Your guide to choosing the perfect managed IT services partner

Your guide to choosing the perfect managed IT services partner

When it comes to your company’s IT infrastructure, you can't just work with any random managed services provider (MSP). You must be selective.

Some MSPs will fit closer to your needs than others. First and foremost, the right MSP will not only be able to manage your company’s IT platform, but will help your organization grow faster. So how does your business find that partner? Here’s how.

Support

First and foremost, it starts with support. Organizations and businesses consider MSPs when they want their in-house IT to have additional capabilities or if they want to free up their staff to do more strategic and value-adding work. Therefore, the best MSPs are ones that provide steady support to meet the growing complexities of technologies. This includes 24/7 coverage, remote and on-site support, same-day issue, resolution, proactive maintenance, and other services that in-house teams do not have the time to do.

Industry tenure

Aside from typical requirements such as overall program management, reporting and tracking, supplier selection and management, and licensing, you’ll want an MSP that has had experience in your industry. One way to check is to look through their website, blog posts, downloadable resources, and ancillary services. These areas will give clues if their expertise and experience lie within your industry.

Great customer experience

The ideal MSPs must offer great customer service. Your organization will want to find this in a long-term partner that will be providing IT services. Look for reviews from satisfied customers by way of testimonials and endorsements. These can usually be found on their website and in Glassdoor and Yelp reviews, Linkedin endorsements, and Facebook ratings. Case studies and research will also yield proof of successful partnerships.

Relationship

Establishing a long-term business partnership means MSPs must be able to provide solutions that will grow and scale with your business. The expertise offered by MSPs has expanded dramatically through the years to include solutions such as various cloud services, data analytics, and business intelligence. These have been driven by the changing needs and expectations of clients.

Meeting in person will also factor into building such a connection. Look for an MSP with a track record of sitting in on their client’s staff meetings to keep in line with strategy and to contribute and share their own experiences.

Security and compliance

Data breaches are a daily occurrence. Regulations on data security and privacy are stricter. Falling flat on security and compliance can outright ruin a company.

Given these concerns, it’s important to find out if the MSP has the skills and services to help prevent and respond to a host of threats. Are they attracting the top talent in security to their team — ones that can keep up with the security landscape? Are they able to provide a multilevel approach to security? A highly desirable MSP capability is also an expert at helping clients comply with industry regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Also, look for third-party accreditation, such as ISO 9001 for quality management systems and ISO 27001 for security management systems.

Service level agreements

One of the best ways to assess an MSP’s commitment to service is to examine their service level agreement (SLA), a document that will specify what they will provide. Typically, an SLA will include the following:

  • Warranties or legal fine points, such as compensation policies if agreed-on service levels are not achieved.
  • Client duties or a code of conduct
  • Procedures for when problems arise as well their response times to problems of varying severity
  • Performance agreement or metrics used to quantify and report on service levels
  • Termination or circumstances when the client or MSP can end the partnership

Pricing models

MSPs offer a wide range of payment models. Here are some of the popular ones:

  • Per-device monitoring or a flat fee for monitoring selected devices that can be scaled up or down as needed
  • A monthly subscription plan per user, covering support for all devices
  • Tiered pricing or different service packages
  • Value-based pricing or the price of a product or service based on the economic value it offers to customers

Is the basic computer repair model not working for you? It’s time your organization switch to IT support that’s more cost-efficient and proactive. Your company shouldn’t have to wait for problems to arise and suffer operational downtime to turn to a technology partner. Instead, you should work with an MSP and turn IT into an asset that can streamline and grow the business. Talk to Netquest today.

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