It’s easy to get lost in a maze of technical qualifications, lists of solutions and cost comparisons when trying to choose the right managed services provider (MSP). It’s an important choice with real consequences for your business. Luckily there are some basic qualities that can point you in the right direction and help you find the right MSP to partner with:
#1 24/7 Availability
Your systems run 24/7, and your MSP should too. This includes round-the-clock monitoring and technical support. Issues should be identified and addressed in real time so that they don’t create disruptions or downtime. The last thing you need is to micromanage your MSP, so you should trust that they’ve got your back any time of day.
Solving issues as soon as they come up is key, but it’s even better to be one step ahead of them by proactively adapting your systems according to business or technology changes. This means joining forces with an MSP with vision that anticipates your business growth and external trends. Your MSP should also be obsessed with continuously adapting and improving their services and solutions.
#3 Tailored approach
A great MSP doesn’t try to squeeze you into a template solution. Every business is different, requiring a tailored approach. Your MSP should put their minds together with yours to think about your business goals and which solutions you need to achieve them. They should also follow up with regular check-ins to review performance and prepare for changes in your business and industry.
#4 The right qualifications
MSPs need the skills and experience on board to meet whatever challenges your business and industry are facing. Checking certifications is a good way of evaluating whether your MSP has the right knowledge for your sector and the type of solutions you require. It’s also good to take a look at their practical experience managing similar environments to that of your business.
#5 One-stop shop
It’s important to get an overview of all the services the MSP offers and how they align to your current and future needs. Do they handle all of these services in-house or do they subcontract? Check out which partners they are working with, what their strengths are and how the manage the workflow between them. Choose an MSP that has everything you need to support you over the long term.
There’s only so many assurances you can get while choosing an MSP. You need to know that you can follow up on their performance throughout your relationship to evaluate whether this is a beneficial partnership. Are your systems running smoothly? Are they doing everything you agreed on and anticipating changes? Having some visibility in the form of a reporting platform is key.
#7 A solid reputation
Once you’ve checked everything else off your list, it’s time for a reputation check. There is no better way to get a feel for how it is to work with an MSP than talking with their customers. Check customer references to get granular feedback on the MSP’s approach and performance. Make sure their company values and standards align with yours. Get a feel for the human side of their business: this can make all the difference!
Want to know how we measure up to all of the above? Get in touch to learn more about Cloudar’s way of working.