What to Look for in a Managed Service Provider

Sep 15, 2021

If you’re a tech-integrated firm, you’ve likely explored the possibility of bringing on a managed service provider. Maybe you already have but are now looking to switch to another. Regardless, knowing what to look for in a managed service provider before beginning a business relationship is essential, so you can be certain you’ve made the optimal choice for your business. Coretek will help guide you through the basic criteria you should evaluate, essential questions to ask, and provide more context on how a managed service provider can help your business.

What is a Managed Service Provider?

A managed service provider, or MSP, provides network, application, infrastructure, and security services through continuous support. Most MSPs can support a client's infrastructure on-site (local), in a data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center. Depending on the MSP, they may also provide their native services in addition to other technology services.  Some, like Coretek, choose top-tier vendors and services with which they create specific offerings to fit the client’s needs.

Why Hire an MSP?

As industry technology evolves, so does the increased need for continuous management. These needs can range from daily support to creating a growth-conducive business plan that can meet the demands of your business. From service help desk support to cloud-managed services, many MSPs employ a wide range of technology consultants, techs, and engineers to support any potential customer technological needs.

The now-ubiquitous hybrid workplace also brings its own cache of security concerns, and most businesses do not have the IT staff, nor the IT business knowledge to stay up to date. Staying afloat in the present is hard enough as-is, never mind planning for the future. This combination of external factors makes it highly desirable for organizations to outsource to an MSP.

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Key MSP Service Offerings to Evaluate

  • Cloud Managed Services
  • Digital Transformation Services
  • Cloud Security
  • Managed Security Services
  • Incident Management
  • Request Management
  • Release & Change Management
  • Asset Management
  • Problem Management
  • Knowledge & Training Management
  • Self-Service Tools
  • SLA Reporting & Dashboards
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Quarterly Business Reviews

Mergers & Acquisitions

An MSP’s digital transformation services can be a powerful asset in the merger and acquisition process, as MSPs understand the technical complexities of building IT integrations or separations. They may also advise on the critical integrations and digitalization strategies of large teams with cross-technology skill sets, including hybrid, cloud, and on-premises environments. When evaluating an MSP for a formal partnership, be sure they have the expertise to develop a plan, lay the foundation, and build out a new environment based on the goals of your organization.

Managed Security Services Partners (MSSPs)

IT security services are the cornerstone of any reputable MSP. The Coretek service offering includes Unified Security, meaning our services are grounded in security first, ensuring end-to-end protection for your business. You also get unprecedented scalability, as Coretek leverages the Microsoft Cloud suite of tools that scale quickly as your business grows. Along the way, our always-on Security Operations center is monitoring, testing, and ready to respond in the event of any security threats.

Guiding Principles of a Great Managed Service Provider

Value-Focused: Your MSP should search for opportunities to add value to your unique business situation with the right solution.

Personalized: MSPs should have the resources and knowledge to offer unique solutions based on your cloud journey stage and plan for the future together.

Progress-Based: The best MSPs always test and continually search for new and better ways to serve your business.

Holistic: Your MSP should always plan and execute by taking a holistic view of your entire company and overall needs.

Practical: Your business may need a significant technology overhaul, or you may need specialized services to extend the capabilities of your team. The best MSPs are aware of this, and their approach starts with looking for what is right for your business and is focused on driving incremental value. 

Optimization-Focused: A good MSP will always look for ways to optimize and automate processes; this keeps your team focused on their jobs and operating at peak productivity to maintain smooth business operations.

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MSPs & Monitoring Platforms

MSPs often offer tools or platforms for monitoring your cloud and IT environment. They usually give your IT team access to their tools, which ensures accountability and transparency on both sides.

For example, Coretek Managed Services customers enjoy the use of Insights. This proprietary all-in-one Microsoft Azure and Modern Work Management Platform provides transparency, control, and peace of mind for your Microsoft licensing, productivity tools, and cloud infrastructure.

Full MSP Support or a Partner for Your IT Team?

The best MSPs do everything in their power to meet their customers' exact needs. Some businesses need the support of an entire IT team, while others only need to augment their IT department, freeing them up to focus on more strategic initiatives for the company. Your MSP should always offer the partnership that works best for your business. You should never feel forced into a partnership model that does not fit your needs.

The Coretek Difference

At Coretek, we pride ourselves on being your strategic partner as well as your MSP/MSSP. We provide world-class Microsoft-centric solutions that enable you to unlock tangible cloud potential and achieve quantifiable organizational value. 

Learn more about Coretek’s Managed Services

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