How To Choose A Managed Services Provider For Your Business
Now that we’ve established that Managed Services is the best IT model, many company owners ask how to hire an MSP for their business? This is an excellent question and an important one.
Select the right Managed Services Provider (MSP), and your company’s IT infrastructure will be monitored, maintained, managed, and supported. You and your employees can focus on your business.
Select the wrong MSP, and your business can be in a state of constant computer problems that never seem to get fixed. Your IT becomes an expense and burden instead of the asset it should be.
So, how do you go about choosing the best IT Service Provider for your business? Here are some questions to ask about your current provider or to future vendors you may consider hiring:
Q1: Do they offer a FREE, no-obligation, and complete technology assessment BEFORE giving you a set price and asking you to sign a service agreement?
Our Answer: We NEVER sign on a new client without first performing a comprehensive Technology Assessment. We need to know the state of your network―the good, the not-so-good, and the challenges―before we see if we can help you and set a fair price for the services we offer.
Additionally, we put our Assessment in writing with pricing, in clear language, and discuss our findings with you first. Our Assessment is thorough, in many cases 15 to 20 pages in length, and it is yours to keep, even if you decide not to hire us.
You’ll know the exact pricing before you even see an Agreement to sign. Then, it is totally up to you.
Q2: Do they have written response times to your calls?
Our Answer: We have written Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that outline our guaranteed response times. In practice, we well exceed our SLA standards since our 24/7/365 monitoring process lets us know about issues, in most cases, before the client knows about them or has a chance to call us.
Q3: Do they take the time to explain what they’re doing and answer questions in terms you can understand?
Our Answer: Our technicians are trained to have the “heart of a teacher” and take the time to explain things in non-technical” language, so you understand precisely what is happening and what needs to be done to solve your issues.
Q4: Do they proactively offer new or better ways to improve your network’s performance, or do they wait until there is a problem to make recommendations?
Our Answer: XSolutions is constantly “plugged” into our client’s network. We monitor 24/7/365, so we can tell when it is working correctly and when it is not. We proactively take care of the outstanding issues while they are small before they grow into full-fledged problems. Because of our vantage point, we can assess newer and better ways to improve your performance. Having a knowledgeable computer consultant that can advise you on IT matters in all phases of your company is one of our competitive advantages and one that you’ll come to value very highly.
Q5: Do they insist on remotely monitoring your network 24/7/365 to keep critical processes, security settings, virus definitions, and security patches up-to-date to PREVENT problems from turning into downtime, viruses, lost data, and other issues?
Our Answer: Yes, our remote monitoring system watches over your network and constantly looks for developing issues and other problems so we can address them BEFORE they turn into more significant problems. We monitor hundreds of events and services. Our systems automatically alert us when potential issues occur so our technicians can work to resolve them quickly. We often take care of problems during evenings, weekends, etc., without our clients even being aware that they’ve occurred.
Q6: Do they notify you when they will perform regular maintenance on your network?
Our Answer: Yes. EVERY month, our clients receive two notifications asking them to keep their machines on overnight on pre-appointed days so we can perform maintenance on their workstations and servers. Regular maintenance plus remote monitoring allows us to keep your network, servers, and workstations up and running with minimal downtime.
Q7: Do they have other technicians on staff familiar with your account, so you do not experience a “break” in service?
Our Answer: Yes. Every one of our Technicians works on each one of our client accounts, so they are not only familiar but ready to help you whenever needed. Additionally, we have invested heavily in state-of-the-art systems containing complete documentation of each client site accessible to every one of our techs.
Q8: Are they knowledgeable about Backup/Disaster Recovery (BDR)?
Our Answer: Yes. We emphasize Business Continuity in our Backup/Disaster Recovery solutions. Merely backing up data does not fully protect you during and after a catastrophic event. Time becomes your main enemy during recovery from a disaster.
Suppose your equipment becomes inoperable and you need to secure a new server. In that case, data cannot just be loaded onto the new equipment since the hardware and software environments are totally different. Having backed-up data does not guarantee a quick recovery. To fully protect your business, you need a system that provides for local onsite and Cloud fail-over and replication with Bare Metal Restore capability so your systems can be restored on replacement equipment.
We are experts in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.
Q9: Do they offer Managed Disaster/Recovery solutions, or do they outsource the service and charge you for “management” that they don’t provide?
Our Answer: We manage the services we sell. Whether you opt for an inexpensive Cloud data backup system or a robust Business Continuity solution, XSolutions monitors and manages the service for you. We make sure that the service you selected is ready and viable. If you should need data to be recovered, we’ll do it for you. With XSolutions, there is no need for you to get involved in the nitty-gritty of any service we employ.
Q10: Do they have a competent Help Desk?
Our Answer: Our help desk provides quick, professional, and knowledgeable support and is available during business and extended hours to assist our customers with any problems or issues that may arise. We actively monitor the quality and resolution of all requests.
Q11: Are they familiar with (and can they support) your unique line of business applications?
Our Answer: We own the IT problems for our customers. That doesn’t mean that we can fix faulty software written by other companies, but we will, with your permission, be the liaison between you and your vendor to resolve the problems you’re having and make sure the applications work smoothly for you.
Q12: When something goes wrong with your internet service, internet phone systems, printers, or other IT services, do they own the problem, or do they tell you, “that’s not our problem, please call the vendor?”
Our Answer: We feel we should own the problem for our clients, so they do not have to resolve IT issues independently. That’s just plain good customer service but something many “computer guys” don’t do.
Q13: Are they physically located within your service area?
Our Answer: XSolutions is located in Rockland County, New York. We service businesses in Upstate New York, New York City, Northern New Jersey, and Connecticut. We’re located near the clients we serve, so we can visit customer locations as needed, especially during emergencies.
Some large IT firms vend out their onsite support to smaller local companies because they’re situated far away from their customers. NOT US! We’re local and can quickly get to our customers with technicians familiar with our clients’ equipment and network.
The techs you speak to on the phone when you call our Help Desk are the same technicians that will service your onsite needs.
Q14: Does your IT company only offer Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) services and tout it as the latest security protection?
Our Answer: XSolutions offers comprehensive security services, including EDR, Firewall & EDR Synchronization, a Security Operations Center (SOC), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Vulnerability Scanning, Expert Security Team Monitoring, an On-Call Incidence Response Team, and User Awareness Training.
EDR only acts as a central hub to collect, correlate, and analyze data from endpoints and then coordinates alerts to threats it detects. What it doesn’t do, is remediate any threats found.
For maximum security, you need a system that monitors, detects, and CONTAINS threats. For that, you need a combination of EDR, SIEM, and SOC.
Q15: Do they have a service mindset and philosophy that they exhibit every day?
Our Answer: XSolutions’ mission is to “Deliver true Managed IT Services by putting people first. Because there is no time for downtime.” Our technicians live the mission every day and is at the core of who we are.
So, there you have it. Our top 15 questions and the answers you should expect to consider when hiring an MSP or evaluating the MSP you’re using.
If you’re interested in hiring an IT company that always puts you, the customer first, then give us a call at (845) 362-9675 or email us at [email protected].