Tips for Building a Strong Partnership with Your MSP

Working with a managed service provider (MSP) has a lot to offer and can help your business grow if you know how to create an honest and professional partnership with their team. Organizations of all sizes work with MSP vendors for help managing IT infrastructure and other technology services. MSPs can help you run business operations smoothly, saving you money and time. Results from a survey conducted by CompTIA reveal that 33% of the companies that invested in an MSP reported saving 25% — 49% of their yearly IT costs. Your business will benefit from a strong solid relationship with your MSP. Think of them as an extension of your IT team. 

Whether you are thinking of partnering with a new MSP vendor or hoping to improve relationships with the existing one for managed IT services, keep these simple tips in mind:

Prioritize Communication 

Communication is the core of any good relationship, whether it’s personal or professional. Be transparent about your business challenges and goals with your MSP. The more knowledge your MSP partner has about your business, the better able they are to provide you with innovative solutions.

Consider your MSP a part of your IT team and keep them well informed about any changes in your IT infrastructure. Schedule regular meetings for performance updates and don’t forget to communicate any foreseen risks that may impact your business. When you and your MSP establish a clear line of communication, barriers are removed and you’re more effective at resolving issues quickly.

Set Clear Goals and Responsibilities

It’s important to have a clear  understanding of what a managed service provider does because it’s easy to begin asking more from an MSP provider than what was initially agreed upon. For a strong relationship with your MSP, be sure to align them with tasks that are well-suited to their capabilities and set reasonable and attainable goals. Your MSP should provide you with a balance, filling in the gaps of your internal team. Keep in mind that you have a responsibility as well — your vendor expects a certain level of commitment from you as their client.

Remain Adaptable

Companies hire MSPs to help their business manage their network and keep it safe and working without issues. An effectiveMSP team will make suggestions on improvements to your network, hardware, and applications. Keep an open mind so you can make the best decision for the business.

Although it may be difficult to integrate changes into your corporate strategy, outside recommendations can be valuable and provide you with a different perspective. Your MSP will provide ideas and suggest changes that they believe will help you achieve your goals.

Recognize Their Role on the Team

A good MSP vendor will try their best to fit into the atmosphere and culture of your company, but building a good relationship requires a mutual understanding between both parties. Try to understand your MSP and their position as part of your team.

Managed technology services offered by the MSP are no easy feat and require a large amount of attention and dedication. So, to avoid any misconceptions about their responsibilities, make sure you know where the duties and roles of the MSP stand within your company’s staffing landscape. 

Monitor the Relationship Regularly

Any good working relationship demands an occasional in-person meeting, phone call, or some type of communication to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Your relationship with your MSP is no different. Regular meetings for updates, project reviews and evaluations promote open communication which helps create a strong partnership and forward progress for your managed technology services.

Monitoring the vendor relationship is often overlooked because putting a focus on the business can be considered more important. But it’s critical for businesses to keep a check on the vendor. Building a solid MSP vendor relationship means building a more stable business.

Look for a Long-Term Partnership

When you hire an MSP for their professional managed technology services, you should expect a long-term partnership rather than changing MSPs periodically. A long-term collaboration saves you time and money. More importantly, maintaining a long-term partnership builds and establishes a relationship of trust and mutual understanding, which can do wonders for your business. Be honest about your company’s shortcomings and tell them about theirs as well, to make the partnership grow and prevail over a longer period of time.

Create a Managed Technology Services Provider Roadmap  

Lastly, the factor that can make the most difference in your relationship with your MSP vendor is your MSP. All strong relationships share common characteristics. Building a solid rapport with your MSP vendor means having a mutual respect and trust for what each group brings to the table. So, it’s important to make sure that your MSP vendor understands your business goals and can work well with your company’s IT experience level. Not every business is the same, and neither is an MSP.

You may be wondering where you should start. To ensure you pick the right MSP, you’ll need to create a roadmap which includes all the necessary requirements an MSP will need to have in order to be a successful match for your business. However, before speaking with anyone, identify your goals and success drivers and make sure to set specific criteria when evaluating vendors. Be sure to ask about their years of experience, variety of services, reputation, and past projects. When you choose the right MSP vendor for your business, the relationship is more likely to be stronger.

It is safe to say that collaborating with an outstanding MSP can really take your business in a new and good direction. However, the thing that matters the most for your business is that you have a productive and professional relationship with your managed service provider.