What to Look for in an MSP Contract

Finding the ideal managed service provider (MSP) empowers your organization with the flexibility and freedom to focus on mission-critical tasks. After all, leveraging and maintaining the latest technological developments like cloud computing and disaster recovery has become a full-time job that often requires a team of tech experts. When you choose an MSP for your information technology needs, your team can stay focused on more critical day-to-day operations like client engagement and growing your Houston business.

If you’ve found yourself searching for the right MSP partner for the first time, it helps to have a general outline of what your technology needs and goals include. From there, you can start homing in on the service providers that hit those key points. Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few potential MSP partners and it comes down contract-level negotiations, here are some key factors to consider before signing the bottom line.

What’s Included (and What’s Not)?

One of the key benefits of an MSP solution is that you get a comprehensive technology platform that includes packages like managed security and cloud services for one fixed monthly fee. At the same time, however, you need to make sure that your contract includes all of the services your organization needs. For example, if server virtualization is a critical part of keeping your business running smoothly, make sure that virtualization services won’t end up costing your business additional money.

Another vital part of any MSP contract is emergency response timelines. Is around-the-clock emergency support included in the agreement? Or will you have to pay additional fees if your network needs emergency service outside of your MSP’s regular business hours? Understanding how your MSP plans to respond to network emergencies is essential to maximizing the value of your contract without any surprises later on.

Third-Party Vendors

Another fundamental benefit of partnering with an MSP is that they manage and leverage vendor relationships for you. With a team of experts handling vendor management, your organization gains access to the latest technology for the best value in the industry. Your contract should provide a clear outline of the vendors, hardware, and services that your MSP is expected to manage on your behalf. At the same time, if your MSP plans to outsource any of your services, these third-party relationships should also be stipulated in writing.

Compliance Requirements

If you work in a regulated industry like finance or healthcare, your organization is required to follow stricter privacy standards than other businesses. As a result, you need an MSP partner that specializes not only in meeting those standards but exceeding them. Industry regulations change and are updated regularly, so having a partner that specializes in compliance for your industry is essential if you want your network to remain compliant at all times.

Cancellation Stipulations

Some MSPs try to lock businesses into long-term service contracts with complicated and expensive cancellation requirements. In our experience, however, the more an MSP believes in the quality of the services, the looser their cancellation policies. If an MSP tries to lock you in for a long-term contract, and you’ve never worked with them before, don’t be afraid to negotiate for a shorter term contract or no cancellation fee.

Get Your Estimate Today

If you’re shopping around for the optimal MSP partner, contact the tech experts at I.T. Works today for an estimate. We’ll work with you to understand your unique technology needs and goals to build a cost-effective technology platform that propels growth.