You might be considering making the move to a managed services provider (MSP) to take over key functions (IT) or processes within your company. If your business is growing at a rapid rate, the technological needs might be growing, as well. You may need to hire IT staff or invest in IT infrastructure but may not have the budget to support it. You may need to consider managed services to support your IT staffing and infrastructure without too much initial spending. The right MSP will provide a consultative approach and ensure you stay up to date with your technological needs at a fixed cost.
What are Managed Services?
Managed services is outsourcing tasks of a specific operation of your applications, processes, and functions to improve those operations and manage costs. From an IT standpoint, it’s like hiring a whole department and their expertise without the hiring process. Here are some of the benefits a managed service provider delivers:
- More capabilities to end users.
- IT teams focus on strategic initiatives.
- Focus on core competencies.
- Scale faster.
How To Determine If You Need a Managed Services Partner
The reasons could be many as to why you need a Managed Services Partner (MSP). You might want to enhance your current IT staff because they’re already overworked. You’ve experienced quick growth and need to scale projects. Or maybe you just have an ad hoc project that needs some support for a short period of time.
MSP models have evolved and there are experienced providers who have their teams built to support core competencies. Here’s how you can figure out if you need an MSP:
- Technology is more advanced than your staff.
- You are short staffed.
- You need added support to support potential downtime.
- You need to trim contractors.
What to Look for in a Managed Services Partner
So, now you know what a managed services partner is and have determined you need to partner with one. How do you choose one? There’s no one-size-fits-all, so you need to do your research to figure out if they fit your individual business needs. Here are some essentials of an MSP:
You don’t run 24/7, but your network does, and your customers are in different time zones, possibly even global. Your MSP needs to be available 24/7. There should be someone available to you at any time of day, night, weekend, or holiday. You get the picture. Your company needs a dependable partner.
In addition to being available, your MSP needs to respond to your problems. You shouldn’t be sent to voicemail, or a call center. You should expect a response every time. Not only a quick response, but a response that is tailored to you and your issues. What’s considered urgent or what is able to wait 24 hours? Everything should be in writing as part of the service-level agreement.
Although the MSP isn’t part of your company, they should be invested in your success. A good MSP should be able to help you plan for the future and help with technology planning. They have the ability and you’re partnering with them for a reason – their expertise. The right MSP is proactive and looking ahead with you.
Are your employees fighting their technology more than using it? That’s productivity going down the drain. Your MSP should be a help desk to deliver quick answers on tech support. They should have the knowledge to solve problems, provide instruction, and remote access to efficiently solve issues.
You have to prepare for the worst, no matter how outrageous the situation. Your MSP will help account for disasters from weather, vandalism, outages, and digital attacks. They’ll help develop a plan for the future, how to protect your assets and data, and the recovery process.
A successful MSP knows how to protect your data and keeps it safe and secure. Make sure they’re following best practices for security and that they schedule consistent backups; on and off-site for redundancy. If you’re in an industry like healthcare, you need to make sure they’re HIPAA compliant.
An MSP should be able to come on-site when asked. A local MSP can be a strategic partner and can be a benefit to have someone on location to ensure the best support.
Unitel is Your Trusted Managed Services Partner
Your business relies on technology. Through Unitel’s managed services, your business has access to our expert IT staff 24/7 without the need to hire an entire IT team. We’ll quickly resolve your technological issues and take a proactive approach to prevent any issues from arising. Contact us today, and let’s start the conversation on how we can meet your IT needs.