5 Things to Look for in a Managed IT Services Company

Michael Standley

Michael Standley, Director Sales Engineering

 

 

Today I want to share 5 things to look for when reviewing Managed IT Services companies for your business.  But first, let me start by defining exactly what a Managed IT Services Company is:

Managed IT Services Company - A company who provides specific IT services for your business from Service Desk support for your end users, monitoring and management of your servers and network equipment, onsite support, software specific support, and other IT related systems. 


Now that we have a shared understanding of what a Managed IT Services Company is, here are 5 things you should consider:

  1. Support Type: Many times a business may only be looking for one specific type of support.  For some it may be as simple as a desktop support solution while others many need a full outsource of all IT related functions in their organization.  Make sure when reviewing Managed IT Services providers that they provide the specific service or services you need.  Some providers are very specific in what they support while others may be able to provide a broader solution set.  I have seen clients who will keep an onsite employee for desktop support and have a Managed IT services company provide the support for their network and server infrastructure.  Each business is different and has different needs; make sure that the Managed IT Services companies you are reviewing provide the solutions to meet your specific business needs.

  2. 24/7: If your business is always on and always in need of support, then finding a Managed IT Services company who is available 24/7 is a must. Smaller Managed IT Services companies don't always offer this service or they offer an "on-call" solution in lieu of having a staff available 24/7.  If your business needs the value of 24/7 support, then make sure the companies you are looking at provide it. Ask if they have the staff available to pick up the phone when you or your staff need help at 3am in the morning, or if a server crashes at 5am and you need them onsite to get it back up and running.  Not all Managed IT Services companies have the staff to provide this level of service.

  3. Talent: What is the Managed IT Services staff's size, experience and certifications?  When deciding to utilize another company's staff to support your own, you need to look at all of these. A smaller organization will be limited with the number of staff they have to pick up the phone or the number of technicians they have to dispatch to your office if the need arises for onsite support. Ask how many staff they have to respond to your service needs and what level of experience they have.  Are they certified in the software that you need support in or the type of network that you are running? Do they have different levels of support depending on the issue that you may experience? Make sure the company you are looking at has the specific staff to meet your business requirements. It doesn't work great if you have a Windows environment and their engineers are all certified in UNIX.

  4. Tools & Systems: A huge value in utilizing a Managed IT Services company to support your business is the ability to leverage the tools and systems they have already made the investment in. Ask about their back office systems. Do they use a ticketing systems to track and escalate your issues?  Do they provide you access to the ticketing system to open, close, review and report on your tickets? Do they monitor your systems for uptime and failure?  Do you have access to review that monitoring and generate reports from it?  Having the ability to access these tools helps you to stay on top of your Managed IT Services provider. It will make sure they are providing the level of service you need as well as the ability for reporting….and who doesn't like reports.

  5. Vendor Management: Who has the time to sit on hold with your Internet or Phone services provider? You have a day job and it is not being the IT person in the office! Vendor management is a huge WIN when it comes to utilizing a Managed IT Services company.  Managed IT Services companies with a good size staff can call your other IT related vendors and do the waiting for you. Is your multifunction office copier and printer shooting out blank pages all over the hallway floor? Your Managed IT Services company should be able to get on the phone with your copier vendor, open the service request with them and then be onsite if a copier technician needs to make a visit. This should be the case for all your other IT related service, such as your Internet provider or accounting software package. Your Managed IT Services company may not be an expert in your specific software (there's a lot of different software out there), but they should be able to make the service call and work through the issue with the vendor of that specific software for you.

 

If you have questions about this list or just want to talk about your specific circumstances, contact Michael Standley at michael.standley@chrsolutions.com or call 713.351.5111 today!

 

Written by Michael Standley at 00:00

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