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How to Grade the IT Partners You’re Evaluating to Manage your IT

How to Grade the IT Partners You’re Evaluating to Manage your IT

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Why Comparing IT Providers on Price Alone is a Huge Business Mistake

Same as businesses are not like each other even though they are in the same industry, not all IT partners or IT support companies are created equal. They will all have different ways of working to effectively impact the type of relationship they will have with you. There will be differences in the prices they charge you, but you need to be aware that the level of service you receive can vary widely, including -and most importantly- customer service.

The Accurate Ad-hoc IT Provider

These IT Services providers are more than happy to provide you with one-off project work without having any prior engagement with you, basically, sell you block hour contracts. They sell piecemeal services (i.e., just provide you with antivirus or backup) or offer support to nearly anyone who gets in touch with them.

They are ideal for start-ups, small businesses (less than five employees), and companies with a quite limited IT budget. This type of provider might suit you if your business (and its technology) is still in the formative stages. You can go with them if you are not planning to invest significantly in technology to overcome challenges because you’re not truly aware of what those challenges are yet, or what they’re likely to be in the future.

Problems with these providers:

Very often, they are a “one man band, ” and they’ll struggle to keep on top of all of their work.

These providers seem to have good general IT skills, but because they take on literally anyone and everyone they can as a client, they must try to understand hundreds of different industries and keep an eye on all diverse types of companies, countless different varieties of hardware, software, and users. This extensive variation in the types of businesses and technology that they work with makes them let’s say “less specialist.” They are less likely to be able to provide expert support to a precise type of company using a specific kind of software – for example, Legal Services or Financial Services companies.

These providers are usually operationally immature, so they may lack the internal processes and systems to ensure that all requests are handled efficiently and on time. In consequence, communication can be an issue with your support ticket and engineer.

Be careful engaging with this kind of providers. They may seem like an excellent choice at first because costs are low and they’re happy to fulfill your demands. If you don’t want to buy a backup or advanced security solutions, they probably won’t push it on you. Most of these companies spend most of their time reacting to problems and putting out fires. If they were more proactive, they would avoid you getting viruses and threats. Be advised, some malwares, like ransomware, can make you lose your valuable data permanently unless you take preventative measures. You can’t fix it after it has happened (other than by paying the ransom).


Managed Services Provider

MSPs have likely been in business for longer, may have evolved out of one of the other types of provider and are usually highly selective in the types of companies they work with.

For example, they may market themselves towards a small group of industries (or maybe just one or two), they may only work with companies of a specific size (even turning down big opportunities).

These companies are more operationally mature, and they have realized that they can make more money and provide a better service if they become highly specialized towards some specific type of companies. They will also have internal systems and processes that help them to deal with their workload more efficiently.

As they work with a select group of companies, they work with the same infrastructure, technology, software regularly, and become extremely good at supporting their customers. In our case, MBC’s main goal is to deliver delightfully IT, so our focus is customer service and customer satisfaction, we have a 99.9% rating on customer satisfaction. MSPs get to know a specific type of company really well, including common challenges they face. They have practiced the art of finding the right technology solutions to solve these problems.

Managed Services Providers tend to take more of a consultative and proactive approach to supporting your business, expecting you to understand that if there are no IT problems, and when issues come, your downtime is near to zero, it means they’re doing a good job.

Supporting your technology, keeping your employees happy and productive, and fighting fires are only a small part of what their offer. If you’re looking for more of a business relationship, and someone to advise how to tackle business challenges with technology, this should be your partner of choice.

These partners are likely to appear expensive at first. MSPs see IT as an investment, not a cost, and they may refuse to work with you if you push back on suggestions such as investing in reliable backup or a secure next generation firewall. However, this additional ‘cost’ means nothing compared to the time your company will save by avoiding cyber security incidents and being able to easily restore data if an unavoidable disaster happens. The end result will be to develop an IT strategy that will keep your business secure and your team productive.

Get in touch with our team and learn what MBC has to offer.

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