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3 Tips for Choosing a Managed Service Provider for Your Business
Technology has become a huge part of how business gets done every day. It may not take the place of the sales person on the front line, but it helps them do their job more effectively. Email, contact management software, websites, and mobile connectivity are integral to how companies operate on a daily basis.
This evolution and integration of technology has made having a managed service provider for all your IT needs not only a smart choice for business, but one that is vital to continued productivity and growth.
According to CIO.com, the improvement of efficiency and reliability of IT operations was a main factor for 56 percent of companies choosing an outside managed service provider (MSP) to keep their operations running smoothly.
Some key reasons companies stated for working with a MSP include:
- Cost Savings
- Enhanced Security
- Improved Compliance
- Excellent Return on Investment (ROI)
- Application Monitoring
- Improved Productivity
- Ease of Implementation of New Technologies (audio/video/apps)
- Peace of Mind
What Does a Managed Service Provider Do?
The term “Managed Service Provider” began in the 1990s as personal computers on every desk and the internet itself were starting to take hold simultaneously. Once companies realized that having a website was their new business card and that computers could help move their business forward at light speeds, they saw the need for experienced providers who could build and maintain that technology.
With over 73 years of combined experience, the team at Powerkey IT Solutions have seen this IT evolution and guided clients through it. They’ve worked with businesses of all sizes and types providing the core MSP services to help their clients’ businesses grow.
Key MSP services include:
- Computer & Mobile Device Repair
- Data Backup and Recovery
- Printer, Scanner, and Peripheral Troubleshooting
- Networking of Multiple Computers
- Firewall Setup and Optimization
- VoIP Phone System Setup
- Server Setup and Support
- Custom Application Development
- CISCO Networking
- Set Up of WiFi
- Website Development
- Network Security and Real Time Monitoring
- Emergency Service if Systems are Down
- Employee Training and Support
Tip #1: Check Their Experience
Not all managed service providers are created equal. If you want your IT solutions solved effectively, efficiently, and right the first time, you want to make sure that the IT support company you choose has experienced and trained technicians.
The best providers have the top certifications from Microsoft, CISCO, and CompTIA. Certifications ensure that your service provider is using best practices and fully understands the software and hardware that is the lifeblood running your organization’s computer networks.
Experience also means getting an issue handled right the first time. Experienced technicians save you the time, trouble, and the cost of having to re-fix something that you thought was handled.
This is something that Powerkey understands and has integrated into their DNA. Their technicians are certified in a number of IT disciplines.
Tip #2: Read Customer Reviews
The best way to know how you’ll be treated from an IT managed service provider is to hear what others have to say about them. You’ll also want to pay attention to their retention rate. If they have a good one, you’ll see it mentioned on their website, if not… then they probably won’t.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to know if a company will be right for you. According to Forbes and Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all other types of advertising. And in the era of Twitter and Facebook, you have more resources than ever to check up on a company.
Here are some places to check for customer reviews:
- The Company’s Own Website
- The Company Facebook Page
- The Company Twitter Name or Hashtag (#)
- Local Businesses in Your Area
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
Tip #3: Talk to Them
You can learn a lot from a company by looking over their and other websites, it’s true. But when you actually speak with them, either on the phone or in person, is when you really get a feel for the people behind the company.
Never underestimate the power of just picking up the phone and calling. Can you get through to a human being quickly? Do they seem to know what they’re talking about? Do they care about your needs?
These are all questions that can be answered just from talking to someone or meeting with them in person.
The Muse has a great infographic about the importance of face-to-face meetings (whether in person or by video), including that facial expressions can make up 55% of a conversation. It’s not always what you say, but how you say it.
It’s been well proven that whether a business has their own in house IT Department or not, hiring a managed service provider can greatly increase their business capability and growth while also ensuring their systems and networks are safe and constantly monitored.
You’ll find that companies like Powerkey IT Solutions, with a 99% client retention rate and who put their customers’ need first before anything else, are the “gold standard” of MSP partners.
When choosing the right MSP for your business you want to make sure they “check all the boxes” and have your own business needs at heart.