If you have made the choice to go with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) the next step would then be to find and interview your potential companies. This process can seem a little overwhelming. We have compiled a list of questions and requirements to keep in mind as you start interviewing MSPs. Partnering with the right company will increase efficiency within your company and will essentially be an extension of your business.
Quick recap: Do you need an MSP?
On our last blog we talked about the difference between an MSP or simply outsourcing your IT services. A Managed Service Provider is a company that remotely manages a defined set of day-to-day IT services for its customers. If your company is growing, this is a great option to consider.
How do you choose a Managed Service Provider?
So, you’ve made the choice to start researching and finding a company to partner with. But what is next? How do you choose the best one for your company? As with any decision, it is a good idea to weigh your options and go in to interviews prepared.
- Is managed services their primary business function?
There are many companies that offer some forms of managed services, however their primary business focus is not MSP. A true MSP will be dedicated to primarily delivering their managed IT services.
- Are they willing to provide client references?
Your MSP should be able to give you references for clients that are either in the same industry and/or similar to the size of your company. Don’t be afraid to ask for those. References can offer insight into who you could potentially be working with.
- Can the MSP provide on-site assistance if needed?
Issues arise often in business and sometimes the situation will require the need for your MSP to come out and fix it. Location is a factor to consider when looking into companies to partner with.
- Ensure backup and data recovery processes are in place
This is one of the most important services to enquire about. No one plans for a catastrophic event to take place, but unfortunately, they do happen. It is important to find out what the procedures are and what they have in place for these just in case scenarios.
- What VOIP system do they utilize?
More and more companies are switching to this method of communication over regular phone lines. It is important to find what system they utilize.
- Firewall and Antivirus
Finding out if they have the ability to support, monitor, and manage your firewall is very important for security reasons. Also enquire about the kind of antivirus they use as well as if it is a managed product.
These are just a few items to keep in mind as you start interviewing companies. You may come up with your own questions or think of some aspects that are important to your specific business. The bottom line is that you are looking for someone you trust and can rely on and someone that will partner with you to see your business be more efficient.