Choosing a managed service provider is a crucial decision for businesses. If you make a good choice, your business can flourish with minimal downtime. A poor, hasty decision could risk your data while costing you a fortune on unreliable technology and service. So how does one know the difference between a well-matched choice and a poorly matched choice? In this article, you’ll learn questions you can ask a potential managed services provider to make sure the provider is suited for your business’s unique needs. These questions range from technical questions to business quality questions, and services questions. Let’s get started.
When choosing a provider, it’s important to know what type of company you’ll be partnering with.
This isn’t just a vendor you’ll pay for; this is a lasting partnership that will handle your most crucial data.
You’ll want to know you can trust your managed services provider.
1. “Can you tell me about your company culture?”
You may be thinking, how will this information impact my decision? As previously stated, a managed services provider will be handling your most crucial data. You’ll want to at least learn about the staff who will be behind daily operations for your account. You’ll want to ask who will be working on your account. Learn their technical qualifications, ask about their strengths, and truly get to know your potential managed services provider. What are their operation hours? Will they have 24/7 support? Make sure you feel comfortable talking with them, so that way you get an indicator of how communication will go throughout the partnership.
2. “What facilities do you operate from?
Managed services providers can occupy a wide variety of facilities, much like other businesses. Is it important to you that your provider has a real office? Some managed services providers operate out of a home or a warehouse. While this may be to save on overhead expenses, this may also be a sign of capability. On the other hand, if a provider has some excessively luxurious facility, this may be a sign for you to prepare to spend some serious cash as their client. It’s important to know what you feel comfortable with regarding your managed services provider’s facilities.
3. “Do you have references?”
Managed services providers aren’t limited in what they claim, but what separates competent providers from those who are merely overselling their capabilities is references. See if the provider has references and look at their online reviews.
4. “What is your disaster recovery/business continuity plan?”
This may seem like an invasive question; however, many experts suggest learning about your provider’s own BDR plan. You do not have to know everything about it, but you should know how they plan to recover if something catastrophic happens in their own facility. When that disaster happens, your IT needs may be halted until operations resume. You will need a provider who has already considered this question.
5. “What was their biggest client-facing challenge?”
Think of this as a job interview. This question often comes up in those interviews to see how a candidate handles challenges. This question is tough but should reveal their problem-solving strategy. They should be able to confidently detail overcoming that challenge, even without naming names. If the managed services provider bristles or comes off defensive, they might not possess the experience you require.
So, what has brought you to look for your MSP?
Whether you are looking to enlist a managed services provider to enhance your IT operations or to manage them entirely, we can help. Central Business Systems specializes in scalable solutions for businesses of all sizes. We can help identify areas for improvement in your technology strategy.