21 Benefits of Managed Services To Supercharge Your Business
Developing and protecting your network infrastructure is vital to the future success of your business. When looking for an IT support company, you need to make sure that they contribute to your growth and bring value to your company. Use the following list of questions to determine if the potential MSP is right for you.
21 questions to ask a potential Managed IT Support company
1. Why should I trust your company?
You’d be surprised at just how telling this simple question is. The IT provider is trying to sell you their services, so they need to convince you that they’re unique and that you can’t find anything like them elsewhere. Only after asking all of these questions should you decide to hire them or not.
2. What kind of system management and monitoring do you provide?
Find out whether the IT company provides on-site support, 24/7/365 monitoring, or remote management. You ideally want to partner with a service provider that focuses on proactively monitoring your network and preventing any external threats from causing damage rather than one who just waits for an incident and then reacts. Those that offer management can help your IT team and fix any weak points in the infrastructure that they come across.
3. Which other IT companies are you partnered with?
You can tell whether a company is reputable and trusted by the number and types of partners they have. A successful and confident IT company can develop lasting professional relationships with other tech companies and often work together to deliver the best possible service. They’ll work together with other providers and deal with any network managing issues that might come up, making your IT department’s job even more convenient. A company that doesn’t have any business contacts or working partnerships is questionable.
4. Do you have existing customers that I could speak to?
Asking for testimonials or case studies from previous and existing clients is a great way to see whether the company is currently satisfying its customers. Ensure that these reviews and testimonies are genuine and not just random individuals without an identifying business.
5. How many employees does your company have?
Asking how large a company is can reveal whether they are capable of handling your business. While bigger is not always better, you can at least rest easy knowing that they have enough employees working on your network, so you’re not dependent on only one person. If a team member is sick or takes the day off, it shouldn’t affect your business. Sometimes smaller companies don’t have the workforce to provide the level of service you require.
6. What different levels of support can you offer me?
As a small business, you wouldn’t have the same service demands as a corporation. The company should have different support systems based on your budget, allowing you to pick and choose which one best fulfills your requirements. Typical services include a managed service with constant monitoring, a break and fix support on an as-needed basis, or pay-as-you-go support. Keep in mind that the latter will end up costing you more, though.
7. Do you have insurance?
Just as your business has insurance, your IT provider should as well. You never want to be in a position where something goes wrong, and you’re not protected. The company should have a large enough insurance package, preferably at a minimum of $1 million.
8. Will it be a locked-in contract?
You might be uneasy dedicating your business to an IT company that you’ve never worked with before. What if they’re terrible, but you’re locked into a year-long contract? Look for a company that has a gracious cancellation period and a short minimum time commitment requirement. You’ll feel more relaxed knowing you can leave at any time without being forced to pay extra.
9. What is the payment schedule like?
The IT provider should tell you how and when you need to pay for their services ahead of time. Is it on a subscription basis where you pay them monthly or quarterly, or is it an annual charge? Each company will have different terms and conditions, but they typically request 15 to 30-day payments.
10. What response time should I expect?
You shouldn’t trust when a company gives you a “guaranteed” time or number because it most likely will be an empty promise that only disappoints you. Ask them to estimate how long it would take them on average to respond to any request, question, or issue. Are there different time frames for the varying needs?
11. Who will I speak to when I call the help center?
One of the worst aspects of call centers is having to transfer from person to person until you finally reach someone that can help you. Ask whether the IT company operates their call centers with technicians and experts or generic employees with zero technical experience. Ideally, you would have direct access to the technician or manager who can best help you instead of being on hold for 45 minutes as you wait to connect to the following department.
12. Do you only offer IT support when we have issues?
The best IT companies are the ones that provide additional support for your business, even for non-threatening problems. They might assist your in-house IT department with training or development, strengthening your overall organization beyond infrastructure defenses. It’s great to know that your money is going towards improving your business and investing in its growth.
13. Will I have an assigned point of contact or account manager?
Having a dedicated account manager allows you to get the best value from your membership with the company. You’re able to develop a strong working relationship with someone who knows your business infrastructure’s ins and outs and will help you deal with the IT company. Ideally, you’d have more than one point of contact whom you can ask for support.
14. Will I have an assigned engineer, too?
Although it’s unlikely, you should still ask about dedicated engineers. Engineers are constantly given new projects and tasks, so it’s improbable that you’d deal with the same one every single time. If you do, then you should consider whether the service provider has a large enough staff for your needs or if they’re small and limited in resources.
15. Do you provide any hardware?
Some IT companies don’t provide additional hardware or replace any broken or flawed pieces. While it might not be commonplace, you should try and find a provider that supplies equipment on top of their network support. It’s comforting to know that you’ll be using hardware that your provider recommends and often uses–since they installed it, you have quick access to help if something breaks or you have questions.
16. How do you facilitate technical support?
They should tell you the exact steps you need to take to send in help requests. Do you submit an online form? Call by phone? It’ll give you an insight into their help center and whether they solve issues quickly or make you jump through hoops every time something goes wrong.
17. May I see the IT systems that your company uses?
It would be very suspicious if they say no to this request. As an IT network provider, they should always be willing to show which hardware they use and how they use the technology. They need to prove to you that their service and IT systems are superior to the other competition. You can judge their effectiveness and capability based on which type of system they utilise.
18. What kind of support is covered in the contract?
You must go over this question and answer in explicit detail. You never want to pay for a service without knowing if it will meet all of your requirements. Some companies might have generic statements of what they cover and support, but you should always check for an asterisk and read the fine print. Check whether the contract covers labor charges, custom software, different devices, and installations, among others.
19. What isn't covered?
It’s just as vital for you to find out what is not included or supported in your contract. This ensures that there are no miscommunications or misunderstandings about what the company will provide. It’s not enough to just make assumptions or guesses–ask about specific services and whether they will be charged extra to fulfill. You might accidentally get overcharged because you requested something particular that wasn’t in your contract.
20. What's your disaster recovery plan?
You must figure out ahead of time what their action plan is in the case of an emergency. Whether you suffer from a break-in or system failure, you need to know what arrangements they have in place to recover your data quickly and reset your business. Do they make continuous backups of your data? Perhaps they utilize cloud-based computing systems and remote management. It would be best if you found this out before a problem arises.
21. What break-clause provisions are there in the first 12 months?
You can never tell how the relationship will work and the quality of service. So having a break-clause for both parties covers you both.
We hope that this list of questions helps you narrow down the most suitable MSP company for your business.
If you want to look at IT Managed Services, we would be more than happy to have a no-obligation chat about how we can help
If you like the sound of the ‘hands-off’ experience and having your IT and Cybersecurity taken care of by highly trained professionals, we would love to hear from you. Call our friendly team of experts on 0345 314 2001 for a relaxed chat about how we can make all this happen for you.
Alternatively, feel free to email us from our contact page here.
Our team is ready and waiting to help in any way they can.