as 1988 had already been growing at the rate of 100 percent per year.

By the late 1990s there were approximately 10,000 ISPs around the world, more than half located in the United States . However, most of these ISPs provided only local service and relied on access to regional and national ISPs for wider connectivity. Consolidation began at the end of the decade, with many small to medium-sized providers merging or being acquired by larger ISPs. Among these larger providers were groups such as America Online, Inc. ( AOL ), which had started as a dial-up information service with no Internet connectivity but made a transition in the late 1990s to become the leading provider of Internet services in the world—with more than 25 million subscribers by 2000 and with branches in Australia, Europe, South America , and Asia. Meanwhile, many new state-owned ISPs entered the business in large national markets, such as China, India, and Indonesia, and quickly eclipsed the subscriber base of any traditional commercial ISP.

In the early 21st century, many dial-up Internet customers shifted to broadband service for faster Internet connections. The entry-level broadband service offered by telephone and cable television companies cost as little as dial-up services in some parts of the United States, and some companies bundled together telephone, cable television, and Internet service. As a result of the shift, dial-up Internet provider AOL watched its base of dial-up service subscribers decline from nearly 27 million in 2002 to 2.1 million in 2015. By 2020 more than 120 million households in the United States had broadband Internet.

With the proliferation of services such as Netflix that stream video and other large files, ISPs pushed for the right to offer differently priced tiers of service to online content or software providers on the basis of their Internet use. Proponents of net neutrality believe, among other things, that network providers should be required to treat all broadband consumers equally instead of charging some consumers higher prices for using more bandwidth (data-carrying capacity). Opponents of net neutrality question whether cable and telephone companies could afford to invest in advanced security or transmission services if they could not charge a premium for them. In general, big Internet providers of content and software supported net neutrality, while the ISPs were against it. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission initially issued orders in favour of net neutrality in 2010 and 2015, but under the Trump administration those policies were reversed in 2017.

articles about service providers

Why Content Owners and Service Providers Should Embrace SaaS

Article Featured Image

Whether you’re looking to run a marathon, master a new recipe, or overcome a fear, you’ve probably been told – or tell yourself – that you have to step out of your comfort zone. Take a quick Google search on how to step out of your comfort zone and you’ll be bombarded with lists and advice on how to do exactly that. While it’s easier said than done, it’s incredibly important in enabling growth and confidence within yourself.

These benefits don’t just apply to your personal life and accomplishments, they also apply to streaming. Yes, really.

Our industry is once again on the cusp of great change. And just as Darwin predicted in his theory of evolution, serious market competition for dwindling resources dictates that only the nimble who can adapt quickly will survive.

With consumers restricting their spending due to rising costs and inflation, they will look closely at their subscriptions for TV and video services to determine who makes the cut. So how do you make sure you can evolve and measure up to their demands?

Facing Changes

In order to stay competitive in the M&E industry – and ultimately survive – video service providers must adapt and change fast.

Some early adopters in the M&E industry seem to have read up on some of the numerous how-to articles on stepping out of your comfort zone and have already gotten started. They are turning their backs on monolithic, tailored technology deployments and instead embracing multi-tenant SaaS solutions. Interestingly, we are finding these are not just those born-in-the cloud streaming services that might initially come to mind – though they are certainly more open to the SaaS approach – but also more traditional pay TV providers and telecommunications companies.

Overcoming Fear

Despite this, it can be hard to let go of what you’re used to.

More traditional M&E companies tend to be more conservative and are sceptical of SaaS, as the previous engagement model provides resiliency, reliability and control – all sought after qualities.

The aforementioned pacesetters’ motivation for change is that the SaaS model helps address many of their biggest headaches: launching and updating streaming services quickly, fighting streaming piracy, more efficient and lower carbon video delivery, and the ability to take advantage of new monetization techniques and revenue models. All of this is underpinned by SaaS’ superior feature velocity, ease of integration, on-demand scalability, and a simplified OPEX budgeting model. The beauty of SaaS is really the pace of innovation it enables.

