How to Choose a Managed Services Provider: The Complete Guide

Managed service providers (MSPs) proactively monitor and manage your IT infrastructure and systems so you don’t have to. Over 27% of business owners have now turned to IT outsourcing as a way to reduce operational costs. But how do you choose a managed services provider?

From helping save time and money by taking care of complex IT tasks, they free up your staff to focus on other core business functions. MSPs can provide valuable insight and recommendations on how to improve your overall IT strategy.

If you’re considering working with an MSP, there are a few key things to keep in mind regarding your managed services vendor selection criteria.

In this blog post, we’ll share:

  • Tips on how to choose managed service providers
  • General questions to ask during MSP discovery
  • Technical questions to ask an MSP


How To Choose a Managed Services Provider

An MSP should be reliable, responsive, understand your business needs, and have a strong track record for customer satisfaction.

By making sure your MSP has this range of qualities, you can ensure that they will meet your requirements and deliver everything you expect from them.

If you’re wondering how to choose a managed services provider, be sure to follow this step-by-step process.


1. Define your business goals and objectives

First things first: defining your IT operations’ goals.

Defining clear goals and drafting a list of MSP qualifying questions allows you to know what you want and communicate effectively with MSPs to make sure that their services will actually meet your needs.

Whether it’s reducing operational costs, improving cybersecurity, or implementing disaster recovery plans, determining and defining your overall IT goals and objectives are necessary steps for choosing the best MSP for your needs – and drafting a list of questions to ask IT MSPs is more than beneficial in this process.


Want to learn more about how to choose managed security services and questions to ask an MSP? See these additional resources:


2. Research different managed services providers

With experienced staff who have a proven track record in IT infrastructure management, a managed services provider (MSP) can offer more than just basic technical support – they will also provide valuable advice and guidance backed by years of industry knowledge to help you make more informed decisions.

Aside from the level of expertise and experience, be sure to take into account these important factors in your managed services vendor selection criteria:

  • Google reviews and customer testimonials
  • Customer service ratings (CSAT)
  • Industry certifications
  • Service level agreements (SLAs)
  • Relevance to your business/industry


3. Determine your budget for a managed services provider

What are you hoping to spend on IT? This is one of the most important questions to ask during MSP discovery.

With over 55% of SMBs saying their current tech is a hindrance to incorporating new technologies, having a well-defined budget when seeking out an MSP has never been more important.

Knowing what is available, where to properly allocate your resources, and how much you can expect to be spending on IT is critical information that helps you narrow down your search options.

A good managed services provider will work with you to develop a budget that incorporates all of your technology needs while recognizing both short and long term objectives.

Some popular service offerings include:

  • Break-fix
  • Fixed-fee pricing
  • Per device
  • Pay as you go

how to choose managed security services


4. Compare the features and benefits of each managed services provider

Comparing the different features and benefits of MSP providers offers valuable information on everything from:

  • Pricing
  • Capability to support certain technologies
  • Reliability
  • Helpdesk support availability
  • Average response times
  • Security protocols
  • Backup and disaster recovery processes.
  • Uptime assurances

All of these are key factors to evaluate when selecting the MSP that will ultimately become the service provider for your business.


5. Review service level agreements (SLAs)

In reviewing each provider’s service level agreement (SLA), be sure to have a list of technical questions to qualifying MSPs on hand.

On your list of technical questions to qualifying MSPs, include the following:

  1. What is your average help desk response time?
  2. Do you provide an uptime guarantee?
  3. What security measures can you offer?
  4. What is not covered in my MSP contract?
  5. Will you provide onboarding/training for my new technology and systems?

All of these MSP qualifying questions will better equip you for how to choose managed security services that meet your needs.

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Why Choose Tenecom?

Now that we’ve discussed popular questions to ask IT MSPs, you’ll be better equipped to prepare your own managed services selection criteria and be on your way to finding an MSP to help streamline your IT management and improve your bottom line.

Fortunately, there is no need to waste time and energy searching for an MSP when you have one of the best right in front of you.

Tenecom has the tools and resources in place to meet your managed services selection criteria across the board, from everyday managed IT to cybersecurity and cloud computing.

Stay safe with our 24x7x365 system monitoring, peace of mind pricing, and industry-leading technology and insight that transforms your business.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make your IT goals a reality.

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