Excellent, you have made the decision to look for a Managed Service Provider to help with your business’ IT environment, but how do I decide who to work with? There is no doubt that picking the right MSP can be the difference between making this move either a success, or a failure.
When looking to work with an MSP it is vital that you pick the right one for your business. It is important to find the right balance between price and quality of service. Often one of the biggest goals of a business in choosing an MSP, is the aim to save as much money as possible. This is great, but if the MSP you chose provides a low quality of service then you might find yourself spending more than you initially bargained for in downtime or other issues.
Research & Reference
Always make sure you research the MSP’s you are looking at, ask for references and examples of clients they work with or, solutions that they have provided. It is important to make sure that the MSP can deliver what your business truly needs.
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a key piece of information to make sure that the MSP will deliver the service your business requires. The SLA will cover important facts around when cover is provided, what response times to expect and how your requests will be prioritised. All of these will help you decide if the MSP can meet your expectations.
Knowledge and Experience
Something that can sometimes be ignored in favour of value is making sure that the MSP has enough knowledge and experience to deliver. It is important that the MSP has a sufficient knowledge pool within their team to meet all requirements and can actually support any issues that occur. Equally, do they have a team that can cope with your expected workload, if you are a bigger business this can be an important consideration.
Another item that might not be initially considered during negotiation, but all MSP’s are reliant on their documentation. The details about your environment cannot exist in people’s heads, that is not a reliable solution. From the very beginning there should be a good level of documentation built and stored that enables the MSP to have all the details they should require to address any requirements.
This is where the MSP starts to set themselves apart from traditional service desks. The pro-active approach comes from consultancy and having the ability to work with your business to help guide you through the IT minefield successfully. Having Pro-active support is also important as those steps can be what prevents issues from occurring in the first place. Talk to the MSP you are considering, find out what they do as part of their pro-active work and how this can be evidenced.
When you add these points to our previous post about what a Managed Service Provider does, we hope that you can start to understand why MSP’s benefit businesses.
We hope this has helped give you the confidence to start speaking to a Managed Service Provider and the questions we would advise you to ask. At Cambridge Support, we’re on-hand and happy to offer guidance at all stages of your IT journey, whether you are a customer, looking to change providers or simply have questions regarding your current environment. Our dedicated team of Service Delivery Managers and IT Consultants are available on 01223 901 90 and look forward to speaking with you soon