6 Tips to Fully Utilize Your Managed Services Provider

cybersecurity expert working in an office

You have finally decided to partner with a managed services provider. Now the question becomes, how do you best utilize them? Managed services providers (MSPs) have much to offer your business, and can add value to your business if you work together to make intentional decisions about your IT. Continue reading to learn tips to fully utilize your managed services provider.

Tips to Fully Utilize Your Managed Services Provider

Managed services providers have extensive resources and a wealth of experience to draw from. Typically, an MSP will have a team of experts who can help your business with a wide range of IT needs. They’ll be able to offer both breadth and depth in terms of services and expertise!

Take Advantage of Automated Reporting

Most good managed service providers will have some sort of automated reporting system. This will allow you to get reports on a regular basis without having to contact your provider. This is especially useful for things like performance reports, change management reports, and security reports.

You’ll automatically be kept in the loop regarding the status of your IT infrastructure. If something is amiss, you’ll know exactly what is going on and what questions you need to bring up to your MSP. It’s the perfect combination of hands-off management.

Make Use of Your Provider’s Expertise

Your managed services provider has a wealth of experience and expertise in many areas of IT. Make use of this by asking them for advice on issues such as technology strategy, selection and deployment of new technologies, security, and even business process improvement.

The more you can leverage your MSP’s knowledge, the more value they will be able to provide to you and your business. For example,  if you’re looking to move to the cloud, your MSP can help with the planning, migration, and management and ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible.

Take Advantage of Remote Management

Most managed service providers offer some type of remote management service. This means that they can access your network from their location and troubleshoot issues. This can be a real time saver for both you and the provider, especially in a time-sensitive situation.

Not only does this allow the provider to resolve issues quickly, but  it also allows the provider to train you on some of their software tools. This can be a huge benefit if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to take over IT management for your business.

Work with Your Provider on Incremental Goals

It might be easier to simply call up the managed services provider when there is an issue, and let them take care of it. However, this can be counterproductive in the long run. Instead, work with your provider on incremental goals that you want to achieve. This will help you to better utilize your MSP and get more value from their services.

For example, if you want to improve your security posture, work with your provider to set up a series of steps to get you where you need to be. You could start by having the provider conduct an audit and an onsite seminar about security. Once you’ve done that, perhaps the next step would be implementation of a new firewall for your business. Let your MSP guide you as you establish and work towards your goals.

Set Expectations

Setting expectations from the beginning is critical with any business relationship. When you’re working with an MSP, it’s important to understand exactly what they will be doing for you and how much it will cost. This means that you should discuss things like up-time policies, change management procedures, support options, performance expectations, and other important factors.

You should also receive a service level agreement from your MSP. This will lay out exactly what the timeframe for response is regarding any issues, and how quickly you can expect them to be resolved. If you don’t see an SLA in a proposal, this might be a red flag because it may indicate that your provider doesn’t have a system in place to keep your business’s IT infrastructure up and running.

Leverage Your IT

Utilizing a managed services provider can be a great way to improve your business. By following these  tips, you can make sure that you get the most out of your provider and see improved performance and security for your organization. For more information on managed services, contact eShield today.

We are committed to your success! When you partner with eShield for reliable IT services, we’ll become some of the most dedicated members of your team.