Technology has transformed the way businesses operate at every level. While that means there are more possibilities to streamline day-to-day tasks and elevate productivity than ever before, it also means you need to continually leverage those possibilities to remain competitive. If your team is primarily focused on growing your business, they may not have the time, skills, or experience to successfully navigate the IT marketplace. That’s where a partnership with a managed service provider (MSP) can be the key to ongoing success.
If you’re not sure where to begin, partnering with an MSP offers an ideal starting point. The right managed IT service providers take the time to understand your organization’s workflows and goals for the future to develop a customized IT platform to help you achieve this goal. But what should you be looking for in a prospective MSP partnership? In this post, we’ll outline some of the critical factors you need to consider before signing off on an MSP contract.
As you begin researching your options, it helps to have a general framework of questions to cull the market. In your initial meetings and conversations, make sure to clarify:
Years in Business
An MSP that’s been in business for decades has a proven track record of helping companies successfully use technology to grow. If an MSP has been in business for a decade or more, you can be confident they have the expertise to help you next.
Are they vendor agnostic? Do they continually leverage vendor relationships to find you the best value on the market? Or do they only stick to specific vendors? What happens if their vendors can’t provide what you need? Make sure their vendor relationships align with your broader business goals and budget.
Ability to Deliver Results
As you research potential MSPs, you should begin developing some practical technology goals. With those goals in mind, inquire as to how they’ve helped businesses accomplish similar goals and how they plan to go about helping you.
Catalog of Services
Does their catalog of service offerings match what you’re looking for? For example, if you’re excited to take advantage of the benefits of server virtualization, does their team have the skills and experience to offer a solution? If they don’t provide what you’re looking for, it’s pretty easy to cross them off the list.
MSPs are prone to touting “all-inclusive packages” then tack on additional fees for more hands-on service. Make sure to clarify whether their MSP offerings are really as all-inclusive as they say. That way, you can avoid getting stuck with exorbitant IT bills.
When it comes to deploying a new IT platform, excessive downtime costs your business productivity, revenue, and customer engagement. If you have specific projects in mind, shop around to figure out how long the project will take with different partners.
Support Response Times
Is their “24/7 customer service” really around the clock? When your network goes down, how do they plan to respond? Will you be left waiting to hear back from them, or will they realize your system’s gone down even before you do?
IT Solutions Consulting From Outsource My IT
Now that you’ve discovered some of the most important questions to ask potential MSPs, it’s time to put that knowledge to good use. Get in touch with the Outsource My IT team today to start exploring the possibilities for a partnership founded on trust and transparency. We’ll answer these and any other questions you may have so you can discover how much more your technology can be doing for you.