One particular factor driving SaaS is the increased appetite for advertising, which we’ve seen with Netflix and Disney’s recent introduction of commercials to its service in select regions. While the focus was once on subscriber acquisition and market share, broadcasters and video service providers are now demanding the flexibility to create new AVOD and FAST services that help counteract the cost of content, as viewers are looking to cut back on spending.

Until now, service providers have had few alternatives to customized, complex deployments involving heavy SDKs and slow waterfall testing. It can take months for acceptance testing to support the launch of a single feature or a new device, which – in today’s rapidly evolving business and technology environment – is simply unsustainable.

With SaaS, video service providers can start small, move fast and experiment – for example, launching a streaming service in a new market – confident in the software’s efficiency, agility and scale.

With a modular suite of solutions, companies don’t have to put all their eggs in one basket. They can start small, only paying for what they need, then easily add more packs or services as their needs evolve. Committing to a SaaS model gives content owners and service providers ongoing access to improvements and capabilities.

And SaaS isn’t just for the big monolithic players. Its effects are disruptive as the entry barrier to these new levels of experimentation and creativity have been lowered and its modular nature provide opportunities for smaller and non-conventional businesses. We just have to get the slower movers on board too.

Feature velocity is the most noticeable change. With SaaS, new features are added virtually every day whereas hosted cloud environments with waterfall acceptance are often updated semi-annually or even annually.

Consumers’ attention spans are decreasing, so the ability to deliver new content and features , new UI, new insights and more is crucial – and this ability is enhanced by SaaS.

In a rapidly changing world, the velocity and agility SaaS provides is game changing for us and more importantly for our customers – with quick adaption come quick results. It has impacted every department in our company including the way we sell, support, and contract with customers. Video platform deployments no longer need to be personalized to each customer – with the SaaS model, any customization only needs to happen at the edges.

As a result, our product delivery has significantly increased over the past year. Additionally, we have evolved our development approach to one that considers the complete customer experience, resulting in more consistent new feature releases as we are no longer building for a blue-sky future. Instead, everything is delivered with built-in market validation.

The M&E industry is a relatively late adopter of SaaS and one of the main reasons is that it requires major changes – not just within the vendor community but also within the user community.  Put simply, video service providers can’t comprehend the benefits of SaaS without changing their operating model to accommodate a high velocity and multi-tenanted approach, most notably acceptance testing. And as we’ve established, change can be intimidating.

However, those that don’t change will inevitably be outcompeted by more agile competitors over time. Companies that don’t adapt won’t be able to deliver new content, new user experiences, user interfaces or new insights as quickly as its competitors. Meanwhile, those that do adopt SaaS will give their customers a better service and will benefit from a much lower cost of ownership, ultimately positioning themselves for longer term growth. Customers don’t bear the burden of operating the solution, freeing up IT people who would normally manage the service. This responsibility falls on the SaaS provider, giving customers freedom and peace of mind.

Importantly, the product won’t just be better from a user experience and a feature functionality perspective, releasing software in small chunks that can be easily verified and backed out as necessary dramatically increases quality as well.  Finally, well-designed cloud-based APIs support a new level of openness that gives users the option of integrating point solutions or procuring suites of solutions from their preferred software suppliers.  This openness is something that Synamedia has embraced strongly for its own solutions.

Whether it’s meeting new people, learning to sew, or adopting a SaaS model, change can be scary, but as Thomas Fuller cleverly said, “all things are difficult before they get easy.” Delivering with SaaS has shifted our cultural mindset as we have seen the game-changing effects first-hand.  In this golden age of content, where consumers want to change what and how they watch in the blink of an eye, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and make sure you’re changing fast enough to make the cut.

[Editor's note: This is a contributed article from Synamedia . Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]

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The first article in a series sponsored by Progress Partners and its Executive-in-Residence program addressing the big questions the streaming industry is grappling with regarding advertising metrics.

New Media - How Can They Seize the Day Amidst the Entertainment Streaming Reshuffle?

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NAB 2018: Harmonic Talks SaaS-Based UHD/HDR Live Sports Streaming

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articles about service providers

How To Master Remote Video Production

Tech talk: what to see at nab 2023, delivering live streams at scale, more web events, arwall and webster university bridge the gap between education and virtual production technologies with new virtual production facility, european telcos bark that netflix and big tech must pay fair share–but their bark lacks bite, know your tech for low-latency streaming, mwc2023: the metaverse will be user-generated, measure, benchmark, optimize: automate your live sports supply chain to reduce costs and manual interventions, optimize live video streaming with accelerated transcoding in the cloud.

