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What Is An MSP and How to Choose One

What Is An MSP and How to Choose One

What Is An MSP and How to Choose One Workplace Connect

MSP stands for managed service provider and choosing the right one is vital for your business; this can help improve costs, efficiency, and productivity within the workplace. This blog will explain what a managed service provider is and some key considerations when looking for the right provider. 

What is an MSP? 

An MSP is a managed service provider, they provide technology and expertise to help your organisation work more efficiently; can provide scalability too. They are a third-party organisation you can work with to help manage your business needs, IT, and security. Using a service IT provider also means your business can get support anytime they need it regarding IT, decreasing your business’s downtime which can help save money, your reputation and customer retention.

Managed service providers can help reduce overheads whilst also improving your business’s performance, operations, and security. Outsourcing your IT, means some of the pressure of maintaining your IT equipment and looking out for threats is reduced. They can offer various solutions to suit the need and requirements of your business whilst also providing the option to scale them up or down when it is required.

A major benefit of using a managed service provider is your business can take advantage of their ability to create tailor-made solutions; that is the perfect fit for your business. Their team of dedicated experts will thoroughly analyse your business through on-site visits and meetings to understand your strengths and weaknesses so they can make informed decisions on what you should have. Another benefit is they will understand the regulatory and compliance requirements for your business therefore they understand the right solutions for your business style needs.

  

Range of Services 

One of the elements you should consider when picking the right managed service provider for your business is the range of services they offer. When looking at these companies you need to see what services they offer and what business types they specialise in helping to ensure you pick the right one which can do everything you need. Some MSPs will specialise in a couple of areas whereas others will specialise in everything you could need. It could be worthwhile meeting them before you do business with them so you can check they will offer everything you are looking for; this will save you money and tension because you can work with one provider only.

When you are meeting with the managed service provider ask them if they keep up with the latest technology trends regardless of what package you are expecting from them; this is because you need a provider who stays up to date with the latest technology news and threats so that they are able to minimise security risks from happening to your business. Another question worth asking is what their capabilities for scalability are because if you are considering staying with them for an extended period you are likely going to require this service; therefore, you will want to pick a supplier who can offer scalability to save your business time and money. 

The kinds of services and products you should be on the lookout for from a managed service provider include: 

  • Cloud Solutions 
  • Infrastructure 
  • Network Management 
  • Cyber Security 
  • Desktop Support 
  • Advice / Support 
  • Planning Services 
  • Device Management / Security 

  

Track Record 

It is vital for your business that you look into the managed service provider’s track record because this will tell you a lot about how they treat their customers and what you should expect from them if you chose to do business with them. The managed it provider should be able to provide you with case studies and success stories, if this is not the case then take that as a red flag and find another provider who can prove to you that they live up to what they state in their marketing material. Working with a reputable managed service provider can give you peace of mind and confidence to trust they can support as well as enhance your business.

Another element worth checking is their credentials, the managed service provider must be able to provide you with who they partner with and what accreditations they have achieved to prove they are a capable and trustworthy business; helping give you peace of mind as well as giving your business the best opportunity to succeed. Knowing who they partner with also means you can get a good idea of where their expertise will be and what kind of products/services are on offer from them. 

Here at Workplace Connect, we have achieved: 

  • Microsoft Silver Partner 
  • Cisco Select Partner 
  • ISO27001 
  • Cyber Essentials Plus 

When researching a managed service provider’s track record there are a few pieces of documentation to look out for as well as requests you can make encase there is not enough evidence to show how they work with their customers and what to expect from them; 

This includes: 

  • Online reviews and testimonials 
  • Reputation with their clients 
  • Reputation with businesses you trust 
  • Accreditations and partnerships 
  • Can ask for emails of current customers to see what they say about the business 
  • Case studies 
  • Go to events with their current and new clients to see the dynamics and opinions. 

  

Security and Back-Up 

This is another key element you must research before choosing the right managed service provider for your business. You need to understand how the business will protect yours from cyber-attacks to ensure that sufficient action will be taken for the protection of your company and customers. Without this guarantee, you are at risk of losing customers, money, employees, and data. Another security measure you should enquire about is how they manage and store your business’s data; this needs to be and is expected to be in line with the legal requirements of your business.

Once you begin working with a managed service provider, they should offer you a vigorous security solution as well as an endpoint protection strategy to minimise the risk of cyber attackers or bad leavers (people who leave the business and want to cause harm to it) posing a threat to your business. You should also be working with them to factor in the necessary compliance and regulatory requirements so there will be no unexpected legal issues. If you chose to use the cloud or features such as this there should also be a consideration of the security measures needed to keep your business safe and secure.

Backing up is also an important topic when choosing a provider because if you lose important data there must be a way of obtaining it back otherwise this could risk your business’s reputation. Customers and revenue. There should be a solution in place to retrieve back the data you have lost if there is a breach which can help give your employees peace of mind. There should be communication between you and the managed service provider regarding automation, restoration, and downtime; each one needs to have a plan in place.

  

Support 

Support may be the most obvious feature, but you should be aware of the standard of support you are offered. It is expected that your managed service provider will work constantly to ensure that your business is compliant; whilst also being maintained adequately. When your business grows the managed IT providers are expected to accommodate this and delegate staff when required; to keep up with the needs of your business. Some businesses will provide training or training tools to your employees so they can manage issues themselves before they escalate them to your support team.

The managed service provider must be able to respond to enquiries promptly, if your network was to go down then this can dramatically reduce your workforce’s productivity and could potentially lose your customers. Which in turn can lead to a damaged reputation, customer base and revenue; therefore, it is vital you work with a business that can identify the threats to your system and manage them before they arise into an unavoidable issue. Your MSP should be able to fix any threats before they become a serious issue.

Having a dedicated team to provide you and your employees support can help increase productivity and efficiency; whilst taking the pressure off you to understand it all. Therefore, we have thought of some questions worth asking yourself or your potential managed service provider to guarantee you have chosen the right provider for your business. 

This includes: 

  • What is their response time? (Aim for unautomated response) 
  • How quickly will a live person address your enquiry? 
  • What is their resolution process? 
  • How long do the support technicians take to identify an issue and work on resolving it? 

  

Understanding all these elements, will help you make an informed decision on the right managed service provider for your business. If you feel as though you need further support, contact us here: Workplace Connect Contact 

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