We hope that at this point we have given you a clear idea of the ways in which partnering with an MSP can seriously benefit your business – check out our blogs on the core benefits, and our in-depth guide to cyber & data security with managed service providers.
But you may still be wondering to yourself: Is managed services what I need? Is it necessary?
Well, there is a short answer to that question, and there is a longer answer. The short one is – Yes, it could definitely be for you! But to understand that, we have to go through the longer answer. There are a few main scenarios when it comes to moving to a Managed Service provider – we’re going to talk about the main things to consider depending on what your situation is.
Moving from one-man band IT Support to an MSP
One scenario, which is most common among the smaller end of businesses, is that you may have a one-man band IT department within your organisation. They may have been with your business since the start, and no doubt they’ll have served you very well.
However, there will come a time where one of you outgrows the other – in could be that your needs as a business will be more than what one person could feasibly provide; or perhaps your jack-of-all-trades IT technician decides they want to move on.
It is at this point that you would have to consider moving to a Managed Service Provider. At TechQuarters, we do have service contracts for smaller businesses who may be at that point with their IT needs that go beyond a small internal department but must also be measured to what they can afford.
At the same time, if you and your IT technician are still perfectly happy, but together you are looking to expand your capabilities, it may be very beneficial to have us work with your internal IT technician, as they can act as a valuable onsite counterpart for us to work with. In this way you get all the benefit of having a permanent onsite engineer, with continuity of support even in their absence, so you aren’t keeping all your eggs in one basket. This could be the best of both worlds for some businesses!
Moving from an internal team to an MSP
Now, the next step up from the previous scenario is that you may have a larger internal IT team – for example, you may have your own helpdesk, or perhaps a first-line technician and a handful of specialists.
Again, what happens if engineers decide to move on from your company? Well of course, you can always recruit new engineers. But this brings its own set of complications – you need to recruit the right person for the job, which may take some time; you need to ensure that there is a good handover between the outgoing engineer and the newly recruited engineer – as well as this, the incoming engineer will need to go through training and probation; and what happens if, after one, three or even six months, you find that they’re just not quite the right fit for the company? Or perhaps the needs of your business evolved away from those which led you to hire them?
In this situation, you might find moving to a Managed Service provider has a lot of good benefits. For example, outsourcing your IT support and management to a service like ours could save you a lot of money (as we provide our services for fixed-monthly fees) in comparison to paying the salaries of an in-house team – and by extension you will save more money and some time that might be spend arranging cover for annual leave, or sick pay, etc. An MSP would also be able to manage your technology supplies – we can order and prepare hardware for a business, keeping it on our site so that it doesn’t clutter up your offices, until it is ready to be provisioned to you.
As with the previous scenario, you could also consider an arrangement where you keep some in-house engineers who can work with us when needed, bounce out support to our helpdesk, and generally share the support needs.
Moving from PAYG support to an MSP
Now you may not be partnered with a Managed Service provider, but you still might be receiving outsourced IT support. Many businesses have ad-hoc, pay-as-you-go IT support for their business; this is a good solution for when you’re just getting the occasional break or fault that needs fixing, and it is more cost-effective than employing in-house engineers – however, it is not the best solution, for a couple of reasons:
Firstly, it may be fine if you don’t have very many IT issues, but if the calls to helpdesk ramp up, so will your invoices – and quite sharply! With PAYG you get none of the benefits of a fixed monthly contract, which ought to come with a fixed monthly fee. This follows onto the second major issue with PAYG – which is that the service will most definitely prioritise customers who have a contract with them.
Another thing to consider with Pay As You Go IT support is that quite often you will be getting the best endeavours of the engineers. This sounds great, until you realise there is no service-level agreement to guarantee the quality of service you are getting.
Ultimately, there will come a time where the ad-hoc, outsourced IT support is no longer as good a solution as it once was for your business – and will be time to take the next step up and look to full Managed Services.
Moving from one MSP to another
This scenario may be the one with the biggest considerations.
In a lot of ways, it is fairly straightforward – because if you’re already with a Managed Service provider, you know how great a solution it is for your business. That being said, every MSP is slightly different, and the one you are with might not be the right fit for you.
The biggest consideration with an MSP is whether or not they are giving you proactive advice. This seems like a simple enough thing but unless it is one of the cornerstones of their service, you may find yourself being left behind with technology. At TechQuarters, for example, we make proactive advice and recommendations a key aspect of the service – we hold a business review with every customer, once every quarter, in order to make sure the service we are providing them is perfectly fitted to the needs of their business. Based on the history of support they’ve required, and the results of our network monitoring, we will recommend solutions to be incorporated into their service that will improve their systems.
With an MSP you should also be getting a continuity of service. If you find yourself continually answering the same sets of questions with each call, this is a problem. This means that you’re probably getting a different engineer every time you call up the helpdesk, and possibly the engineers are not keeping a proper record of your calls. Your MSP should be providing a dedicated projects engineers, or at the very least ensuring a consistent handover of information between engineers, so that whoever is looking after your issues has a full history and knows what’s going on with your systems.
Hopefully if you have been considering moving to a Managed Service Provider, your scenario of something similar to the situation you’re currently in came up in this blog. If you’d like to discuss your options further with one of our consultants, please contact us at the details below. We look forward to hearing from you!