1: IS YOUR MSPs SUPPORT & SERVICE REACTIVE, INSTEAD OF PROACTIVE?
It’s obvious that support from your MSP is utterly essential – after all, the S in MSP stands for service, so if you’re getting a non-service from your MSP maybe it’s time to consider alternative options!
Below is a list of the most common attributes customers listed as essential for proactive support:
- Early detection ensures problem-solving before it happens
- Ongoing monitoring 24/7 of both systems and solutions
- Utilise key performance metrics
- Avoid downtime to ultimately deliver cost and reputational savings
- Robust Security identifying potential security risks early
- Eliminate data breaches and security incidents
- Proactive monitoring of network activity and system logs
- Rapid response to security threats safeguarding the integrity of the business
- Offering next-generation layer 4 data encryption
2: ARE SLOW RESPONSE TIMES FROM YOUR MSP COSTING YOUR BUSINESS TIME AND MONEY?
Your MSP should stay hungry for your business or are they just too busy somewhere else?
A common challenge faced by clients when collaborating with MSPs is slow response times after the contracts are signed. Wherever you are in your relationship – from initial consultation through to customer support – you should expect a timely response to your query or at least know when you can expect one. A warning sign is slow response times before the contracts are even signed.
SDWAN Solutions: We take pride in the relationships we build and grow with customers and prospects and are here long term.
Minor issues can be sorted fast – so if they’re not sorted, what happens with a BIG issue?
If your MSP takes more than 24 hours to respond to minor non-service affecting issues, it could indicate a lack of sufficient resources or a lack of interest in your business. As a client, you should feel prioritised by your MSP, and if they fail to treat your service requests seriously, it might well be time to consider a new service provider. Before entering into a partnership assess the size of their support team, understand their client assistant processes, clearly define your expectations and agree service response times. This should be written into your contract.
SDWAN Solutions: We have clear response SLAs and proven support response stats
Emergencies MUST be all hands to the pump immediately – is that your experience?
In emergencies, your MSP should provide an immediate response even if only to assure you they are on the case. If they fail to immediately react to emergencies, it may suggest a lack of incident management processes or necessary resources to handle such critical situations, indicating they are out of their depth. Clear escalation paths to top management should also be transparent.
SDWAN Solutions: Every customer gets the mobile numbers of our CEO and CTO – read about our CEO, Anthony Senter, and CTO, Toby Sturridge.
- BEWARE THE MSP WITH PSEUDO-EXPERTS – NOT GENUINE OR PROVEN EXPERTISE
Many companies claim to have SD-WAN and SASE experts, some of these same companies, global tech corporations included, have used our rescue and recovery SDWANbulance – with us advising their ‘experts’ behind the scenes. To gauge whether your MSP truly has SD-WAN or SASE experts you’ll need to ASK and CHECK all of the below:
3.1 Do they offer more than one solution? – if they only have one or two solutions how much technology expertise do they really have or is their expertise single vendor related?
SDWAN Solutions: We are strictly vendor agnostic and offer unbiased technology expertise
3.2 Do they have qualifications? – are the qualifications recognised in the market or provided in-house?
SDWAN Solutions: We are the only company in the world to have 2 MEF double-accredited SD-WAN subject matter experts at our company, instrumental in the creation of the global SD-WAN standards examination, and two of the original 12 across the entire planet. Check out our credentials.
3.3 Vendor certifications reliably indicate vast knowledge of the technology and how products on the market can widely differ.
SDWAN Solutions: We have over 35 vendor technology certifications, have rigorously tested over 65 vendor solutions, and operate a live environment RND laboratory across the UK, EU, Africa and Asia.
3.4 Are they recognised thought leaders? – can all companies presenting themselves as thought leaders back this up with multiple world-first innovations beating global giants to market?
SDWAN Solutions: We’ve been mastering SD-WAN since 2016 and have been in the telecoms industry since the late 1990s – we’ve also beaten Global giants like HPE and Masergy to win best provider awards – actually we have never not won an award that we have been nominated for.
SDWAN Solutions: Learn about our expertise and thought leadership
Finally remember this: to achieve project or working relationship success, research is imperative. Don’t be drawn in by expensive and glossy marketing campaigns that are not backed up by credible and demonstrable expertise and credentials.
SDWAN Solutions: See how we compare to your provider
- Beat A Hasty Retreat from the One-Trick Ponies
How can a provider with only one available solution claim it’s the right one for your business? It’s up to the MSP to fit your solution around your business criteria, not the other way around. A badly fitting suit stands out in the crowd and likewise, a one-size-fits-all or badly tailored solution will never be right for your business.
