How to Choose The Right MSP

Choosing the right vendors to work with is essential for most businesses to thrive. And no vendor may be as important as a managed services provider. Your business operations rely on technology, so having an MSP who meets your needs completely is a huge benefit. However, it’s a very competitive market, so it can be challenging to discern which MSP to strike a relationship with.

Here are some considerations to take into account when searching for a MSP:

  • Values and Attitude – In our view, this makes the top of the list! An MSP practically has your business in their hands. Your values should be aligned and their attitude about your partnership and your business should be enthusiastic. Find an MSP who genuinely takes the time to understand your business and seeks to continually learn more about your processes and objectives. There should be a sense of excitement on both sides when IT solutions are implemented that allow you to operate more efficiently and achieve your goals.
  • Experience – Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “the only source of knowledge is experience.” But don’t just look at how long an MSP has existed as a business. How many years of experience do the technicians themselves have? Also consider industry experience. If your business is in the healthcare industry, it probably wouldn’t make sense to work with an MSP whose client base is primarily in the construction industry. Lastly, look for experience that includes managing remote-work, work from home, hybrid work environments, and traditional office workplaces.
  • Service Offerings – This might seem like easy criteria to check off, but “managed services” can be a broad, sometimes vague term. Network management, cybersecurity, cloud solutions, data backup/recovery are the most common services. If any of these are missing from an MSP’s offerings, ask questions and research how missing certain elements could impact your business.
  • Proactive vs. Reactive and Response Times Look for an MSP who goes beyond break-fixes. Time is money, so finding an IT partner who is proactive, and preventative is a must. And if/when something does “break” make sure you are comfortable with the guaranteed response time.
  • Word of Mouth Reputation / Customer Reviews – There are so many persuasive marketing tactics out there, but none may be as reliable as a company’s “word of mouth” reputation. If you know of an MSP that your business peers work with and trust, that’s a good sign! Investigate further by asking current customers for specific feedback. Their honest answers should help sway your decision one way or the other.
  • Communication Make sure you understand how the prospective MSP plans to communicate with you. Are there regular, scheduled touchpoints? Do they utilize a ticket portal for issues? If a MSP doesn’t facilitate clear communication avenues, the relationship will likely not work well.
  • Contract Terms – Make sure you deeply understand the terms of the agreement that you would be entering into with an MSP. Nothing should make you feel uncomfortable or concerned, and you should feel confident that you will be able to fulfill any obligations or responsibilities that you may have. The “bottom line” is often price, so research the different pricing structures MSPs commonly use (ex. flat fee, per user, etc.). One of the biggest benefits of partnering with an MSP is that your IT spending should be controlled and predictable.

Don’t take the task of finding an MSP lightly. Your choice affects efficiency, security, and overall success. Assess all your needs and requirements and think about the qualities and services that are important to you.