India's HDB Financial Services flags data breach at service provider

BENGALURU, March 7 (Reuters) - HDB Financial Services, the non-bank lending unit of India's top private lender HDFC Bank (HDBK.NS) , said on Tuesday there was a data breach at one of its service providers which processes customer information.

"We have taken immediate steps to secure the service provider's system to prevent any further unauthorized access," HDB said in an emailed statement.

The company did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the nature of the data breach and how many customers were affected.

HDB is working with a regulator and an office of the government to investigate the incident, it said.

HDFC Bank said it was not affected by the incident.

"We wish to state that there is no data leak at HDFC Bank and our systems have not been breached or accessed in any unauthorised manner. We remain confident of our systems," the bank said in an emailed statement.

Details of the breach were first reported by online media platform Yourstory.

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Jenna Ellis, a high-profile member of former U.S. President Donald Trump's legal team that challenged his 2020 election loss, agreed to be censured by a Colorado court after admitting to making false claims about voter fraud, according to a court ruling.


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Internet Protocol Television ( IPTV ) is becoming an increasingly popular way to watch TV in the United States. With IPTV, viewers can access live and on-demand TV channels over the internet, eliminating the need for traditional cable or satellite TV providers. But with so many IPTV providers available, it can be hard to know which one to choose. In this article, we’ll explore how to choose the best IPTV provider and provide a list of the top IPTV providers in the USA.

Read: Best Popular Kids Shows

Nowadays, IPTV is more popular than any other television dish. Because everyday people are more trustworthy online than offline, IPTV is becoming more popular daily, and people are searching for the best IPTV service provider. IPTV always offers its customers to stream continuously or all day. That is a great benefit. Plus, you get 10 to 20 times more channels to watch at any one time in HD and Ultra HD modes .

IPTV always allows the user to make the best choice when a user likes to select sports channels. So you can only opt for IPTV sports subscription packages. There are so many sports subscription offers. Mainly, you can pick and choose the most suitable one for you. We offer many complete IPTV service providers for your needs, including sports entertainment channels and many more.

Top USA IPTV Providers

VOCO IPTV is, by far, the best IPTV service provider in 2022.

It’s an international IPTV subscription service and offers users more than 17,000 live TV channels & 130,000 VOD content, and anti-freezing technology .

This way, you can stream uninterrupted.

They offer HD, HQ, and 4K resolution content for channels and VOD. with a wide range of device compatibility and work with Firestick, Computer/Laptop, Mobile Devices, Mag/Enigma Boxes, Smart TVs, and others. This service works with various apps like IPTV Smarter Pro, TiviMate, GSE IPTV, Lazy IPTV, Kodi, etc.

Additional features

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“IPTV World” is a popular IPTV service in the USA that offers a wide range of live and on-demand TV channels. They have a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and offer reliable streaming quality. Their pricing is competitive, and they offer various subscription plans to choose from, depending on your needs. They offer channels from various countries, including the USA, Canada more.

Features –

“IPTV World” offers a variety of features, including live TV, on-demand content, and premium channels. They also provide catch-up TV, allowing users to watch programs that aired within the last 24 hours. Their service is compatible with a wide range of devices, including Android TV boxes, smartphones , tablets , and smart TVs. Additionally, they offer a 24/7 customer support service to assist users with any issues or queries.

“Stream Now” is another popular IPTV service in the USA that offers a variety of live and on-demand TV channels. They have a simple, user-friendly interface that is easy to use and navigate. They offer affordable pricing and various subscription plans, including a free trial. They provide channels from the USA, Canada, UK, and other countries.

“Stream Now” offers live TV, on-demand content, and premium channels. They also provide catch-up TV, allowing users to watch programs that aired within the last 48 hours. Their service is compatible with a range of devices, including Android TV boxes, smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Additionally, they offer a 24/7 customer support service via live chat.

