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Business is about relationships. One important relationship today is with a technology partner. This partner will consult on hardware, software, security, and other IT concerns. You can focus on other business priorities, but is your tech partner actually a good team player?
There are a lot of businesses that call themselves technology partners. The term can be broadly defined.
Technology vendors who sell specific hardware or software solutions will promise a partnership, but they will focus on a relationship that benefits their business goals.
For instance, they will generally try to steer you toward buying the products that they themselves make. Vendors will also bill your business for support when you need it. Yet that creates a conflict of interest: they profit from your inconvenience. That’s not the type of partner you want on your team.
A True Partnership with your MSP
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are another type of technology partner. They look to add value to the team.
In MSP partnerships, your business pays a monthly fee to keep everything working. Your MSP manages your IT and protects your end-user systems. You are paying them to prevent problems before they happen. Unlike reactive vendors, MSPs work to enhance business security and compliance.
Partnering with an MSP adds experts to your team who learn your business needs and look to improve efficiency and flexibility. Besides the convenience of predictable pricing, an MSP will also suggest ways to help reduce IT costs. MSPs have relationships with many different vendors, so they can get the best price when offering you access to new technology.
In introducing new hardware or software, or making upgrades to streamline processes, an MSP is usually brand agnostic. Sure, they may have favorites due to good experiences with a particular brand, but they will still put your business needs first and always find the best solution for you. They’ll want to explore how the work gets done, get to know the IT environment, and seek employee input.
The MSP experts will sit down with you to find out the business challenges that need to be addressed. Then, they do the research and propose the best solutions for your users and environment. To continue the sports analogy, MSPs have more than one single play in their playbook: they draw up the tech strategy that best suits your business needs.
The MSP is also in it for the long haul. A vendor may be looking only to be a partnership that leads to product or service sales and tech support calls. The MSP model is built on collaboration and communication. These are IT experts who thrive on seeing their clients develop, optimize, and succeed.
Plus, MSPs can join forces with businesses of any size. They’ll bring the same team play to the IT playing field for small and midsized businesses as they would for enterprise-sized organizations.
In gauging whether your technology partner is a team player, consider the relationship benefits. You may get the technology you think you want from a vendor, but they are also focused on profiting from the partnership.
Your MSP takes the time to learn about user experience and business objectives to ensure their solutions and services add value. Instead of benefiting from things going wrong at your business, your MSP partner has an incentive to prevent problems from ever happening.
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