When you’ve decided to outsource some or all your business-critical IT functions, the real work begins. Finding the right partner for your organization isn’t easy. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all provider who can be considered “the best” and right for every organization. Different MSPs will be better partners for you than others. Sorting through these providers will take time, but we’ve come up with seven key details to look for in a provider to help you make the best decision for your organization.
1. Sharing their Strategic Roadmap
Not only should they be willing to evaluate your short-term goals, but they should also be willing to share with you a vision and a detailed plan. This window into their operation should give you an understanding of the experience the firm has and what kind of partner you will have moving forward. If an organization is not prepared to present this information or not willing to share, that should be a red flag that they have something to hide, or they do into having the experience you would want from a managed service partner A good partner that will be transparent, share their roadmap, & can be counted on to execute their plan for your organization.
2. Alignment with your Biggest Partners
If you have a G-Suite or you’re partnered with Microsoft, you want to make sure the Managed Service Provider you choose aligns with those partnerships. If your organization uses Microsoft, that can mean looking for a Microsoft Gold Partner. If your preference is G-Suite, that can mean looking for a Google Certified Partner. If your managed service provider has these partnerships and certifications, you can rest easy that the staff at that MSP will be trained and well-versed in managing these essential platforms.
3. Dedicated Account Manager
Your Account Manager is your customer advocate. They are your voice and your liaison to ensure communication is managed efficiently between both organizations. They will learn your business, and they will understand that your needs don’t just fit in a box. They keep your best interests at heart and make the right recommendations for you. A dedicated Account Manager will have regular meetings and calls with you to stay current with the changing needs of your business, understand your long-term goals, and be there to help you sort through all the details.
4. Regular Vulnerability Scans and Maintenance
A trustworthy MSP should run annual, if not quarterly, vulnerability scans. These scans are important to ensure your organization is not open to attack from outside sources. Along with these regular scans, the Managed Service Provider you choose should also have a cybersecurity suite. Cybersecurity is an incredibly important part of technology support.
5. Advisory Services
A reliable Managed Service Provider will offer advisory or consulting services. When these services are made available to you, it is an indicator that this organization wants to partner with you to help ensure your long-term success. Advisory services typically start with an in-depth understanding of your organization and your goals. If an MSP is not interested in recommending you or learning about your goals, you may be getting a cut-rate service.
6. The Right Employees
In vetting an MSP, you get to know the leadership team, business development staff, and maybe some of the more strategic technical staff. Before making your final decision, however, you should inquire about the front-line staff. For the day-in and day-out support, this team will be the team you work the most with. These are some important questions to ask:
- What is their employee retention?
- How long has the average employee been there?
- What certifications do individuals hold?
- Do you outsource any of your services?
7. Project Work that Works for You
Project work is something that most organizations need at some point. This could be needed when you onboard to get your organization in working order or further on down the line to align your technology with your goals. Either way, it is important to get clarity on project work before you partner with a new MSP. Some MSPs do not charge extra for project work – it is rolled into your monthly cost. Be cautious if this is the case and ask about the typical timeline for projects and the number of hours per month that could be dedicated to your project work. Projects under this structure may not be completed during your ideal timeline.
8. Application Support
When your key applications, such as QuickBooks, aren’t working, you’ll need a team who can help you. As important as strategy and partnership are with your technology partner, it is just as important to know the details of what the team has experience supporting. This ensures your team will be able to stay up and running.
9. A Good Cultural Fit
The importance of a cultural alignment with your Managed Service Provider cannot be understated. If both parties agree on what is important, you’ll be able to build a longstanding mutually respecting relationship and partnership to carry your organization to the next level.
10. Open to Hybrid Relationships
Over the years, GadellNet has developed uniquely structured relationships with partners. There are times when we are the sole technology provider for a client; there are times when we are supporting a team that is already in place, and there are times that we work with a single IT individual at an organization until they are ready to retire. There are variations in each relationship, and they are carefully tailored the organization’s needs. It’s important to ensure the partner you work with will create a personalized partnership that will supply a positive impact for your organization.
Need help breaking up with your current Managed Service Provider?
It’s not you; it’s me!
A common fear we see with new clients who want to “break up” with their old provider is that they don’t know where to start. We know It’s a tough conversation to have, but don’t worry, you can lean on our team to help. If you can make an introduction, our team will work with your previous provider to get all the information they need to get you transitioned to GadellNet support.
Usually, a simple introduction email with our team copied will do the trick. We can typically take it from there.
Want to learn more about GadellNet’s services and team? Contact us today!