Managed service providers (MSPs) not only take care of the hardware and software components of a company’s IT department, but they also make recommendations and consult for some difficult decisions. The tipping point for a big corporate decision can weigh on the recommendation from an MSP. When making recommendations, the MSP must take a few issues into consideration before determining the right system for the company.
Service and Maintenance
All system and software needs maintenance. Hardware has a good chance to fail, and the MSP needs to fix or replace it. Newer technology isn’t always better if it hasn’t been tested in the current environment. The MSP should be familiar even with new technology, so any errors or failures can be quickly identified and fixed.
Software needs maintenance but in a different way. Software needs upgrades, bug fixes and installation on new systems. Software is often more of a hassle to maintain than hardware. When choosing software, choose an out-of-the-box solution that is scalable to current systems and has all the options needed for business functionality.
The cost is always an issue for any company. Companies pour millions into good hardware and software, but they need the right applications and hardware that meets current and future requirements. But every company has a budget, and the MSP must be sensitive to cost concerns.
When the MSP needs to give some advice for software or hardware, the budget should be considered. The software can be upgraded in the future, and hardware can be limited or virtualized in the cloud for companies that can’t afford the latest technology.
When the MSP needs help, where can he turn? Vendor support is as equally important as IT support. Vendor support includes phone calls, emails, trouble tickets and hotfixes for serious bugs. Vendors that sell software worth millions of dollars should have telephone support at least during normal business hours. Some vendors offer 24-hour support.
In some cases, better vendor support can be a deciding factor when choosing one software or hardware system over another. Some vendors offer free support for a certain amount of issues and others offer support for a fixed rate each month.
Whether it’s a large or small customer, MSP must perform thorough research before choosing any type of software or hardware. The best systems perform seamlessly at the most affordable cost for your customer.