How to Pick a Managed Service Provider in Houston TX
Your choice for a Houston IT service provider might be the most important business partnership you make. It takes more than just knowledge of computers, networks, and peripheral equipment. A lot of individuals and teams really, really know technology, but that’s where their ability ends.
You need someone who can communicate with your team and provide consistent support when you need it. Plus, technology is going to continue to evolve.
Your ongoing needs will change. Your business deserves a Houston Managed Service Provider who helps you plan for future technology needs.
What’s The Houston IT Service Provider’s System for Managing Requests
Your employees are going to have questions, cause technology headaches, need password resets, struggle with finding printers, and so on. Your business is probably looking for a Houston IT service provider because you already know a long list of things come up, and you need someone who can handle them easily and quickly so the work can go on.
Ask your potential Houston MSP how their help desk is staffed. Ideally, they’ll provide in-house support that’s available around the clock.
That way you know you can always reach someone who speaks American English and can either walk you through a fix or complete it remotely for you.
User-Friendly Customer Response
Ask them to outline for you the system they use to respond to requests. Do that have a ticket system that’s priority-based, or do help desk staff members respond to them as they come in on a first-come, first-served basis? Find out what’s their average response time per ticket.
Also, consider if the way they provide help is one with which administrators and employees will be comfortable. For example, some providers offer free, unlimited online chat support, but not everyone is comfortable with that.
If it takes a lot of back and forth to communicate a problem and identify the fix, productivity declines. Other people prefer chat support over making a phone call or sending an email. Look for a provider who offers a range of solutions so staff can choose their own most effective approach.
They should have a systematic method for measuring customer satisfaction so they can ensure they’re always providing the type of support their clients need. Search for some type of feedback method that gathers and stores client input whether it’s positive or negative.
What Can’t The Houston MSP Do?
You’ll want to know what your contract covers and what lies outside the scope. You should receive network monitoring, round the clock customer support, virus protection, strategic planning, and cloud computing, but some providers lump services together and charge an hourly rate, others offer them a‑la-carte. Ask if the provider you’re considering limits some services or excludes certain issues from the plan that seems to be the best fit.
If there are areas outside their expertise, that isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but it’s helpful to know ahead of time. For example, they may not be able to help you acquire new workstations or provide VoIP setup.
Or, they may charge an additional amount if you submit above the maximum help desk tickets in a set period. All that could mean additional cost or headache. You also want to know if they’ll be able to scale if your business experiences rapid growth.
How Does Your Houston IT Service Provider Respond to Disaster?
Despite everyone’s best efforts, even well-protected businesses sometimes experience a cyber attack, data breach, or another event that causes disruption. They shouldn’t be nervous or defensive when you ask.
Look for someone who is comfortable talking about the security audits, service restoration, and penetration monitoring they put in place. Any Houston MSP worth their paycheck will have a disaster response plan that includes the following:
- Taking preventative measures to protect against cybercriminals
- Preparing systems and employees to adapt in case of an event so daily operations experience minimal interruption
- Protecting critical information assets both on-premises and in the cloud
- Monitoring events as they occur and providing an immediate response to mitigate threats
Their solutions should focus first on being proactive, but use caution if they tell you their services are so good it’s impossible for failure to occur. Threats are always evolving. Good MSP’s have a plan for dealing with the worst-case scenario.
How Does Your Houston IT Service Provider Keep Me in the Loop?
They should do their job so well you never have to worry about your business technology, but you shouldn’t be in the dark about your IT infrastructure. The best Houston IT service providers already have a system for informing you that might include these practices:
- Quarterly, weekly, or monthly reports
- Phone, video conference, or face-to-face meetings at pre-determined intervals
- Online access to infrastructure snapshots through administrator portals
Ask a Houston IT Service Provider Your Questions
If you’re looking for a Houston Managed Service Provider, you probably have more than four questions. Why not ask them in person? Send us a message online and one of our experts will be in touch.