Choosing the Right MSP
Choosing the right Managed Services Provider is key, as we all know a managed service provider (MSP) is the best outsourced IT model a business can have. But like many things, the devil is in the details, so how do you know when you have come across the right MSP for your business? Try to keep these 6 simple qualifications in mind when interviewing an MSP for hire:
1) Do they have experience serving other companies of your same size or field?
It is very important when looking at a potential MSP, that you look at their current clients. Look for companies that are within your general field of work (don’t worry, they don’t have to be your competitors!), or clients of your same size. You need to be confident that they can handle a business of your respective size and adequately meet your needs!
2) Do they follow industry standards?
It is also important to look at the industry standards of a Managed Services Provider. Generally they should have certified technicians, be capable of cloud computing and have been independently audited to insure quality.
Among other qualifications and standards, these are the most common. Look at what will be necessary to your business then look at the options.
3) Do they have certified technicians?
As mentioned above, technicians need to be certified as a general qualification. But this point deserves more explanation, the right MSP needs to be qualified in your particular needs. Look for MSPs that are certified in processes your business uses regularly.
Obviously most if not all MSPs will be versed in outlook and your operating system, but if you use any more unique programs make sure your MSP can effectively monitor those processes.
4) What is their availability, in the case of an emergency?
Of course no matter the preventive measures that are the MSPs bread and butter, there is still the chance that things go south. Where your MSP will be during all this is key, are they going to ride the storm with you at a moments notice or do you have to wait until Monday? It’s worth keeping in mind when they will be available if you need it.
5) Do they properly document work so that you have accurate records?
This seems like a common sense thing to provide, but unfortunately is not always provided, especially if your dealing with a tech by tech basis. For example one technician might be very professional at providing documentation, while another is less than optimal. Make sure there are standards set in place for all technicians to document exactly what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how they did it.
Expect to be confronted with some tech lingo, but don’t settle for anything that is not easily read or explained to even the least tech savvy person (within reason). Remember, if something is not clear, clarify it.
Finally, Do you trust them?
Arguably the most important thing to look for in the right MSP. This is key for the simple reason that this company is going to have access to EVERYTHING connected to the network. Mostly they will also hold all of your network keys, passwords and other forms of sensitive information.
Don’t allow this to scare you from seeking an MSP, but realize that trust must be a key factor. Make sure you trust their practices and leadership, most of all make sure they are willing to be as transparent as possible and completely so when dealing with your network.
Remember to seek out their other clients and inquire if they are happy and satisfied with their services, most importantly make sure they trust them.
Here at Protek we strive to provide the best service a Managed Services Provider can, providing our clients with the most effective tools and options. To see a full list of the services we provide and why we are your number one trusted Utah managed services provider, see here.
To read more about Managed Services Provides see our article:
Or read these amazing articles:
TechTarget’s article: Managed Service Provider (MSP) Definition
ImagineIT’s article: Understanding Managed Services
Gartner’s MSP Definition: Managed Service Provider (MSP)
Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.