Given the critical importance of your business’s IT infrastructure and operations, we believe it is becoming increasingly important to effectively vet all prospective new IT service vendors. This is certainly applicable to Managed Service Providers (MSP). Given SpireTech’s twenty-three years of experience in providing IT Business Services, we wanted to address some of the important differences that can exist in the ways MSP’s operate.
- Helpdesk: Do they run their own helpdesk? Or do they outsource this key function? What are the helpdesk hours? If it is not local, where is it located? A local helpdesk is more likely to appreciate your business environment and the community in which you operate. How many people are staffed on the helpdesk? What is turnover like on their helpdesk? When you call, will you be speaking with a new person every time, or people that know your company?
- Insurance: Do they have errors and omissions insurance? Does it cover technical liability? Do they maintain general liability insurance as well? How professional and established is their business?
- Contractors: Do they use independent contractors for the delivery of their services – especially in providing project work? If they use contractors, are they covered under the company’s various insurance plans? If there is a problem caused to your business, who is liable? If employees, what is the general length of employment? – there can be a great deal of churn in the IT field and clients should seek to avoid related problems.
- Office: Do they have a physical office near yours, or are they only virtual? If it is an office, is it in someone’s home? If virtual, where are the technicians located? Is onsite service available, and if so under what timeframe?
- Hosting and data storage: Where will your data be physically stored? Is it encrypted? Do they outsource datacenter and cloud services such as web, email, offsite backup, and cloud drive to other companies they don’t control? If so, who do they call when it breaks? Many MSP’s must partner with outside vendors for these types of services, and the service will only be as reliable as the vendor they’ve chosen.
At SpireTech we have invested in resources to be able to meet these important business criteria. If you’d like to learn about our MSP practices, we’d be glad to talk with you.