10 Things To Look For In A Managed Service Provider (MSP)

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What is a Managed Service Provider? A MSP provides proactive IT support, such as:

  • Application Management: Application support, updates, and installs. Working directly with providers for troubleshooting and incident resolution.
  • Held Desk Support: Support for end-users, including resetting passwords, login help, basic troubleshooting, incident reporting, and tracking.
  • Vendor Management: Client liaison for technology providers, including direct contact, troubleshooting, incident resolution, and account management.
  • Device Management: Proactive monitoring of servers, workstations, and network devices.

Here are the top 10 qualities to look for when selecting a MSP for your business:

  1. Latest technology. A MSP should have the ability to offer a comprehensive suite of technology solutions. A fully equipped managed service provider offers support for virtual infrastructures, storage, colocation, end user computing, application management capabilities and more. They can manage a service level agreement (SLA) starting at the application layer all the way up the technology stack.
  2. Budget Productively. Pricing agreements should be predictable and upfront. For instance, look for a MSP willing to offer unlimited and concurrent software licensing, which will improve scalability in users, data volume, and matters without incurring additional costs, along with all-inclusive functionality.
  3. Availability and Response Time. When choosing a MSP, you must make sure your provider is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your business depends on it. Not only does your provider need to be available all the time, they need to respond quickly to your needs and problems. Make sure that your provider doesn’t forward calls to a call center, but actually responds in a timely manner. Look for a guaranteed response time.
  4. Scalability. Your provider should have the ability to handle, process, host, and store large amounts of data either on or off site. They should be transparent in explaining their data center capacity constraints or limitations.
  5. Customizability. Your business is not one-size fits all. The best MSP providers tailor their approaches to each client and unique need, customizing their services to match the client’s requirements and objectives. It begins at the design phase, and businesses should look for a service provider with the expertise to modify each architecture based on individual business goals.
  6. Superior Application Management. An MSP should offer next-generation unified communications and solutions that enable businesses to conduct integrated, personalized and real-time communications using video, voice, data and other channels. Moreover, an outstanding MSP will understand how to optimize application and network performance in alignment with the objectives of the business and the needs of the end users, both within the business and with outside users such as suppliers and customers.
  7. Security. An effective MSP must have a sound, tested infrastructure and operational fabric. A business should have the flexibility to architect and design its infrastructure with security and disaster recovery elements across data centers and geographies.
  8. Accountability. A great MSP provides strong governance and is a trusted, accountable adviser. They’re not just a vendor but an extension of the customer’s IT department that also makes recommendations on the organization’s technology road map. The provider should understand the customer’s business applications and what they mean to the customer’s broader value chain.
  9. Confidentiality. The provider should have experience handling confidential and proprietary information and should have mechanisms in place that facilitate protecting sensitive data.
  10. Customer-centric mindset. Businesses should select a MSP with a clear, customer-oriented mindset and support ecosystem. This support should be readily available and should result in swift attention and escalation to other service channels, if necessary. Reducing costs and improving efficiency should be the objectives of all managed services arrangements.

Keeping your organization’s IT operations running day and night should be objective of your MSP. They should support many different types of industries and offer multiple choices of IT Support Plans that are attractive for any sized organization. Ultimately, look for a MSP that includes all aspects and components of your business environment at a predictable price.

Learn more about Managed Services here.

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