New year, new partner: Guidelines in vetting managed services providers

New year, new partner: Guidelines in vetting managed services providers

When you sign up with a managed IT services provider (MSP), you assume they’ll take good care of your IT needs so your enterprise runs smoothly while you focus on other important matters. However, if you feel that your current provider can no longer keep up with your company’s needs, or is not delivering the expected savings, it may be time to look for a new partner.

MSPs promise they will provide the best IT service for your company. But MSPs differ in industry experience, pricing, flexibility, offered services, and level of commitment, among others. To ensure that you’re partnering with the right provider, consider the following qualities:

#1. Efficient service levels

Your MSP should assure you that your IT infrastructure is in good hands. You can assess their competence by examining your service level agreement (SLA), a contract that dictates the standards the MSP should meet. This normally covers responsive customer support, high uptime, comprehensive security, speedy delivery of services, and round-the-clock availability.

Your in-house IT team won’t always be around to monitor your systems and fix issues when they come up, so you’ll want your MSP to be available at all times. The provider should be able to detect problems and respond to them before they become bigger issues that could affect your operations.

#2. Technical expertise

When vetting MSPs, check if their services suit the needs of your enterprise. They should be well-versed in such aspects as technical support and maintenance, custom app development, data backup, virtualization, and cloud computing, among others.

Visit the websites of the MSPs you’re considering to compare services, partners, and prices. For instance, if you need assistance with Office 365 and Windows, it’s ideal to look for those who have a Microsoft Certified Partner status. Eliminate those that don’t have the services you’re looking for until you’ve picked out the best.

#3. A proven track record

MSPs are highly skilled IT professionals equipped with various certifications and licenses. The ideal ones have a proven track record with years of experience and an excellent history of satisfied clients. Consider this before signing any contracts and developing any partnerships.

Look at client testimonials on the MSP’s website and see if their experiences are applicable to your business. Check for customer reviews and case studies on third-party websites. And find out who their past clients are to have an idea of how trusted they are in the industry.

#4. Cloud-ready

More and more businesses are embracing the cloud for faster and more efficient operations, and your enterprise has to keep up with this too. Research company Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers in favor of cloud-based services.

Cloud computing also plays a large role in disaster recovery and business continuity. It’s costly to have a second data center for your backup, as this wastes physical space. Trust an MSP that can help you migrate your documents to the cloud with ease; not only is this more sustainable for your firm, it also ensures smooth recovery in any disaster.

#5. Accessibility

Compared to your in-house IT staff, your MSP will remotely monitor and maintain your systems and infrastructures. However, this setup isn’t always infallible, given that downtimes can also happen anytime. Proximity to your office is an essential factor to consider.

Let’s say a number of your computers are malfunctioning and online tools aren’t enough to fix them. Having a partner MSP near your place of business will really come in handy. They can come in anytime to resolve all ongoing issues.

These are some main points to consider when vetting MSPs. Remember that the provider shouldn’t just be an entity that handles your IT infrastructure, but it should also be a partner that contributes to your success.

Are you in need of a new MSP to handle all your IT needs? PC Lan Techs provides flexible and proactive solutions for your enterprise. We understand that operating at 100% is a must for your business. Call us today, and let’s celebrate the new year with a new partnership.

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