The culture of your MSP can affect your bottom line
Mitigating risks for unplanned downtime should be one of the main functions of an IT department or a Managed Service Provider (MSP). A proactive IT department or MSP will implement reliable backups, provide fail-over and redundancy to critical network and server infrastructure in order to minimize the impact of unplanned downtime.
However, there is another element of risk that can potentially cause unnecessary downtime or prolong the effects of an outage-
It is the culture and competency of the IT department or MSP themselves.
Company culture is not about ping pong tables in the break room, free catered lunch every day or walking meetings around the local pond. Rather, a company with the right company culture connects their mission and core values to everything they do. As a result, the right company culture attracts and retains top talent. Their employees feel trusted and have the empowerment to do what is best to support the customer in the best manner possible. It fosters a working environment that allows employees to make their own significant contributions as an individual and as a team.
MotherG’s Culture and Core Values
At MotherG, we don’t have a ping pong table in the break room nor lunches cooked by chefs (unless Dave Davenport cooking lunch for the team counts!) but we do have a set of core values that we live by that defines our culture. We take company culture seriously and we hire based not only on technical talent but cultural fit. We have a group of very talented technologists and we really care about our customers. It shows in our attitude in which we approach problems and how well we react to our customer’s issues.
A few months ago in June, one of our customers reported issues with extreme slowness on the network, and half of their system was down. They are a large country club and their kitchen & point-of-sale systems were affected the most. Unable to support them remotely effectively due to the slowness of the network, we quickly decided it would be best to go on-site to troubleshoot. Once on site, I identified the issue as a loop on the network. Determining the source of the network loop can be tricky at times, and it was nearing almost 7pm. Dinner service at the country club was in full swing and with half of their systems down, it was needless to say very chaotic and the pressure was on.
Here's how I applied our company core values to guide me through the situation:
We’re Fun and a Little Quirky
I got a phone call from a colleague who happened to be at a company function that evening. MotherG hosts a “Happy 2 Hour” once every few months that allows the entire company a chance to talk about the company vision or initiatives in an informal setting. Sometimes we don’t talk about work at all and just enjoy each other's company.
Be a Tribe
When I got the phone call and briefed them on the situation, multiple team members immediately offered to come out and help. They knew the client and how large the environment was. Cable runs span a few floors and cover a lot of area between network equipment. Before I knew it, two of my colleagues joined me at the country club. Together we identified the source of the loop and resolved the issue faster that I could have possibly done alone.
Love Our Clients, Be Accountable
It was late, none of us had anything to eat but we didn’t stop there. We went around the club and identified any new equipment that may have been introduced by any 3rd party vendors and checked for other issues that may cause additional downtime for the customer in the future. We love our client and don’t want them to suffer any additional unnecessary downtime. When we left it was after 11pm. The next morning in our morning huddle we discussed as a team about how this could have been prevented and defined next steps. We documented our findings, and identified key next steps. We followed up with client and made sure they were happy.
There is a saying that a person’s true self comes out not when everything is going smoothly but during times of challenge and adversity.
I feel that my colleagues really showed that we have a strong culture and core values that we put to practice on a daily basis, especially at times of adversity. It would have been easy for my colleagues to clock out at 5pm and have the attitude that it's the on-site engineer’s problem and not theirs. Once the network loop was resolved, it would have been easy for us to leave the customer and return to our after-work function or head home for dinner. Rather, my colleagues proved that we are a tribe, we work together and we do it the right way because we love our clients and we are accountable for our work.
If your company uses an MSP to support your IT, the following questions are worth asking:
- How quickly does your MSP react to your unplanned sever or network failures?
- How well do they know you as a customer and your infrastructure to provide the best support possible?
- How well do they communicate with you during the process and how quickly do they provide a resolution to minimize the financial impact to your business?
- How proactive are they to minimize such outages again in future?
- What do you know about the culture and core values of your MSP and have you thought about how it could affect your company when it counts the most?
If you would like to know more about MotherG’s culture and core values, we would be more than glad to share with you! Please contact us here. To learn more about how we've helped other clients please read our case studies.
As always, your thoughts and comments are appreciated!