How To Choose The Right Managed Services Provider For Your Organization In Three Easy Steps
Making the leap to a managed services solution can be a tough choice, especially if all the options available to you are blending together.
While we like to think of managed services as a Netflix subscription to network security, there’s a lot more at stake than a few hours lost to a binge-watching session.
We’ve seen business owners and IT execs struggle to choose a managed services provider. That’s why we put together a three-step process for selecting the right MSP for your organization.
Step 1: Consider What Your Business Really Needs
24/7 support is something we come across all the time. IT directors and business owners often see 24/7 support and think, “Wow, that would be nice!”
While we know you’re grinding away at the office in the early morning hours, most of your organization’s activity occurs during the standard 8AM – 5PM window. Sure, it’s nice to have 24/7 support, but it can be a pricey (and unnecessary) add-on to your managed service package. Make sure that if you’re paying for it, you really need it.
If your organization has one or two local offices, standard workday coverage will most likely work just fine for you. But you may want to stretch the budget if your organization has several locations across several different time zones.
Unless your business has several different nationwide or international locations, it’s a great idea to look for a trusted local provider. If your computer system goes down or you experience a cyber security attack, a local provider can quickly visit your location to put out the fire. If you’re working with a managed services provider two time zones away, or around the world, you’ll be working with someone remotely.
Step 2: Determine How Much You Want To Be Involved With Your MSP
It’s no secret that American workers are some of the most stressed in the world. In fact, this study by the American Psychological Association reported that 61 percent of Americans feel that work is a significant source of stress. For this reason, many business owners and employees enjoy how a managed services provider takes care of the constant network maintenance and disaster recovery tasks without requiring them to lift a finger.
Some of the tasks that a managed services provider can take care of include regular network maintenance like managing user licensing and permissions, updating software, and putting security measures in place to prevent a hack or cyber attack.
If one of your staff members – perhaps your controller or chief operations officer – is shouldering all of these responsibilities as well as their other tasks, it’s easy to see why it might make sense to hire a dedicated outside technology provider.
On the other hand, technology-minded folks often see the benefit of having an outside pro involved in managing their organization’s technology, but they enjoy keeping a hand in the proverbial technology pot. That way, IT directors and business owners can clear their plate, but still be involved in major decision making.
One important thing to remember: you never want to sign up for a Service Level Agreement with an organization that will make costly decisions without your approval. You’re signing up for a monthly flat-rate service. You should enjoy the benefit of knowing the exact amount you’ll be billed every month.
Step 3: Find A Provider You Trust
Once you’ve narrowed down your selection of managed services providers according to what your organization needs and the tasks you want to outsource, it’s time to find the magic partnership that you’ll enjoy for years to come. The best way to make sure you’re signing up with a trustworthy MSP is to do your research.
The easiest first step to finding a trustworthy managed services provider is to Google them. Generally, a reputable company will have a strong online presence. If you see positive feedback from their customers and like what you see online, they are probably worth talking to. Make sure to go to their website to find client success stories and look for organizations you identify with.
One surefire way to get a good sense of your potential managed services provider is to call their clients. Many organizations will provide you a list of references upon request. By talking to other organizations, you’ll get a better idea of how well that MSP’s services are received and what you can expect.
Step 4: Call Gross Mendelsohn For Help
We promised you a three-step process, but we’ll go out on a limb and add a fourth step.
Selecting a managed services provider is no easy task. If you do your research, and get a clear understanding of what your organization needs in the way of technology support, you’ll be well on your way to selecting an MSP. If you need help during this process, or would like to discuss managed services solutions, contact me here or call me at 410.685.5512.
About Bill Walter
Bill, our lead networking guru, loves showing clients how technology can be worked into their existing processes to improve efficiency. His expertise includes high level planning for internal and external networks, research and selection of hardware and software products, and hands-on installation and configuration of networks. Normally a pretty easygoing guy, Bill thinks there should be a law against wearing a Bluetooth headset when it’s not in use.