If you rely on a managed serviceprovider (MSP) to handle some or all of your organization’s IT needs, it’s crucial that you have one that you can trust and that provides reliable, high-quality service. However, over time, an MSP that once met your needs adequately may start to slip or fail to keep up with the growth and changing requirements of your business. In this blog, we’ll explore the common signs that it’s time to move on from your current service provider.
Your current service provider should have a solid reputation for integrity, reliability, and technical expertise. If you hear or read frequent complaints about them from current or past clients, that is a big warning sign it may be time to look for a replacement. Online reviews, word-of-mouth referrals, and checking references thoroughly before hiring an MSP can help avoid getting stuck with one that has a poor reputation.
You should expect and receive top-notch customer service from your MSP. This includes things like:
- Fast response times when you have an urgent issue or question
- Thorough communication and documentation on issues
- Friendly and knowledgeable customer service reps
- Customized monthly reporting on tickets, network health, and more.
If you constantly have to follow up repeatedly to get status updates from your MSP or feel like your support requests go into a black hole, it’s a sign you need to demand better or move to a new provider.
An MSP’s services and pricing should be clearly laid out and predictable. Watch out for an MSP that frequently changes what services they provide or charges random add-on fees that aren’t spelled out in your contract. The costs, SLA commitments, and everything else they provide should be transparent upfront.
While some periodic issues are inevitable even with the best MSPs, frequent or recurring issues that impact your business are unacceptable. Excessive network downtime, security breaches, lost data, or other problems suggest your current service provider isn’t getting to the root of why these issues happen. It may be time to find one with more robust solutions and quality assurance measures in place.
The top MSPs don’t just react to problems—they take a proactive approach to avoid issues before they happen in the first place. If you notice your MSP relies heavily on break/fix solutions instead of strategic IT initiatives to strengthen security, streamline processes, control costs, and enable growth, then it’s time to move on from your current service provider.
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Selecting a new service provider is key for preventing the same mistakes from impacting your network environment. Here are some things to consider before signing on with a new company.
Before evaluating MSPs, document your key IT requirements and pain points. Specify what services you want to be handled. Do you need help desk support? Cloud migration guidance? Just infrastructure and security monitoring? Outlining these requirements will help filter suitable MSP candidates.
Look for MSPs with proven experience supporting businesses in your specific industry. An MSP well-versed in your vertical can tailor solutions that align with industry regulations and trends. Make sure client references to vouch for their advertised expertise.
The right MSP brings expertise across key technical domains like security, networking, analytics, cloud platforms, and more. Ensure any prospective MSP has certified staff and capabilities required to effectively manage, monitor and optimize the solutions you plan to entrust them with.
When comparing MSPs, carefully analyze differences in their service level agreements (SLAs). Look for commitments that guarantee factors like near 24/7 monitoring and support, maximum downtime allowed per month, response time per priority level, satisfaction guarantees, and clarity on responsibilities.
MSPs vary significantly in their strategic approach. Some function primarily as break/fix IT help desks, while others provide complete IT departments-as-a-service. Find an MSP focused on being a trusted technology advisor—not just a cost center.
Most organizations leverage cloud-based systems and applications that need competent support. Ensure potential MSPs have extensive experience migrating clients to the cloud securely and efficiently.
Cyber threats represent one of the biggest risks for modern businesses. Prioritize MSPs that embed proactive cybersecurity defenses through measures like SIEM deployment, vulnerability testing, endpoint detection, and response tools.
When sales reps boast about customer satisfaction, don’t just take their word for it; talk to some of their existing customers. Ask about their experience working with the MSP. This includes making sure the MSP delivers the promised value and verifying its responsiveness.
Price shouldn’t be the only determining factor, but it is still important when selecting an MSP. Compare flat-fee versus consumption-based pricing and consider the total cost of ownership when weighing options.
The experts at ISSI have over 25 years of experience and leverage our knowledge to provide reliable and comprehensive managed IT solutions that meet your needs. We believe in personalizing our services and building a customized platform with month-to-month contracts, giving you the necessary flexibility to grow your business.
Contact ISSI today to learn more about our comprehensive managed services.