Most businesses and their owners would like to become more productive, because increased productivity means…
More companies than ever are outsourcing at least part of their I.T. function to a third-party, preferring to focus on their company strengths and core skills. However, the process of choosing the right managed IT provider can be very difficult, partly because there are so many of them, and partly because it’s absolutely critical that you make the right choice. Here are some of the questions you should be asking candidate companies, to determine if they’re the right fit for your enterprise.
- Q: What kinds of services does your company provide?
A: You may need to know whether a candidate company can handle the entire I.T. function, or whether you’re only looking for a partial outsourcing, and they can specialize in those areas.
- Q: Is your Helpdesk available 24/7?
A: If your business operates on a 24/7 basis, or if you have outlets in other time zones, you’ll need to know what kind of support can be delivered by a candidate provider. If there’s a gap in coverage, you may need a different provider or some other supplemental coverage.
- Q: How many employees are in your company?
A: This should tell you how large and how successful a particular candidate is, and whether they have the personnel to handle all your requirements. It should be an indicator of the level of success achieved by any candidate company you’re working with.
- Q: How long has your company been in business?
A: This is another strong indication of the level of success achieved by a candidate company. Those which have been in business for a number of years must have proven their ability during that time, and must have a portfolio of satisfied customers, otherwise they wouldn’t still be in business.
- Q: What is the typical size of your clients?
A: It’s good to know that a provider can handle a company of your size, and that they’re already doing so. If a provider would be overwhelmed by taking on a customer of your size, you should steer clear of them.
- Q: What is involved with your onboarding process?
A: You should have some idea of the process a candidate company would use to bring you into the fold. If you have any issues with their onboarding process, it’s good to know right up front rather than being surprised about it when it actually happens.
- Q: Do you support [X] application?
A: If there are any applications you use that are critical to your business success, you should know that a provider company can support this software if necessary.
- Q: What makes you stand out from your rivals?
A: If any of your candidate companies have features or services that set them apart from competitors, it would be good to know what those are. It may be something your company can leverage to advantage, and it may even be a reason for choosing one particular candidate.
- Q: What are your pricing plans?
A: You don’t want to get sticker shock when you get that first monthly bill, so make sure you know all the fees and charges associated with the outsourcing action. This will help you budget for that cost, and it will tell you whether or not a particular company is in line with your planned expenses for the coming calendar year and beyond.
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