There are many benefits that you can gain from a managed service provider. These include better security, smoother tech support, less downtime, and lots of good advice. Of course, in order to gain any of these benefits, you have to choose a good managed service provider. This guide is meant to help you learn how to choose the best MSP for your needs.
Tip #1: Look For Industry-Specific Experience
No matter which MSP you choose, they will certainly tell you that they are experts in their field. However, you need to know if they are experts in your particular industry. Even though some tech challenges are universal, every business has its unique ins and outs. Going with an MSP that isn’t familiar with those ins and outs can be a waste of your money.
Tip #2: Read Plenty Of Reviews
One of the easiest ways to gauge the quality of an MSP is to ask their customers. If most of their customers are happy, they are probably doing something right. If not, you might be better served elsewhere. There are a lot of places online where you can read reviews of various companies.
When you do this, you should be aware that not all reviews are honest. Some companies will hire people to “review bomb” their competitors, but it isn’t usually too hard to spot these fraudulent reviews. Most review-bombers have not actually done business with the company, and that’s how you can spot them. When their criticisms seem frivolous or inconsistent, they can be safely disregarded. What we are saying here can be summed up thusly: Read the reviews and evaluate them, but don’t be a slave to them.
Tip #3: Avoid New Companies
Before we go any further, we should say that a new MSP might be a good one. However, the odds are against you on that one. On the other hand, companies that have been in business for a long time are more likely to stay in business. Finding a new MSP is always a chore, and working out the terms of your business arrangement may take even longer. Bottom line: You don’t want to be forced to do that again soon. Look for someone with whom you can establish a long-term business relationship, as those tend to be a lot more stable and profitable.
Tip #4: Customer Support Is Key
Although this is not the first tip on our list, it might be the most important. Let’s ask ourselves: Why make use of an MSP in the first place? The obvious answer is that you need their expertise. Otherwise, there would be no need to hire people from outside your organization. As such, you need to make sure that they are going to be as helpful as possible.
For instance, you should check their customer service policies and see if they have a guaranteed response time for service requests. You should also look at the hours at which they offer support. If you have a lot of remote workers, then after-hours support will obviously be a lot more important. When you first initiate dealings with the company, their overall responsiveness should be evaluated from the very beginning.
Tip #5: Make Sure They’re Properly Insured
There is always the chance that your MSP will make a mistake when dealing with you. Furthermore, there is always the chance that their mistakes will cost you in one way or another. If that happens, you need to know that you will be properly compensated. The only way to do this is to make sure that your MSP has a thorough and current insurance policy. In fact, they need more than one.
For one thing, they need to have general liability insurance, just as any business does. This goes a long way toward establishing trust with an unfamiliar company, but you should also look for one with an “E&O” policy. That stands for “errors and omissions,” and will further ensure that any mistakes made by MSP employees will be covered without delay.
Tip #6: Look For Companies That Charge By The Job
When evaluating a new MSP, one of the most important considerations will be the cost. Even though good service is worth the money, you don’t want to pay more than necessary. For that reason, you should always look at the payment scheme used by any company before employing their services. In general, you want to find companies that charge by the task rather than charging on an hourly basis.
When they are charging by the hour, the MSP and its employees will have every motivation to drag out their tasks. That will lead to more man-hours and more of your money in their pocket. On the other hand, companies that charge by the job will have every motivation to finish things quickly and efficiently. Why? Because they make more money that way! It’s a good example of a win-win situation.
Tip #7: Look For Strong Security Policies
Security is one of the other important reasons for which you might choose an MSP. After all, the establishment of good computer security requires a lot more expertise than the average tech job. As such, the level of security offered will make a good yardstick with which to measure an MSP. For instance, you should look for one that offers encrypted services and secure backup storage, as both of these can be a real lifesaver when things go wrong. It is especially good if your MSP also functions as an MSSP (managed security services provider).
This list is by no means complete, but we think you can get a general idea from these little tips. You should think of your MSP as a business partner, even if they are an indirect one. Hiring PCH Technologies as your managed service provider will enable your business to grow unlike ever before. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please give us a call at 856-754-7500 or schedule a consultation online.