The five areas to consider when choosing a managed service provider (MSP) are: Customer service. Product and service offerings. Organization and culture. Security practices. Account management. When your business outgrows the DIY approach to IT, you may consider outsourcing IT functions to a managed service provider (MSP). Or, maybe you've been working with an IT vendor who is no longer meeting your needs and you're ready to make a change. Once you've decided that managed IT services are the right option for managing your IT, how do you choose the best MSP partner? In this article, we'll walk through the five areas to consider when evaluating a potential managed service partner for your business. As a managed service provider, Innovative gets a lot of questions from businesses choosing an MSP. While we certainly follow MSP best practices, we're not the perfect fit for every business. For the remainder of this article, we'll remove ourselves from the equation and present an unbiased outline of how to evaluate a managed service provider.
Your business will need IT help at some point. You’ll likely find yourself researching different IT support companies to find the best provider to support your devices and network.
Are you or your staff practicing social distancing and working remotely in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak? We're all doing as much as we can to stay safe, which has meant making some quick decisions and quickly transitioning employees to work-from-home arrangements. Microsoft Teams is an incredibly powerful tool to continue collaboration and virtual face-to-face communication while your team works from the safety of their homes. If you're already using Microsoft Office 365, you may already have access to Teams and are maybe already using some of the features. Here is a brief video tutorial of some of the features we've found most useful as we at Innovative practice as much social distancing as possible.
You've been managing IT functions in your business on your own, or with some limited help. You're starting to feel like a more cohesive approach to IT could benefit your business. Your current "just fix it when it's broken" method isn't working. Managed IT services let you sleep better, knowing that an experienced business technology team is managing your IT infrastructure and systems. Managed IT services is the administration and oversight of the technology functions and infrastructure within your business by an outsourced, third-party provider, usually called a managed services provider (MSP). The most common managed IT services include: Network monitoring and management. Help desk support. On-site IT service. Remote tech support. IT consulting. Disaster recovery Data backup. Anti-virus and threat detection. Cloud solutions.
You’ve been working with an IT support company, freelancer, or managed service provider for a while. You like them. They’re great people. Maybe you’ve known them for years and they’ve helped you out of more than one bind. But lately, you’ve been feeling that things could be better. Your IT systems should be more in sync with your business. Your employees shouldn’t be dealing with nagging, unresolved problems. And your own, fairly new computer has been getting more sluggish by the day. Even on a good day when everything is working fine, you have a nagging gut feeling that the IT in your business isn’t great. You don’t even want to think about what might happen on a bad day when your server crashes or you get hit with a ransomware attack.
A managed service provider, or MSP, is a third-party that delivers an essential business function. Usually this refers specifically to IT functions. MSPs work under a subscription model, rather than a per-hour or per-call rate charged by on-demand or break/fix vendors. With on demand service providers, response to issues as they arise can cause unpredictable costs and outages. By contrast, an MSP is a business partner that proactively manages and assumes responsibility for an agreed upon set of services.
You have a gut feeling that something isn’t right about the way you’ve been approaching IT in your business. You’re not sure exactly what to do, but you’re afraid of what might happen if you continue the current path. Maybe you have one or two internal IT employees. You’re worried about what would happen if your network crashes overnight or while they’re on vacation. Maybe you contract with a freelancer or company to come to your business and install or troubleshoot equipment as needed. They do the work you ask, but you’re not sure if there are better hardware and software options available. If these are the things keeping you up at night, outsourcing your IT department might be the right solution for you. Managed IT is just one of the four main ways businesses approach IT support, but it is the only comprehensive outsourced IT option that will address your concerns. With managed IT services, an IT company takes on complete oversight of your network and support of your devices and end users. Managed IT services include both strategic and tactical services. You get the benefits of an IT strategy with a team of professionals handling the monitoring and maintenance of your network along with the day-to-day end user support.
Your business plan informs your go-to-market strategy. It includes a thorough market analysis and assessment of your competition. It tells you how you’ll market yourself. It identifies the human and financial capital you’ll need to deliver your products and services.
The cloud is the hottest tech buzzword. Everyone is anxious to downsize their technology to a computer with an internet connection. Especially when faced with a major server or software upgrade. That’s doable for a lot of businesses these days. But moving to the cloud without thinking about all the implications can have a major negative impact on your business. Some things you’ll need to consider include: What are you moving to the cloud? Do you need to access the cloud when the internet goes down? Is your data in the cloud backed up? Does your cloud solution meet security and compliance requirements? First, to identify what you’re moving to the cloud. Let’s make sure you understand what the cloud is, and your options for using it.
You use password-protected applications for everything from banking and financial management to planning vacations and socializing. In the workplace, sign-in credentials connect you and your employees to business applications and online services like payroll processing, appointment scheduling, invoicing, and every other confidential function of your business.