Information technology plays a vital role in your business. It enables you and your staff to work from anywhere, scale operations, and be more productive. However, like most things that are frequently used, your technology needs to be maintained. To keep your IT environment running smoothly, you need the help of an IT department.
While some organizations have no problem hiring an internal team of IT professionals, this isn’t realistic for other businesses. The overhead can be a little too steep for some companies to justify paying for. To work around this issue, a company can instead outsource their IT support to a managed service provider (MSP). The only problem is, how do you choose a provider that fits the needs of your business?
What Are Managed IT Services?
Before we go any further, let’s start by clarifying what MSPs and managed IT services are. An MSP is a third-party vendor that remotely manages your IT infrastructure. Network management is usually done proactively and the company may offer other services like cybersecurity, cloud migration, and more.
Seven Questions to Ask Before Signing a Contract With a Knoxville Managed Service Provider
When you’re shopping for an MSP, you’re picking a company to entrust the backbone of your operations to, so finding the right vendor for your business is no small decision. The first mistake most organizations make when looking for a good MSP is focusing on the price. Yes, some vendors are cheaper than others, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if that’s all you care about.
If you want to find an MSP that can not only support your business, but also help improve it, you should perform a service provider evaluation. Here are seven questions you should ask during your evaluation.
How Long Have They Been in Business?
It’s important to ask about the provider’s experience and track record. Make sure that the provider has a proven history of successful projects and satisfied clients. Generally, you should look to partner with a company that has a decade or more of experience in the areas where you need the most help.
What Certifications or Accreditations Do They Hold?
Certifications and accreditations demonstrate that a managed service provider is knowledgeable and up-to-date on industry standards. Look for providers that are accredited in your industry or hold certifications that align with your specific needs.
Do They Take a Break-Fix Approach?
At some point, you’re going to run into problems with your technology no matter who you work with. When that time comes, you’re going to need an IT specialist who can fix your issue. Although MSPs can perform break-fix services, that should not be the only experience they have. You want a well-rounded MSP that has experience that extends past simple troubleshooting and knows how to get to the root of your issues.
To learn about the capabilities of the MSP you’re considering, you should ask them about what they do when things break to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In addition to certifications, you should ask about their services, staff skill sets, and availability. The best MSPs are able to serve all of your IT needs present and future by offering more than a break-fix approach.
Do They Offer 24/7 Monitoring and Support?
Remote monitoring is when IT specialists monitor and manage your network without needing to be physically present at your facility. Using network monitoring tools, administrators are alerted to abnormalities in your system. If a threat is detected, your provider can step in and solve the problem before it can have an effect on your business.
Since cyberattacks and network failures can happen at any time, it’s important to have an MSP that offers 24/7 monitoring solutions. The service essentially acts as your first line of defense if something goes awry, and you’re going to want to ask the MSP if they offer this service.
Technology and network infrastructure have to constantly evolve to keep up with the fast pace of today’s business world. An IT assessment from Net3 IT can help you stay up-to-date so you aren’t left behind. Take a Look
What Is Their Average Response Time?
It may sound cliche, but time is money in the business world, and you think of your technology in the same way. No organization can afford prolonged downtime that prevents their staff from doing their job. That’s why the MSP you partner with should be available and ready to provide assistance as soon as you need them. To find out the response time for an MSP, you could ask them directly. However, you may want to also do some research and look into what their clients are saying about their service.
What Do Their Reviews Say?
While you’re reading customer reviews, you should be able to get a sense of what the vendor’s customer service is like. As with any good business relationship, your MSP should see itself as your partner. This means they are interested in your business and they want to help you enhance it. If there are any signs that they can be flaky or that they aren’t constantly looking to improve their solutions, you’re going to want to go down a different path. When you spot gaps in communication before you’ve signed on, don’t assume those issues will resolve themselves when you become a customer.
Are They Local?
If you’re in Knoxville, partnering with a local managed service provider is the best way to ensure your MSP understands your unique needs and the local market. While this might not matter to every business, make sure they can provide the level of local service you expect.
Take Your Technology to the Next Level With Net3 IT as Your Knoxville Managed Service Provider
The Net3 IT team has been helping businesses in the Knoxville, TN, area with their IT needs since 2012. When you choose us, our experts work hard to make sure your IT is optimized to support your organizational goals. We are committed to delivering the kind of service that helps your company grow.
Contact us today to learn more about what Net3 IT offers.
Since 2012, Net3 IT has offered enterprise-level IT experience and industry knowledge to help Knoxville businesses make the right decisions. We are committed to our customers’ success by providing cost-effective, high-value IT services, VOIP phone services, and strategic consulting.