“IPTV Express” is a popular IPTV service in the USA that offers a range of live and on-demand TV channels. They have a simple, easy-to-use interface and offer competitive pricing. They offer channels from the USA, Canada, UK, and other countries.

“IPTV Express” offers live TV, on-demand content, and premium channels. They also provide catch-up TV, allowing users to watch programs that aired within the last 24 hours. Their service is compatible with a range of devices, including Android TV boxes, smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Additionally, they offer a 24/7 customer support service to assist users with any issues or queries. They also provide an electronic programming guide (EPG), making it easy for users to find and watch their favorite shows.

One of the best and most recommended IPTV providers in the USA is probably IPTV Trends, as it offers 20,000+ live TV channels and 60,000+ VOD content. They provide HD, HQ, and 4K resolution content for media and VOD. It has a wide range of device compatibility and works with Firestick, Computer/Laptop, Mobile Devices, Mag/Enigma Boxes, Smart TVs, and others. This service works with various apps like IPTV Smarter Pro, TiviMate, GSE IPTV, Lazy IPTV, Kodi , etc.

Read: Best iPhone VPN Apps to give a try

In the list of USA IPTV service providers, Typhoon Labs TV is a dedicated IPTV/OTT service provider for the US and Canada, offering over 1500 carefully curated FHD and HD live TV streams . This is the best option to watch everything from the news to sports to kids. All game passes are available with services like NFL, NBA, etc. You can also enjoy movies and TV shows on-demand with Typhoon’s huge VOD library.

Regarding reliable IPTV services , very few can match the reputation that IPTV advertising has earned worldwide. The service offers you 10000 premium and lives TV channels. Plus, you can access over 20,000 VOD titles, movies, and TV shows. We also like that you can request titles if you can’t find your favorite shows here.

IPTV Promotions works perfectly with Smart TV and streaming devices like Chromecast or Firestick . It also works great with Google and Apple TV. IPTV Promotions also shine when it comes to stability. The services use more than 100 stable servers worldwide to provide customers with a smooth viewing experience.

Read: Best Ring Light for Live Streaming, YouTube Video

IPTV subscription provider BestBuy offers services with 7,300 channels and 9,600 VODs. It provides automated systems for creating a test account and billing. There is the possibility of renewing by paying online on the website . Stream sports, entertainment, and movie channels. There are 20 VOD (Video On Demand) packages.

TV Subscription is an IPTV service that supports an extensive and comprehensive collection of TV channels. It is suitable for watching sports content, news, cartoons, movies, series, etc. Provides daily updates on the best movies and TV shows. The TV subscription gives you access to a massive database of content.

Xtreme HD IPTV offers live TV, movies, and popular shows. You can choose from many channels in English and other languages. Catch Up is a unique feature that allows you to watch the latest movies and TV shows. It also has a multi-screen feature that will enable you to manage multiple programs simultaneously.

IPTV Gear is unique software to watch quality content on computers and mobile devices. The IPTV service offers live TV channels, movies, and TV shows. You can manage the content in SD and HD quality. The service uses H264 technology, which enables fast streaming with minimal delay, even if you have a slow internet connection.

There are a few things to think about when looking for an IPTV provider. Some of the most important ones are:

Pricing: There are many different ways that IPTV providers can charge, from a one-time fee to a monthly or yearly subscription. Look for a service provider with clear pricing and no extra fees.

Read: Best MBA Colleges in USA

Channels: Some providers have more channels than others, so it’s important to choose a provider that has the channels you want to watch. Check the channel list of the provider before you sign up.

Customer Service: If you have any problems, it’s important to choose a provider with good customer service. Look for a provider that has more than one way to get help, like phone , email, and live chat.

Availability: Not all providers are available in every part of the US, so make sure the one you choose is available in your area.

User Interface: A good user interface makes it easy to switch between programmes and channels. Look for a service provider with an easy-to-use interface.

Is IPTV allowed in the USA?

Yes, IPTV is allowed in the USA. However, the legality of IPTV services can vary. Some IPTV providers may offer illegal streams of copyrighted content, which can put you at risk of legal action . To avoid legal issues, make sure you choose a reputable IPTV provider that offers legal content.

