For today’s organizations, technology is at the core of your business. Your IT environment is critical to your business operations and efficiency, yet you don’t always have the time or resources to manage it. This is where a managed services provider (MSP) can help.
An MSP acts as an extension or replacement of your company’s tech team and is intricately involved in the managing and maintaining of your IT environment. However, not all MSPs are created equal, and there are certain elements you should first understand to be sure you’re choosing the right MSP for your IT and business needs.
The Benefits of Working With an MSP
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is an outsourced business designed to accompany or replace day to day IT operations to improve the operational efficiency of organizations.
With an MSP, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that certified technicians can quickly and efficiently resolve even your most complex technical problems.
Before committing to a service agreement, though, you should ask an MSP these five important questions:
1. What services or support do you provide?
In the world of IT, problems happen. Computers crash, passwords are lost, email stops working, servers crash, and the list goes on. Without proper technical support in place, these problems can bring your business to an abrupt – and potentially damaging – halt.
It is important that your MSP has 24/7 resources available for your use instantly as an issue materializes. It is essential they have a remote monitoring software in place to further prevent issues before they arise.
Look for an MSP that provides:
- Full IT Management
- Remote Monitoring and Management
- Defined standard operating procedures
- Flat-rate, Hourly, or project labor Services
- Easy to understand billing
- Definition of Services
- Vendor Management
- Guaranteed service level agreement
- Non-objective recommendations
- Standardized hardware, software, and materials
- Cloud services
- Specialty products and services
It’s critical the Manage Service Provider has a good foundation in the above list to provide comprehensive service to its clients. Responsiveness is critical in delivering the service.
Having access to these services will help you focus your personnel on more important projects, business-related tasks, as well as keeping up with the latest advancements within your industry.
2. Do you have experience working within our industry and/or with similar-sized companies?
It’s essential that your MSP has experience working with a company like yours. To get a sense of that level of experience, ask to see case studies or current customer references you can speak to. The MSP should be more than willing to provide these resources if they have great relationships with their clients.
What you Should Look for in an MSP Customer Portfolio:
- Company Size
- Services Offered
- Related Industry
- Customer Satisfaction
- Technician Experience
3. What are your service standards?
It’s important that MSPs have well-defined service level agreements (SLAs), which outline specific service standards for every relationship. If each customized service agreement is outlined, the client always knows what to expect of the service provider.
Transparency, trust, and feedback are essential components of a highly rated service. When an MSP signs a service agreement with a customer, the provider becomes invested in that customers success. Each service should be individualized to the size of the company, and the wants and needs of the client.
4. Are there any technology requirements?
You need an IT provider that can meet your specific needs. Ideally, your MSP should be able to seamlessly integrate with your existing and future business systems. The simple integration of technology in a business not only saves a business time, it can save money. An MSP should listen to your needs and be forthcoming on specific technology requirements.
Managed service providers should support at a minimum:
- Microsoft and Apple desktop operating systems
- Microsoft Office and leading third-party applications
- E-mail applications and Web browsers
- Thin clients and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
- Hardware and network troubleshooting
- Printer installation and support
- Mobile phones and tablets
- User administration
- Desktop performance problems
- Virus, malware, and ransomware infections
5. Do you have a Live Help Desk support?
Not every support issue can be called a catastrophe…until it prevents you from being able to do your job. MSPs are there to help you stay ahead of the curve, so you can focus on growing and managing your business.
A MSP should not only provide 24/7 assistance, their help desk should be a seamless extension of their remote monitoring platform. So when you call to report an issue, there’s a good chance that the MSP is already aware of the problem you’re experiencing – and is actively working to resolve it.
Ready to partner with an MSP for your IT and business needs? At Ray Morgan Company (RMC), we provide all of the listed services above and more!
Get in touch with us at RMC Managed IT Services today: