Businesses thrive on collaborations as organizations need to partner with vendors, suppliers, and service providers to run smoothly. However, you must choose the right partners and nurture strong bonds with them to make the most of the collaboration. The rules apply to all aspects of outsourcing, and your IT-managed service provider is no exception. An MSP association serves several benefits to a business, from empowering your company with a team of IT specialists to enabling cost savings, scalability, compliance, and security. But you must do your bit to fulfil your MSP partnership goals. Here are the best tips to achieve them.
Assess Your Business Processes:
A comprehensive assessment of your current business processes gives you a good start with a valuable MSP collaboration. After all, a partner should be on the same page to provide you with the best services. Spend some time assessing your processes and documenting how they work. You can even pick points you want to be improved or areas that require extra attention. The more information you share with your MSP, the more quickly and accurately they identify areas for optimization.
Establish Clear Goals:
Besides assessing your current processes and sharing them with the provider, you must also establish clear goals for the collaboration. The goals may vary for organizations as some expect to manage day-to-day issues while others have bigger plans like strategic growth or cybersecurity in mind. Your potential partner must know why you need a managed service provider in the first place. Knowing the core objective enables them to chart a viable roadmap while considering the milestones, budget, and timelines for the initiative.
Set Clear Expectations:
Fulfilling your MSP partnership goals is also about setting clear expectations for collaboration. A clear SLA (Service Level Agreement) can help you in this context. You must focus on creating an agreement that enables your in-house team to pick things they are good at and let the MSP bridge the gaps. You can consider their expertise to decide on the areas they can work on. You must know the strengths and weaknesses of your in-house team as well as the MSP team to get the best of both worlds and avoid conflicts down the line.
Ensure Seamless Communication:
Since your MSP partner will likely work remotely, a robust communication system is vital to facilitate the flow of information between your in-house resources and the provider. Start by getting the MSP on the same page about your goals, pain points, and pending projects. Check the tools they use to collaborate with their clients, and settle for a tool set your team is comfortable with. Also, decide on the schedules for team meetings and problem-solving sessions.
Achieve A Cultural Fit:
While you must hire an MSP that is a cultural fit for your business, you cannot expect a perfect one. Expect to invest some effort to blend the provider’s team effortlessly with your culture. You can do it by helping them know your business and see how your processes work. It enables the MSP to give you the right people and resources that work well with your in-house employees in the long run.
Embrace A Flexible Mindset:
Getting a step close to your managed service partnership goals is easy if you embrace a flexible mindset. You may have to rework your processes to facilitate collaboration with the remote support team. Likewise, the service provider may have some valuable solutions and recommendations to improve your applications and systems, minimize downtime, and ensure seamless security. Being open to change helps you reach the best version of your business operations.
Review The Relationship Regularly:
Reviewing your relationship with your MSP partner regularly is the best way to keep it on track. Most providers have a system for monthly reviews through phone calls and in-person meetings. They also provide a dedicated account manager to handle communication and ensure everything goes well. Be transparent about your concerns, and do not hesitate to seek better solutions. Regular check-ins enable both parties to understand what’s working and what’s not, so it is a chance to rework future plans.
Choosing the right partner should be a priority if you want to get the best from the collaboration. In fact, it should be on top of your checklist because doing everything else will be a breeze if you have a reliable provider to start with. Find an expert with relevant domain experience, skilled resources, and a good track record. You can ask for recommendations and check client reviews to be extra sure about the decision.
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