How to Work with a Managed Services Provider?
Managed Services Topics
To ensure absolute success, here’s what you need to do to be prepared for how to work with a managed services provider:
Establish Designated Points of Contact
The MSP needs to reach you for the partnership to work. This is especially true in co-managed environments wherein the MSP and your IT team work together to solve problems, which require clear, documented and reliable communication channels between both organizations.
Prioritize Solutions & Locations Realistically
Unless you’re a vast enterprise with high-maintenance facilities, not all your locations are going to require 100 percent of an MSPs given solution set. If you’re working with limited funds, you’ll need to determine which needs are vital and which ones can be tabled until next year’s budgeting cycle. In other words, you may not be able to make every location secure and have a great network connection this year. You’ll need to work with your MSP to determine how comprehensive your solutions can be at a budget that works for you.
Understand That Each Solution Category Has Layers
Case in point, if you’re looking at security, there is no single widget that solves all your network’s issues. If you purchase managed endpoint detection and response (EDR) from an MSP, they patch and protect your machines and servers, but they aren’t touching the rest of your network unless you choose to scope for those services. In this scenario, having EDR is a great step, but it’s not a silver bullet and your security solution as a whole will have gaps if this is the only service you deploy.
Be Honest About What You Don’t Know
It’s vital that you’re upfront with the MSP about gaps in your knowledge and experience. Remember that the MSP is there to support your existing IT department, not to replace it. Don’t feign understanding of complicated solutions to save face. You don’t want a critical component of your tech stack to be overlooked because your MSP mistakenly believes you have it covered.
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