The biggest lesson I learned while planning my wedding last year is that success is all about partnership. With so many details, priorities and districtations vying for our attention these days, it's more essential than ever to find someone you can trust and work with as a team in the pursuit of mutual goals, interests and success factors. This doesn't only apply to your personal life, though. In fact, it's just as relevant in business relationships, especially those that relate to the technology that drives your business, such as a managed services provider (MSP).
Whether they're offering help desk services, document solutions, hardware, software, managed IT services, or any combination thereof, the “P” in MSP should really stand for Partner. Let’s face it, if it works out we may be talking about a long-term relationship here. So, before you say “I do,” ask some critical questions of any technology suitors vying for your business.
A service level agreement (SLA) with the right MSP can, and should be, mutually beneficial to both parties — in other words, it should be a partnership. Don’t be timid about scrutinizing the intentions of any firm courting your business. Make them pass the three S test: strategy, service and support.