Hiring a quality managed service provider is a difficult task. In a sea of mediocre providers, it’s easy to end up with a less than perfect solution for your needs.
The right service provider will ensure that your work-space is optimized. They will also ensure you get access to the latest technology and international best practices in the field. Thus, you will be able to focus on some of the core aspects of your company, like attracting new talent and ensuring the growth of your business.
If you end up with the wrong provider, money’s not the only thing you’ll lose in the long run. You will also waste months on the wrong provider, before finally switching to the right one.
Things to consider before hiring a quality managed service provider
It’s crucial to evaluate potential providers in advance to make sure they have what it takes to take care of business. Read on to learn the best techniques you can use to identify and find quality service providers.
Is the provider transparent about how they run business?
It’s quite easy to recognize when you’re looking at an upstanding business. They will go out of their way to be transparent about their strategies, beliefs, and procedures. The more they are willing to publicly outline about how their business works, the better.
For example, a quality provider will readily list their employees and their specialties. A good IT provider will be proud of their team of IT experts and have them shown on their website.
Looking at their website will give you other clues about their transparency as well. For example, do they go into detail about each of their services? Do they explain how they will go about each service? Is it clear that they’re passionate about sharing as much information about their working process as possible?
Reach out to people listed in the provider’s testimonials
Many service providers post testimonials on their website. If that’s the case with the provider you’re investigating, reach out to the people that gave these testimonials. Companies may decide not to include full names. But, it shouldn’t be a problem to find the right person if the company is listed.
People are more likely to give a great testimonial in written form if it’s being published online. But, if you talk to them over the phone, they will be more willing to give you an honest depiction of the pros and cons of working with that particular provider.
At InspiredTechs, we include the full name and company of people who give testimonials. We are confident in the quality of the services we offer and have nothing to hide from potential clients.
Is the provider experienced or a brand new startup?
Working with newly-minted service providers can cause a lot of problems for your business. Thus, it’s wise to establish a partnership with a managed provider with a healthy track-record and experience working with businesses like yours.
Also, look for a provider with experience across multiple industries. It’s critical that you work with someone who has excelled in a variety of different scenarios.
Versatile and experienced providers have faster response times, provide you with more predictable costs and greater flexibility in the service delivery model.
Can the provider offer complete IT support?
One of the most crucial characteristics you need to look for in a quality managed service provider is whether they have a variety of technology solutions at disposal.
As you grow your business, your current needs may evolve and require different technology. You may develop new products and services that are following the latest trends in computing, and leverage cloud services or virtual technology. Thus, you need to make sure that the managed provider can respond appropriately and offer adequate solutions.
A skilled service provider will provide virtual infrastructure support, application management capabilities, support for collocation, etc.
Making sure that the provider is well versed across the entire IT spectrum (from initial planning to implementation) will give you a better understanding of what you can expect from the potential partnership.
Ask for references
Ask companies that have worked with the provider for references. A reference is a solid way of ensuring that the provider offers high-quality services.
You can see if the service provider has met the needs of other companies. This will help you determine whether they can handle your business, too. Furthermore, try to gain insight into the current status of the companies the provider is working with. If they have a solid IT infrastructure, it’s safe to assume the service provider is doing a good job.
Service providers know that clients are on the lookout for their services. Hence, they sometimes make unrealistic claims about their credentials and experience. But, if you do your homework, you can find out whether those claims are true.
Don’t settle for less than 24/7 support
Service providers should be at your disposal 24/7 for critical tasks (data security, networking etc.). Don’t settle for anything less than that. Your customers expect your business to perform whenever needed. You should expect the same from your service provider.
Investigate if they offer 24/7 customer support (including holidays). Are they responsive enough? You wouldn’t want to wait until their working hours for an IT professional to take care of your issues, should any issues arise.
Make certain that they offer full back up and recovery services
Do not even consider a provider unless they clearly outline their backup and recovery procedures. Even if a provider gets everything else right – they still need to account for “worst case scenarios”. This means that they go out of their way to implement good backup systems. But it also means they help implement clear procedures for disaster recovery scenarios.
If your data is lost, this can have disastrous consequences, sometimes even spelling out the death of your business. So you want to make certain that your provider will prevent this from ever happening. Feel free to ask them to demonstrate how they would handle disaster recovery scenarios. Your data is an invaluable asset, and it needs to have bulletproof back-up.
At InspiredTechs, we guarantee utmost dedication to excellence. Our reliable IT professionals are well trained to handle various data disaster scenarios. They will take all necessary precautions to ensure your data is safely backed up. Moreover, they will work with your employees and train them to successfully prevent disasters in the future.