Client Success

Alex Eley’s 5 Signs of a Great IT Provider

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Outsourcing your IT support – is it worth it? Well if you’re looking to utilise expert advice, stay on top of security trends and implement the latest business technologies, then yes. For many businesses, financing an internal IT department can be costly and for most, unnecessary. What is a requirement, however, is ensuring you and your team have access to the right technology and secure business systems. That’s where a managed service provider comes in, a cost-effective alternative that will reduce overheads and keep your business running smoothly. Sounds ideal doesn’t it?

 

Unfortunately, at Stripe, we find many clients have been passed from one bad IT company to the next, arriving to us frankly dissatisfied and unsure of the service they should be receiving. Can you blame them? How do you know what ‘good’ IT support looks like if you’ve never seen it… Having time to consider this during the current lockdown has prompted me to highlight the following five signs of a good MSP…

 

Pro-Active or Re-Active.

First and foremost, is your MSP pro-active, or re-active? Essentially here you want to determine whether they bring solutions to you or whether you have to chase them. It’s important to get an MSP that knows about your business and what works for you. Do they want to know about your people, your processes and most importantly, have they asked about your plans? Your MSP should be able to advise on the right solutions to fit your business and your budget… Every business is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all package!

 

First-hand Experience.

Find out whether your staff actually use your MSP. We often hear that staff have previously found it more hassle to ring up their provider than to get slightly IT savvy Steve in the office to try and help them out first. For 2nd line engineers most IT problems can be solved quickly, so making you wait around for a solution is unforgivable especially when technology goes hand in hand with efficiency and productivity! My tip? Call your MSP and experience the helpdesk yourself. Was it a positive and easy experience or were you passed around and put on hold? Make sure to let them know. At Stripe we’ve made our customer feedback score visible on our website, this ensures visibility to our customers and importantly keeps us accountable. Make note as to whether your MSP is transparent and asks for your feedback – continue improvement is another sign of a good MSP!

 

System Security.

Practise what you preach! Does your MSP follow their own recommendations? Could an old employee ring them up and gain access your data for example? With a few simple questions you can find out how easy it is to access your business’ data. Ask who has access to your data. Does your MSP outsource their support to additional suppliers, if so, who are they and what are their access rights? It’s also imperative you check how secure their remote tools are, do their engineers need to be approved before connecting remotely and do they have multi factor authentication? Finally, ask to see your MSP’s secure score in Office 365 this will give you a good insight into how important security is to them!

 

No Excuses.

Does your IT provider own a problem or is it never their fault? Do your staff hear “It’s because you’re using a Mac” or “Well your technology is outdated?”. If there is an excuse for everything, this is a big warning sign. At the end of the day we’re in a professional service industry, so if you feel like you’re not getting a good service, question it.

 

Visit them.

Finally, visit your MSP. The first way to ensure that your MSP is right for you is to take a trip to their office. Sounds like an obvious one but surprisingly it’s often forgotten about. You are entrusting your business and its valuable data with an outsourced team. Do they even let you visit? Is it where they said it was? Is the office what you expected? Is it tidy and organised? Is the team professional? Signs like this can have a big impact on the type of service you’re likely to receive.

 

So, what does ‘good’ look like? To me, it’s simple – Transparent, trustworthy, personable, pro-active and secure. Your business is unique, so your business technology needs to be as well. Want to find out how Stripe can help you? Just click here or drop me a message!

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