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Six Tips for Choosing a Managed Services Provider

Are you tired of dealing with multiple technology vendors for your business?

Here are six tips for choosing a managed services provider (MSP):

1. One of the most elemental requirements for a business today is to implement multiple levels of security. If your computer systems are not secure, it renders all the other features and functions impractical. Look for managed service providers who utilize systems that include security certifications such as SAS 70, HIPAA, or other qualifications that satisfy Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

2. Don’t get tied up in long term multi-year contracts. Your business is always evolving, and as a result, your technology needs today may not be the same as they are 10 months from today. That’s part of the reason you don’t want to get tied up in a long term contract with your managed services provider. You need the flexibility if your needs should ever change. Find a company that offers month-to-month, scalable service plans.

3. Your managed services provider should perform due diligence for all equipment installed and identify all proprietary links or elements of infrastructure that would not scale well or would inhibit a shift towards standardization.

4. Whether you run a small business or manage a global corporation, it’s important that you choose a managed services provider that has worked with companies your size successfully. The challenges faced by small business are different than those faced by large corporations, so you need someone by your side that has a proven track record managing the IT requirements of businesses like yours.

5. Choose a vendor familiar with installing and supporting converged networks. These multivendor networks include firewalls, cloud services, computers, servers, printers, wireless devices, VoIP phone systems (or traditional PBX phone systems), and the data cabling that connects everything together.

6. Make sure your IT provider is aligned with industry best practices such as BICSI and ITIL standards because they have demonstrated industry expertise and have the reputation for treating each client as a strategic partner by successfully facilitating the complexities of infrastructure management.

About the Author

Mike Howson serves as the Director Tier 1 IP, a leading IT consulting firm that provides network support and IT services for growing companies in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas.