Managed service providers are playing an integral role in today’s IT strategies. From server administration to network monitoring, these firms support organizations by using tools, expertise, and processes that enable their IT operations to run as smoothly as possible. While more small and medium-sized businesses are coming to realize the value of the services an MSP provides, what some run into when setting out to find one is confusion.
There are so many vendors in the marketplace, each claiming to be the greatest thing since the internet, that knowing which claim to buy can be difficult. How do you know who to trust? Look for the fundamental qualities that make up a superstar MSP.
As a business owner, IT manager or key player in your organization, you understand the importance of being down for the cause. Sticking to your guns. Staying with the plan and following the course until you start crossing each of your goals off the list. A managed service provider should possess that same fire and determination. The ideal vendor is constantly mapping out new innovations, while rolling out enhancements that improve existing solutions. Like you, they’re riding that never-ending mission to grow and gain a competitive edge.
2. Well Connected
Even some of the biggest and most successful companies owe their success to partnerships. If your MSP is worth dealing with, they’ll be in that same boat. The vendors in this arena depend on partnerships to power their internet connections, software applications, support services and many other elements of the infrastructure. When evaluating different service providers, be sure to browse their websites to find out who they’re teaming up with in the industry. These partnerships are vital to your success, too, so treat this part of the process as such.
Speak of partnership, it’s exactly what you’ll be striking up once you enter an agreement with an MSP. The vendor’s flexibility may ultimately determine whether that partnership succeeds. Some small businesses choose to outsource their whole IT operation to capable third-party hands. That’s cool, but what if you’ve already got your own IT staff and infrastructure? In this scenario, flexibility will make it so you can leverage their capabilities to the level you require and if need be, work alongside their team to meet your objectives.
How long can your systems afford to be down due to technical difficulties? You may find out should your managed service provider fail in the reliability department. So what makes a vendor reliable? Reliability is made of a lot of things, including:
- Around the clock availability (as little downtime as possible)
- Speedy delivery of services
- Superior system performance
- Responsive customer support
An MSP that continually struggles in any of the aforementioned in areas probably will end up folding in the near future. Unfortunately, they can take you down with them.
The MSP market is growing slowly but surely. According to Insight Research Corporation, the global industry is worth roughly $152 billion and will grow by 11.6 percent annually over the next four years. While these numbers paint a picture of revenue, market growth is also driven by new players entering the game. There is nothing wrong with giving a new service provider a chance. They have to start somewhere, but there is something to said about a firm that has a long history in the business. With this history often comes a documented track record of a company that has proven its ability to fully support IT needs and keep customers satisfied.
Choosing a managed service provider to accommodate your IT needs is no easy feat. There is so much that goes into it that it become a time consuming, exhausting and even frustrating process. It’s a tough road regardless of the paths you take, but when you know what to look for and where you’re going, you’ll get there eventually. And isn’t that what the trip is all about?
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