Getting the right MSP for your company can be a daunting task, especially with the many companies to choose from.
To avoid the wrong managed service providers (MSPs), it’s essential to do due diligence by asking questions to get you to the bottom of how good an MSP is.
You can ask several questions, but it’s important to note that not every service provider will give you the answers you’re seeking.
For starters, questions will vary depending on your business goals and level of growth.
Below are some of the most common questions that’ll give you an insight into how good your MSP is.
Questions to Ask a Potential MSP
When hiring managed services, it’s important to note that they do not come to replace your IT but to complement it.
This, therefore, means the managed service provider and your IT team have to be compatible for your company to operate efficiently.
By asking questions, you’ll know whether they offer the right business tech for your company.
Have these questions in mind when shopping for a managed services provider for your organization.
What Is Your Pricing Structure?
It’s essential to know how the MSP’s actual pricing of its services.
Could it be a fixed rate? Do they charge for milestones? Or are the prices custom-made to fit your needs? Does the MSP have a user pricing structure?
Knowing what billing structure the IT company aligns with your business budget.
Do You Offer Co-Management Options?
Hiring an MPS with an all-or-nothing model when you have a fully functional IT department means you will be overpaying for their service plans.
Ask if they are offering a co-management option in their project management style.
If that is the case, your internal team will take up some of the responsibility of managed service providers, which means you’ll be able to negotiate a cut in the price.
With this model, the MSP will augment your internal resources, not replace them, which is the motive anyway.
Have your potential MPS clearly explain their project management and decide depending on company needs.
How Much Do You Charge For Your Services?
Do your potential providers offer customizable prices?
It’s important to know your company’s needs and decide on an MSP you can afford.
Most MSPs will offer tailored solutions depending on your level of management needs or business models.
This question will help you know if the MSP you want to hire offers some flexibility or is too rigid for your liking.
Who Are Your Customers
While looking for a trusted MSP for your company, it’s essential to get it right the first time.
As part of the due diligence, you need to check your potential MSP’s past reviews.
Who are their customers? Are they satisfied with their work? Do the customers feel that the MSP is trustworthy and reliable?
Reviews are a good way of gauging an MSP’s quality of service.
How Are You Going To Handle Our Data Security?
When it comes to outsourcing business data, security is paramount.
You don’t want to deal with data breaches that’ll cause your company money or reputation.
Knowing the security measures and business technology the MSP is using is vital for the safety of your data and sometimes for compliance with state regulations regarding Cybersecurity.
You stand a better chance of pinpointing the perfect solution for your business if the MSP you’re eyeing has a reputation for making every customer happy.
Do You Proactively Scan Systems To Identify Tech Issues Before They Happen?
It’s important to know the discovery process of your potential MSP.
The MSP should always scan your networks to identify gaps and take corrective measures before they happen.
Don’t go for an MSP who’ll propose an offer based on what you’ve told them about your network. You want an MSP who’s keen on accuracy at all times.
Constantly scanning your systems will provide valuable and timely insight into equipment lifecycle, potential security issues, and inventory management, ultimately leading to efficiency in your organization.
How Often Do You Renew Your Contract?
What contract terms does your potential MSP offer? Most MSPs offer both one-year and three-year contracts.
If you opt for a one-year contract, you may benefit because, during that period, you’re simply testing out.
The only downside with annual contracts is that you may pay more, and getting another MSP may be daunting.
Therefore, a three-year contract may benefit you more, but it’s also important to negotiate the cause of termination clause so that it’s a win-win for both of you.
Since most MSPs offer the option of auto-renewals in their contracts, constantly check on their performance after every six months to help you make a transition if there is a need.
Do You Have Hardware and Software You’d Recommend for Us?
A skilled and reliable MSP should recommend high-end business technology for you.
As a rule of thumb, be sure to check what they’ve installed for you against the industry recommendations to know if they care about your technological advancement.
Do You Have Service Level Agreements (SLA)?
A service level agreement is a contract between you and the MSP that guarantees that they’ll perform a certain amount of service uptime.
Usually, if the MSP doesn’t honor this contract by not providing the service as agreed, measures like refunds or free services are offered after the term of the SLA.
In your SLAs, you should also consider response time too. This will ensure that the MSP responds to your needs on time, thus reducing downtime.
Hiring an MSP who offers SLAs should be a plus to your company because it’ll shield you from scrupulous dealers who provide mediocre work.
Is Your Company Accredited?
Working with an accredited company offers a level of comfort you cannot discount.
Certifications and accreditations mean that the company is reputable and has attained a certain level of skill requirement verified and approved by an independent body.
Usually, these accreditation bodies have no interest in the company’s successes and therefore cannot be biased.
During information gathering, you will realize that some accreditation and certification are weightier than others, but having some certification is better than not having.
Check out if the potential MSP is accredited with companies like Dell, Cisco, Microsoft, etc.
It’s also important to note that if your potential MSP has several referrals, they may be a good fit for your business. It means they are reliable and know their stuff.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can make or break your organization.
As a business owner looking to scale up and improve efficiency, you’ll need a dedicated and skilled MSP who knows what they are doing.
Carry due diligence when looking to hire an MSP so that you don’t plunge the company into avoidable losses.
The above questions will act as a guide to help you choose the right Managed Service Provider for your company.
It’s important to note that for an MSP to qualify for the job, they should be able to answer the above questions with some level of accuracy to prove that they’re worth your attention.