From law firms to professional services organizations, small businesses are increasingly turning to managed service providers (MSPs) for IT security, 24/7 system monitoring, data management and a host of other business IT services, including business phone service. Choosing the right MSP for your business will help it operate more efficiently, but finding one that meets all your requirements is no easy task. Given the challenges posed by everything from network operations to staffing, outsourcing your network management may be your best bet.
Here are the key elements to look for when
evaluating a Managed Service Provider:
- Availability: Your staff may not work 24-hours a day, but your computer network does, and so must your IT provider. Make sure your MSP is globally available 24/7, 365 days a year.
- Rapid Response Time: Pass on MSPs that use call centers and look for one that will personally respond to your needs and problems. In fact, ask about a guaranteed response time.
- Disaster Recovery Plan: A good MSP helps your organization prepare for future catastrophes such as weather disasters, severe outages, or vandalism. Talk to your MSP about how they’ll help your business recover from disruptive events.
- Local Employee Support and On-Site Maintenance: A local MSP that is available for onsite support is a huge benefit, but make sure it can also use remote access to resolve issues quickly. Ask whether you will receive a single point of contact. The best MSPs give you a dedicated manager who is an expert in your industry.
- Testing, Monitoring and Maintenance: Protection from cyber-crimes and hackers is critical, as it pro-actively running updates needed to keep problems at bay.
- Cloud Services and Backups: Your MSP should provide consistent, automatic backups on a remote server for your utmost safety.
To sum up, for most organizations, the best MSP is one that maintains its own network and offers your business an extensive array of managed services that can be scaled to fit your organization’s needs as they evolve. Find a true MSP partner for your business phone service and you’ll soon see your business grow to the next level.