More and more small and midsize businesses are turning to managed service providers to manage and maintain their network and systems infrastructure. If you search for “IT managed services provider Chicago” you have pages of search results to browse, compare and talk to. 38 pages in fact!
Where do you start? You don’t have time to talk to them all... How do you differentiate between the mediocre MSP’s, and the first class ones with top quality service? Will you be getting the same quality steak from a local diner such as Denny’s as opposed to a world class chophouse such as Morton’s?
Is there a Morton’s of MSPs? What makes a managed service provider world class? When looking for an MSP, these are the top 5 must-haves:
1. Revolved around you
Working with a managed service provider should not be about relinquishing control of your IT operations, but delegating expertise of IT operations, technology or hardware that a MSP has access to but your company may not have readily available.
A world class MSP will revolve around your business goals and provide strategic plans that cater to your business’s technological needs. The focus will be on the customer’s performance and growth; not the other way around.
Your organization is unique and you may want to leverage your managed services differently than other businesses in the industry. A world class MSP should have the flexibility to collaborate with multi-vendor environments or integrate your old systems with new ones according to new updates in pertinent technology.
You may want to have a hybrid environment on premises with servers and others in the cloud. Your line of business application may be critical to your business operations. A world class MSP will offer flexible options to meet your needs.
Have you ever returned to a restaurant for a dish you enjoyed and the presentation, taste and texture was totally different than what you enjoyed the first time? It shouldn’t matter who’s behind the kitchen that day. A restaurant should have a process around their kitchen where the customer can have a predictable, quality dish every time around.
A World class MSP will also have a process around providing managed services to deliver world class results. Processes are set, defined and refined on a continual basis and people follow them. Its comparable to getting a Morton’s steak, every time you walk into Morton’s, you know that you’ll be getting a top notch steak and that expectation is always met. That’s what you get with top tier managed services.
4. Seek to improve
A World class MSP will always seek to improve. They have key metrics that are measured and improved upon. A goal of creating a culture of accountability within the team maintains an atmosphere of constant innovation and improvement.
Each team member has a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that they report on each day and review often to ensure that the service delivery team sets and achieves service delivery standards that are truly World Class. You will be able to expect the same quality results every time you call.
5. Strong company culture
A world class MSP has a set of core values that is respected and followed by every team member. They make personnel decisions based on those core values and attain employees that are not only talented and capable, but ones who care about the customers and their everyday problems.
If your MSP has low employee morale and culture, how enthusiastic will they be to answer your call? Next time don’t ask about how many employees an MSP has, ask them about the company’s culture and core values
If you work with a World Class Managed Services provider, your company will become a business that will compete at a higher level because of their sustained increases in productivity and functionality.