Today, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly reliant on technology. This is why you need a reliable managed IT services provider (MSP) at your side to maintain and optimize your IT systems for your business's needs. When searching for an MSP, consider the following six factors:
Read also: Ultimate guide to managed services
1. Expertise and industry recognition
Look for an MSP that has a team of IT professionals with up-to-date certifications and licenses under their belt. See to it that they are experts in the specific technology areas that you need help with, such as cloud computing and cybersecurity. Moreover, check if they have received industry awards and accreditations, as these prove their expertise and reliability.
2. Relevant experience
The best MSPs have been in business for many years and have a lot of experience working with different types of organizations. Make sure that your potential MSP has worked with companies that are of the same size and industry as yours. After all, the needs of SMBs are different from those of large enterprises, and the same goes for businesses from different industries. By having relevant experience, the MSP can better understand and address your company’s unique needs.
IT issues may occur beyond business hours, so it's important to partner with an MSP that offers round-the-clock support. Find out what type of support they offer after business hours and on holidays. Can they offer on-site IT support or will their support be limited to remote assistance, whether by phone, email, or live chat? Try calling your MSP's hotline at night and see if they answer. Alternatively, you can get in touch with some of the MSP's clients to get a third party’s perspective.
What’s more, ask for guaranteed response times in your contract. Your contract should also include the MSP’s escalation process, contingency plans, and corresponding penalties should they fail to handle your issue right away.
MSPs offer different pricing structures, so you need to find one that fits your budget and business needs. Compare the rates of a couple of providers before making your decision. Make sure you clearly understand how they will bill you and what is and is not included in their service.
5. Third-party vendor partnerships
Look for an MSP that has partnerships with the technology providers of the IT solutions your business uses. For example, if you are using Dell computers and Microsoft software, then go for a Dell Registered Partner and a Microsoft Registered Partner MSP like SpectrumWise. By working with an MSP with such partnerships, you can rest easy knowing that your business’s tech is handled by experts who are backed by world-renowned technology leaders.
A great MSP has a thorough understanding of your existing IT environment, challenges, and business goals. It takes time to gather such knowledge, so choose an MSP with a stable business that will be around for many years. By having a long-term partnership with that MSP, you are assured that your IT infrastructure will be more scalable and aligned with your company goals.
You can evaluate the MSP's stability by considering the following factors:
- Number of years they have been operational
- Number of existing clients they have and their customer retention rate
- Workforce size
- Their financial rating and credit score
For over 20 years, SpectrumWise has been helping SMBs in Charlotte meet all of their IT needs. We can do the same for you so you can focus on growing your business and boosting your bottom line. Schedule your consultation with us today.