Should I Work with a Local Managed IT Services Provider?
The managed IT services industry is huge, with over 20,000 MSPs of various size spread across the country. This can make choosing the right MSP a challenge, a topic that we talked about in our long-form guide to the managed IT services field.
In that article, we talked about the importance of picking an MSP with a strong reputation, finding an MSP with leading technical certifications, and one who prioritizes cybersecurity skills.
But there’s another question that we haven’t talked about, the importance of working with an IT service provider with deep local ties to your business.
The proliferation of MSPs means there are both national managed IT service providers and managed services franchises now spread across the country. While many make the same marketing claims as established local players, oftentimes their claims don’t stand up to scrutiny.
Here’s why working with a managed IT services provider near you is always the best option.
Faster Onsite Response Times
Much of the managed IT service provider’s work is conducted from a remote network operations center. Assisted by specialized monitoring software, engineers can often proactively identify and respond to most network support without having to come onsite at all.
But, when network engineers do have to come onsite, it means that something is either seriously wrong or that they’re about to undertake a large project. When IT disaster strikes, do you really want to be left waiting for your MSP’s regional office to dispatch support staff to your location?
The answer is probably not. Complex lines of communication, long transportation times, and slow response times are almost inevitable if your MSP isn’t nearby.
Compare that with a local MSP who has a staff of senior and junior network engineers who understand your business and can get to your in just a few moments. Those previous hours and minutes can make the crucial difference when your business is facing catastrophic downtime or cyber intrusion.
The average business loses about two weeks of productivity per year, per employee because of day-to-day technical problems.
Personalized Help Desk Service
A friendly and knowledgeable IT help desk is one of the most important features of a managed IT services solution.
That’s because the help desk is on the front lines of your day-to-day IT management challenges. When your team has a presentation in a few hours and Microsoft Office isn’t working correctly, it’s the help desk staff who is going to guide them out of difficulty and make sure that the presentation goes smoothly.
Staff members having trouble while working remotely, printer problems, file sharing issues, lost passwords, slow computers, network connectivity issues — all those issues fall under the purview of the IT help desk.
What makes a local MSP’s help desk service more reliable?
- Customer Service Excellence
It’s critical that any reputable help desk team have credentials from leading organizations like CompTIAA, ITIL, Microsoft, Cisco, and others. That technical knowledge is what enables a help desk team to provide fast and efficient services.But for a help desk team to be truly exceptional, it must combine that raw technical knowledge with as deep understanding of your business and a culture of going “above and beyond” to respond to your team. This is rarely the case at franchises or corporate MSPs, where your company is just one single client among a long and undifferentiated list.
- Easy Ticket Escalation
When a help desk teams encounters a problem they don’t understand, they need to be able to quickly escalate that issue to a more senior technician. In corporate MSPs, that path is circuitous and slow, as their limited senior engineering staff try to address the flood of incoming tickets.Trusted local providers, on the other hand, have senior techs right there in the office who can flexibly prioritize important issues and respond to urgent client needs without having to jump through organizational red tape.
Local MSPs Build Their Reputation Over Decades
Local MSPs develop their reputation by providing IT support and service that exceeds the expectations of their local business community. The future of their business depends on carefully fostering client relationships and ensuring consistent customer satisfaction.
Take Astute Technology Management, for example, we’ve built a 5-star reputation from clients through Ohio, and we’ve worked hard to earn each of those reviews!
Contrast this to the regional MSPs in Ohio.
Businesses with less than a hundred staff members are going to be an accounting footnote on their balance sheet. Forget one-on-one service or strategy sessions with their senior network engineers, you’ll be lucky to get quarterly meetings with an account manager, who might not even review your most recent network audit or help desk statistics before each meeting!
Managed IT services franchises aren’t much better. By buying into an established brand, franchisees can circumvent the time-consuming process of building a brand and reputation from scratch. If things don’t work out? They can always just close up shop and move onto their next idea.
An IT Strategy Based on Your Company Culture
The managed IT service relationship is long-term and intimate.
When you partner with a managed IT services provider, you should plan on working with their team for many years. That means interfacing with their help desk team, asking their senior leadership for advice, and relying on their staff to keep your IT lights on – no matter what disaster occurs.
To provide that level of services, your MSP needs to deeply understand your culture, personnel, network, and business goals.
A managed IT service partner located near is much better positioned to learn about your technology than a national or regional provider. Specialized network engineers called virtual chief information officers (vCIO), can work in close intimate contact with your team, including regular face-to-face meetings to assess your network technology and keep you ahead of all your IT challenges.
The bigger MSPs? Not so much! What you’re likely to receive is cookie-cutter, one-size-fits all approach to strategy — if there’s any strategic IT planning done at all. This leaves you with substandard or vulnerable technology.
A Managed IT Service Provider with Deep Roots in Ohio
For over 20 years, the team at Astute Technology Management has been helping businesses Columbus, Cincinnati, Dublin, and other cities throughout Ohio better understand, manage, and secure their technology.
Want to take control of your network technology once and for all? Our experts and technicians are standing by to guide you to lasting IT and cybersecurity confidence! Contact us any time at 614 389 4102 or [email protected].
We look forward to speaking with you!