After adopting cloud services, many businesses quickly feel the need for a good managed service provider (MSP). Organization and efficiency of file sharing can be tricky, and the cloud leads many businesses to dabble and diversify with more products and services thanks to the ease and low cost of cloud.
MSPs can provide value to businesses using cloud-based file sharing and related services, but what differentiates one MSP from another?
The right MSP for one business may not be the best choice for another. MSPs can specialize in one area or one industry, or try to provide great overall value. For the MSPs, the marketplace demands a clear understanding of how much value can be delivered — and how.
Forging ahead, MSPs should be expected to articulate their value proposition clearly and to have answers for a broad range of issues facing the cloud computing world.
Among the issues:
Choice of providers. Some providers are around for the long haul, while others come and go. MSPs must know who they are lining up their customers with. Businesses want access to an evolving suite of quality providers, with each exceeding at a given usefulness.
Customer service. Is the MSP prepared to offer direct support or connect the customer with the proper help? From operating hours to product knowledge, MSPs should try to match up with customers’ needs.
Security. This varies by industry, but any business will want to know where and how data will be secured. A chain of command in the event of data disaster also helps.
Compliance. If data is to be stored in another state or country, businesses want MSPs to have applicable legal knowledge at the ready. This can affect data control and ownership as well as compliance requirements.
Pricing. In addition to the basic fee structure, the nature of cloud leads many businesses to want scalability and flexibility from their MSP.
Addressing these topics proactively helps an MSP stand out to clients. If the customer has to ask about the security of their data, a lapse in communication has already occurred. The MSP should affirm that the bases are covered and also emphasize specific strengths and values as appropriate.
For businesses, an understanding of the client-MSP relationship is still evolving. Some customers may value certain factors more than others. Vetting MSPs does not mean that the business knows exactly what it wants.
The process of matching up with an MSP can be a learning experience for the business. The MSP capable of communicating knowledge and guaranteeing value will build the strongest relationships.