Is Indian IPTV legal in the USA?

Indian IPTV is legal in the USA as long as it provides legal content. However, some Indian IPTV providers may offer illegal streams of copyrighted content, which can put you at risk of legal action. To avoid legal issues, make sure you choose a reputable Indian IPTV provider that offers legal content.

Do I need a VPN for IPTV in the USA?

While a VPN is not necessary to use IPTV in the USA, it can be useful for protecting your privacy and security. A VPN can encrypt your internet connection and hide your IP address, making it more difficult for anyone to track your online activity. Additionally, using a VPN can help you bypass any geoblocks or restrictions that may be in place in your region, allowing you to access more content.

Can we use Indian TV in the USA?

Yes, you can use Indian TV in the USA through an IPTV service that offers Indian channels. However, it’s important to choose a reputable IPTV provider that offers legal content. Some Indian TV channels may be geoblocked in the USA, so you may need to use a VPN to access them.

Can you get in trouble for having IPTV?

It’s possible to get in trouble for having IPTV if the provider offers illegal streams of copyrighted content. In some cases, using these services can result in legal action, including fines and even imprisonment. To avoid legal issues, make sure you choose a reputable IPTV provider that offers legal content.

Can I watch USA without a TV provider?

Yes, you can watch TV in the USA without a traditional TV provider by using an IPTV service. IPTV allows you to access live and on-demand TV channels over the internet, eliminating the need for cable or satellite TV providers. However, you will need a reliable internet connection and a compatible device, such as a smart TV, computer , or streaming device .

Can I watch IPTV with VPN?

Yes, you can watch IPTV with a VPN. In fact, using a VPN can be beneficial for protecting your privacy and security, as well as accessing more content. However, using a VPN may slow down your internet connection, so it’s important to choose a VPN that offers fast speeds and reliable performance.

Choosing the best IPTV provider can be challenging, but with the right information, you can find the service that’s right for you. By considering factors such as pricing, channel selection, customer support, availability, and user interface, you can narrow down your options and choose a provider that meets your needs. Remember to choose a reputable provider that offers legal content, and if you have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to contact customer support. With the right IPTV provider, you can enjoy live and on-demand TV channels in the USA without the need for traditional TV providers.

I hope you understand and like this list of the Best IPTV Service Providers in the USA; if your answer is no, you can ask anything related to this article via the contact forum section. And if your answer is yes, please share this list with your family and friends.

Best IPTV Service Providers 2023 March: PC, Android TV, FireStick

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Insights / Tech and Service Providers / Article

4 ways the tech market will change for it companies in 2023.

March 08, 2023

Contributor: Lori Perri

Change is constant in the technology market, but Gartner expects four emerging trends to require a response from all IT companies in 2023.

“No matter the technology segment — software, services, hardware or other solutions — tech executives and leaders must evaluate the impact of these trends across their business and determine the required actions,” says Distinguished VP Analyst Rajesh Kandaswamy. 

Gartner identified nine trends as potentially impactful for tech vendors in 2023, but the following four will be the new trends introduced in 2023:

More federated enterprise tech buying incorporates more decision makers outside of IT.

Increase in product-led growth strategies, which offer prospects earlier experience of the product.

Rise of digital marketplaces makes it easier for potential buyers to find, procure, implement and integrate technology solutions. 

Download Now: Your Detailed Guide to 9 Changes in the Technology Market

Top Trends for Tech Providers in 2023

How tech market changes impact product strategy

The technology market continually evolves to account for:

The increased reliance of people and enterprises on technology

The continual emergence of new technologies

The impact of macro forces, such as growing demands for sustainability   

“For tech executives and leaders to capitalize on new opportunities and manage the threats,” says Kandaswamy, “they must engage with executive leaders across finance, marketing, sales, operations and other areas to craft their strategies.”

Change No. 1: More federated enterprise tech buying

When more authorized decision makers and influencers come from outside IT, the focus of purchase decisions shifts to value scenarios and outcomes, rather than simply technology. 

The federated buying model is still immature in many companies, but a 2022 Gartner survey showed that 67% of enterprise-tech decision makers are not in IT. 

