You finally made the leap and decided partnering with an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) is the way to go, or at least the thought has crossed your mind. Great, so your work is done right? Wrong! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your work is just getting started. On the bright side, however, we’re here to be your lighthouse, the beacon that safely guides you through the rough waters and into a harbor’s serenity. Rather than jumping ship, follow our recommendations for selecting an MSP and you can successfully complete your mission.
Factors for thought
Before you walk the plank and sign on the dotted line with an MSP, give the contract, and the company, a thorough vetting. The old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” may have credence in this case. Fly-by-night companies abound, trying to make a quick profit without adequate expertise, experience and evidence. An MSP that promises you everything, but fails to answer how they intend to deliver, is suspect. Also, be wary of a provider that doesn’t ask you in-depth questions about your business, doesn’t try to learn your operating procedures and communicates sparsely. It you see these signs, go ahead and hang the Jolly Roger flag from your vessel. You are in danger and should probably abandon ship.
In a raging storm out at sea, most people would rather be aboard a warship or a cruise liner rather than clinging to a dingy. They are sturdier and longer, giving you a sense of security. This holds true to MSPs as well. Longevity, both in years of operation and typical partnership length with former and existing clients, can give you a clear insight on an MSP’s performance.
Big picture, or small glimpse?
During long months at sea, sailors have hours of reflection time where they can contemplate the meaning of life from all sides. Try to approach your MSP selection the same way. Set clear expectations on what you need out of a partnership and examine an MSP from varying angles. Taking into account the entire scope of a provider, from their services and systems to their efficiency and education, is a more precise compass than drifting in the Pacific blindly.
What are some of the main factors for contemplation? When researching an MSP, think hard about the following:
- Technical aptitudes
- Strategies and solutions
- Contract considerations
- Client services
- Dos and don’ts
Sink or swim
This brief overview can be compared to a treasure map. Clues and directions that point you to a pot of gold. However, wouldn’t you rather have a captain that has previously made the journey many times and can reach your final destination without a navigational prop? At ITC Communications, we steer our own ship. Download our eBook for a detailed diagram on Managed Service Providers, and then get in touch so we can lead the way.