So, you are considering taking on a managed services provider, but you need more information. Obviously, the best source for this is the MSP themselves, but you also need to know the right questions to ask. Below is a list of the top 5 questions to ask your prospective IT managed services provider:
Do you bundle onsite services in your main package? In the interest of maximum readiness and responsiveness to critical IT issues, your company will want to have an MSP that can take on any overwhelming network security problems while on-site and with all the tools in their data center diagnostic and recovery arsenal.
How long has your company been in business? This seems like an obvious one, but is often overlooked by fast-moving department heads who are looking for quick fixes, often disregarding the details about the MSP itself. Of course the preference is for those IT firms that have a long, proven track-record, and some kind of official certification, as with Microsoft, Cisco, or other IT sponsor. Look for those with at least six years in the business, and at least a handful of glowing testimonials or recommendations that can attest to their expertise. There are many start-ups that amount to nothing more than upstarts trying to make a buck, so remember to ask for the credentials!
Do you offer single point of contact service? This is a biggie for many busy firms who deal with a lot of different contacts – sometimes so many that it is confusing for them to have multiple points of contact for their outsourced managed services provider. Make sure you have one point of contact, as in “Mike Smith” or “Bob Jones,” so that all of your staff will know the name, as well as phone number, email, etc. of that contact person, and be much more able to make assured contact and communicate any and all IT problems to them within minutes.
Do you have offsite or onsite help desk services? Most MSP help desk services work in one of two ways: they either staff from outside the company, or within it. Having in-house, onsite IT help desk team members gives you an advantage in a number of ways, not the least of which is that you will know, in-person, if they are up to par or not.
What size is your staff? You want to have enough IT MSP staff on hand to be able to address any and all problems, but you of course don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen. The fewer the staff with the more individual expertise possible is optimal. And of course, cost plays into it. If it will cost you less to have four who can do the same job as two or three at 30% more, that may work better for you if cost is an issue.
You may think of other salient question when asking about managed IT services. Every trend in the IT world poses new questions, so follow the news and this blog for more on MSPs and how to determine their worth to your SME, LLC, startup, or large corporation. CSP, Inc is the leader in providing managed IT services in Raleigh. Contact our expert IT staff at (919) 424-2000 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to answer your questions.
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