What To Expect From The Best MSP: Improve Your Business Today
What To Expect From The Best MSP: Improve Your Business Today
Best MSP Expectations
MSP is key to keeping a company organized. I’m Colin Shantz, CEO of CopperTree Solutions, and today I will be talking about what to expect from the best MSP.
Common MSP Questions
The other week I was talking to a local business owner who had some questions for me. He asked, “How do I know whether I’m getting my money’s worth from my MSP?” They’ve been working with their vendor for quite a while. They’re not unhappy with anything, but they’re not sure how to figure out if all their bases have coverage. But, they don’t know how to measure if their risks are being taken care of or if there’s something better out there. So he then asked me, “How do you measure that, and what should we be looking for in an MSP? And what are some of the things to watch out for?” And it’s a question that comes up quite a bit.
A lot of people ask this because a lot of business leaders don’t understand technology very well. It’s not something that they even have a lot of interest in. And so they’re going by faith that the MSP that they’re partnered with is taking care of things. They need to trust the organization and that they’re making good recommendations. In the end, it comes down to a relationship. They need to have a close working relationship with their MSP and trust their decisions.
What Should I Expect From The Best MSP?
There are a couple of things to look out for with MSP. The first one that I would suggest is that you should take a look at the strategy side of things. Ask yourself questions like:
- Are they doing regular, or quarterly, strategic planning meetings with your organization?
- Do they know how your organization functions?
- Do they understand how you work?
- Are they aware of your goals?
- Do they know what your plans are?
- Are they able to make good recommendations and make good technology recommendations?
- Can they say, “All right, if this is where you’re trying to go, these are the tools that you’re going to need to get there.”?
The second thing to look at is, are they doing regular onsite maintenance? Part of managing a computer system is making sure that things are working. And there are other components too. Some things can be remote, but there’s a lot of value in having somebody come on-site on a regular basis. This way they can:
Go through your infrastructure and make sure that everything’s working.
Talk to the users.
See if there are opportunities for improvement.
The third thing you should look out for is, Are there some regular KPIs? Is there some kind of numbers that we’re looking at to understand the health of the IT infrastructure? So, there should be some kind of numbers that’ll give you an indicator of the health of the infrastructure. One of the things we do here is give our MSP IT health score. Every month we score your infrastructure, showing you’re 98% aligned with best practices. Things are pretty good. Or you’re 92% aligned with best practice, and there are a few things that you need to make some decisions on.
Other Things To Consider With Best MSP
Another thing to look at with MSP is, do you feel like you have too many issues? Oftentimes, when we come in and talk to a new organization, they don’t have any solid KPIs. It’s more when I ask them how they measure success in IT, they say:
“Well, we have too many issues,”
“I feel like things are going well,”
And that is one of the ways to measure the success of your current situation. If you feel like you have too many issues, you’re right. You should be able to dig into that and make some improvements.
CopperTree’s Proactive Approach
One of the key differentiators that CopperTree has is our proactive approach. And proactive is an overused word. Everybody says they’re proactive. There are only a few organizations that are actually proactive. So what does that mean? Well, being proactive means you’re making a plan. You’ve got a strategy in place. You’re looking at where the organization is trying to go. You’re taking action before there’s a problem instead of after there’s a problem. When you actually look at other organizations’ work, it’s centered around solving tickets.
When I ask business leaders what they want, they answer saying, “We need somebody to solve problems.” That’s reactive. And, I always like to ask them:
“Well, wouldn’t it be better if, instead of solving problems fast, you didn’t have the problem in the first place?”
And that’s what proactive looks like. Someone making sure you’ve got the right technology, and that things are set up right. And, if you can get to that place where everything works, it’s good for you, and it’s also good for us, for the vendor. Generally, a proactive organization focuses on solving problems before they happen.
Why CopperTree is Different
One of the other things that are different about CopperTree is our culture. The reason we have a great team of people is because of our core values. So one of our core values is integrity, and we… I’m gonna back up a second. One of the reasons we have great people is because of our core values. and we hire people and we fire people if they don’t stack up to our core values. And these are very important to me as well. And since we’ve started living by these core values, it’s made a big difference in our company’s culture.
CopperTree’s Core Values
One of our core values is integrity. Integrity, to me, is doing the right thing. So when we work with our client’s infrastructure, we have more access to their data than they do, in a lot of cases. We need to have an absolute level of trust with our clients. Our clients need to be able to know that they can trust us. So, integrity is pretty important. If somebody does not have integrity, they can’t work here. When we’re hiring people, we’re looking to bring people on with integrity.
Another core value is hunger. We always look for ways to improve, whether it’s internal or our clients’ infrastructure. We wake up every day and say, “How can we make this better? There’s got to be a better way.” Sometimes there are major improvements and other times its lots of small changes. We’re always looking for ways to improve. Another core value is accountability. If somebody says they’re gonna be there on Thursday at four o’clock, they’ll be there. And that’s important. You don’t want to be working with an organization that always breaks its promises. Within our organization, we make sure that we stick to our commitments.
Another one is generosity. Generosity is unique from a core value perspective. But it’s very important to me and to our organization. Generosity is with each other. We help each other with our problems. And also, as we work with our clients, we’re willing to go above and beyond. We’re not looking to nickel and dime our clients and squeeze every last bit of money out of them. We’re looking to help, and we want our clients to win. We want our clients to be successful. And when our clients are successful, we know that we’re going to be successful as well.
Other Core Values
Another core value is humility. We’ve all worked with people that did not have humility, and that’s never a lot of fun. So we’re looking for people that are:
- able to look at the greater good,
- willing to put other people first,
- willing to hear what other people have to say.
Another core value is people skills. In our industry, we have a bit of a reputation. There’s a stereotype, of an IT person that can’t talk to people. And they’re very smart. They understand what they’re doing technical-wise, but they’re difficult to interact with. So we look for people that have both the technical knowledge and also are good people. people that you enjoy talking to and that you enjoy interacting with.
And then the last one is a positive attitude. We’re looking for people who interact with clients and each other in a positive way. And you know, we’ve all met people that, every time you meet them, it puts a smile on your face. And that’s what we’re looking for. The alternative is somebody who has a negative attitude. They can bring down the mood of everybody they interact with. So we’re looking for people that others enjoy working with. And people that you leave you feeling good about yourself after that interaction. So, these are CopperTree’s core values. They are critical to the success of our organization and customer relationships.
Thanks for joining me as we talk about what to expect from the best MSP. To learn more, please visit our website, at coppertreesolutions.ca.