If you are looking for a Managed Service Provider or even break-fix IT Support know what you are getting into, read contracts carefully and interview your prospective IT company to make sure their they are equipped to meet all the needs of your business. This is Part 2 of a two-part series of questions to ask IT companies in an interview. For Part 1 click here.
1. How and when will we be charged, and for what?
Get a good idea of what you will be charged for and how and when payment will be expected. What happens if something breaks, if it can’t be fixed remotely will you be charged for labour and mileage and the time it takes to travel etc.
What does my contract cover?
What is not covered?
2. What is the cancellation process?
In case your support company turns out to be the wrong fit for your company be aware of what the process is for cancelling it before the end of the contract.
Is there a trial period?
How much notice must be given?
3. Do you have a training policy for your engineers?
The tech industry is constantly changing, you want to be partnered with a company who keeps up with changes as they apply to your business.
Are they specifically up to date with training on security policies and procedures?
Have you ever dealt with a security breach?
What are the security procedures of your data centre?
4. Do you manage and monitor systems remotely?
Be aware of how your IT Support Company will update and fix issues, will they be able to connect to your network remotely or will it require a special trip, (which is expensive, i.e. travel etc.)
What security measures are taken when connecting remotely?
5. Do you have partnerships with any specific hardware/software companies?
Partner companies are important, they provide support to your IT Support Company which benefits you and your business and it keeps them up to date with the latest products and trends in the industry.
6. Do you supply hardware at all?
In case your own hardware fails and needs replacing, it would be good to know if your IT Support Company can recommend, source and install hardware for you, and quickly.
7. May we tour your office?
This is useful, from services offered to pricing most IT companies may seem very similar to each other and you can get a better picture of a company by visiting their offices. You can see how well organised they are and also what their company culture is like – if their employees are satisfied or if they have a high turnover. It may be a hassle to visit them but you are sure to get a better idea of the type of company they are.
8. Do you offer any discounts?
It never hurts to ask, there could very well be promotions or deals that your company can benefit from.
These questions will give you a starting point when interviewing perspective Managed Service Providers. Your IT support is a big investment, investigate thoroughly to avoid disappointments.