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5 Questions You Need To Ask Before Choosing A Managed Services Provider

5 Questions You Need to Ask Before Choosing a Managed Services Provider

Arraya Insights | November 18, 2014

What makes a truly great managed services partner? While there’s no precise recipe, most of the best-of-breed providers have more than a few key ingredients in common.

Sifting through the possibilities and finding the right managed services provider to partner with can be a demanding process for IT pros. Let’s face it, time isn’t exactly something most IT teams have to spare these days.    

Make the wrong choice though and it could mean even more work and more expense down the road when the time comes to correct what went wrong with the previous provider. Avoiding those wasted resources are why it’s so important to be able to identify the must-have elements right off the bat.

Must-have information

Here are five questions you need to ask before signing on the dotted line with a potential managed services partner – as well as a look at how the Arraya Solutions team stacks up in each area:

  1. Is each account given its own dedicated service team?
    Arraya’s response: Yes.
    Arraya wants to make sure clients have a relationship with the person they’re interacting with. “Our goal is to be an extension of our clients’ organizations,” said Robert Whann, Manager of Managed Services and Operations at Arraya. Being dedicated to specific clients allows techs to become familiar with the customer’s environment, business requirements, and staff.   
  2. Do clients have access to central metrics and reporting?
    Arraya’s response: Yes.
    Arraya provides support and monitoring platforms which can produce on-demand reports. These reports can also be automated to go out at specific intervals and they are fully customizable depending on what each customer wants to see.      
  3. Is the provider flexible with the service hours it offers?
    Arraya’s response: Yes.
    Arraya offers 24/7 live answers and service staffers’ hours are staggered so they can cover extended business hours. “It’s important our staffers are available to handle off-hour requests for our customers,” Whann said. That way maintenance requests and updates can be handled quickly and effectively. 
  4. Is the service provider’s pricing model scalable?
    Arraya’s response: Yes.
    Arraya estimates the level of effort to remediate, maintain, and manage an environment based on platform or service, complexity and volume. “Following this model allows us to easily adjust our pricing depending on what a customer needs,” Whann noted.    
  5. Do you have a plan in place to preserve the goals laid out in the service-level agreement (SLA)?
    Arraya’s response: Yes.
    Automated triggers are built-in to Arraya’s services, which notify technicians if an SLA is in jeopardy of being broken. Those notifications are automatically escalated to Team Leads and management when possible SLA violation warning thresholds are actually reached. Arraya’s team also makes it a point to review daily automated reports to ensure SLA’s are being met. “We want to stay in the loop with our customers so, if they’re not happy with a service or if something doesn’t seem to be working, we’ll know about it early,” Whann said.  

As important as those questions certainly are, one of the things Whann reports potential customers are most interested in is learning about a provider itself. And that’s not just in terms of know-how and abilities, but company culture as well.

“Talk all you want about processes and give them all the stats,” Whann pointed out, “but one of the things potential customers are most interested in is the people who are going to be working on their systems.”

An open corporate culture is something that has always been ingrained in Arraya’s DNA. Employees are empowered to innovate, to ask questions and to always be on the lookout for ways that they – or the company – can improve. The benefits of that culture are then passed along to customers who can be sure they’re getting finely-tuned, industry-leading solutions.

To find out more about how Arraya can help your company either embark on a managed services journey, or to simply take a next step on one you’ve already begun, visit www.ArrayaSolutions.com.