Like so many small to medium sized businesses, you have certainly considered IT outsourcing from time to time. Gaining access to enterprise level IT support at SMB prices makes a lot of business sense. But, as with any vendor, you need to find the right Managed Services Provider for your particular needs. Here are some criteria to consider when reviewing potential MSPs.
The Managed Service Organization Itself
You may have found an IT Outsourcing firm that offers the services you need, but have you looked at their actual company? Take time to investigate their culture and organizational goals. How long have they been in business? Have they adapted their offering as technology has changed? Do they have plans for change in the future? You want to partner with an organization that values the same things your does.
The Staff and Contact Points
One of the biggest struggles businesses face when it comes to IT support is dissastisfaction with attitude of their techs and help desk reps. Schedule a meeting with the actual people who will be working on your account. Ask them questions about how they’d respond in different scenarios and get some of their backstory as it pertains to experience. Pay attention not only to the content of the response, but the way they interact with you. If you feel like they aren’t listening to you or explaining thtings in a way you can understand, think about how frustrating those behaviors would be in an IT emergency.
Applications and Systems They Support
While they may offer “Cloud computing” options, they may be contracted with a provider that you don’t think is a good fit. Ask about the applications they prefer to use and have them justify the choice. If you think the apps they use aren’t in line with your goals, then this is unlikely to be a successful partnership. While many managed IT services address server maintenance and repair, they may not service legacy models. If you have an older system that is out of warranty, you need a provider that can continue to service it until you’re ready to make a change.
Contracts and Changes
Many MSPs will require you to sign a contract for their services. What are the terms of this contract? If your needs change, can the contract outline scale along with your business? If you are looking to make a technology shift in the future, how will that impact your terms? If you’re bringing them on for a IT support for a single project, what are the impacts if deadlines aren’t met or issues come up? Be wary of companies that offer very basic packages and then nickel and dime you for any additional work. You want a complete picture of the scope and timeframe of any project from planning to implementation to quality assurance testing on the back end.
Security as a Priority
It does not matter what their specialty or focus is, if they don’t value security above all else, they are not the partner you want. We are in an age where wires are disappearing but more and more machines are being connected. This Internet of Things has a lot of upside in terms of usability, but it can have a major downside if security is not prioritized. The more our systems operate online, the more safeguards and preventions and training we need to ensure our data remains protected.
We’d like the opportunity to prove to you we are the right Managed Service Provider for your business needs now and into the future. We are certain that we can provide best-in-class service at a reasonable price. Our staff is friendly and knowledgeable and our technicians at our help desk are expertly trained. Give us a call and let us show you just what we can do for you!
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