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The best managed services partners (MSPs) offer more than just ‘managed services’. Not only can they help businesses keep their lights on, maximise uptime and streamline processes, but MSPs can also place them in the best position for digital transformation. Here are some signs of a great MSP.

  1. Willingness to familiarise themselves with your business
  2. Ability to work proactively
  3. Regular, transparent communication
  4. 24/7 support
  5. Willingness to cater to your needs
  6. Ability to offer continuous governance

1. Willingness to familiarise themselves with your business

This is not only a sign of a great MSP - it’s a sign of the right MSP. The right MSP will strive to get to know your business, from your industry and existing challenges to your goals. That’s how they’ll ensure your IT/technology strategy aligns with your overall business strategy.

At Columbus, we will ensure our team thoroughly understands your business, challenges and processes. Armed with this knowledge, our consultants (with their decades of industry experience) can then provide cost-effective, timely resolutions to your problems.

2. Ability to work proactively

A common temptation is to fix technology when it’s not working. While that may have been fine in the past, if you want to become a truly agile organisation that’s resilient in the face of unexpected change, you must be able to see and mitigate issues before they happen. The best MSPs can help you with that.

It starts with their willingness to get to know your business. Once they understand your business processes and pain points, they can better pre-empt future hurdles. They will implement proactive preventative measures, such as monitoring your systems to ensure high app performance and stop such challenges from occurring again.

3. Regular, transparent communication

As is likely the case with your other business investments, you’ll want to see how your MSP is getting on with ‘futureproofing’ your organisation. The best (and right) MSPs will strive to answer your questions and resolve issues before you think to raise them.

Check out the Managed Services brochure

For example, at Columbus, we work to constantly keep our customers in the loop, whether it’s how their applications are performing to potential periods of downtime and how we’ll reduce the impact. Regular touchpoints and transparency are our priorities.

4. 24/7 support

Issues can happen at any time - they don’t wait for business hours. MSPs know this, which is why they should help with:

  • Disaster recovery planning and testing
  • Keeping business critical systems running
  • Reducing the impact of downtime
  • Eliminating the chance of data loss

And these are just the basic responsibilities. The best MSPs will ensure fast service and response times. At Columbus, we offer 24/7 support through our 300+ consultants. You will also have a dedicated, experienced service delivery manager (SDM) who will take complete ownership.

This SDM will be your single-point-of-contact, which means they will:

  • Manage all customer questions, queries, requests and escalations
  • Facilitate your desired outcomes and help you achieve them without you worrying about the associated risks and costs

5. Willingness to cater to your needs

The right MSP will be willing to tailor their service to your precise needs. They will be customer-centric, with outstanding customer experience at the core of their service.

This is how Columbus caters to our customers’ needs:

  • Customisable services, regardless of service level agreements, predicted scope of work or service hours
  • Flexible pricing models as we understand different companies will have different budgets and requirements
  • A one-stop service desk that’s available 24/7 and in nine languages

6. Ability to offer continuous governance

As we mentioned earlier in this blog post, the best MSPs offer more than just ‘managed services’. They will also support you in your digital transformation goals.

At Columbus, we do this by ensuring continuous governance in the form of three meetings:

  • Strategic
  • Tactical
  • Operational
Strategic Tactical Operational
Review your strategic activities that may impact application/infrastructure service delivery Plan for any upcoming services, projects and changes Review activities, service level agreement and service delivery status
Discuss business architecture, add-ons and contractual changes to your service level agreements and charges Discuss any scope of work adjustments and improvements to tactical operations Conduct root cause analysis (to prevent repeat issues occurring)
  Review your performance reports and financial status Define continuous improvement initiatives

The best MSPs will improve your bottom line

As many of us discovered last year, few businesses and people are truly prepared for the unexpected. To put your business in the best position for adapting swiftly and successfully, you need to digitally transform. And you can’t (and shouldn’t) tackle digital transformation by yourself.

An MSP is one asset you must have by your side. They can help you better understand your business processes (successes, vices and everything in between), improve efficiency, uptime and ultimately, your bottom line.

Find out more about Columbus as a managed services partner in our brochure. Download it below.

Managed Services Partner

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