5 Questions to Ask Your Managed Services Provider

Jennifer Noto Managed Services 1 Comment

A Managed Services Provider (MSP) is responsible for operating and maintaining your network environment. These are some essential questions your Managed Services Provider should be able to answer, without hesitation.

  1.   Where is your Network Operations Center (NOC)?
    A NOC located in another part of the country or world may provide timely and effective remote support. One potential challenge is when an onsite presence is required at your location. Look for an MSP that has the ability to quickly dispatch a local technician to your site. Remote NOCs are also sometimes located outside of the US, and heavy accents/dialects may make communications frustrating. Additionally, lax personnel screenings and security policies may open up your network to threats and liability issues.
  2.  Who operates your NOC?
    The Network Operations Center should be operated by a team of experienced and skilled network engineers. If your Managed Services Provider can’t provide the list of certifications for their Network Operations Center, you should be wary of how experienced they claim to be. A Network Operations Center needs to be adequately staffed with a clear and organized structure on how they handle support requests.
  3.  What are the hours of your NOC?
    Your network operates 24/7/365, so it wouldn’t make sense to have a Network Operations Center that didn’t operate on the same schedule. Problems can arise at any time and you want to make sure someone will be able to respond quickly. Patching, updates, and adjustments are best done in the evenings to minimize interruption to your employees. You may have staff working from home or travelling that may need assistance, so having around-the-clock coverage can be valuable.
  4.  Do you outsource any coverage?
    Many smaller or less experienced providers outsource parts of their coverage to other organizations. This poses a potential security and liability risk regarding who has access to your data and systems, and also makes for a complicated relationship when working through support issues.
  5.  Can I visit your NOC?
    You should be able to physically take a look at their Network Operations Center. Most Managed Services Providers will encourage this so that you can meet the support team that will address issues requiring attention. You’ll also learn how they handle tickets, escalations, priority levels, and documentation.

We can easily answer these questions and many more. We have an experienced team of local engineers at our office in Raleigh, NC. Our tiered Help Desk is staffed 24/7/365 to respond to any issues our customers may be experiencing. Contact us today. We’d love to be your MSP!

Comments 1

  1. Thanks for your tip to ask your managed IT servicer the certifications of your Network Operations Center so that you can know who is answering your requests. I like how you said that you should see if you can meet your network providers to ask questions and such as well. If someone with a business was considering hiring managed IT Services, I would assume that they would use tips from your process in their search.

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