How to Maximize Your Managed Services Partnership
Today, more than 59 percent of IT services have moved to a managed service contract, transitioning away from the break-fix model. With the steady growth of managed service providers (MSPs) — analysts expect the market sector to grow at a rate of 11.5 percent through 2021 — it’s a predicted shift. It introduces a question for many small to mid-sized businesses, however, and that’s how to get the most from your managed service provider before you sign a contract.
Start by applying the five following techniques as you shop for an MSP.
1. Focus on Building a Partnership
Depending on your company size, you likely have an IT staff member. When your business decides to utilize an MSP, you’re providing your IT department the opportunity to adopt more strategic tasks, such as the development of a custom app. That shift in responsibilities, however, makes it critical that you choose an MSP that’s not only a provider but also a partner. You want a business that’s invested in yours and ready to contribute to your goals, like raising revenue and streamlining processes.
2. Avoid the Pull of Low-Cost Services
Like many industries and markets, some MSPs advertise competitive prices that are too competitive. That’s why, when shopping for MSPs, you should think about the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” While your budget should be a critical consideration when choosing an MSP, it’s vital that you select a provider that’s the best fit for your company — even if it means reconsidering your allotted funds. They can influence your profits, growth and more.
3. Look for MSPs With Advanced Services
With more businesses coordinating with MSPs, demand has grown for advanced MSP services like mobile management and application monitoring. The benefit of choosing an MSP that offers specialized services is that your company can take advantage of those services, whether now or in the future. In comparison, if you pick a provider with a standard service selection, you may find yourself shopping for a new one after growing in size, which will require an investment of your time and company resources.
4. Review Testimonials, Ratings and More
No matter how confident a potential MSP appears on their website, social media or service quote, it’s vital that you look into their testimonials and online ratings as well as any claims submitted by verified customers. While a few reviews may feature negative feedback, your goal is to spot trends. Do they consistently violate their service level agreement (SLA)? Is their customer support challenging to contact? What do they do that almost all reviewers seem to note? Use feedback from actual clients to narrow your choices.
5. Investigate Custom Service Level Agreements
A critical factor when considering a managed service provider is their SLA, which details what you can expect from your MSP’s services as well as if they fail to provide that service. One of the most common SLAs discussed is network availability, which can have a significant impact on your operations. That’s one reason you should ask the MSPs you’re considering about custom SLAs that recognize your company and its daily activities.
Choose the Best MSP for Your Business
As you shop and compare managed service providers, it’s essential to remember that you’re the potential client. The MSP you choose is your decision, which is why it’s helpful if you can select a provider that offers you the most benefits as well as everything you require, such as mobile management. At Consolidated Technologies, Inc., we provide that type of customer-centric experience to clients throughout the New York and tri-state area, which is why more than 2,000 businesses trust our knowledgeable team.