Are you looking for a managed network services provider to support your company? In our current, constantly evolving, technical market, the easiest and least expensive way to stay up to speed is by using a managed network services provider instead of growing your own IT support in-house. When you manage your IT services in house, you have to keep professionals who specialize in data backup and recovery, cloud computing, cyber security, IT support, and programming on hand. Considering every single IT professional is costing you about $80,000 each year, this is not even a possibility for most people. In fact, as technology changes in lightning speed, it’s almost impossible to stay abreast of best practices unless you funnel an additional considerable investment towards on-going training of your IT staff. And then when your employee leaves, your entire investment in knowledge goes with them.
Alternatively, managed network services provides the IT coverage you need, on an as-needed basis, without costing you the price tag that comes with doing it yourself. Of course, not all managed network services are created equally. Before choosing between managed network services, make sure to consider the following factors:
Four Things to Look for In a Managed Network Services Provider
- The right managed services provider will listen more than talk.
You’ll inevitably come across a few managed services providers who are only driven to talk about their services and why you should use them. However, in order to make sure that your needs are going be met by the provider, they need to understand your business practices and IT requirements. It’s a good sign if your managed services provider wants to know what software you run in house, and what services you use the cloud for, what security challenges you have, how many users your company has, and so on.
The more the managed services provider wants to know about your business, the more likely that they’re geared to their clients satisfaction. If the managed services provider only wants you to hear about them and all their greatness, you might want to keep shopping.
- The best managed services provider offers remote monitoring, around the clock.
As it turns out, network disasters rarely let you know when they’re going to arise before they hit. If you use a managed services provider who’s there for you, Monday through Friday, during business hours, you run a significant risk if disaster strikes during off hours. Before going any further with considering a managed services provider, make sure that they offer comprehensive system monitoring (we’re talking alerts set up on all servers, network devices, security measures, routers, and so on) around the clock. They should be so dedicated to monitoring your network system that any problems that arise can be repaired before it leads to unplanned downtime.
- The right managed services provider offers support both onsite and remotely.
It is most cost effective for you to utilize a managed services provider who can operate remotely. This way, simple issues can be resolved over the phone, without taking up your valuable office space, or requiring the additional equipment. However, some issues are going to require a flesh and blood tech professional to be face to face with you and your network. The best arrangement is if the managed services provider that you use offers a hybrid of both in-person and remote support, at the ratio that best meets your needs.
- The right managed services provider will provide support every day of the year.
This should be on your “Have to have” list of factors to look for in a managed services provider. Just because it’s Christmas Eve doesn’t mean that you won’t experience technical issues. If your service provider only providers support on a restricted schedule, you could encounter a big hangup that leaves you hanging for days, while the issue escalates. Make sure that you can pick up your phone and call for support any hour, any day of the year, no matter what. If the managed services provider you’re considering cannot offer this, you should keep looking.
Using a managed services provider is a great way to get coverage that you need. Use this guide make sure that you’ve selected one who will best meet your needs.