A managed services provider can keep the technology your business needs running smoothly. They should also, as a matter of course, monitor your servers to head off problems and flag security and other issues, conduct regular system backups, help you maintain a disaster recovery plan to keep your business up and running in the face of unforeseen issues or cyberattacks, consult on your cybersecurity insurance policy, offer hardware, software, and cloud solutions to fit your business, and consult with you on an IT strategy. All of this should be delivered with good service, complete with regular communication to make sure you’re happy and satisfied.
If you’re not happy and satisfied—and that’s a big IF—it may be time for you to move on. Just like for any service provider out there today, your MSP operates in a competitive marketplace, and there are plenty of other businesses to fill that need. Of course, many MSPs only work with long-term contracts, and it can be very expensive to get out of that agreement before the term is expired. If you think you want to make a change, here are three steps to take.
1. Talk to your MSP. If you’re unhappy with the level of service you have received, tell your rep. There’s a good chance the service will improve, at least in the short term. They’re operating in a competitive market, and so they may want to avoid any bad feelings, and the online reviews that often accompany them. Communication is a good thing in all cases: You may even discover the MSP is unhappy servicing your account as well, due to a shift in their business strategy or geographical focus.
2. Review Your Contract. While you may understand the terms of your agreement with the MSP, and the promises made, going over the details closely will help you determine whether there’s an exit clause that will let you out early. Knowing the MSP’s expectations can help temper yours. If this is the case, it doesn’t hurt to ask to be released from the agreement without suffering the fees or penalties brought on by early termination.
3. Determine if There’s a Breach of Contract. If the MSP is playing hardball and insisting that you pay your way out of the remainder of the contract with penalties, you may want to engage an attorney to extricate you from the deal. Here’s where your familiarity with the contract and the deliverables that it spells out could be helpful, particularly if you have documented missteps.
Here we come to what could be the most important step of this process: Plan ahead to avoid going without a provider for as little time as possible. Conduct your due diligence on your next MSP so you have a chosen backup in case your current provider reacts badly to your line of questioning.
For best results, look for a company that will take the time to understand your business, consult with you on your technology spend, and knows the systems you have (and also those you should have). Perhaps most importantly, look for a solutions provider who does not require long-term contracts of its clients. That’s how we’ve always worked at Axis Computer Networks: Our service level and attention to clients’ needs have proven that our business and yours can thrive without the burden of long-term contracts. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you get more from your technology.