Some SMBs partner with a Managed Service Provider, only to find out that things are what they imagined.
Response time is lacking. They still regularly have IT issues. And the team as a whole isn’t comfortable with the technology they are using.
So what happened?
Did you talk about communication?
First and foremost, communication with your Managed Service Provider matters a great deal. If you don’t address communication before a Managed Services agreement is signed, then you will have problems.
This goes above and beyond simply knowing how to contact your provider when an issue arises.
You need SLAs.
How long will it take to resolve an issue after a request is submitted? And when the issue is being worked on, how will the MSP communicate progress with your team?
You also need routine reviews and assessments.
During these meetings, it’s important to discuss many facets of your company’s relationship with its provider. For example, is the MSP handling requests in a timely fashion? Are they engaging with your team and helping them understand what’s going on and why? What’s in store for the future of your business and how does technology fit into that?
Did you talk about pre-existing issues?
If you jump into a relationship with someone without knowing their past or even their plans for the future, that’s a recipe for nothing good.
This same concept holds true for your MSP.
If your MSP doesn’t understand where your company is, how it got there, and where it wants to go from here, then how can it effectively solve any of your problems?
In this instance, the only things you can count on are hurdles and confusion.
At the end of the day, your company needs a solution that is custom to how your team operates. The only way to achieve a truly custom solution is if an MSP understands the past, present, and future of your business.
Did you find a provider who cares about more than just IT?
One of the biggest differences between a Managed Service Provider and your typical IT repair shop is that an experienced, professional MSP focuses on your business as a whole.
In other words, they don’t just fix issues and leave you to it. They care about how your technology affects the growth and general sustenance of your business.
This means that they won’t always give you the quickest, easiest resolution to your problems. They’ll work with your team to identify the solutions that best fit your current needs, as well as your future goals.
Are you taking advantage of everything they offer?
A good MSP has built an offering that takes care of the majority of an SMBs IT needs. However, business professionals are always looking for different ways to cut costs — and a lot of the time, they make technology one of those ways.
As a result, they pick apart an MSPs offering to only take what they absolutely need and nothing more — all in an effort to reduce costs.
This is a bad idea.
You see, an MSPs offerings can cover all the bases — from network security and data backup to automatic updates and strategic consulting. If you decide to cut one for another, then this could create a ripple effect. For example, you tell yourself data backup isn’t important and you only agree to basic network security. As a result, ransomware slips through your minimal defenses, and with no backups in place, you lose data.
It’s important not to pick apart something that shouldn’t be picked apart.
If you’d like to learn more about what a good Managed Service Provider can offer your business, then check out How Managed Services Can Save Your Business Time.