What should retailers look for in a Managed Services Provider?

The majority of today’s enterprise organisations have some or all of their IT dependent on third parties, whether that’s Microsoft, Amazon and the realms of public cloud or slightly closer links to external data centres or SaaS providers to the more direct and comprehensive service and support relationships with managed service providers (MSPs).

For a retail sector increasingly focused on adding value, building resilience and delivering innovation while maximising operational efficiencies and cyber protections, MSPs are an attractive option.

Get the right provider and you open the door to:

  • A broad range of services and skills that you can quickly map and customise to your needs and then have deployed in an accelerated, derisked project.
    • Network services – Connectivity, SD-WAN, LAN, Managed WAN, Managed Wireless, Secure Remote Access
    • Cloud services – Colocation, IaaS, PaaS, DRaaS, Public/Private/Hybrid Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud migration, data backup
    • Communication & collaboration services – Hosted IP telephony, Unified Communications, call recording, voice AI, call reporting, SIP Trunks
  • A collaborative partner doesn’t just deliver and support immediate requirements but works with you on future strategy, development and proofs of concept to optimise returns from IT.

 

Making the right choice

There are hundreds of MSPs but only a few selection criteria that really matter. And at the end of the day, it all comes down to ‘fit’ – is your preferred MSP the best fit for your organisation and your vision?

Capability

First question – what does your potential MSP offer by way of skills and services? MSPs are certainly not all created equal and it doesn’t do to assume proficiency and deep domain expertise in every technical area. Do your research and rule in those that are a strong match against that capability criterion.

Chemistry

With enterprise technology, you’re never just buying the IT commodity, you’re buying the people too – and that goes double in a managed scenario. There has to be trust; you want to be seeing honesty, experience, integrity and diligence in your MSP team; you really want to like them too. Look out for those partners who champion one-to-one relationships, and named, dedicated project, account teams and support personnel who you can actually pick up a phone to.

Calibre

IT is mission-critical. Confidence in your MSP’s quality has to be absolute. Look at their track record over time. The companies they work with and what those companies say about them. The style and scale of projects they deliver and support. Accreditations and partner status are instructive, but marquee achievements like supporting national critical infrastructure are even more telling.

Capacity

How well resourced is your MSP? If a dozen new projects landed all at once, do they have the program managers, the solution architects, the network/cloud/telephony specialists, the service managers to ensure optimal delivery for every one of them?

Customer focus

MPSs may rave about their availability figures or response times or security standards or the cost savings they can achieve for customers. But today’s customer is most likely taking all those things as read and instead wanting something else – evidence of their prospective MSP being really attuned to them, their market, their challenges and concerns. Commitment has to be deep-seated, genuine and there for the long-term.

 

Redcentric is a trusted MSP, working together with organisations to provide stability and availability and drive innovation. Get in touch and let us help provide advice on choosing a MSP suited for your organisation.


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