Want to Hire a Managed Services Provider? Here’s What You Need to Know
by Mashum Mollah Small Business 10 August 2018
If your business is using any form of IT, there’s a good chance an IT issue could cause big problems. It’s because of this, that for many businesses, hiring a managed services provider (MSP) is a good idea.
If you have no clue what an MSP is, that’s fine.
Keep reading and I’ll share all that you need to know about hiring an MSP. By the time you’re finished, you’ll understand how your business can benefit by using the services of an MSP.
What Is an MSP?
An MSP is designed to help you tackle the IT problems that you might experience when running your business. This might include some of the day-to-day problems you may experience with your IT systems, as you’re running your business.
An MSP will also be able to help you better plan the logistics of your IT and any future plans you might have, about IT.
For example, you might want to make it so that you can access your office network, from the comfort of your home. Or you might want to make it easier for remote workers to communicate with one another. An MSP can help you with this.
A robust online MSP marketing strategy will help to boost your business and start seeing an increase in your customer base and ultimately profits. MSP marketing helps your business to derive appropriate online exposure with enhanced audience reach & ROI.
Think About Hiring Someone Who Understands Your Industry
If you’re going to work with an MSP, it helps to hire someone that understands your industry.
Each industry has a set of software that is pretty much only used in that specific kind of industry. Such software can be quite specialized and it can take a long time to learn how such software works. This means that it can also take a long time to work out what needs to be done if the software starts to malfunction.
If you hire a generic MSP service, you’ll likely find that the MSP will take a long time, if there is something wrong. They’ll need to learn how the software works and they’ll also need to research how the problems need to be addressed.
But if you’re working with someone who understands your industry, this is less of a problem. That’s because they’ll have worked with other clients who already use the software you’re having trouble with.
They’ll, therefore, know how to deal with common problems in a short period of time. Even if the problem is uncommon, they’ll still have a good sense of how the software works and thus what needs to be done to fix the issue.
Make Sure They’re Aware of Industry News
You’ll also want to work with someone that is aware of the changes that are taking place in your industry. As mentioned earlier, you likely have to use specific software in your industry. But there’s a good chance that this software will be updated in the future.
This means that you’ll need to update your IT systems if you want to keep everything functioning properly.
If your MSP is not aware of changes in your industry, they won’t be able to notify you of what needs to be done. This can potentially put your systems in a vulnerable position. Especially if older versions of the software are more likely to get hacked.
That said, you also want to make sure the MSP is aware of cybersecurity threats that are affecting your industry. This’ll ensure that they take pre-emptive action to protect you from such threats.
For instance, there may be a specific piece of hardware that needs to be patched, to protect it from a certain vulnerability. If the MSP knows this they can take the needed steps. But if they don’t your opening yourself up to potential hacking issues.
Clarity on Pricing
If you’re going to work with an MSP, it’s also key that there is clarity on how they’re going to be charging you. If you do not have clarity on this, you can end up in a situation where you’ll be charged for things you thought were supposed to be covered.
For instance, some MSP providers charge you a base rate to use their services. But they’ll also charge you an extra amount if you need to use their services to fix a specific problem.
If you have a lot of problems in a specific month, these costs can add up to quite a large figure. If you’d like to learn how MSP companies go about pricing, view here to find out more.
Therefore, make sure you have a long conversation about the pricing structure. You may also want to discuss the costs of hardware.
If the MSP suggests you need to update your hardware, ask them how much you should expect to pay. Some MSP providers will be able to provide you with hardware discounts and so you may be able to enjoy this.
Check for Insurance
You might also want to spend some time checking if they have insurance.
If they don’t have insurance then they might not be able to pay for any mistakes that cause to your systems. This can leave you out of pocket. This can create massive problems, especially if the errors made by the MSP are of significant scale.
Should You Invest in a Managed Services Provider?
A managed services provider can help you focus on your business and not your IT systems. But if you’re going to work with such a company, you need to know how to find the right one for your needs.
Ideally, it helps to work with an MSP that understands the way your industry works. You’ll also want to think about working with someone that provides clarity on the pricing structure.
Insurance is also something that matters. If the MSP does not have the proper insurance, you can end up facing some pretty large bills, if something goes wrong.
In any case, once you find the right MSP for your needs, it will be a big weight off your shoulders. You will feel as though you can trust them, whilst you focus on building your business and taking it to new levels.
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