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3 Questions: Start on the Right Foot With a Managed IT Services Partner


Here are a few suggestions on putting your best foot forward with your next Managed IT Partner.

While the origin of the phrase “getting off on the wrong foot” remains uncertain, we can all agree that doing so is a terrible start to any endeavor.

An athletic team that gets off on the wrong foot generally plays poorly. A relationship is less likely to prevail. In addition, a Managed IT partnership that doesn’t start off on the right foot is likely to spell major headaches – if not more – for your organization.

So how can you avoid it? After all, any relationship that encompasses the intricacies of a network, the management of essential data, and your cybersecurity livelihood, must be built upon trust and a mutual understanding of the IT roadmap ahead. Luckily, there are general elements that you can hone in on as you properly vet potential providers. Here are a few suggestions on putting your best foot forward with your next Managed IT Partner.

What is a Managed IT Service Provider/Partner (MSP), exactly?

An MSP is an organization that offers outsourced IT services to other organizations.  They generally provide ongoing monitoring and management of applications, IT infrastructure and apply their expertise on a recurring basis. A few items they routinely monitor include:

  • Web apps
  • Desktop and server management software
  • Backup and business continuity solutions
  • IT disaster recovery strategies
  • Data storage management
  • Cybersecurity best practices

3 Questions That Help You Avoid Getting Off on the Wrong Foot with Your Next MSP.

1. Do they put their foot down on a thorough assessment?

Many businesses will shudder at the thought of a thorough assessment of their technology infrastructure the same way one would a root canal. Heck, even some MSPs out there will skip this stage altogether. However, after an initial discovery meeting, a critical step in technology partnership is to take a deep dive into the wants, needs, and desired direction of your organization, as it pertains to your network infrastructure. Remember, too, that not all assessments are created equal, either in depth or intent. An assessment should be more than just a quick scan.

Here are a few reasons why a thorough technology assessment is critical:

  • It generates critical information. Putting a microscope on your infrastructure helps uncover key data on PCs, firewalls, switches, routers, potential security vulnerabilities, and where needed upgrades may exist.
  • It reduces unwanted surprises. No one likes to be taken by surprise by an MSP, be they unanticipated costs or unmet expectations. An assessment gets to the bottom of things on the front end.
  • It SHOULD address the “humanistic” nature of technology. One-on-one interviews are a great way to see how technology is actually applied by each user. Perception is often reality. Certain roles may have different perspectives or expectations of what they need out of devices and supporting software.

2. Are they fleet of foot regarding service?

Put another way… do they have a local presence? The availability of onsite support can be a great asset to your organization should the unexpected arise. A partner close by is also more likely to take on a deeper understanding of your needs and your overall environment than a provider you don’t routinely shake hands with.  With service in mind: Don’t hesitate to ask to see their numbers, from support call responsiveness, their competence score in providing resolution, as well as the depth of technology partnerships they forge on their end.

IT support can come from literally all over the world. We recommend you take a hard look at those within your own area code.

3. Do they wait on you hand and foot?

Are they doing more than just monitoring and maintaining infrastructure?  Your next Managed IT Partner should and can be willing to take it next level. Things to consider:

  • What does employee training/onboarding look like?
  • What certifications or advanced qualifications do they demonstrate?
  • When you call their support desk, are you getting a live person?
  • Is there end-user cybersecurity training available?
  • What about Partnership Reviews? How often do they happen, and what do they entail? 

Having a robust, secure IT network isn't optional today. Investing the time, resources, and expense to deploy and manage it yourself IS. From initial assessment to ongoing support, Datamax will focus on the foundation and security of your network, so you can focus on your business. Ready to learn more about Managed IT Services with Datamax? Click to schedule a visit! 

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Topics: Network Management Managed Services Network Security