Deciding on hiring the right Managed Services Provider (MSP) is one of the bigger decisions an organisation can make. Given relationships with MSPs usually cover several years working together, it’s important that one undertakes due diligence when deciding who to partner with.
This article concentrates on what to focus on if you are open to the option of using a Managed Service Provider. I will look at the reasons why your organisation may, or may not, be open to this in a future piece, but let’s assume there is an element of interest.
There may be considerations, depending on your own circumstances, so here are my Top 5 tips to think about when choosing an Oracle Managed Service Provider that will partner with you and help your business grow.
SKILLS & EXPERTISE: Do they know what they are doing?
First things first, can they do what you need them to do? There is no point going any further than this if they aren’t able to deliver what you require of them
- Average experience within the area of expertise.
- Do they specialise in that area or are they a ‘one-stop’ shop?
- N.B. Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on your requirements.
- Are they ‘thought leaders’ or do they follow the crowd?
RESEARCH: What have you managed to find out about them?
Always do your research when looking to take on any new supplier. What information is available about an MSP prospect?
- Online reviews.
- Independent Awards. How are they selected?
- Reference their work by speaking to current AND ex-clients.
- What are their Key Performance Indicator’s (KPIs) and what are their scores like?
- Case studies. Yes, these are written by the MSP and may have been ‘cherry-picked’, however they do give you a flavour of the type and level of work they provide.
SERVICE: What is their customer service like?
- You should be looking to receive an excellent customer experience from your MSP, but how do you measure it:
- What are their customer satisfaction scores, or equivalent, like?
- Speaking with them should be a positive experience? What you don’t need is a feeling of dread before contacting them for support.
- A good service desk should sound like they want to help, rather than sounding like they are churning out the same lines as the previous call.
- MSPs should be easy to deal with, providing help as and when, without unnecessary barriers of communication.
- Will they offer a single point of contact for issues?
- Chasing MSPs is a no no! They should be actively finding solutions to your queries.
PARTNER: Are they working for you or with you?
- How good is the cultural fit and are they a partner with similar values and vested interests?
- How often will they proactively approach you with a solution to a problem you didn’t know you had?
- Will the MSP provide ‘knowledge transfer’ as part of their standard service?
- Is the MSP interested in educating and increasing your knowledge and making your team better?
- Will they work through the decision making process with you to ensure you see real business outcomes
- Can you rely on the MSP to provide regular service meetings?
- Do they understand what your motivation is for your Oracle investment?
- Do they understand the Oracle roadmap, and can they help you navigate it on your journey?
TRUST: Are they Open and Honest?
- A genuine partner will have your business interests, front and centre. Therefore, you need to trust them.
- Do they do what they say they will do?
- Will they be transparent with how they solve issues?
- Are they a MSP that hides behind ‘buzz’ words and acronyms? Or will they adapt to your level of understanding?
- Make sure there are not ‘playing the statistics game’ in a Service Level Agreement.
- Are there any hidden costs in the Managed Support Agreement?
Here at Claremont we are proud to work with some of the UKs top companies using Oracle. We get a buzz out of having a positive impact on organisations and their users. Happy clients are long-term clients, and we have never lost a Managed Services client with Oracle. In fact, all of our clients would recommend us and are available for reference.
Choosing the Right Managed Services Provider