6 Qualities to Look For When Selecting a Managed Network Services Provider

managed network services

Most modern-day organizations understand that maintaining a secure, compliant, and highly effective network is not something they can efficiently handle themselves. And, even if they could, most realize the resources needed to effectively maintain a managed network in-house could be better used elsewhere.

In these situations, organizations often turn to finding a managed network services provider that can handle the many tasks associated with managing their advanced infrastructure. But when making this decision, how are you supposed to know which provider to go with?

To help you make a more educated decision, let’s take a look at a few of the main qualities you should look for when choosing a managed network services provider:

1. Have Expertise and Experience with Similar Organizations

Choosing a managed network services provider is a big decision. Choose the wrong provider, and you could be setting your organization back for months. For this reason, it’s always best practice to start by narrowing down the providers that have already successfully managed networks for organizations similar to your own.

While they don’t necessarily have to have experience with others in your industry, they should at least have experience with organizations similar to your own size.

2. Are Focused on Customization and Scalability

While you do want to hone in on providers that have worked with similarly sized organizations, it’s still important they’re not simply offering “cookie cutter” solutions. Talk to potential providers about your specific technological needs for how you’d like your network to be run, and make sure they’re able to handle it.

In addition, ask about how they handle scalability to ensure that you can efficiently grow your business without having to worry about your network letting you down.

3. Have a Strong Support Process

Many managed network service providers frequently talk about their ability to provide 24/7 support for your network. What they often don’t talk about, however, is what they do to spot and take care of potential threats before they become an issue in the first place.

Top tier providers understand that prevention is just as important, if not more, than successfully handling disasters when they happen. When talking to potential providers, ask them about their support process and find out if they focus just as much on prevention as they do the reaction.

4. Are a Stable Organization

New managed network service providers are popping up all the time. And while going to a newer provider can save you money, it’s also a huge risk. When choosing a provider, it’s best to stick with one that has a sustained reputation for reliability.

Not only does this give you peace of mind that your network will be managed properly, but since their reputation is at stake, it also ensures that they’ll do everything in their power to quickly handle any issues that occur along the way. That is where the “Real People.. Real Solutions” come into play to help resolve a multitude of issues that may arise.

5. Provide Favorable Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

When you’re hiring a provider to manage your network, you obviously have expectations for the level of service they’ll provide. Service level agreements ensure that the provider you’re working with is held accountable for maintaining a certain level of service.

To ensure accountability, ask potential providers what happens if they’re unable to meet the agreed-upon levels of network performance and availability. At the very least, they should agree to offer you customer credits for when they don’t meet expectations.

6. See You as a Business Partner          

The most successful managed network service providers are those that understand you are a business partner and that the success of both of your organizations is tied together. Too many providers are focused solely on features, availability, and security. And while this is all important, most of these traits are the same for every provider.

When you find a managed network services provider that sees your business success as their own, it helps ensure they’ll do everything in their power to help you succeed.

Quality Over Price

While the cost of managing your network will certainly be a consideration, don’t make the mistake of using it as a determining factor in your decision. Instead, think about the qualities outlined above, do your research, and make your decision based on the provider that is best for your organization. This strategy will undoubtedly serve you best in the long run.

If you’re looking for a managed network services provider that has these qualities, and more, our team at Ford Office Technologies Inc. is here for you. Get in touch with one of our specialists for more info!

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