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How does a Managed Service Provider work?

It’s a great thing having a Managed Service Provider (MSP) but how do you know if they are doing a good job? Also how do you know if your partnership is working both ways?

The way that MSPs operate differentiate between each other because every business has their own work ethics and approaches to tasks. There are however some behaviours that MSPs should posses that you should lookout for.

Within this article we’ll cover some of the best practices that MSPs use and how your business can grow a trusting partnership with them.

How does an MSP work?

A Managed Service Provider is essentially hired to support and upkeep your businesses IT system. The MSP’s responsibilities will be defined by the circumstances and the service level agreement.

Some companies choose to have an MSP fully manage their business systems and thus take full responsibility for any maintenance, upkeep and monitoring. They are always on hand for troubleshooting issues and to make visits to the businesses property if required.

Other businesses might prefer a co-managed partnership, this is when an MSP works alongside an existing internal IT department. In this case the MSP might be responsible for a certain part of the IT systems such as monitoring devices and maintenance. This lets the internal team focus on more important projects to support the businesses overall needs.

There are lots of other services levels and agreements that can be made between MSPs and businesses. MSPs can go from remote-only support where the MSP will stay at their own headquarters without traveling to the

business location. Some MSPs might just be used for packages that they come with such as cyber security, cloud services and telecommunications.

Whatever the level of service is agreed the MSP needs to be available and reachable at the click or a button or on the end of a phone whenever they’re needed.

What makes a partnership successful?

For many small and medium-sized businesses outsourcing is the cheapest form of having an IT team. However, the success of using a MSP is only available if that MSP can deliver what you need them todo and that their presence makes a difference within the workplace.

Firstly you as a business need to be happy with their performance and the service that you are receiving. Are they always available and reachable? Do they fix issues within a timely manner? Do they keep you in the loop with progress and alerts? Do you trust what they tell you?

If you can confidently say yes to all these questions then you are in a good place. Unfortunately for some it might not be that simple.

Managed Service Providers best practices

When it comes to managed services there are certain practices that great MSPs follow to ensure their clients are receiving the best care.Here are some of the best qualities that a good MSP will possess and bring to the table;

  • Proactivity – You want an MSP that can react to support requests as fast as possible. But a good MSP will be working in the background trying the minimise the risk of these requests by improving systems, shortening downtime and reducing callouts.
  • Knowledgeable – IT is a very fast paced and constantly evolving industry, this makes it very difficult for people to keep up with it all. MSPs should be able to offer an array of experience in different sectors of IT by employing those with different expertise. This gives you the highest quality of advice and information when you need it.
  • Reliability – If you are constantly having the same issues on your system then perhaps your MSP isn’t that reliable. A trusted partner will be reliable enough to solve a problem and identify a permanent fix.
  • Availability – Whats the good of paying for a service that isn’t there when you need them? A trusted MSP will have extended support hours, often beyond regular business hours.
  • Flexibility – For a partnership to flourish then there needs to be an understanding on both sides. Both sides need to have an understanding with each other. The MSP also needs to adapt to your needs no matter the time.
  • Up-to-date – An IT support partner needs to be the forefront of the industry and essentially practise what they preach. This means using up-to-date technology, software, hardware and methods to make sure your IT systems are performing as well as they can.
  • An extension of your business – MSP partnerships that feel like they only go one way and purely transactional don’t last. A trusted provider should be invested in your business and want to see it grow giving recommendations to help your company’s growth. Ultimately if your business grows then so will theirs.

There are many ways that a MSP can help your business but the key thing is to ensure that your chosen provider can deliver on what they say they can and more importantly, what you need them to. If an MSP believes they can’t live up to your specifications then they shouldn’t be taking the job.

If you’re reading through this and think your MSP is no longer up to scratch then perhaps it’s time for a change.

Still keen to learn more?

A managed IT service can give many benefits to your organisation, as discussed in this article, but only if the supplier follows best practises and matches your needs. Choosing the correct partner can be the difference between a fruitful or challenging partnership, whether it’s through flexibility and scalability, being proactive and available when you need them, or simply creating a trusting relationship.

You should also discuss your requirements so you receive the appropriate level of service. Here at Arun Tech Support we go into depth of a clients needs and goals so we can provide the best possible service possible with a package that is both affordable and delivers the right results.

If you want to change service provider we will be happy to talk to you on how we can improve your business and take it to the next level feel free to contact us however you want.

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