Choosing a managed service provider is not something that a business can rush into. There are many advantages to partnering with a managed service provider, but it is important that you ask the right questions to make sure that you will be getting all the benefits that you are looking for. We spoke to TechQuarters is an MSP who have been providing IT managed services London-based businesses have needed even more since the onset of Covid-19.
The pressures of Covid have driven up the demand for tech solutions that support remote work, business mobility and agility, and more. These are all things that managed services can help a business with.
What are Managed Services?
If you are looking for an MSP, you probably know what managed services are. But for those that aren’t sure, managed services refers to the outsourcing of the maintenance of IT systems. It is a step above IT support in terms of the services provided and the responsibilities of the partner – however, many MSPs also do IT support; for example, TechQuarters is an example of a London IT support company that is also a managed services provider, and offers both types of service depending on the size of the customer.
Managed services are mainly used by medium-sized to large companies. An organization may start by outsourcing their IT support, but when they reach a certain size, they upgrade to fully managed services. For companies that are the right size to benefit from managed services, but aren’t currently partnered with a provider, there are some important questions that should be asked:
- How big is your company?
The size of an MSP can have a lot of implications on the type of service one can expect. For example, a larger MSP will have more resources and staff at their disposal, and so businesses looking for lots of cutting edge solutions may want to look for a larger partner. However, larger businesses may also have more bureaucratic processes involved, and speaking with them may feel like speaking with a faceless organization. Smaller MSPs offer the advantage of offering clearer and more flexible communication with their customers.
- Can you offer transparency into the service?
Outsourcing your IT services has a lot of benefits, but one thing you definitely don’t want to happen is that you become ignorant of what the partner is doing with your infrastructure. If an MSP is not good at communicating with their customers, then the customers may end up feeling shut out of the IT experience. This is why it is important to ask how they will keep you in the loop, and make the service as transparent as possible. This might include regular reports, meetings, or even quarterly business reviews.
- How will your services drive growth in our business?
One of the key differences between IT support and managed services is that the latter should offer channels for growth. For instance, managed services can help a business streamline their workflows and processes – perhaps even by digitally transforming the organization. All of this will contribute to making a business more efficient and cost effective, which can in turn enable them to expand their business, hiring more staff and investing more in their infrastructure. This is the ideal outcome of partnering with a managed services company, so it is important to have the conversation before you partner with one.
- What is your helpdesk coverage like?
A big part of managed services is taking responsibility for the customer’s IT support requirements. A business might be replacing internal staff with the helpdesk of an MSP. If this is the case for your business, it is imperative that you look into their helpdesk coverage, as you will be relying on it for all of your IT support needs. Some good questions to ask your potential provider is what their response times are like? What is the helpdesk’s hours of operation? Is it possible to get extended hours, or weekend access? Some MSPs even offer 24/7 helpdesk access. It is always worth asking.
- Who are your partners?
Most often a managed services company will have their own set of partners. These might be hardware or software vendors; this is how managed service providers are able to provide their customers with up-to-date hardware and software solutions. Before you partner with an MSP, looking at what tech partnerships they have. For example, TechQuarters is a Cloud Solutions Provider with Microsoft, so their customers are able to get all the cutting edge solutions that Microsoft offers, at preferential rates.