So, you’re thinking of hiring a managed service provider (MSP). There are hundreds of service providers in any given metropolitan areas vying for your business. What distinguishes one from another? How can you be sure that you’re choosing the one that’s right for your business? Below are a few things to look for when choosing the best service provider for you.
MSPs should be looking out for your interests
Businesses save a lot of money opting for an MSP rather than having an in-house IT department. However, there are tradeoffs. Hiring an MSP means that you lose some direct control of how your systems are setup or managed. Because of that, you need to be sure that your service provider can be trusted to have your best interest in mind. Look for an MSP that has a track record of keeping customers for five years or more. Longevity with clients means that they know how to work with customers as their businesses grow and change. It also means that they are loyal to their customers and aren’t switching from client to client based on how much money they can make.
MSPs should know your industry
Make sure that the managed service provider you are considering understands the business concerns of your industry. Industry-specific solutions are key in helping your business to grow and meeting the needs of your customers. Look for a provider with experience in dealing with other firms in your field. Any potential provider should be ready to implement best practices for your business on day one.
MSPs should be accessible and available
IT problems can be scary. Not having someone you can trust to call when you are having an IT emergency is even scarier. Knowing that you have a partner always ready to answer your calls is important. Yet, hiring an MSP with a 24/7 help desk is worthless if the response time is next business day. Make sure you address service-level concerns upfront and never settle for sub-par customer service and support from a technology partner.
MSPs should have solutions to your IT problems
One the biggest benefits of having a managed service provider rather than an in-house IT department is an MSPs collective knowledge base and skills. Because most MSPs will have several people on staff with a variety of certifications and skill sets, their ability to create, manage and maintain your systems should far exceed that on of any small in-house team. However, if your service provider comes up against an issue they’ve never encountered or can’t figure out, they should search for solutions until they have an answer. They must have a turn-around time that suits your needs and meets the standards of your service-level agreement (SLA).
MSPs should be on the cutting edge
Information Technology is a constantly changing field. There is no such thing as “business as usual” when it comes to technology. Ask any potential service provider what kind of new technologies they have recently implemented. Ask them about the latest development in whatever software your company uses. Ask them for alternatives or options to see how versatile their knowledge base is. Make sure their company culture focuses on continuing education and training for their techs.
IT is not a 9-5, break-fix operation
Your systems never sleep, so your managed service provider shouldn’t either. IT service providers should be able to cover your systems 24/7/365. They should also have a comprehensive plan for building, maintaining and monitoring your infrastructure. Knowing how to react to a problem is not as valuable as preventing it in the first place. Look for a managed service provider that has a proactive approach to keeping systems healthy. One that includes monitoring, constant updates and staying abreast of the latest advances.
After 15 years as a managed service provider, we know something about IT excellence. We have been serving customers in a variety of industries, many of them for over ten years. Our customers see us as an extension of their teams because we’ve built solid relationships with them over many years. Our techs are constantly learning and studying for new certifications. We offer 24/7/365 service with no hidden fees or fine print. Service is a way of life for us. IT is our passion. If you’re looking for an innovative, reliable MSP to partner with, contact us today and give GoComputek a try risk-free.