There are a variety of managed IT services as well as Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs). If you are interested in hiring an MSP for your business’s technology needs, you need to know what you are getting into. Similar to any hiring process, there are several key things to learn before hiring an MSP.
It is essential to ask specific questions to gain as much insight as possible about the MSP, their services, and more. While each provider may differ slightly in their answers, there are certain aspects to look for in these answers.
Keep reading to figure out which questions will get you the answers you need to make a good decision about the best MSP for you!
How do you structure your pricing?
Many MSPs will probably have similar pricing for similar services. Therefore, it is important to figure out what your budget is and which services are most important for you and your business. You will want to know if there is a down payment, if all costs are paid upfront, whether or not you are billed monthly, or if there are different options for billing frequency. This will give you an idea of what you are getting yourself into financially.
What pricing do you offer?
Going off the pricing structure, you want to determine if your potential MSP will offer customized pricing for the services you need. Many successful MSPs will offer pricing that varies based specifically on the needs of your business. This flexibility is important when deciding on an MSP.
Is there an option to co-manage?
A lot of companies have their own IT departments. If you go with an MSP, you can outsource your IT department to another company. However, that does not mean you cannot keep internal IT staff. In fact, it may be beneficial to have an IT person on your team co-manage alongside your MSP to ensure there is consistency in the work.
What security do you have in place?
When it comes to technology and data, security is one of the top things you should be worried about. You will want to figure out how the MSP plans to protect your data and information. Their cybersecurity measures benefit both parties.
What insight can you get me?
Insight into different networks is essential. You will want to ensure that your MSP values accuracy and can give you transparent answers to all your needs or questions.
Do you recommend any hardware or software in particular?
Not only should your service provider be using the best hardware and software, but they should also be able to recommend some for you. In addition, they should want their clients to have the best technology to ensure protection, safety, and functionality.
Is there a service-level agreement?
A service-level agreement (SLA) is a direct contract between the MSP and the client that guarantees the provider will be spending dedicated quality time with the client and their business. This may seem small, but you want to ensure this is in place before you begin work to ensure that there are direct measures to get you what you need as the client. Be sure to come to an agreement on things such as availability, guaranteed response times, and items in-scope vs out-of-scope.
How often is the contract renewed?
The contract you sign to begin working with your MSP does not last forever. Generally, they are renewed annually. The first time you sign on with an MSP, you may want to opt for a one-year contract. However, after officially testing the MSP for a year, you will want to negotiate a longer-term contract.
What accreditations does the company have?
A company that has certain skill levels or completed certain programs is generally more reputable than one that has less experience. Some certifications and accreditations are worth more than others. Consider asking your MSP about their experience and credentials.
Can I talk to someone who has already worked with you?
One way to ensure customer happiness is to talk to a previous client of the MSP; this can provide insight into what the client liked or did not like and whether or not they chose to stay. Typically, your MSP should provide you with a client who is open and honest about the service quality of the MSP.
Next Steps in the Selection of an MSP
Now that you know what to ask, you will want to begin searching for an MSP that will be great for you. You may want to consider starting a list and calling one by one to get started in your search. However, before signing a contract, make sure you compare a couple of MSPs and their answers to the questions above!
Contact We Solve Problems IT
If you need a reliable MSP that is up to date with their technology and can provide you with valuable technology insights for years to come, consider contacting We Solve Problems IT. They have over 15 years of combined experience in the field and have served many happy clients in the Los Angeles area. Take your questions to WSP today and inquire about managed IT services for your growing business.