15 factors to consider when looking for a managed service provider

Male and female IT engineers checking servers in server room with help of tablet.Facing pressure to contain costs while keeping up with rapidly evolving technology, many businesses are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) for IT support and security solutions. The portion of IT budgets devoted to managed services rose from 15 percent in 2020 to 18 percent in 2023, according to the 2023 State of IT report from Spiceworks Ziff Davis (SWZD).

The right MSP can tackle daily support tasks and free up your in-house staff to focus on other projects, leading to greater efficiency and productivity while enhancing performance. However, finding the ideal managed service provider for your business in the first place requires careful and thorough research.

When our technology advisors conduct searches for our clients, we utilize an advanced tool that generates matrices showing how various options compare based on various factors. The following are some of the key details included in the managed services matrix. Be sure to consider these elements to pinpoint the best managed service provider for your organization.

1. Primary line of business.

What is the main service they provide?

2. Years in business.

How long has this service provider been in the field?

3. Number of staff members.

How many employees do they have, and where are these staff members located?

4. Standalone offerings.

Do they provide one-off professional services like assessments and installs, or do they require a long-term managed service commitment?

5. Number of established managed service customers.

How many clients do they already have? Consider reviews and feedback from companies already leveraging their managed services.

6. Minimum deal size.

Do they have any requirements for a minimum number of end users, seats, devices, locations, and so on?

7. On-premises support.

Do they offer on-prem support services?

8. Service area.

Do they offer support in your geographic region?

9. Carriers and circuits.

Can they monitor your existing third-party circuits and resolve tickets?

10. Application support.

Do they support your current applications and products? This could include your cloud phone system, contact center platform, Microsoft 365 suite, Google products, Azure, etc.

11. Cybersecurity offerings.

Does this provider offer security solutions and services such as endpoint protection, identity and access management, and so on?

12. Patch management.

Does the provider offer patch management? If so, what systems and applications can they patch?

13. SD-WAN and secure access service edge (SASE).

Does this provider offer SD-WAN and SASE? If you already have these solutions in place, can the provider manage those products?

14. Infrastructure management.

Can the provider manage the equipment you have in place in terms of firewalls, routers, switches, storage devices, wireless access points, servers, and so on?

15. IT staff supplementation.

Does this MSP offer temporary or permanent staff augmentation for their clients?

An illustration shows bundles of cash and piles of coins next to several arrows pointing upward and a laptop with a cheerful IT tech holding a wrench popping out of the screen. Text below the illustration states, “The portion of IT budgets devoted to managed services rose from 15 percent in 2020 to 18 percent in 2023, according to the 2023 State of IT report from Spiceworks Ziff Davis (SWZD).”
Our advisors can assist you if you’d like to find the best managed service provider for your business. We have in-depth knowledge of managed IT and security services because of our background as a former managed service provider. Our team can leverage that experience and expertise, advanced tools, and our extensive partner network to identify the best options for your business.

Take the first step toward finding your ideal MSP today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing sales@stratospherenetworks.com to schedule a consultation.

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