7 Questions to ask when vetting managed services providers

Managed services providers (MSPs) are a must if your company relies on technology in any capacity. They’re essentially a team of technicians that deal with your most complex IT issues around the clock, and are not as expensive as an in-house IT department. The problem is, there are thousands of MSPs to choose from, and most of them may not be the right fit for your business. So before you partner with one, ask the following questions.

How long have you been in business?

Even though there are dozens of new MSPs, it may be better to trust an established company that’s been around for years. Not only do they have more experience dealing with a wide variety of technical issues, but they’re also usually better at adapting to new market trends and technologies.

Do you have industry experience?

MSPs specialize in different industries, so make sure you get one that has experience with yours. For example, if you operate a small construction firm, and the MSP you chose has only worked with large financial corporations, their solutions and strategies won’t do much help to you. Always ask the MSP what type of clients they serve and request to see their portfolio.

“HIPAA? I have no idea what that is.”

You should also avoid MSPs that claim to have universal solutions for all companies. Such solutions may sound great on paper, but they hardly work for industries with special requirements like healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services.

What’s included in your managed services?

Fast response times, same-day service, and proactive 24/7 monitoring should be clearly outlined in an MSP’s service-level agreement. They should also offer backup management, software patching, and data recovery services to ensure your systems are fully functional at all times.

Do you provide IT recommendations?

Although most MSPs mainly focus on fixing computers, the best ones also offer consulting services. These providers will learn everything about how your company operates and what your biggest bottlenecks are, and recommend an appropriate solution that meets your needs and budget.

They’ll even explain everything in plain and simple English!

Who do you partner with?
Working with an MSP that’s partnered with industry leaders like Microsoft, Google, and Apple gives you a host of benefits. You get exclusive deals, the latest features, and expertise that run-of-the-mill MSPs don’t have access to.

Can you keep our assets safe?

Considering that an MSP will look after your IT, you need to make sure they offer comprehensive cybersecurity services.

Red Key Solutions, for instance, regularly patches your systems, install cutting-edge firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, provide military-grade encryption systems, and more to keep cybercriminals at bay.

How do you charge for managed services?

MSPs charge rates under unique monthly subscription models. They can charge per-device, which is geared for startups and small businesses with fewer computers. They can charge per-user, which makes sense if your employees use multiple devices. Or they can charge an all-inclusive fee for all the support you need.

There are other pricing models, but these are the most common and reasonable. Beware of MSPs that bill you per hour or based on how often you request their services every month as costs can quickly pile up under these pricing models.

Evaluating MSPs can be tough, but it’s worth the effort when you find the right one. If you’re looking for a top-notch service provider in New York, talk to Red Key Solutions. We may just be the right fit for your company!