When trying to choose a managed services provider, it is a good idea to look at the over all package offered between various companies. What makes each one stand out above the rest? What are the cons of each provider?
Social ecologist Peter Drucker said it perfectly when he said “Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.”As with any relationship, creating a successful and well-founded B2B partnership takes a lot of work and time to build. It takes effort on both parts to work hard and increase the understanding of the needs and capabilities of the other party.
Looking for a great managed services provider to partner with is much like a regular employee onboarding process, with extensive research and interviews conducted. One thing is certain, at the end of it all. You should be very aware of why you want to partner with the firm you have chosen.
An ancient Greek parable distinguishes between foxes, which know many small things, and hedgehogs, which know one big thing. In Jim Collins recent book, he suggests that all great companies, it turns out, are hedgehogs. They know how to simplify a complex world into a single, organizing idea that is the guiding base for all decisions. The “Hedgehog Concept” is often referred to in reference to entrepreneurship, business growth and future planning. However, it can provide insight into choosing great business partners, specifically managed services providers, as well. The one thing that sets a great managed services provider apart is their ability to accomplish is provide excellent technical support for your business’ specific requirements and needs.
To help you with this process, we have given you a few things to look for when searching for a great managed services provider.
Signs of a Great Managed Services Provider
Wide Variety of Services Offered
When looking for a great managed services provider, consider the services you are looking for currently as well as services that you might need in the future. Cloud services and disaster recovery solutions are great signs that a partner can come into the agreement with suggestions on what other services your organization could benefit from.
Considers Future Technical Needs
In today’s world, companies that offer computer repair services are a dime-a-dozen. But spending the time to locate that great managed services provider that can offer comprehensive IT planning to support your business as you grow will offer benefits that are unavailable to many organizations without full, in-house departments.
Weighs in and Offers Expertise on Technical Decisions
Another way to set apart good from great managed services providers is in their focus on making the right decision for your needs and technical requirements being higher than their urgency to make a sale today. Often times in sales meetings, business representatives are not able to answer technical questions that could be a huge factor in your project.
A sign of a true professional expert is someone who speaks openly and respectfully, even when they disagree with the path the client is currently committed to. A managed services provider who is willing to take the time to understand your needs and requirements is one that will likely be able to provide more comprehensive and reliable suggestions both now and in the future.
Strength of Skills Bench
In the IT world, one thing that is consistent is stronger teams lead to stronger performance. This often times begins with industry and vendor certifications. A great managed services provider is one that maintains a staff that is constantly training and learning. Certifications are an excellent determination of the skill set that the company has to offer.
A sign of focus on certifications not only shows their dedication to excellence but also their respect of their employees. Encouraging employees to grow and learn reduces the likelihood of you developing a relationship with someone who will no longer be at the same company in a few months.
Reliability of Services
One thing you don’t want is to find out the hard way how long you can afford to be down due to technical difficulties because your managed services provider dropped the ball on reliability. The great managed services providers will have Network Operation Centers (NOCs) that are fully loaded with the latest technologies that are geared to monitor your systems around the clock.
These services provide you with numerous ways to ensure that your systems are being supporting, including:
- 24/ 7 Remote monitoring and management
- Superior system performance
- Speedy and responsive customer support
In addition to reliability, you should consider if they have a way to back up your systems and information, in the event that something should go wrong. A managed services provider that does not provide these services will probably not be able to maintain the security of your systems for very long.
Right now, there are about a million fewer information security professionals in the world than needed. With cyber threat alerts growing at 14% per year, it is important that regardless of what services you receive from your managed services provider that they be able to ensure your organization’s security. Make sure they possess up-to-date security skills and monitoring technology to take some of the pressures off your in-house resources. Most great managed services providers will have a full Managed Security Services offering that will provide comprehensive support of your security needs.
As we have mentioned, choosing a great managed services provider to outsource your technology to is a daunting and overwhelming task. Make sure you are considering things that will lead to a valuable, and long standing business relationship that provides real value to your company.
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