by Scott Jack
Content Contributor, E-N Computers
7+ years experience in healthcare IT and tech support.
Choosing an MSP is a big decision; you will be entrusting mission-critical systems to a third-party company. The right partner can help your business thrive, while the wrong one may hinder your growth. In this article, we’ll address seven factors you should consider when researching potential candidates as well as explain how E-N Computers stacks up.
Not all MSPs are the same, so take time to learn about the helpdesk response, on-site support, backups and disaster recovery, vendor partnerships, industry expertise, consulting and strategy, and pricing model of each. The best MSPs are true partners that take a proactive approach to support, maintenance, and building an IT strategy that aligns with your business goals.
The Seven Point MSP Inspection
Would you like to see how your current MSP or IT service provider is measuring up to the inspection? Download a copy of the 7-point MSP Inspection Checklist in PDF form now.
Don’t have time to fill out the checklist right now? Enter your email address (totally optional!) and we’ll send you a link so you can download it later or share it with your team.
Helpdesk Response Time
When you contact an MSP for support, it will go through their helpdesk first. You will want to know if both routine and emergency incidents are handled, how you can request support, how long it takes for a request to be acknowledged, and how requests are triaged. This is often called the “service level agreement”, or SLA. Take our helpdesk as an example.
E-N Computers receives support requests via email, online form, PC agent, or phone. We endeavor to acknowledge all routine requests within 12 minutes. We prioritize requests according to urgency (number of users affected) and impact (extent of business operations affected), then assign a technician. If it is an emergency, we will follow up within 30 minutes. We also offer on-call service for after-hours emergencies. In addition to helpdesk support, we also provide on-site services.
E-N Computers believes that regular on-site support is essential to the long-term success of our clients. We assign one of our technicians to visit your site monthly, quarterly or annually as an optional add on. During their visits, they provide support and training, address problems, and build a good rapport with your team. These visits also help us make sure that your systems are continually aligned with your business goals.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
As part of our managed IT services addons, E-N Computers will configure on-site and off-site backups of your last 30 days of working files and test them by performing partial restores on a regular basis. We’ll also advise you on spare equipment you should keep available for faster turnaround in the event of a disaster. At additional cost, we can implement more advanced backup and disaster recovery plans.
Third-Party Vendor Partnerships
Some MSPs may charge an extra fee or have limitations around the scope of support provided for non-preferred vendors and technologies. You want to make sure that they are ready, willing, and able to support the IT infrastructure you rely on.
You can find a complete list of our technology-focused partners here. We use Microsoft 365 for hosted software and cloud services like email, team chat, intranet, and office applications. For network appliances we primarily support Meraki products. And for servers and workstations we partner with Dell. However, we can support a wide variety of industry-standard brands and technologies, and we will work with the vendors you have to make sure you get the best support possible.
Because IT needs vary by industry, we recommend looking for an MSP that has the knowledge and skills to support the unique needs of your industry. This is especially true if you are affected by government regulations, industry association standards, or contractual obligations from a major customer.
Though E-N Computers has served businesses in nearly every industry, our specialty is supporting organizations in regulated and sensitive industries like healthcare, finance, and defense contracting. We have the expertise necessary for anyone who requires compliance with regulations like CMMC, PCI-DSS, and HIPAA, or needs to meet ISO 27001 specifications. With our experienced team at your side, maintaining a secure and compliant computer network will no longer be a burden.
Consulting, Strategy, and Budget
Unfortunately, many MSPs are stuck in a reactive mode of fixing things as they break, rather than providing consultative solutions to business challenges. However, improvements to technology-driven processes and alignment with best practices can result in significant gains in efficiency by avoiding downtime and cybersecurity incidents.
E-N Computers offers a straightforward pricing model designed for businesses of 10 or more employees. We provide three tiers of service, priced per user per month: 1) support for your internal IT staff, 2) fully managed IT, and 3) high-security managed IT. We don’t lock you into a long contract. All our plans are designed to give a strategic, holistic approach to IT service without hidden costs. Our pricing chart and an easy-to-use pricing calculator are available here.
Next Steps: Learn More About Managed IT Service
DOWNLOAD: MSP Seven Point Inspection Quick Reference
A fully effective IT department can be surprisingly expensive. Our webinar Do I Need an MSP, Outsourced IT, or an IT Director? addresses why hiring an MSP can be a more cost effective, holistic approach to support and strategy. It also provides some insight into the benefits of a fixed rate plan versus a retainer with hourly fees.
If you want to understand more about why the seven point inspection is a useful tool, take a look at our video What Are the Top Problems with Outsourced IT? It addresses common concerns that come up when working with an MSP and how you can avoid them. Lastly, you’ll want to download the MSP Seven Point Inspection Quick Reference to help you in your search.
Does your business have the right partnerships to achieve IT success? Is your MSP meeting your strategy needs? Find out by taking our IT maturity assessment.
You’ll get personalized action items that you can use to make improvements right away. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to book a FREE IT strategy session to get even more insights into your IT needs.