Your company has decided to partner with a local Eugene-based MSP in order to handle its growing needs in the IT department.
But, how do you choose the right Managed Services Provider for you?
First we have to understand our needs and wants. Understanding the pain points in IT means understanding that the major needs come first, and the wants can be secondary. This ensures critical security infrastructure is addressed and in place in the beginning.
MSPs offer a wide range of solutions and services and your company might not need them all. It is important to start identifying your goals before contacting a provider for a meeting.
Taking the process slow and carefully will allow your company to make a strategic decision that will fulfill your needs and more.
Let’s take a further look at how MSP services should be purchased.
MSP’s offer a wide array of IT services and solutions and while they are all important for driving up productivity and security, you might not need them all at once. Therefore, before reading too far on MSP services pages and sales collateral, try to identify the parts of your business where technology is causing the most headaches in IT right now.
For example, maybe you have a strong Project Manager who is overseeing IT for the time being and as your headcount is growing, he is spending more time fixing computers than doing his important projects!
Another common scenario is that as companies grow, the security risks increase and get more complex. Is your current IT department providing multi-layered protection, disaster protocols, and security awareness training? What if you do not have an IT department at all and only rely on a firewall?
MSPs cannot solve problems they do not know exists and this is why identifying your business’s technology pains matters.
If you want help understanding the technology pains suffered throughout the firm, a good way to go is by asking your colleagues about it.
Hand-in-hand with the previous task of writing down anecdotal examples of pains, it’s important to involve different perspectives because it allows you to make a more informed decision.
Some department heads might have unique pains or plans that affect IT in some way.
For example, is your sales department using an outdated CRM? Is the productivity of customer-facing employees being jeopardized because of outdated software? It is very common for businesses to avoid upgrading, switching, or reinforcing existing business applications because of the perceived complexity of the task or pricing.
However, this is why pinpointing these specific needs is important, to make sure the MSP is aware and to give you and your team advice. This ties back to knowing what challenges your business is facing with its current IT setup and what solutions it actually needs.
MSPs that have experience in your industry will understand your challenges better. You can find out by reading the testimonials on their website, or simply by asking them for references of happy clients that are similar to you.
Besides vertical expertise, good MSPs should include guarantees present in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Warranties, client and provider duties, and protocols for when problems arise should all be detailed. The agreement also helps hold both parties accountable and can serve as a benchmark to measure MSP level of service and performance.
Finally, consider their process of delivering strategic advice. They shouldn’t be only fixing IT headaches. Their main goal should be to help bring technology planning and ideas to the table that will help your business move forward.
One of the main goals of partnering with an MSP can be because it is a cost-saving solution to the IT needs of your business. However, purchasing MSP services is not exclusively about pricing. While pricing can be a determining factor, it should not be the sole reason for partnering up. Hiring an MSP is about strategically partnering with a third-party provider to solve your company’s specific IT needs. The MSP should fill the IT gap and improve on your organization’s existing strengths.
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