Choosing a managed services provider (MSP) takes time. After all, you’re looking for a customized solution that fits your industry, your needs, and your personality. Not all MSPs are the same, and when you’re finding a partner to drive something so important to your business, shouldn’t you take the extra care to make sure you’re making the right decision?
Here are some questions to consider when choosing a managed service provider:
1. What Are Your Greatest Needs?
Before you start looking for an MSP, examine your business and how you use technology. Defining what you need will determine who you choose as your MSP, since you’ll be better prepared to look at service offerings and see how they apply to you. Consider the following questions: Have you been relying on internal staff that is taxed to the limits? Is your technology old and unreliable? Are you growing every year or every quarter? Are you operating under outdated security policies? Do you have an extensive remote workforce but hardly any staff to support them? Does your industry have special technology or security needs? Are you looking to make better use of cloud solutions?
2. What Do They Do Well?
Take a look at their website. MSPs list what they do, and while many will speak in generalities, the good ones get down to details. Some MSPs specialize in data storage, business continuity, and backups, cloud computing, and many others. If you’re in doubt, ask them. Have a list of questions to ask managed service providers and see how different their replies are. It’s important to find an MSP whose advantages line up with the needs you defined earlier, and research is the way to do it.
3. Do They Offer Proactive Maintenance?
The days of “computer repairmen” are long over. Reactive support has given way to proactive services, and modern businesses don’t partner with an MSP to have someone on speed dial to fix their computers. Instead, the role of a modern MSP is to guide and integrate technology into business processes. If the MSP you’re considering follows a “you break it, we fix it” mentality, keep looking.
4. Do They Focus on More Than Technology?
To a modern MSP, technology is only a part of the equation. Technology may be the backbone of your business, but it’s really just a tool to help your employees get things done. The most expensive technology in the world is worthless if people are unsure how to use it properly or if it wasn’t integrated into existing processes. The right MSP will help your employees work with new technology and be aware about their role in keeping your business safe.
5. How Do They Develop Their Services or Employees?
You hire an MSP to keep you ahead of the game. They’re your vehicle to modernization and profitability, but they can’t do this if they have trouble doing it themselves. An MSP needs to be on the cutting edge of technology. Find out about their internal commitment to ongoing training for their technicians and their entire organization. Are they partnered with Microsoft and reached Gold or Silver status? A company that offers continued learning is committed to growth and service, which means a better product for your business.
6. Do They Solve Any Specialized Needs?
Specialized industry experience is becoming a critical element for managed service providers, especially as cybersecurity becomes more complex. Specialized industries like healthcare and government services have their own set of data protection standards, and if your business has been struggling to meet these requirements, the right MSP will be able to help you.
Managed services are perfect for supporting and managing remote employees. Learn more about how our remote workstation management services securely enables a diverse remote workforce.
7. What Do Their Customers Say?
Satisfied clients are lifelong clients. Testimonials are a great indicator of how an MSP works; testimonials show you the value MSPs provide, their response time, and their trustworthiness. Lots of testimonials and their prominence on the MSPs website and marketing materials also give you an indication of how long the MSP has been around.
8. Do They Want To Understand Your Specific Business Needs?
While your business may have 8–5 office hours, your remote employees may need support outside of those hours. These are the small details an MSP will want to know before they start any kind of service agreement, and proactive MSPs find out this information for themselves. At their core, an MSP is a business partner, and in order to work with your business, they need to learn and understand everything they can about it. If they don’t take this step seriously, there’s no way they can provide the level of service you need.
9. Are They Affordable?
This may be last on the list, but as an outsourced option, MSPs services should be scalable to your needs and your budget. Some providers work well with larger companies with sprawling infrastructures spread across the continent, while others are better equipped to handle local clients with specific IT needs. Most businesses opt for something in the middle. Lower cost is the most obvious benefit to managed services, but in the end it is not the most important.
To Be the Best, Partner With the Best
With SBT Partners, you get a knowledgeable IT ally for life. Through us, you have an IT solution that gives you all the benefits of an outsourced option, the flexibility and control of an in-house IT staff, and all within an affordable, monthly cost. We establish an IT roadmap that guides your technology and your budget. This is the modern way of handling your IT.
Reach out to us today for a consultation.