By: Adam Stahl on March 26, 2019
What to Look For In A Managed IT Support Services Partner in Connecticut
Unless you're already in the IT field, small and medium businesses likely don't have all the knowledge or in-house staff required to manage their IT infrastructure themselves. That's where a managed services partner (MSP) comes in.
By providing a variety of IT services, from security to troubleshooting, MSPs are a crucial ally for many companies that need external IT assistance. The right MSP can make or break your business—it's not a decision to take lightly. In this article, we'll discuss the 5 most important qualities to look for when choosing your next MSP.
5 Features to Look For When Choosing a Managed Services Partner
"Partner" is the key term when choosing an MSP. Your choice of partner should work to fully understand the needs of your organization, and how they can tailor their services to bring you the greatest benefit.
1. Effective Communication
Communication is essential in any situation where two organizations collaborate towards a common goal. Your choice of MSP should work to create awareness and educate you upfront.
Instead of scaremongering about threats such as data breaches and identity theft, Kelser performs an in-depth assessment of your IT environment so that we can set the appropriate expectations.
We never go in with the mentality to sell, but rather to tailor our solutions to your specific situation.
Kelser will interview not only key decision-makers such as managers and executives, but also staff members to listen to their pain points and evaluate their level of understanding. Poor employee awareness is one of the biggest causes of security issues.
We provide training and education programs so that your employees have the knowledge to protect themselves from issues such as viruses, phishing, and ransomware.
2. Security is Top of Mind
The security of your hardware, software, and data should always be a forethought for your MSP. When evaluating potential partners, ask yourself: what safeguards can they put in place to properly protect your sensitive information?
Any good IT security plan has three different layers: hardware, staff, and data protection. By shoring up your defenses in these areas, you can mitigate the risk of a potential breach.
These first two layers are essential. Not protecting your business network with a strong firewall is akin to leaving the front door of your house wide open. In addition, nearly three-quarters of security breaches are due to accidental or malicious insider threats from employees.
Here at Kelser, we consider these three concerns as the three foundational parts of a robust security strategy. As such, we won't even offer more advanced managed services until we're sure that your network is secure and you've taken the necessary precautions.
3. Total Transparency
Both the MSP and the client must be transparent about their internal processes and the way they work. This helps you be proactive about addressing any issues instead of being caught unawares.
At Kelser, we always sign a non-disclosure agreement between our team and the client before beginning the partnership.
This allows our clients to be honest and open about their current status and the pain points they're experiencing. In many cases, we need to deep-dive into the client's situation to find the true source of a problem.
4. Lots of Experience
Experience and expertise are two things you shouldn't scrimp on when choosing an MSP. It's even better if your choice of partner has experience in your specific industry.
Look for testimonials from previous clients who operate in the same vertical as you do.
The fact that Kelser's team has so much experience can often save our clients time in the long run.
Instead of relying on trial and error, we can benefit from our collective knowledge about what works and what doesn't.
5. Passion for Results
Since you're both working toward the same goal, your choice of MSP should share your passion for getting results.
Your partner should be totally open to positive and negative feedback, and willing to discuss both the good and bad things about your last collaboration.
For example, Kelser won't close a project without getting feedback from the client. We like to say that "iron sharpens iron"—both parties help keep each other on their toes.
In addition to testimonials immediately after a project, we also perform quarterly business reviews (QBRs) to understand the medium-term results.
We always want to make sure that we've delivered on what we've promised, and that the client has achieved a satisfactory return on their investment.
The best MSPs want to know who you are as an organization, rather than offering a list of boilerplate products and services.
Being communicative and transparent helps the MSP understand your organization as a unique entity with specific needs, so that both parties get more out of the partnership.
In addition, having experience and passion helps the MSP deliver on the products and services that fit your business goals and requirements.
Need some guidance in your search for the perfect managed services partner?
Kelser can help. Contact us and we'll set up a consultation with our team of IT experts.