To create opportunities tied to this emerging trend:

Pivot go-to-market strategies from technology-based toward customer-oriented value scenarios. Demonstrate the customers’ targeted business outcomes in the context of each of the influencers or buyers in the process.

Leverage ideal customer profiles (ICPs) to improve your situational awareness of the customer’s buying approach, and maximize the probability of success and high-quality deals.

Change No. 2: Increase in product-led growth strategies

Product-led growth (PLG) strategies put the product front and center by providing prospects with some form of a product experience to demonstrate value, before any interaction with sales. 

By 2025, Gartner expects PLG to be a standard component of go-to-market practices for 90%

of SaaS companies (up from 58% today). That will start with self-service product experiences, and will be driven through aggregated data signals to sales-driven conversion or expansion plays.

The best outcome is fast growth at a cost lower than traditional top-down marketing and sales motions. The 2021 Gartner User Influence on Software Decisions Survey found that more than 50% of free trials/freemiums led to a purchase. However, success is far from assured; it takes more consideration and effort than simply introducing a free version of a product into the market. 

PLG at scale is data-intensive, encompassing user or buyer awareness and onboarding, product usage augmented with guidance and help as needed, and ultimately conversion and expansion based on usage value, and related advocacy and influence.

The first step is to assess whether PLG is viable or optimal by evaluating the suitability of the product relative to its intended audience. Issues to consider:

Does the product have highly intuitive user experiences?

Is onboarding easy/fast?

Can users quickly recognize/capture value (and weigh that value against cost)?

Change No. 3: Rise of digital marketplaces

Digital marketplaces are becoming commonplace for tech purchases as buyers, increasingly nontech ones, are looking for composable and easily consumable solutions. 

By 2026, Gartner expects all major cloud platform and enterprise application providers will offer business component marketplaces to enable customers’ composable strategies, differentiating by quality, convenience and security.

To capitalize on this trend:

Evaluate the priority of a marketplace channel for you, by sizing the market opportunity, including solution fit and assessing your target buyers’ preference.

Prepare for a shift in tech buying by nontech buyers, by adjusting your go-to-market strategy to sell through a marketplace that ensures buyers know about your solution’s compatibility with existing infrastructure and that it can be easily integrated.

Change No. 4: More metaverse technology in marketing and CX

Metaverse technologies are rapidly gaining traction in areas of marketing for creating unique experiences, impactful interactions and novel engagement. Tech product leaders must seize the opportunities now available, to create unique experiences and elevate their marketing and CX initiatives .

By 2027, a majority of B2C enterprise CMOs will have a dedicated budget for digital humans in metaverse experiences.

Given the nascent state of metaverse technologies, product leaders must first determine when and how to take action:

Evaluate the viability of metaverse technologies, such as large-scale, multiplayer/multientity virtual spaces, virtual reality (VR) and avatars, in terms of user and customer reach, and engagement rates of audiences. Look for areas where metaverse technologies could increase opportunities to engage uniquely with potential customers, and provide memorable, positive experiences for existing customers.

Rajesh Kandaswamy is a Gartner Fellow and a Distinguished VP Analyst. His primary research areas are artificial intelligence, blockchain and key technology industry trends. He focuses on how the technologies create business value, their strategic impacts, the use-cases, the market landscape and the actions required.

Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference

Join the world’s leading IT and business leaders to get an update on accelerating tech growth in a new era of transformation and technology trends.

Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:

Top Trends for Tech Providers for 2023 Top Tech Provider Trend for 2023: Federated Enterprise Tech Buying Top Tech Provider Trend for 2023: Product-Led Growth Top Tech Provider Trend for 2023: Rise of Digital Marketplaces Top Tech Provider Trend for 2023: Utilizing Metaverse Technologies for Marketing and CX

*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.

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Artificial Intelligence

Salesforce Announces Einstein GPT, the World’s First Generative AI for CRM

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San Francisco — March 7, 2023 — Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today launched Einstein GPT , the world’s first generative AI CRM technology, which delivers AI-created content across every sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT interaction, at hyperscale. With Einstein GPT, Salesforce will transform every customer experience with generative AI.

