A managed service provider can be a lifesaver. In addition to saving you from having to execute dozens of complicated and time-consuming tasks on your own, these helpful industry experts are the ideal partners for scaling your business and creating across-the-board cost savings. Here are five non-negotiable things to look for in any network management team you hire:
1. A Focus on Partnership
The best managed service provider (MSP) will view your relationship as a partnership. A partner that understands your business goals is better equipped to help you improve your business strategically.
What’s more, an MSP who is willing to conduct an in-depth discovery phase to understand the entire landscape of your company can develop solutions that are tailored to your business, infrastructure, and services.
Seek a provider who works in your industry and genuinely understands your niche. This will create a stronger partnership and an increased level of efficiency down the road. Additionally, while seeking the right provider, it’s crucial to not base your decision solely on the salesperson, brochure or the company website as these are elements that could be misleading. Take the time to physically tour their office and witness first hand their bench strengths and quality of actual resources on hand.
2. A Commitment to Documentation
Make sure the MSP you hire or look at has strong documentation strategies in place. Your company is going to encounter unique situations that don’t always have a textbook “fix,” and it’s essential that your MSP can document them as they crop up.
Documentation makes a problem easier to solve and gives your company the context needed to avoid the same issue in the future. What’s more, an MSP that has a good documentation strategy in place can look back at the logs to observe problems your business has encountered before, and develop a plan to cope with it in the future.
Documentation also serves the incredibly important purpose of keeping your company up-to-date about what’s going on with your managed services. This allows you to work with your MSP to create a plan for more streamlined execution and a lower error rate in your various workflows.
A good managed service partner should always be proactively monitoring and anticipating the next problem. If a provider is only offering weekly reports on what’s running smoothly and not what is potentially at risk, they aren’t proactively managing your network.
While your network management team should fix problems as they occur, it’s more beneficial to anticipate a problem and proactively take steps to avoid it, or in a worst case, have a solution ready before it happens.
Your company also needs a partner that’s planning for your organization’s growth instead of waiting for the change to happen and then playing catch up. While many MSPs favor the latter approach, the former is more effective and can help reduce the rate of incidences in your managed services.
4. Industry Experience
Finding a partner in your niche isn’t always possible and, at times, service providers will lean on industry tools to help them manage your network. Look for a partner who has the experience that your company deserves. After all, a partner that understands your business needs inside and out is invaluable.
It’s also crucial to find a partner that customizes industry tools to your business instead of shoving your company’s network into an out-of-the-box software. This helps ensure that your network is designed for you and you alone, and stands to increase productivity and efficiency across the board.
5. Dedicated Account Manager
Most partners will ensure that you have an account administrator, but are they dedicated to you and your company? Look for a partner that delivers an account manager that works as your personal concierge.
You should have someone dedicated to your business that understands your needs, your landscape, and is available anytime you need them — especially if it’s an emergency. This one-on-one support is the cornerstone of a good network management team and can help you get more bang for your buck from the industry experts you hire.
The Case for Great MSPs
When it comes to finding a managed service provider to oversee your network, it pays to find a good fit. While each company needs different things, MSPs who possess these five traits will generally perform well and help your business grow.
To learn more about hiring a network management team for your company, contact IT Authorities today!