By Shawn Brown, President and COO

Hiring a professional managed service provider (MSP) is risky and challenging given today’s complex environments and IT security requirements. Not all MSPs operate at the same level or are the right match for your critical technology needs. Even if you get a referral from a reliable source, you can’t be sure they have experience managing a network like yours.

So, before you hand over the responsibility of managing your company’s infrastructure, the productivity of your employees, and the security compliance requirements for your company to an MSP, you’ll want to evaluate its qualifications.

In our experience, however, most business owners and IT managers aren’t quite sure what questions to ask or how to evaluate different MSPs. To provide some guidance, we thought we’d share the 10 questions we are asked most often by top-performing companies, along with our responses.

  1. Do you undergo any third-party audits to prove your proficiency at delivering services to your customers?

Since 2014, we have hired a third-party certified auditor to perform an annual security audit called an SOC 2 Type II. This on-site audit tests and validates our controls as they relate to IT security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy of our systems. This annual audit provides evidence that we are operating a highly secure, process-driven and dependable organization that our customers can trust.

  1. How do you protect your internal company network and our company network from being hacked by cybercriminals?

In October 2018, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to all MSPs about potential advanced persistent threat (ATP) actors actively trying to exploit their internal networks to gain access to all their clients.

At Snap Tech IT, we implement a defense-in-depth strategy in our internal network as well as your network. Our certified experts design and implement security best practices, policies and procedures to ensure our network and your network are secure.

As part of our SOC 2 Type II security audit, all our IT security systems are audited by a certified third-party auditor to ensure that best practices have been implemented and are being actively managed. We also deploy machine learning and artificial intelligence systems to monitor and protect our managed environments from cybercriminals.

  1. Reaching an engineer during business hours is very important to our company’s productivity. How do we contact your help desk, and what is the expected response time?

At Snap Tech IT, your technical support calls are answered by our internal Service Desk team staffed by one of our offices. Because we operate locations across the country, we provide extended service desk hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Our goal is to have all support calls answered by an engineer that can work on your issue immediately.

  1. Our employee productivity is very important for generating revenue and delivering goods and services to our clients. How do you prevent downtime?

We will implement best practices in your environments to help prevent downtime. Your IT infrastructure will be designed using redundant systems such as firewalls, switches, multiple internet connections and backup systems. Our IT managers work proactively on your technology infrastructure to ensure proper maintenance is performed to prevent downtime.

  1. Do you outsource help desk, monitoring or any other services to a third-party provider? If so, how do you manage these third parties to ensure they are delivering the services you promised?

At Snap Tech IT, delivering IT services is the core of our business, and we never outsource any part of it. We are experts at running a comprehensive IT department that is fanatical about delivering customer service and securely protecting your business from cybercriminals. Our services are delivered and managed by our internal full-time team members located in multiple offices across the United States.

  1. How do you proactively monitor our IT infrastructure to ensure that it has not been hacked and is running efficiently? 

Our Network Operations Center team is responsible for the configuration, monitoring and management of your IT infrastructure. They built automated processes that remotely monitor the health of your computer systems and correct issues as soon as they occur. This team also leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning systems to track and prevent cybercriminals from penetrating your company’s network.

  1. Do you assign a dedicated technical resource that is responsible for managing our IT infrastructure?

When you work with Snap Tech IT, you’ll be assigned your own dedicated IT manager who is responsible for ensuring your technology is properly managed. Your IT manager will make sure your environment is fully documented so that our service teams can effectively support your users.

Our IT managers also perform scheduled maintenance in the environment and compliance reviews to ensure security and best practices are being followed. They will work with you to plan and build a 12- to 24-month IT roadmap to ensure your technology meets your business objectives.

  1. Do you monitor your customer satisfaction with surveys? If so, will you share the results and all comments of those surveys from the last 3 months?

Absolutely; we love getting customer feedback, and encourage you to review our customer survey results as part of your evaluation process.

  1. Do you have the experience to take our company to the cloud?

At Snap Tech IT, we have certified experts in cloud technologies and have been migrating clients to the cloud for years. They will help your company identify which workloads or IT systems should be migrated to cloud and which systems should remain local. Our goal is to put the correct solutions in place to meet your business objectives.

  1. Can we visit your office to see how you operate, and observe your processes for managing your company’s technology?

Certainly! We encourage all our clients and future clients to visit our offices.

Our people and the relationships we build are integral parts of our service offering. We think it’s important for you to understand our different departments and the roles they play in supporting your environment.

Reference:

https://www.us-cert.gov/APTs-Targeting-IT-Service-Provider-Customers