A managed IT service provider is a specialized service provider that handles matters related to information technology. In practice, “IT” mostly refers to computers, mobile devices, and the internet in general. However, it also encompasses all the connected topics, and that’s why this kind of work requires specialized people. When looking for these kinds of services, you must also figure out how to filter them based on overall quality. And so, let’s talk about some of the ways in which you can do that.
1. Do Your Homework
With any company, there will be a certain amount of public information to be found. Even with a small company, a little bit of online digging will yield some results. Thus, if the company has ever been involved in anything particularly dishonest or incompetent, there will probably be some record of the results. This also gives you a chance to see how long someone has been in business, as it is usually better to go with people who have established their reputations over a longer period of time.
You might start by going to the U.S. Patent Office’s website, where you can check out any particular patents or trademarks that might belong to that company. Most companies will at least trademark their name, so this will usually be a great place to start. At the very least, it’s a reliable source for basic info about the company and its owners.
You can also look for online reviews at any number of different sites. Just go to your search engine of choice and type (company name) reviews. Again, that will get you started and you can keep digging from there. You might also choose to look the company up on the website of the Better Business Bureau, as they are also a highly reliable source of information.
Internet outages and other IT problems can be very costly. The longer these problems last, the more costly they will be. That’s one reason why you need an IT provider who will be responsive to your needs. It should be easy to get in touch with them, and they should generally be eager to help. When you are dealing with an unresponsive kind of company, you will probably notice quickly.
For a start, here is something you can do: When you call an MSP company to inquire about their services, don’t commit right away. Tell them that you need to think about things and that they should call you back on a certain day. If they really want your business and if they are a responsive company, they should call you back.
3. Proper Credentials
It’s not too hard to find someone who at least claims to be an IT expert. However, degrees and certifications are what separate the actual experts from those who are merely knowledgeable. You should inquire about the training and certifications that are required of the MSP company’s employees, and make sure to ask which technicians will be assigned to your company.
They should be willing to divulge this information, although they may not be able to give out certain personal information about their workers. However, if you are just asking for names and certifications, they should be cooperative. If not, it’s a red flag.
4. Emphasis On Security
Cybersecurity is an area that warrants special attention because cybercrime has become such a big problem throughout the world. In order to counter these increasingly sophisticated threats, intelligence and innovation are required. That’s why a good MSP should put a strong emphasis on security.
From the perspective of an MSP customer, security is one of the main benefits for which you are paying. Having an outside party that can monitor and verify all sorts of data is immensely helpful from a security standpoint. Having an extra layer of monitoring and response is also worth its weight in gold. However, you should make sure that your MSP has put enough emphasis on this crucial aspect. If a server goes down, you can lose a lot of money. However, the potential costs of a cyber attack are much higher.
5. 24-Hour Service
Most of the better MSP companies will offer round-the-clock service for their customers, just because you never know when a problem will occur. If a particular company does not offer 24-hour service, they should probably be avoided.
6. Experience In Your Field
Let’s say you run a real estate company, as an example. When looking for a managed service provider, you would do well to seek out a company that has worked with other realtors in the past. While there are certain constants, IT needs will vary a lot from one industry to the other.
For instance, let’s say that you own a restaurant, and you hire a company that mainly works with heavy industry (i.e., factories). Obviously, a factory and a restaurant are two very different types of businesses, so you can run into a lot of problems. And so, it’s better to choose a company that has experience in your particular industry.
7. A Good SLA
An SLA (Service-Level Agreement) is basically an uptime guarantee. The company is guaranteeing that your internet service will work. Specifically, they should guarantee at least 90% uptime, meaning that the MSP is guaranteeing your internet access for 90% of each month. If your total outage time exceeds 10% in any given month, they are liable for the resulting costs. You always want one of these agreements in your plan.
There are other things that might be mentioned, but these are probably the most important things to seek. It’s generally wise to be careful about your business partners, so a little investigation is well worth the time. Overall, you want a company that displays competency, honesty, responsiveness, and efficiency in every interaction. To learn more, we suggest you call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.