5 Tips to Selecting the Perfect MSP Partner

by | Nov 21, 2016

How to ensure you find the right MSP for your business

If you are looking to work with an MSP (or managed service provider), you know there are a lot of options. So many options, in fact, that it can seem overwhelming. Which means, finding a technology partner that complements your business is no easy task. Here is a list of 5 tips that you can use to help narrow down the field.

  1. Work with an expert. Every business is unique and has a unique set of needs. On the contrary, most managed service providers are generalists, and don’t “specialize” in anything. They offer many solutions for many scenarios. Of course, this is nice if your goal is the streamlining of communications and operations. However, it usually comes at a price. And, what you are sacrificing is expertise. Remember, you need a partner who can add value. When selecting your technology partner, check them out! Look at their blog and website—what kind of information do they have about a given area? Have they published any resources to demonstrate they have thorough experience with the technology?
  2. Make sure your partner is responsive. Business today is 24/7, literally. Clients tend to be less patient and understanding. And, you need a partner who treats business with urgency. Before selecting your technology partner, call them. Do they pick up? How long did it take for them to return your call? How about “after hours” emails? Of course, some MSPs will say (or do) anything to close the deal. Make sure you inquire about the current portfolio of clients. Who are they? What are their success stories? Perhaps you can even ask for a “reference” so that you can get an understanding of what possible response times look like as well as the overall partnership.
  3. Go with the best. Do NOT settle. Make sure you work with the best. Any technology partner you are considering should be able to provide advanced certifications as well as relevant awards and recognitions within their area of expertise. For example, we specialize in business continuity, with a focus on Datto technology. Datto has a tier system to rank its partners, with Elite as the highest level of distinction. Working with an Elite partner not only guarantees extensive experience with the Datto line of products, but it also ensures a higher-level of training, a hardware guarantee and insurance policy as well as access to the most competitive pricing.
  4. Make sure they are proactive.  What is their philosophy on proactive maintenance? Do they do it? How often? And when? You want to make sure any potential partner has a strong point of view on keeping network and such healthy so that you DON’T have a disaster that will cause you business time and money. Proactive maintenance should always occur during off-peak hours so it will not impact business. It’s important to make sure you and your technology partner are on the same page . That said, you will still experience a hiccup from time to time. Make sure the MSP provides a simple means for you to reach their experts when there is a problem in your network. Some MSPs outsource their help desk support, which can lengthen response times as well as degrade the level of communication between you and the MSP.
  5. Discuss the future and the contract. Discuss your long-term vision for the organization. What is your targeted growth? Have a candid conversation. Make sure any partner has a large enough staff to meet both your present tech needs as well as your future goals.  You should also sit down and discuss the contract. Know which services are included and what is incremental. As a potential client, you have leverage so ask the questions now and ask for what you want at the onset.

Selecting an MSP can be a daunting task. We hope you use this checklist when narrowing down the field. Remember, there are options so don’t settle for anything but the perfect fit. Looking for a MSP, who specializes in business continuity? Look no further!

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Tracy Rock is the Director of Marketing at Invenio IT. Tracy is responsible for all media-related initiatives as well as external communications—including, branding, public relations, promotions, advertising and social media. She is one busy lady and we are lucky to have her!

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