How to Choose the Right Managed Service Provider (MSP)

How to Choose the Right Managed Service Provider (MSP)

When choosing between multiple Managed Service Providers (MSPs) it can be confusing because you are not buying a product commodity, such as a cell phone, clothing item or car. You are investing in a consultative IT solution to take your business to the next level.

Below are some questions you should ask and items to consider to help you make a smart, educated decision.

Reputation

Knowing the reputation of a company is part of your due diligence. Doing a Google search and checking Better Business Bureau ratings is a first step, as well as asking questions along the following lines.

  • How long has the company been around?
  • Do they have a steady base of satisfied clients?
  • Are they able to provide testimonials and references of existing clients?
  • Are they recognized as a leader in the MSP industry by external organizations?

Support Capacity

  • Not all companies have the ability to provide the same type of support. Here are some questions you can ask to find out the real story:
  • Does this MSP have the physical infrastructure to support me now and in the future when my business grows in size and profit?
  • Are they in a commercial building or working out of someone’s basement?
  • Does this Managed Service Provider have an off-site data centre in which they store data?
  • Are their servers and IT equipment up to date and current?
  • Will they take you on a tour of their office to show you how they support their clients?

Small support companies can be very attractive due to their low initial costs (because typically lower overhead costs and man power allows them to charge a discounted price.) The downside to this is support limitations. When you have a one or two man team, they are putting out fires and taking a reactive approach vs taking a proactive approach by investing in advanced monitoring and management tools. The result is lost productivity and revenue in YOUR business if they cannot support you properly.

Work with a MSP Who is Staying Up-to-date With Technology

Beware of IT people who slap a sign on their door and say they are a Managed Service Provider or IT experts. What type of on-going training or credentials is your managed service provider investing in?

Technology is always changing and improving, so being a computer wiz many years ago does not make you a computer wiz today unless you are keeping up with the latest changes.

On-Going Top Notch Advice vs. Set it and Forget It

You want technology to work for you not hinder you, so as your business evolves and changes, you want to make sure technology is not holding back your growth. Your IT infrastructure should grow with your business.

It is important to ask what kind of on-going advice you will receive from your Managed Service Provider and what they will do to ensure they fully understand the short-term and long-term business objectives of your organization.