Not many operations can boast about an IT team that has the size, experience and knowledge to fulfil all the needs of a growing business, especially in the SMB and SOHO space. Instead, they rely on qualified and responsive IT partners to lighten the load and ensure operations have all the tools to succeed.
If you’re one of those businesses, looking to grow your online presence and develop new connected services, then here are some key indicators that your prospective partner will help you thrive in this new digital economy.
Accreditations and Experience
One of the best ways to assess the knowledge and technical understanding an MSP has is by looking at their accreditations and these can be broken down into several subcategories:
If you rely on hardware or software from a specific vendor, it makes sense to find a partner that has been vetted by that manufacturer. There are usually levels of accreditation too, often with silver, gold and platinum tiers to show just how much they understand the vendor’s products.
Accreditations such as Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001 don’t speak to an MSPs prowess on a specific technology or product, but demonstrate their understanding of the wider operational concerns and procedures to ensure a secure online operation. These sorts of accreditations are open to any business, and an MSP should certainly have them if they are to offer a high-quality service to your business as well.
Response Times (SLAs)
A Service Level Agreement (SLA for short) defines how quickly you can expect a fix for a specific issue or resolve a support ticket. This gives you an idea of their availability and ability to solve issues in real-time. Obviously, the smaller the time frame, the better, but shorter time frames normally mean a higher price too.
Checking an MSPs website for customer testimonials is a great way to gauge their level of customer service and a successful partner should have many to show-off. You could even ask for a reference from a current customer if you have any hesitations.
Cost and Transparency
The best MSPs will be incredibly honest about their costs and charges and understand that you need a clear idea of where your money is going. That means regular updates and reports to prove your return on investment, and no charges that you weren’t expecting.
Depending on the size and spread of your organisation, you may want to find a partner that is close to your site, to ensure that on-site support is available, if required. However, with so many aspects of your operation being online and the ease of remote access, you’ll be able to save money by finding a service that doesn’t include on-site support.
Flexibility and Scalability
As your business grows, you want your partner to offer the same level of support and service. So, consider what your needs may be like in a few years’ time and whether your new partner will be able to scale their support and flex with your growing needs.
Level of Service
Probably the most important factor is the level of service they provide, whether that’s a broad range of offerings, fast response times or a dedicated account manager that will answer every call and any need. Though, it’s also important to consider the personal level of service – how cheerful are the staff? How prepared they are for your meetings? etc.
The right Managed Service Provider will differ from business to business, depending on the specific needs, size, industry and many other factors. But no matter your operation, these elements are only part of the story…
“You’ll know you’ve found the right partner when you get that gut-feeling, rather than something you can evaluate. So, trust your instinct, but make sure to consider all of the other factors above before you make your final decision!”
MoonComputers can support your journey to a leaner, faster, more productive future. With over two decades of experience and a highly qualified and accredited technical support team, we will ensure your entire operation is reliable and consistent, so you can grow with confidence. So, get in touch to launch your business to a better tomorrow.