A managed service provider (MSP) is a third-party company you can hire to offer business IT solutions to your organization. The managed service providers have become common in business. Their operations range from specific segments in information technology such as data storage to vertical markets such as legal, financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing.
You can opt to partner with a managed service provider to help the employees of your company or to get the services that the in-house teams lack the capacity to offer. That said, the high number of MSPs in the market has made it difficult to find solutions that fit needs of your company. Besides, the MSPs are not created equal, and they vary in terms of size, capabilities, and technological investments. That is why knowing the criteria to select an MSP to partner with is crucial. Let us look at helpful tips that can guide you.
Tips to follow in choosing an MSP(managed service provider)
Focus on their disaster prevention policies
The technology infrastructure you implement in your organization comes with its fair share of possible risks. These include cyberattacks, data breach, corrupt software services, and also system breakdown. Therefore, when considering a potential MSP to partner with, you should endeavor to find out if they have concrete measures in place to protect your IT infrastructure from possible threats and collapse. You should ensure the IT security managed service provider has the policies for recovery in the event a disaster to reduce downtimes in your business. Bottom line is that you should look critically into the MSP’s policies as part of your checklist.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Usually, a potential MSP will provide services to your company under contractual agreement. The contract is typically tied to the model of pricing in relation to the level of services that you get as their client.
Before signing the contract with the potential MSP, you should be clear about the services you need to be offered to your company. Spell them out clearly and check against the list of services offered by the potential MSP. If they are available, it is time to move to the next step of negotiating the costs.
It is recommended that you get a quotation for each service that you need and not a wholesale cost of the services. That way, you will be in a position to negotiate, avoid overcharging, and also save money. Therefore, before signing the contract, check the agreement as a major step towards ensuring quality services at a fair cost for your business.
Consider communication channels in place.
You must be in constant communication with your MSP. This is because smooth communication is a fundamental component of a good working business relationship. As a client, therefore, you are entitled to know everything that is happening with your technology. As such, when choosing an MSP, you need them to clarify on the following:
- How will you get updates on the work progress? Will they send you emails, call you, or request for physical meetings?
- How frequently will the meetings be? How often should you expect to be updated?
- Who will be tasked with updating you from the MSP side?
Once the above questions are satisfactorily answered, then you will consider if you will be part of the MSP workings in your business. That is because it is good to understand the progress and also evaluate the performance of the MSP on your business in order to get the best results.
Consider experience and certifications.
It is worth looking into the collection of certifications, awards, and years of experience a potential MSP has. One of the key benefits of partnering with an MSP is that your company can leverage the expertise of top professionals. Therefore, you should settle for an MSP who has been certified by technology developers whose products you utilize at your business.
For example, if you use Cisco products for your business, try to find an MSP with a long-standing CISCO Gold Partner Certification. That way, you will have the chance to partner with a service provider who understands your systems. As a result, you will get the best services that you require.
Availability of customer care desk
Ask the potential MSP if they have customer care services that collect feedback, complaints, and compliments on their behalf. This is because any service provider worth their salt will have customers at heart and will make them a priority.
You also should find out how long their services last in a day. Is it just the working hours, or there is a help desk for 24/7? A right MSP is one that has a channel of communication through which you can reach them in case of an emergency or when you experience downtime in your business.
The right managed service provider will be available to offer solutions that your business needs. However, it might be challenging to find one as they come in varieties. That is why it is necessary to consider the tips, and we hope they will be helpful to you!