For most companies, their first experience with IT support and services comes from IT providers who lack the initial experience needed to innovate and change a company’s technology. Hence, the “overnight MSPs” that make countless promises surrounding service delivery, security, and basic process, any experienced provider should have. Begin uncovering the truth behind your provider, and if they can stack up against these “8 Must-Ask Questions for Your Next Managed Service Provider.”

  1. “What is your full onboarding process and if you have one, can you provide us with the steps and what they look like?”

The whole advantage of an MSP is to utilize the experience and specialization from years of IT support and service experience. Your next managed service provider should be able to provide your team with a comprehensive outline of the onboarding process. This process takes time, so depending on the size of your business, it can range from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.

  1. “What type of documentation and reporting software does your team plan to use? Step me through the process of how you plan on documenting our network?”

A truly seasoned-veteran of managed service providers should be utilizing document management tools, not a ticketing system to fully document to discover process, and what that looks like as a process. This documentation should at the least contain your network, servers, workstations, devices, software, vendors, passwords, warranties, and configurations.

  1. “At what rate will we you be meeting with us to further discuss our technology, or to remedy a problem?”

Your IT support team shouldn’t feel like strangers, a customer-centric MSPs have dedicated technology consultants, or virtual Chief Information Officers who are prepared to meet with your team every quarter at the least, to discuss your IT strategy, it’s budgeting, and planning. Your tech team shouldn’t feel like strangers, constantly attempting to remote into your systems, and making matters worse.

  1. “What is the type of backup system you typically support, and why has your team aligned with this system?”

Any trusted Managed Service Provider should always include the use of an onsite backup and utilize the current systems for site-replication, or cloud-based backups. This is vital, as the company responsible for managing your IT environment, this includes protecting your company data and their customer’s information.

  1. “What is your typical process in the event our mail-server, were to ever crash?”

By leveraging the technology and tools provided by your managed service provider, they should hold the capacity to get the business up and running in minutes, not hours by utilizing robust backup solutions that communicate status and updates.

  1. “Do your systems provide us with reports to ensure your team is proactively maintaining our systems, getting us closure to our business objectives?”

Any MSP should be able to provide your organization with the ability to receive a simple, easy to read report delivered monthly, with the ability to add and customize reporting upon further need.

  1. “How does a trusted IT support and service company handle the flood of expirations, warranties, and software support associated with your network technology?”

Hopefully, your working with a trusted managed service provider that handles these for your company, via an internal process. This process should then be used to automatically generate a ticket when expirations are triggered like server warranties or domain hosting. If a domain host expires, it runs the potential to take down your email for hours.

  1. “How does your team ensure a ticket is handled within a reasonable timeframe?”

Experienced Managed Service Providers come from working in the break-fix support realm. Typically coming from a metrically driven background, your MSP should have a well-defined SLA, fully-integrated into their ticketing system, at the very least. Once the ticket is sent in, the timer starts and service managers will be notified.

We hope these “8 Must-Ask Questions for Your Next Managed Service Provider,” will provide the clarity and understanding needed, from many organizations surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. Because of our continued pledge to excellent customer service we recently submitted to our company for review against the nation’s best providers, coming out as one of the leaders in northern California managed service providers. Contact us to begin uncovering the truth surrounding your business systems, and IT network.