SDWAN Solutions: We know the technologies, we’re vendor agnostic, and most importantly, we know their capabilities well, ensuring we always recommend solutions based on detailed consultations with you. Rely on our vast and unbiased multi-vendor SD-WAN and SASE expertise to ensure your business gets the best possible tailored solution, using only qualified vendors.
Our comprehensive professional services offer includes meeting and workshop consultations design, R&D, UCP hardware requirements, installation and management, technical support needs, solution re-tech guarantee leading to proof of concept and pilot. We also offer rescue and recovery services and RFP/RFI services (containing 54 modules) covering every aspect of SD-WAN and SASE procurement. When you engage us to run your RFP or RFI process, from start to finish.
- DOES THE HIGH TURNOVER OF YOUR MSP STAFF MEAN REPEATING YOUR NEEDS FOREVER?
High staff turnover at your MSP isn’t just a concern for them – it’s a flag raiser for you. However, you’ll only discover this in retrospect and probably when it’s already impacting your business and your team by you having to repeat yourselves in every contact you have with them.
High staff turnover also means lack of continuity and therefore knowledge of your company and history with them, and the inability to build a strong working relationship. These are challenges that could set you and your business back, not to mention give you the impression that you’re not a top priority for them. (See point 2 on this blog for more problems this will create).
SDWAN Solutions: Every team member is SD-WAN certified and gets involved in your solution and account which means you are not reliant on a single person for your relationship and always have a knowledgeable person to speak to.
- LACK OF 24/7 SUPPORT FROM YOUR MSP MAKING YOU DOUBT THEIR COMMITMENT?
An MSP must provide 24/7 support to demonstrate commitment to their customer’s satisfaction. Customers feel more valued and reassured when they know they’re going to have their questions answered and issues addressed, at any time of the day or night. At the same time, MSPs are more likely to retain customers who feel supported and satisfied.
SDWAN Solutions: Outages occur 24 x7, not just 9-5 that’s why our support runs 24 x 7, 365 days a year so you’ll never suffer the consequences and will therefore not impact your business, your reputation, AND your bottom line.
- YOUR MSP SHOULD ALWAYS OFFER A POC AND IF THEY DON’T, SHOULD YOU WALK AWAY?
If you believe what you read on the Net, a POC can be seen as a positive and negative thing. Some perceive POCs can be seen as complicated and time-consuming with no guaranteed satisfaction on the customer’s part, and potentially no sale on the MSP’s part.
Caution should be taken if an MSP is not willing to provide a POC, it raises questions about their confidence in their solutions and ability to deliver. If they can’t do a POC to any degree of satisfaction what would the end solution be like? POCs should not take months to conclude!
SDWAN Solutions: We welcome the opportunity to provide a POC, in fact, we see it as our best sales tool, as potential customers get to witness and experience first-hand the capabilities of the solution as well as user experience in working with our team. At the same time, we’re able to demonstrate our clear competence and efficiencies in both time and costs to our potential customers.
- COMMERCIAL RED FLAGS TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN ENGAGING AN MSP
It’s frustrating, infuriating even if the commercials with your MSP don’t meet expectations. Whether the presentation of figures is not crystal clear, the figures don’t correlate with expected RRP, or even the commercial goalposts move throughout your delivery due to unreliable solution specification. Be very careful about solutions or providers that are not totally upfront about hidden extras or total cost of ownership.
SDWAN Solutions: All of our quotations are clear, transparent and contain every element your solution needs to function as specified. Our CAPEX, OPEX and As-A-Service options are provided and explained.
- SHOULD YOUR MSP UPSKILL IN-HOUSE IT TEAMS AS STANDARD? IN A WORD – YES!
Don’t let your MSP hold all the cards by managing your business technology without imparting their expertise to your teams. If your MSP wants all the control or none, there’s usually an issue!
SDWAN Solutions: We continually upskill our customers with vendor certifications and ongoing solution training, as a standard part of our close collaborative working relationship, with a view to achieving co-management between the MSP and the customer.
- YOUR MSP SHOULD KEEP YOUR BUSINESS AHEAD OF THE INNOVATION CURVE – AND YOUR COMPETITORS
Being ahead of the competition is often the difference between surviving and thriving. We all know that technology moves on at pace – just look how Ai tools such as chatGPT have gone from an incredible innovation to a commonly use tool globally, in mere months! The exponential speed of technological innovation is driving yet further innovation, so if your MSP can’t even see the curve let alone keep abreast or, by rights ahead of that curve, it’s time to find one who revels in doing just that.
SDWAN Solutions: See our 6 world-first innovations that beat even the tech giants like Google, Cisco and Juniper to market.