Is it time to break up with your current managed service provider (MSP)? While the relationship may have been a dream come true at the beginning, it’s not unusual for time to take its toll. Perhaps your needs have changed; maybe the MSP’s ownership or priorities have changed. Maybe everything has stayed exactly the same — despite the innovations taking place across the industry. Not quite sure if it’s time to find a new managed service provider?
Here are 8 reasons to move on…
• A steady flow of issues, often the same ones. When it comes to computers and office networks, issues will occur. Hardware fails, power surges, files become corrupt, users make mistakes. It happens. However, you engaged a MSP to monitor your systems and prevent issues. With proper monitoring, your MSP should be alerted when certain thresholds have been crossed or warnings triggered. The warning signs are usually present, but if the MSP doesn’t respond proactively, the inevitable will happen. If you’re experiencing frequent and recurring issues, it may be time to look for a new managed service provider.
• They’re just not into you. There are two sure-fire signs that a managed service provider isn’t too concerned about keeping you as a customer: inflexible terms and slow response times. As a small business, your needs change regularly. Is the MSP willing to be flexible?
Slow response times could mean that the MSP is short-staffed, but it could also mean they aren’t terribly interested in providing your business with excellent service or that they’re not taking your concerns seriously. For example, most MSP’s categorize support requests based on the severity and impact of the outage. Low priority issues, such as a problem installing software for one user, are obviously less important than high priority issues, such as an outage that shuts down your entire office network. But what if you have a medium or high priority outage and your phone calls are not returned or the technician shows up 5 hours late? What if all of your support requests are routinely handled in a non-urgent fashion? It’s probably time to find another managed service provider.
• They don’t “get” your business. The best information technology professionals understand both technology and business. It’s not all about bits and bytes. It’s also about helping business leverage technology to best meet business goals. Many MSPs specialize in specific industries such as banking, real estate, legal, retail, senior living, or healthcare. Managed service providers familiar with your industry already understand many of the challenges you face. In fact, they may have already solved them for companies like yours. If your managed service provider doesn’t “get” your industry and business, you’re missing out on a valuable resource.
• You’re treated like a cash cow. Whether your managed service provider gets you or not, constant up-selling can quickly become a major turnoff — especially if the offers are unnecessary or don’t justify themselves through improvements in security, efficiency, or ROI. It’s important to distinguish between an authentic recommendation that is necessary or will help your business meet its business goals and an up-sell designed primarily to benefit the MSP. If you feel as if each recommendation is a company-wide “offer of the week,” it’s time to find a managed service provider who truly understands how to help your business.
• Invoices are unpredictable with plenty of surprise fees. No one likes to find extra charges on their invoices. While some extra charges may be legitimate, such as using extra hours due to a crisis, it’s important that your MSP communicate with you when your company has exceeded its monthly allotment of time. Transparency is the key here — or lack thereof. Your MSP should be able to provide you with sufficient detail for all of the charges on your invoice, even before the invoice has been generated.
To minimize surprise fees, it’s smart to have a single point of contact manage the relationship and check the status of all monthly services on a daily or weekly basis. This person can help triage requests by determining if it makes sense to handle minor requests in-house or escalate them to the managed service provider (which cuts into the number of hours available for more complex requests).
• Someone else is always to blame. Does it seem as if the managed service provider rarely, if ever, accepts responsibility for an issue? It’s always someone else’s fault. Not only does this type of behavior get tiresome, it’s a reactive response when what you really need from a managed service provider is a proactive approach. When someone else is to blame, the MSP is essentially saying “It’s out of my hands; there’s nothing I can do.” Is that really what you’re looking for?
• You never get to speak to the same technician twice. This could be one of two things: the managed service provider is huge or the managed service provider has high turnover. Both cases are far from ideal for most small businesses. Neither allows you to build a strong relationship with your managed service provider, nor do they allow the MSP to get a deeper understanding of your business’s needs and challenges.
• The MSP engages in questionable security practices. You rely on your managed services provider to help keep your computer network safe from harm and secured from prying eyes, but what if the MSP doesn’t practice what it preaches? For example, does the managed service provider collect payment on an unencrypted webpage or ask you to send your credit card information via email? If the managed service provider’s own systems aren’t secure, who’s to say yours will be? It’s definitely time to get a new managed service provider!
What do you think? Is it time to find a new managed service provider? Quikteks in New Jersey offers comprehensive technical support to businesses in the tri-state area. Contact us today to schedule your free network security assessment.