Einstein GPT will infuse Salesforce’s proprietary AI models with generative AI technology from an ecosystem of partners and real-time data from the Salesforce Data Cloud , which ingests, harmonizes, and unifies all of a company’s customer data. With Einstein GPT, customers can then connect that data to OpenAI’s advanced AI models out of the box, or choose their own external model and use natural-language prompts directly within their Salesforce CRM to generate content that continuously adapts to changing customer information and needs in real time.

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For example, Einstein GPT can generate personalized emails for salespeople to send to customers, generate specific responses for customer service professionals to more quickly answer customer questions, generate targeted content for marketers to increase campaign response rates, and auto-generate code for developers.

“The world is experiencing one of the most profound technological shifts with the rise of real-time technologies and generative AI. This comes at a pivotal moment as every company is focused on connecting with their customers in more intelligent, automated, and personalized ways,” said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce . Einstein GPT, in combination with our Data Cloud and integrated in all of our clouds as well as Tableau, MuleSoft, and Slack, is another way we are opening the door to the AI future for all our customers, and we’ll be integrating with OpenAI at launch.

Einstein GPT…is another way we are opening the door to the AI future for all our customers, and we’ll be integrating with OpenAI at launch. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

Integration with OpenAI: Salesforce is combining OpenAI’s enterprise-grade ChatGPT technology with Salesforce’s private AI models to deliver relevant and trusted AI-generated content.

“We’re excited to apply the power of OpenAI’s technology to CRM,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. “This will allow more people to benefit from this technology, and it allows us to learn more about real-world usage, which is critical to the responsible development and deployment of AI — a belief that Salesforce shares with us.” 

Salesforce Ventures launches $250 million Generative AI Fund : Salesforce also announced a Generative AI Fund from Salesforce Ventures, the company’s global investment arm. The new $250 million fund will invest in high-potential startups, bolster the startup ecosystem, and spark the development of responsible, trusted, and generative AI.

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Introducing the ChatGPT App for Slack

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Why Einstein GPT Marks the Next Big Milestone in Salesforce’s AI Journey

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Salesforce Ventures Launches $250M Generative AI Fund

Go Deeper: Einstein GPT in CRM

Einstein GPT is the next generation of Einstein, Salesforce’s AI technology that currently delivers more than 200 billion AI-powered predictions per day across the Customer 360 . And by combining proprietary Einstein AI models with ChatGPT or other leading large language models, customers can use natural-language prompts on CRM data to trigger powerful, time-saving automations, and create personalized, AI-generated content. Launching today are:

ChatGPT for Slack, built by OpenAI : In addition, Salesforce and OpenAI today announced the ChatGPT for Slack app. The app provides new AI-powered conversation summaries, research tools to learn about any topic, and writing assistance to quickly draft messages.

The customer perspective: Customers like HPE, L’Oréal, RBC US Wealth Management, and S&P Global Ratings discuss the value generative AI delivers to improve customer engagement. 


About Salesforce

Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to digitally transform and create a 360° view of their customers. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com .

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information please visit https://www.salesforce.com , or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

Mar 07, 2023

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New Study Reveals Only 1 in 10 Global Workers Have In-Demand AI Skills

Mar 06, 2023


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  11. An Overview of ITIL Service Providers and Service Portfolio

    An Overview of ITIL Service Providers and Portfolios. The ITIL service providers and service portfolio are the two phases of the same coin. While one of them takes care of the supply of services between the internal and the external customers, the other makes sure there is an efficient mix of services that will support the entire service strategy.

  12. Service Providers

    Service providers implement detailed telephony device controls. A telephony service provider (TSP) provides call controls and a media service provider, if it exists, provides control over the media stream. All telephony service providers execute in the TAPISRV process.

  13. The Editorial Board: Raise for direct service providers is too small to

    It seems nearly every year New York State's budget fails to meet the necessary threshold of funding to pay direct support professionals and the not-for-profits that hire them. This is wrong ...

  14. Top 10 Cloud Service Providers In 2023

    The latest Canalys data estimates expenditure was over US$2 billion more than in the previous quarter and US$14 billion more than in Q1 2021. Here is a list of my top 10 cloud service providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Microsoft Azure. Google Cloud.

