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Choosing the right Managed Service Provider is about more than just technology. It’s about people.

Tuesday 29 October 2019 Application Managed Services

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James Maw's picture
By James Maw

Your fit with your Managed Service Provider (MSP) depends on much more than technology. Human factors are really important too. Here’s what to look for.

When choosing a MSP, your journey has to start with your specific challenges, rather than a simple tick list from an MSP.

Indeed, in our previous blog – Choosing the right Managed Service Provider -An approach that focuses on you – we showed how your priorities should change, depending on why you’re looking in the first place. In fact, we wrote a whole ebook about it.

But here’s the thing: unlike what you may have heard elsewhere, choosing an MSP isn’t just about technology – far from it.

The truth is, strong technical capabilities should just be a given for any MSP worth their salt. Most of the considerations that will decide the success of your relationship will be about something just as important. People.

Let’s take a look at some key areas beyond the tech, where an MSP will either fit your culture, or they won’t.

The right people in the right place

One of the first questions you should ask an MSP is: how long do they retain key people with knowledge and skills?

Their answer will demonstrate what kind of people they have on their team and how they’re spread across key competencies. In short, you need to know what kind of employer they are (i.e. how they treat their staff).

And this is crucial. Because if their people are siloed and have knowledge gaps, they can’t be deployed across multiple technologies, meaning you’ll struggle to maintain predictable supportand performance – for example, support for mission-critical heritage applications.

An MSP should also be confident about taking a proactive leadership role, able to manage multiple third-party vendors on your behalf and help you to foster innovation and customer experience.

A culture that fits with yours 

It’s likely that your ambitions lie far beyond “keeping the lights on”. But if your teams are tied up keeping mission-critical systems running, how can they be expected to innovate?

It’s an issue faced by countless organisations worldwide: how to free up your resources so your people can focus on more ambitious projects. And in that situation, your MSP’s culture will either boost your agility and effectiveness, or weigh you down.

An MSP that fits well with your organisational culture will:

• Share your innovation goals – and work with you to achieve them

• Work on your terms – focusing on your priorities and timelines, not theirs

• Consider non-technical employees – and how they will use and get the most out of your systems

In fact, our work with some of the UK’s biggest brands – such as Argos, and Waitrose & Partners – shows how finding a culture that fits can transform your relationship.

You’ll find the details in our ebook: NOT just another guide to choosing the best managed service provider.

Flexibility at the core of everything they do

Siloed teams, lack of out-of-hours cover and skills gaps can cause significant challenges for your organisation.

That’s why it’s important to consider an MSP that has the ability to deploy and move resources across multiple technologies, that can demonstrate an approach that retains key people for you and the skills and has the knowledge required to maintain predictable support and performance.

And let’s not forget availability.

A team that’s able to work and respond to issues 24/7/365 – including during holidays and peak periods – will ensure you have consistent coverage all year round.

It’s time to look beyond the tech

The importance of factors other than technology shouldn’t be a secret, but the truth is, far too many MSPs compete on their technical capabilities alone.

Instead, look for one whose strengths and people suit your specific challenges.

Speaking of which, be sure to read our latest eBook – NOT just another guide to choosing the best managed service provider – which highlights the four biggest reasons why you might approach an MSP, with tips on what makes a truly great partnership in each case.

Or if you’d like to talk to someone about choosing an MSP, get in touch with one of our experts.

 

 

Your fit with your Managed Service Provider (MSP) depends on much more than technology. Human factors are really important too. Here’s what to look for.

Choosing the right Managed Service Provider is about more than just technology. It’s about people.