WHAT QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK A MANAGED SERVICES PROVIDER BEFORE HIRING THEM?
A rapid growth in the managed service provider market has been seen over the last few years. In a short space of time, this market has grown significantly. and is still growing from what it had been a few years back.
Selecting an MSP is a big decision. Asking questions during the process is very important as it will help you find the perfect MSP for your needs. Read this article to get a few ideas on what questions are very important to ask your managed services provider.
To meet their IT needs, organizations are more commonly looking towards MSP.
Hiring an MSP will cost you less as compared to hiring an entire team of internal IT. It is necessary to understand your MSP. Understanding your MSP is not a difficult thing if you have a proper guideline with you to understand each and everything before becoming a business partner with someone.
Questions to ask the provider before hiring them to make the best decision for your business.
WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALITY?
Before making any decision regarding hiring a Managed services provider, you need to ask the MSP about their specialty. When the company has specialized with just a few things, you are dealing with the proper professional organization. When an MSP offers too many types of support agreements, break-fix, and specializes in every single industry it is a red flag! You want to work with professionals who offer fully managed services and understand your needs..
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH MY INDUSTRY? WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?
Ideally, A company running a business for 3-4 years is good to go. If the company’s operational time is less than three years, the company has to work a lot to fulfil your requirements, and there might be a risk of not fulfilling their promises on time. It would be best if you went through their specialties to understand whether the MSP has any familiarity with your industry or not. It’s your right to demand the previous case studies from your MSP similar to your business. It is better to ask for a reference because longevity is not an absolute confirmation of whether the MSP is a good match for your business or not.
You want to choose a provider who will have experience with your applications and business operations. An MSP is a partner in your business, and it is necessary for them to understand your needs. This allows your IT provider to be able to offer you the best and most proactive solutions for your business.
WHAT TYPE OF AGREEMENTS DOES THE MANAGED SERVICES PROVIDER HAVE?
It is the most critical question for which you need an answer before you commit to it. Your agreement should include several things like scope of the services, length of the contract, any uptime guarantees and most importantly, the MSP’s data security policy. These are a few things to consider. Finally, you want to make sure your provider offers you a service level agreement.
WHAT DOES YOUR SUPPORT PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
Some might assign a point of contact or a technician to your account, others might arrange a help desk where you can email or call, and some provide 24/7 support. You want to work with a provider who will offer you the support you are needing. This could be remote support, and even support on holidays, weekends, and such. Keep in mind that you should ask if after-hours support is at an extra charge.
WHAT IS YOUR IMPLEMENTATION/ ONBOARDING PROCESS LIKE?
The onboarding process is a critical phase of the relationship with MSP. During this process, align your goals, and create a base to get better results from the IT service.
Things that you need to ask before onboarding.
- How does your IT service meet our needs by customizing its approach?
- How will you report us about the KPIs we want you to track for us?
- What will you do to enhance our infrastructure?
It would help if you asked these things before onboarding with MSP. Your MSP should draw a roadmap for you, each with a different approach to lead you towards your goal. Usually you can expect an onboarding to start by getting your business to a comfortable state. After that you can expect projects to begin happening over a pre-determined amount of time.
WHAT SERVICES ARE COVERED AND WHAT ARE NOT COVERED BY THE MSP?
To protect yourself from hidden fees down the road, you need to ask this question at stage one. You should lay out the details of the things you need and then ask the MSP how they will charge you for your plan. Ask them to break down things for you instead of accepting one lump sum. Look for whether they have applied limits on the services like the days when you can call for help or the number of devices in the plan. Don’t let yourself be hit by a surprise fee at the end of the month. A great managed services provider will have a clearly defined offering for you to review. They will spend the time and answer any questions you may have.
HOW DOES YOUR BILLING WORK?
For you and your Accounts Payable team, concise and clear billing is essential. A bill should highlight the amount that you are being charged, what it is for and whether it lines up with the agreement that you had or not. To check whether the managed service provider has all the information you need before your engagement, you need to ask for a bill sample.
HOW DOES THE MSP HELP US PLAN AND PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE?
The right MSP will understand your position and budget and will surely help you build a secure future for yourself. Firstly, they will help you in identifying the risk factors and will take care of those first. With your objectives in their mind, they will proceed further instead of following their sales cycle. It would be best if you found MSP to help you find a solution for a single issue and chalk out a map for you to come over these hurdles and evolve your business in the future.
HOW DO YOU AUTOMATE YOUR SERVICES?
The more automations that occurs within an MSP, the better. This allows the MSP to quickly resolve high level issues. An MSP shouldn’t waste the customers time on routine tasks. Manual supervision is slow as compared to automated alerts. So an automation task reduces the chances of skipping something important with its steps like verification and patching.
You want to work with an MSP that uses automation tools, as they will have more time to focus on any critical issues that may arise. This also leads to faster resolutions and increased uptime for you and your business.
HOW WILL THEY REDUCE YOUR WORKLOAD AND IMPROVE EFFICIENCY?
The accurate answer to this question depends upon your expectations. a fully managed service provider will offer you with all the IT support your organization needs. They will save you time and money by improving your efficiency. The answer to this depends on the industry you are in. A MSP should identify areas for improvements and work with you to fix those issues.
Asking the right questions helps you make an informed decision that is best for you! This is a guide you can use when you interview potential IT providers. However keep in mind that you may have more questions as you go along. Do not be afraid to ask questions, your sales rep is there for you. Finally, you should work with an MSP who makes you feel comfortable and at ease. Generally, MSP’s offer longer agreements so you want to make sure you make the right choice. If you have any questions about the process do not hesitate to reach out to us at 4Leet here. We love to help whenever we can!