  15. 10 Top SOC as a Service Providers [Pros and Cons]

    SOC-as-a-service providers are those organizations that offer services like protecting vulnerability detection and management, VAPT services, and more to customers based on their needs. However, maintaining an in-house SOC can be a daunting task, especially for up-and-coming companies.

  16. The Interactive Process And Service Providers

    Step 5: Implementing the Accommodation. Once an accommodation has been chosen, the employer must implement the accommodation. Service providers can be an integral part of this step in the interactive process. For example, service providers can help train the individual how to use an assistive device or software.

  17. Perspectives of homeless service providers on their work, their ...

    Purpose To describe the perspectives of homeless service providers who work for Chicago organizations that primarily serve persons experiencing homelessness. Methods A qualitative, cross-sectional study of Chicago homeless service providers (n = 17) consisting of a semi-structured interview and the Attitudes Toward the Homeless Inventory (ATHI). Interviews were analyzed for themes and patterns ...

  18. Double Vision: Two Futures for Voice Service Providers

    In early 2023, Tessler presented his vision for the future of Service Providers. In a sense, he's saying: Be the US Foods, Sysco, or PFG of a particular industry. In his argument, the logical...

  19. Internet service provider (ISP)

    Internet service provider (ISP), company that provides Internet connections and services to individuals and organizations. ISPs may also provide software packages (such as browsers), e-mail accounts, and a personal website or home page. ISPs can host websites for businesses and can also build the websites themselves. ISPs are all connected to each other through network access points, public ...

  20. Communications Service Providers Unlock Possibilities of 5G with VMware

    And communications service providers are already unlocking the possibilities of 5G with the VMware Telco Cloud Platform. For example, the platform allows SoftBank to accelerate time-to-market for deploying new, innovative services and giving them a competitive edge. The platform also enables Vodafone ( News - Alert) Qatar to apply the power of ...

  21. Why Content Owners and Service Providers Should Embrace SaaS

    Committing to a SaaS model gives content owners and service providers ongoing access to improvements and capabilities. And SaaS isn't just for the big monolithic players. Its effects are disruptive as the entry barrier to these new levels of experimentation and creativity have been lowered and its modular nature provide opportunities for ...

  22. India's HDB Financial Services flags data breach at service provider

    BENGALURU, March 7 (Reuters) - HDB Financial Services, the non-bank lending unit of India's top private lender HDFC Bank , said on Tuesday there was a data breach at one of its service providers ...

  23. Jade Rubick

    The Service Provider model is one of the least effective coordination models in software engineering teams. There are some legitimate reasons to use this model, but you should avoid it unless you're aware of the tradeoffs. What types of teams commonly adopt this model? Design. IT. Infrastructure and platform teams.

  24. 11 Best USA IPTV Providers (2023): Find the Right Service for You

    In the list of USA IPTV service providers, Typhoon Labs TV is a dedicated IPTV/OTT service provider for the US and Canada, offering over 1500 carefully curated FHD and HD live TV streams. This is the best option to watch everything from the news to sports to kids. All game passes are available with services like NFL, NBA, etc. You can also ...

  25. Online Essay: Article writing service providers easy essay strategy!

    They constitute it. — The Dance Institute of Washington (@DIW_DC) November 21, 2022. The estimated service article writing providers model support the authors using one of many academics, including filipino academics, who do not have to wade through biographical information about allacci. Figure. Necessary to carry out experiments and support ...

  26. 4 Ways the Technology Market Will Change for Vendors in 2023

    4 Ways the Tech Market Will Change for IT Companies in 2023. March 08, 2023. Contributor: Lori Perri. Change is constant in the technology market, but Gartner expects four emerging trends to require a response from all IT companies in 2023. "No matter the technology segment — software, services, hardware or other solutions — tech ...

  27. Salesforce Announces Einstein GPT, the World's First Generative AI for

    San Francisco — March 7, 2023 — Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today launched Einstein GPT, the world's first generative AI CRM technology, which delivers AI-created content across every sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT interaction, at hyperscale.With Einstein GPT, Salesforce will transform every customer experience with generative AI.