Two years ago, I began to evaluate and compare various Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for my small business. My goal was to find a strategy that would provide the right level of service, support and experience. I found myself using the same tools and resources to evaluate these companies, and I found the process of evaluating to be time consuming and ultimately unhelpful. Therefore, I set out to find a better way.
Managed IT services are not always a bad deal, but they are not always a good one either. The most important thing to know is how to evaluate a managed service provider (MSP). Here are five easy steps that allow you to do just that.
When choosing a managed service provider (MSP) to help you out in your IT needs, you want to look for a company that’s on top of the latest developments in the industry, one that offers cutting edge services to its customers, one that provides a great customer experience, and one that delivers the most appropriate solutions and services for your business. Your goal should be to find the MSP that has all the qualities that you’re looking for.
When it comes to IT, companies are increasingly turning to an external service provider rather than relying solely on their own IT team. This is especially true for small businesses. That’s because they don’t need a full IT team.
All that is needed is for various experts to spend a few hours from time to time solving the current problems. But if you don’t consider yourself an IT expert, it can be difficult for you to determine if your managed service provider is doing a good job. In a second, you’ll know what to focus on.
Is price the most important aspect?
If you are a small business owner and have contracted with a managed service provider, price is probably one of the most important aspects you have looked at. This is understandable – unlike large companies, you don’t have an infinite amount of money at your disposal. If you choose to bring in a team of outside experts instead of hiring an in-house IT person, chances are your company doesn’t have much of what it needs in terms of IT.
Unfortunately, if you spend less on managed IT services, the effect can be even worse. When problems reappear, the supposed experts may not know how to solve them. In the long run, it may make more sense to hire a more expensive but more experienced IT team.
Are you getting the services you need?
If you haven’t switched to a managed service provider yet, many companies will lure you in with flowery words. You will hear (or see) many reasons why you should choose a particular company. They will likely claim that they can solve all (or most) of the problems your business may face. Well, you’re certainly not looking for someone less knowledgeable, are you?
In fact, it might be a viable option. Depending on the type of business you run, you may not need world-class professionals to grow your business. Of course, it’s better to work with someone smarter, but their expertise may not be needed to solve your business problems.
At the same time, you will probably have to pay a lot more. The ads will try to convince you that this is not the case, but you do not always need the services of the best professionals. Decent can be just good enough.
Is there good communication between you and the health insurance company?
Another aspect of the relationship that you should consider is the continuity of communication with the managed service provider. It’s great when issues are resolved quickly by your MSP, but do these IT professionals explain what the problem was? Do you struggle to reach them even in the middle of the week? If this is the case, it can be a source of frustration.
Are all costs clear?
When you sign a contract with a health insurance company, you need to know in advance how much the different services will cost. Some rogue companies try to artificially inflate the cost of their work. It is very important that you get all the information you need before making a decision. You should also obtain documentation of the process. If you later find that the cost has gone up and you don’t know why, you need to find out why.
You can’t predict what your business will be like a year from now. You may be going through a period of incredible growth, but you may also need to downsize your business. In either case, you may need a different type of support from your health care provider.
If you have a contract with an MSP with a limited number of people on the team, you may need to change MSPs. This does not mean that it is always better to work with large MSPs. If you don’t think your business needs such IT support at this stage, that may be enough.
At the same time, you generally have to spend less money for the same amount of work when you contract with smaller MSPs. However, keep in mind that a lot can happen and your company’s IT support needs can change.In this article, we will look at how to evaluate current managed service providers in terms of reliability, cost, and overall value.. Read more about managed service provider due diligence questionnaire and let us know what you think.
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