How Do I Choose the Right Managed Service Provider?
You have been currently working with your IT guy for some time and now he is leaving the company. You feel like your monthly IT bill keeps going up. Your system has been hacked one to many times and you are at your breaking point. It’s time to move from the break/fix mentality and go to a managed service provider. How do you choose the right one? What sets them apart? Having worked in the industry for the past 10 years, Protek knows that all MSPs are not alike. Let’s take a few minutes and find out what the benefits of going with a MSP would be for you and your company.
10 things to ask your current IT provider
If you are looking around for a new IT solution, choosing an MSP might be the right choice. Ask your current IT provider these questions to make sure you are getting what you need.
- Process: Do you have processes in place that make sure my system is not only set up properly, but puts me at a competitive advantage over my competition? Do you have Standard Operating Procedures and do you follow them? Make sure you identify the goals you have in your company and ask how your IT can pivot to accommodate the growth that comes from those changes.
- Support: What type of support will I be getting? Remote only or do I have access to a whole team and tech onsite if I need one? Having a MSP team not only sets you up for success, but gives you peace of mind that your IT is in good hands.
- Proactive or Reactive: Is your team proactive or reactive? At Protek, we pride ourselves on being proactive: Active Monitoring and Checklists are a big part of that. The idea is to take the IT out of business for you so you can focus on your business and never have to worry about IT getting in the way. Top providers offer ongoing management and maintenance of the underlying infrastructure, along with end-user support and service guarantees.
- Response Time: How long will it take you to answer my call or get back to me? When you find a company that will process your work ticket quickly, you can feel peace knowing you won’t experience down time that could cost you more money than expected. Because your system will be set up and monitored constantly, you and your employees will have fewer tickets submitted because your system will flow more efficiently. If you need help, it should always be available — days, nights, weekends or holidays — to support users.
- Documentation: Do you have a documentation process? How can I ensure that I don’t have to start over with a new employee if you are unavailable? I want to make sure I have a team of people looking at my account and not just one person. Documentation helps you see trends in your business and also helps you budget for items you need but aren’t in the budget right now.
- Overages: Will I know what my charges will be month after month or will I have unexpected overages on my account? Most of the break fix teams will want you to think you are getting a low price. What they don’t tell you is it is low until something unexpected happens and your bill can go through the roof with unplanned charges. More times than not this is more than it would cost you to be in a fixed monthly plan.
- Product vs Managed Service: What portion of my bill is product vs managed services? How can I ensure I am getting the best price on the products I need to run my business efficiently? No two companies bid things the same. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to managed services. It is important to understand all product charges and confirm that you really need what you are paying for. If you aren’t sure, contact your IT manager to discuss.
- Hourly Rate or Tiered Pricing: Do you have tiered payment options depending on how many users I have or is pricing based on how many hours I need you throughout the month? Most companies give you so many hours of managed services before you are charged. Make sure you are in a plan that works for you and your business IT needs.
- Safety: Do you have a cyber security offering so I don’t have to cross my fingers and hope that I don’t get attacked? What can you do to ensure my employees are also keeping my business safe and secure?
- Reporting: How can I tell the health of my network? Do you have a way I see where the holes are in my current system? How often is this updated?
IT is an ever changing environment. It is becoming increasingly important to hire professional IT providers to help you set up your business infrastructure correctly to minimize the risks you have within your business. Protek sees themselves as a proactive managed service provider. If you are looking for an alternate IT solution, call us. We would be happy to give you a network assessment to show you how Protek can improve your IT infrastructure so you can focus on your business.
Call Protek at 801.999.4767 or at www.proteksupport.com
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.