Managed Services is one of the fastest growing sectors in the business technology landscape today. Companies in every shape, scope and market – are turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for IT security, data management, 24/7 system monitoring and a variety of business IT services.
An MSP is an IT protector, facilitator and sherpa all rolled into one – a provider of IT services designed to help a business operate more efficiently and sustain predictable business operations at all times.
MSPs give you access to remote Help Desk support, infrastructure management, firewall and virus protection, WAN/LAN health monitoring, scheduled on-site support and more – all focused on keeping your data safe, secure and accessible 24/7. However, choosing the right Managed Services Provider for your business may not be so … predictable.
When Choosing a Managed Service Provider here are 10 Things to Keep in Mind.
1. The Right MSP will ask the right questions – about you, your goals and your business.
They will want to know if you require specific resources from your cloud provider. They will want to find out if you need certain characteristics and specifications to run your workload. They will want to know all about your data and your requirements for moving your data. The right MSP will be filled with questions – for you!
2. Select a Managed Service Provider with 24 x 7 x 365 Remote Monitoring.
A true MSP will have invested in dedicated monitoring systems that can identify problems before they shut down your network. Choose an MSP that is a champ at system monitoring – alert monitoring for all workstations, servers, network devices, firewalls, routers, and switches, regardless of location.
3. Choose a MSP that offers remote and onsite support.
An MSP should offer remote and onsite support. While remote support helps resolve small issues quickly, there is no replacement for face-to-face time with your IT professional. Onsite visits are essential to ensuring equipment is running properly! You want regularly scheduled preventive maintenance for servers and workstations – and you want an MSP that will be hands on when necessary.
4. The Right MSP will offer 24-hour support – no matter what, 365 days a year.
This is a deal breaker! You should be able to speak to an IT services technician at any time to correct any issue. The right MSP for your business will be the one that keeps your IT secure and streamlined every minutes of every day.
5. The Right MSP will offer detailed asset tracking.
Hardware and software reporting metrics to assist with asset tracking and compliance reporting should be offered by any MSP provider worth their weight in server parts.
6. The Right MSP will be organized and have documentation and processes in place.
Reacting to an incident that you haven’t prepared or planned for can cause your business considerable downtime as well as financial and potentially damage your reputation. An MSP that is organised and has processes in place to tackle standard and major incidents will not only respond better to them as their staff are prepared and know the drill, but will also keep you updated and provide you with a corrective measure report post an outage.
7. Select a MSP that provide regular reporting.
To ensure MSP are accountable and delivering what their initially agreed to, it is important that your MSP provides regular reporting of their performance against meeting SLA’s, Client Satisfaction reviews and incident management and provide details about your infrastructures availability, backup and patching results.
8. The Right MSP will sport a great track record!
It’s important to make sure that the MSP you hire has an IT services pedigree with a track record of solid client retention and professional, knowledgeable consultants – experts who understand what it takes to keep your business up and running within the borders of a predictable IT spend model.
9. The Right MSP will understand your industry!
A knowledgeable MSP will make recommendations for improvements beyond your hardware. They should provide insight for improved workflow, training, and software systems. The right MSP for your business will be the MSP with the greatest understanding of your business and industry.
10. The Right MSP will be certified and accredited!
It is important that the company you are trusting to manage your business critical infrastructure are qualified and have knowledgeable engineers in place. It is always worth asking for a copy of current certifications as they to expire and with technology changing so much you would want to know that they have also refreshed their skill sets internally.
Contact Contranex if you are in the process of renewing your contract or thinking about using an MSP for the first time. We can provide you with impartial advice to make the selection process and transition one your business will benefit from immediately.