A managed service provider (MSP) offers an ideal solution for businesses looking to minimize operating costs while getting the latest technology for one monthly fee. Essentially, an MSP promises to take care of your technology needs as a bundled package. What exactly your needs look like will be outlined in the contract, so you know precisely what you’re paying your MSP for and they know exactly what they’ve promised you.
If you want to simplify budgeting and business management, reduce the risk of surprise technology fees, or eliminate expensive capital investments, an MSP can work with you to achieve any or all of these goals. Sound too good to be true? It can be. Here are five critical factors to consider before signing an MSP contract.
Service Offerings And Pricing Models
What services are included under the terms of the contract? What devices and infrastructure are covered? Will you have to pay additional fees for emergency support outside of regular business hours? Does the MSP address potential issues on a proactive basis or do they prefer a break-fix approach?
Before signing, ensure that your expectations are met by what’s outlined in the contract. Make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered by the agreement. Some providers like to make it seem as though all of their services are covered by one flat fee, only to surprise you with additional charges later on. Clarifying these details before you sign offers you the leverage to ensure you’re getting the best value on an agreement that addresses your needs.
Who has the MSP partnered with in the past to provide devices, infrastructure, and software for their clients? The more vendors they have worked with, the better deals they’ll typically be able to get you. When you work with a technology partner that has extensive industry connections and relationships, you can be confident that they’ll be able to stretch your IT budget substantially further than you ever would be able to on your own.
Is the MSP located close to your facilities? If not, do they offer remote support only? If your system goes down, and you need a critical component right away, time is of the essence. When you work with a local MSP, they can typically get your network back up and running faster than a remote MSP.
If you depend on your network infrastructure for day-to-day operations, the closer your MSP is, the better off you’ll be if you ever need emergency support.
If you work in a specialized industry with unique technology compliance requirements, you need an MSP that specializes in meeting or exceeding those industry standards. Noncompliance penalties can add up quickly, and when confidential client or patient information is leaked due to a network breach, the resulting lawsuits can devastate a company.
When you partner with an MSP that specializes in building network solutions with guaranteed compliance for your industry, you’re protecting your organization, your customers, and your employees. Plus, an MSP stays ahead of changes in compliance regulations, so you don’t have to.
Does the MSP offer around-the-clock network monitoring? One of the most significant benefits of an MSP solution is the peace of mind it can provide. When you have the confidence that someone is continuously monitoring your network for performance and potential security threats, you have one less thing to worry about so you can focus on your day-to-day operations. If peace of mind is one of your priorities, it’s important to clarify whether your MSP offers comprehensive network monitoring.