What To Look For in a Houston Managed Services Provider
Understanding the local MSP landscape in Houston can be key in finding the right partner for your business.
This article will review the various aspects of a Houston Managed Services Provider and what organizations should value when choosing the right information technology partner for their business needs.
The Houston area has long been known as a hub for the oil and gas industry, but it has become a major center for business and technology in recent years. The city is home to several Fortune 500 companies and a growing number of startups and tech firms. Additionally, Houston is home to one of the largest medical centers in the world, and its port is the busiest in the United States. Houston offers businesses the ability to tap into the deep Texas roots of the 5th largest metropolitan area in the country that will soon eclipse 7 million people. Not a bad market to call home!!
Finding a good partner is difficult. Finding an IT partner to help shape the future of your business is even more difficult. Here are some specific areas to consider when selecting a managed services provider.
When you outsource your technical expertise, the Houston MSP should provide a robust team of specialists to help with networking and security. They will also stay up-to-date on all new technologies, so you don’t have to!
While quality MSPs are constantly expanding their knowledge base and keeping current with IT trends, here are a few areas of expertise to keep in mind when making a decision for your business:
As any business owner knows, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to running a successful operation. And in today’s fast-paced world, businesses need to be able to move quickly and adapt to change. That’s why flexible and scalable services are essential when outsourcing your technology solutions to an MSP. A good managed services provider should be experienced enough to know that no two businesses are alike and must be flexible in how they tailor their offering to your specific business requirements. They also must be able to quickly adapt to your changing needs and provide the ability to scale up or down where need be.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is trying to sell you the latest and greatest technology. While it’s important to stay up-to-date, simply having the latest tools isn’t enough. What really matters is how you use them. That’s why you should always choose an MSP that takes a proactive approach in how they deliver their services. By closely monitoring your network and systems, their support team can identify potential issues before they cause problems. Additionally, they can provide preemptive maintenance and patching to block outages and vulnerabilities. As a result, you’ll be able to avoid costly downtime and get the most out of your technology investment.
MSPs are essential to any business’s IT strategy, providing expert services and support to ensure that your IT infrastructure is always running smoothly. However, with the ever-changing landscape of technology, it’s essential to choose an MSP that is always up-to-date with the latest advancements. Here are just a few reasons why:
When it comes to IT security, businesses need to be proactive rather than reactive. That’s why choosing an MSP that offers a comprehensive network security solution is so important. By taking a proactive approach, businesses can not only protect their data and systems from cyberattacks, but they can also prevent the threats from happening in the first place. So choose a provider that offers endpoint detection and response (EDR), DNS protection, RMM, anomaly detection, managed phishing response, multi-factor authentication (MFA), email hygiene, training, dark web monitoring, as well as other cybersecurity solutions.
Also, if your business has specific industry security requirements, make sure to better understand if an IT services provider has the certifications and experience needed to meet regulatory statutes for your space.
In today’s fast-paced business world, downtime is simply not an option. That’s why partnering with an MSP that offers 24×7 help desk support and network monitoring is essential. With around-the-clock coverage, you can rest assured that any issues with your IT systems will be caught and resolved quickly, minimizing downtime and keeping your business running smoothly. In addition, 24×7 monitoring can help to identify IT issues before they occur, saving you even more time and hassle.
When choosing an MSP, selecting a provider that can demonstrate their measurable performance with an SLA or Service Level Agreement is important. An SLA is a contract that sets out the terms of service between a provider and their client. It outlines the specific services that will be provided, the level of quality that can be expected, and the timeframe in which those services will be delivered. With an SLA in place, you can be confident that your MSP will be held accountable for meeting your expectations over time. In addition, an SLA can help to protect your business if there are any problems with the service.
Communication is key to any business — but this is especially true when working with an MSP. After all, your MSP is responsible for keeping your business’s IT systems up and running, so they must be able to quickly and effectively communicate any issues. Unfortunately, not all MSPs are created equal in this regard. Some may take days or even weeks to respond to your inquiries, while others may provide vaguely-worded updates that don’t give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your IT systems. Simply put, avoid the headache of a partner that doesn’t communicate. It’s not worth it.
When choosing an MSP, selecting a provider that delivers a full-service offering is essential. This means they should provide help desk and IT support, inside sales, field engineers, project managers, designers, IT consulting, security experts, data center management, disaster recovery, cloud services, professional services, virtualization, data backups, and other essential IT solutions or personnel. By selecting an MSP that offers a complete list of services, you can be sure that you will receive the support you need to manage the entirety of your IT infrastructure. In addition, a complete service offering ensures that you have access to expert staff who can provide guidance and assistance when needed to help you reach your business goals.
Managed IT services can save you a lot of time and money compared to an in-house IT department. But the question is, how do you select an MSP that not only provides quality solutions for your business but delivers those services at a cost within the budget? If you have the proper perspective, it can definitely be done.
Once you have a firm grasp of the services and features you need from an MSP, you should compare quotes from various providers. It’s important to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO), which includes the initial purchase price or setup fees and the ongoing costs of maintaining and supporting your IT infrastructure.
While all businesses should be cost-sensitive, we don’t recommend pushing forward with an MSP simply because they are the cheapest. The viability of your business is directly attributable to the performance of your IT. So don’t skimp on what your organization needs to survive. Instead, choose a partner that provides the most comprehensive, flexible, and cost-effective solution.
Do you go with a local MSP that can deliver a more personalized and potentially on-site experience? Or, do you partner with a national provider with all the resources and expertise you can ever need but may not be familiar with the local business environment? Of course, both are valid choices, but it may be worth considering a third option — a hybrid MSP. In recent years, a few regional MSPs have matured into national players through organic growth and strategic acquisitions. These providers have preserved their local offices in places like Houston but can now apply their resources and expertise across the entire network when needed. While choosing the right MSP for your business is up to you, we recommend giving this third option a look, especially if you are in an SMB or medium-sized business.
When it comes to choosing an MSP, there are a lot of factors to consider for Houston businesses. However, by keeping the above points in mind, you can be sure to select a provider that is well-suited to meet your specific IT needs. In doing so, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your IT infrastructure is always in good hands.
If you are looking for the right MSP for your business, we can help! Contact Meriplex today, and one of our expert consultants will be happy to discuss your specific needs and recommend a solution tailored to your business.