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How to choose the best managed IT services partner?

Managed IT services are one of the biggest success stories of the 21st century. They’re a win for SMBs as they allow them to outsource everyday IT tasks and focus on their core business. They’re also a win for the companies which earn their living by providing them. Managed IT services work best when they are approached as a partnership of equals. With that in mind, here is some guidance on how to choose the best managed IT services partner in Davis.

Steps To Getting Best Managed IT Services

1. Start by putting your own house in order

There are basically two parts to this and they are equally important. The first is to get your existing IT system running smoothly. Managed IT services are about getting predictable services (basically regular housekeeping) for a predictable fee. Managed IT service providers expect you to have everything running smoothly before they take over. In fact, they may even require you to upgrade your systems to meet their standards, and realistically you can only do this if your systems are already working.

If the reason you were looking for a managed IT services partner in Davis was that you were having problems keeping your IT infrastructure running properly, then your best approach would be to contact an IT support partner in Davis to have them fix the issues. Then look for a managed IT services partner to take over the running of the system.

The second part is getting all stakeholders around the table to agree your needs, wants and budget. Even if you are under pressure to get everything signed and sealed, this is still an important step, and getting it right at the start of the process can save you a lot of time and frustration later on.

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Ideally, you should aim to incorporate any potential needs and wants you foresee coming up in the next 5-10 years, so you can focus your efforts on finding a managed IT services partner in Davis who can be a real, long-term partner for you.

Be very clear about what are needs and what are wants. Create a checklist for the former and a separate list for the latter where they are ranked by priority, with each rank given a score according to its importance.

2. Create a shortlist purely on objective criteria

The shortlisting process is basically a process of finding out which managed IT services companies in Davis could potentially do the job. At this stage, it’s usually best to stick to purely objective criteria as defined by your list of needs and wants. Bluntly, even if a company looks great, if it can’t meet your needs (and preferably your wants as well), then there is no point in looking at it. By contrast, if you have misgivings about a company, but it still scores well, you can put it on your list for now and eliminate it later if you wish.

3. Request a proposal from (some of) the companies on your shortlist

If you’ve done a thorough job of setting out your needs, wants and budget, then it should be easy for you to communicate these to a managed IT services partner. Remember, however, that for them it takes time to put together a customized proposal, so it’s polite only to send requests for proposal to managed IT services companies you think could be serious candidates. It also saves you the time of analyzing proposals from companies that were never likely to be suitable.

4. Make sure you understand each response and clarify points if necessary

Experienced managed IT services companies get a lot of practice at responding to requests for proposal, so the chances are that the proposals you receive will be as clear as they can possibly be. It is, however, still your responsibility to make the time to read them thoroughly and be sure that you understand them. If need be, ask for clarification. Again, taking the time to do this properly can save you time later on.

5. Always conduct interviews before signing any contract

As previously mentioned, managed IT services are best approached as a partnership. In fact, your managed IT services partner in Davis may well become your unofficial CIO. This means that you should feel comfortable working with them and be confident that the managed IT services company will continue to treat you with respect after you have signed on the dotted line.

The best way to get a feel for what a company, any company, is like to work with is to speak to one of their representatives, preferably in person. Because of this, you should always conduct interviews before you make your final hiring decision.

If you’d like to speak to a reputable managed IT services partner in Davis, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.

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