Did you catch yourself looking for a new Managed Service Provider (MSP) after years of sticking with your usual provider? Are you unhappy about what you’re getting for your money’s worth? If so, the time has probably come for you to break off the partnership and change the MSP. Whether this is your current priority or not, you should think twice if what you’re paying for is worth it and whether there’s a better option for you.
Now, you should look at several factors, which can help you with the decision. The first one would be the cost factor. If you’ve been stuck with one MSP for some time now, you might be thinking that changing them will break the bank, while in fact, it’s completely the opposite. Your current MSP might be doing okay for your business, but that’s just being okay. The MSP might be causing you unplanned downtime or costing you productivity, and you wouldn’t even be aware of it. You should ask yourself how many times did you suffer from downtime in the last 12 months, how much time did you need to be fully operating after the last downtime, how much damage did it cause, and most importantly, how did your MSP communicate with you after the downtime? These are all questions that fall into the equation regarding the cost-effectiveness of your current MSP.
You must also remember to check whether there are any unwanted surprises on your MSP invoice. The MSP should work towards stabilizing your IT spending, and if the invoices keep getting higher or display changes that shouldn’t be there, this means that your partner isn’t doing their job right. Check if your MSP is purchasing or installing any equipment without your knowledge or whether they have any unregistered expanses. Your MSP needs to help you plan and prioritize your budget for all expenses, and if they’re doing the opposite you need to implement some changes.
Are you afraid of the transition and how it’ll affect your productivity? Changing your MSP shouldn’t be difficult, as hiring a proper one for your business will only result in a smaller MSP invoice and a network that’s more efficient and productive than ever.
You should also ask yourself whether there were any recurring issues with your MSP. Low memory, PC and server crashes, failed backups, etc., are all common issues that people face with their MSPs. Have you been experiencing any of them in the recent years of cooperation with your provider? If so, they should only serve you as an indicator that your MSP is neither properly handling nor handling the said issues. If there have been any repeated problems, this just means that your MSP is tossing them under the rug, hoping they’ll disappear.
Feeling buyer’s remorse because your MSP isn’t doing what it promised in the advertisement? Perhaps you didn’t research your MSP thoroughly, and now you’ve realized it isn’t the best fit for your company. Maybe other MSPs with higher ratings and superior client satisfaction could satisfy your needs better? This is all a signal that you should be looking for a new MSP.
Last but not least, do you trust your Managed Service Provider? Do you think they’re doing their best to satisfy your business’s IT needs? If you feel like your MSP doesn’t go with your long-term goals, whether productively or financially, or whatever the reason may be, you need to get a more trusted partner. You and your business deserve an MSP that treats you as a partner and makes decisions that’ll go a long way for both parties. Remember that cooperation with the MSP continues even after the service level agreement is signed.
These are only some of the reasons why you should be changing your current MSP. To help you decide whether replacing your IT company is the right choice for you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 signs you should look for if you’re in this situation.
1. Frequent Downtime
Facing downtime is one of the most common signs that should tell you it’s time to move on to a new MSP. Sometimes it’s not even about how many times you’ve faced downtime, but instead, it’s about how your partner reacts to the mishap. If your downtime count is high, the answer is obvious, but if you’ve faced only a few in the last twelve months, for example, you should consider how much time it took for you to be fully operating. Also, consider what was the damage done and how was the communication between you and your MSP.
2. Missed Daily Backups
Facing backup issues should be a thing of the past at this point. What I mean by this is that your MSP should always be ready to recover a file/folder for you thanks to a properly set up company backup. The safety of your data shouldn’t cost your company and shouldn’t affect your employees, clients, vendors, and income, provided that you have a proper MSP.
3. Sub-par IT System Optimization Practices
One of the biggest reasons why IT companies lose money on a daily, monthly, and annual basis is a sub-par IT system optimization practice. Having a system that will allow you and your team of employees to complete the given tasks and clear the workload promptly and as efficiently as possible is crucial to both the growth and existence of your business. If your MSP isn’t implementing the best possible practice for your IT system optimization, you need to be looking at a change.
4. Bad Communication
Having bad communication with your MSP is like being in a toxic relationship. The partnership in such cases isn’t doing good to anyone and will only result in bringing new problems, such as bad performance of your IT system, data loss, the decline in income and productivity, and many more. You need to ask yourself how many times your MSP has visited your offices and sat down for a talk with you and whether they’re up to date with changes in your company. Keep in mind that sometimes good communication outweighs the benefits of having an MSP that does the job well but it’s hard to talk with.
5. Slow Response Times
A sign that’s often overlooked is the time it takes your MSP to answer your teams’ tickets and the time it took for the ticket to be solved. A good response time would be somewhere around 15 to 30 minutes, but that depends on whether it’s a high, medium, or low priority ticket. Use this time frame to decide whether your MSP responds in time or whether you’re getting a new partner.
6. Recognizing Your Business Vision
Partnering up with an MSP that recognizes your business is crucial as it allows them to prepare for your future projects in advance, optimizing your expenses, improving productivity, and upping your profit. Talk about your company’s goals and vision with your MSP and see if you’re on the same page.
7. Understanding Your Business
If you want to receive software and hardware recommendations from your MSP, you must make sure that you partner up with a provider that understands what your company is dealing with. Even with the recommendations aside, your MSP needs to understand your business if they want to create a proper framework for you and avoid any unwanted problems, and most importantly help you prosper as a company.
8. Undesirable Pricing
Pricing is one of the factors that you shouldn’t take into the equation when choosing an MSP. If a provider has sky-high fees for their services, this doesn’t mean that they’ll do a good job. You need to look at your MSP’s employees, their certificates, and their business-friendly relationship if you want an MSP that will give you the best bang for your buck.
9. Bad Customer Service
Is your MSP’s customer service unresponsive at times and even useless when you need them the most? Time spent chasing down support is the time you could be using to be productive and work on new tasks. Even if your customer service responds on time, ask yourself whether they genuinely want to help you or they’re looking at pre-written scripted lines that don’t do much in solving your problem. You need to ensure that you’re working with friendly people that want to assist you in solving the issues you and your team might be facing.
10. Reactive MSP
Ask yourself, is your MSP reactive or proactive? If they’re former, it only means that they are waiting for a problem to come up instead of preventing them in advance. It means that they won’t even know when there’s an issue if you don’t inform them. Reactive MSPs don’t work on lowering the ticket number, they work only on solving them. You need a proactive MSP that will be open for new integrations, optimizations of the network, and improving your IT system. Most importantly, a proactive MSP won’t let you face issues you don’t have to, and will actively try to lower the number of any problems that pop up.