There’s so much more to a partnership with a managed services provider (MSP) than the technological responsibilities that they can take off your plate. Sure, you may initially make your decision to select an MSP to handle your IT needs so that you can get back to focusing on the bigger picture – your employees. But what if your MSP cared about your employees as well? What if your MSP went above and beyond to focus not only on your IT needs, but the financial and cultural needs of your business?
MSP IT support is commonly thought of as IT support. To most, the two are one in the same. When you hire a managed services provider, you’re hiring a team of experts to handle your technology and security needs and to strengthen your overall corporate infrastructure. Afterall, this is what you budgeted for and you’ll accept nothing less. But what happens when you begin shopping for MSP IT support and can’t find anything that fits inside your budget? Or let’s say you find an MSP that fits perfectly within your budget but unless you have a problem that needs to be solved, they’re unreachable. Maybe you need staff trained in new software or you have a general question about the future needs of your business that goes unanswered. Are you getting what you paid for?
True Value of a Managed Service Provider
Many businesses make the mistake of spending as little as possible and expecting as much as possible. Afterall, it’s all about the bottom line. You’ve decided that working with an IT managed services provider is the right move for your business. You’re done worrying about which part of your IT infrastructure will break next and how much it will cost to fix it. You are on the path of paying a set amount each month for your MSP IT support.
You’re feeling good about your decision but want to know that your investment will pay dividends. As an MSP who has worked with various Miami companies across multiple industries for the last 20+ years, I can tell you that your ROI isn’t going to come from technology alone.
MSP Support Is More Than Technical
When shopping for an IT partner, it’s fairly obvious that technical skills are important. You want to know that the professionals you are hiring have the skills to do the job. Size is also important. Your IT partner needs to be big enough to have the technical talent pool your company needs, but small enough that you see the same people providing support every day over the course of several months or years. No company wants to feel like just another number.
When hiring out for MSP IT support, the one thing many people overlook is the value of soft skills: the characteristics and interpersonal skills that enhance the working relationship.
It’s important to hire an MSP that focuses on the end user behind the technology; not just the technology itself. Your staff wants to know that your IT partner understands their pain when something isn’t working. Your MSP IT support team needs to be able to demonstrate that they are driven by a desire to help. So what are some valuable skills and attributes you should look for to get the best bang for your buck?
1. Clear and Concise Communication
Clear and concise communication is the key to any good relationship. The same is true for your IT partnership. While the tech experts may understand the language of firewalls, wireless access points, servers and network switches, your employees just want to know that their computer is going to get them through the tasks they need to complete on any given day.
Your MSP team should be able to switch back and forth between their tech jargon and the language of your staff for the best way to communicate.
The MSP worth their weight in gold (or American dollars), will strive to understand your needs and the needs of your business. Oftentimes, a business owner or employee knows what they want to accomplish but not the specifics about the technology they need to get there. The job of your managed services provider is to present options in a straightforward way with minimal technical language.
2. Strategic Alignment
Your MSP should be a valued member of your team. As such, they need to have the critical-thinking skills to help your business anticipate and prepare for issues. You want someone who has the understanding of knowing when a quick-fix is appropriate or more fact-finding is necessary.
For example, when email stops working or you have a presentation to give in 10 minutes and the PowerPoint slides will not display on the screen, there is usually a setting that is out of alignment, necessitating only some quick troubleshooting and a few changes to the settings. Your MSP needs to be able to accurately analyze a problem, detect patterns and strategically get to the root cause. When they see multiple workstations affected in the same way, they need to look beyond simply fixing each workstation and dig deeper to see if there is something at a more basic or systemic level that is causing the overall issue.
Will your current MSP pick up the phone when you call or will you be rerouted and left on hold until you have no choice but to resolve the issue yourself? This is a prime example of why expecting champagne results on a beer budget will leave you wanting.
3. Collaboration and Preparedness
MSP IT support should do more than just answer when you call. They should approach the business relationship with a spirit of collaboration, working with your business to optimize your IT infrastructure in the best way for your organization. A valuable MSP will talk to you about what you need, both in repair and upgrade of current systems but also where your company is going and what technology will support you.They won’t just wait until you have security issues that need to be solved, like a data breach or natural disaster, they will have proactive cyber security measures in place to handle any IT problem and a monitored backup and a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan. Security awareness training will be available to your staff and support will be available 24/7/365 in the instance a breach does occur.
Get a True Business Technology Partner
You deserve more than Miami MSP IT support. You deserve a partner. If you’re tired of burning money on IT support but not getting the TLC you deserve, book time with the pros at Internos. We will show you why the value of your MSP goes beyond cost.
Whether you’re facing an immediate IT crisis, mapping out your company’s future or just need help with remote connectivity, we want to hear from you. Tell us about your current IT support services, your future goals and how Internos Group can help you grow.
Use our Managed Service Provider Checklist to Find the Right
Our easy-to-follow checklist can guide you through the process of the best IT services provider for your business.
Are you a first-timer to IT support? Maybe you aren’t happy with your current MSP? This checklist will help you outline and define: