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How to Avoid Managed Services Challenges by Picking The Right Partner

September 5, 2023
Reading Time: 5 mins
Author: Katherine Spanner

If you’ve faced a myriad of managed service provider (MSP) challenges in your past, you might feel a little turned off by the model. However, you shouldn’t be. Managed IT providers in Melbourne are like any other business: some will be better than others. That’s why it’s important to watch out for a few red flags before you sign a contract.

Most of the common challenges people face when dealing with MSPs are avoidable if you read the fine print. Yet, many small business owners simply don’t know what to look out for when they do.

If you’re one of them, don’t worry. This quick guide will help you prevent future IT managed services challenges by showing you what to look for and what you’ll avoid when you do.

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Transparency in Their Scope of Services

There’s nothing worse than false promises. However, don’t just look for outright lies, look for withheld truths. Favour candidates who will clearly explain their scope of services instead of just saying “yes” without explanation.

This will save you the pain of later asking for a service that they can’t offer. It may also save you the stress of looking for a new MSP because your original one didn’t actually provide the services you need.


Effective Customer Support and Communication


“Far too many IT companies get so caught up in the technology that they forget that their primary purpose is to add value.” - Ray Sweeney, Chief Commercial Officer, Sensible Business Solutions


The importance of transparency extends beyond service scope. You need an MSP partner who proactively initiates communication. This includes check-in calls, responsiveness, and regular reviews. Make sure they can also demonstrate their abilities, it’s one thing for them to say they can do something, but another to actually do it.

A responsive MSP is more likely to actually listen to your concerns. The old phrase “no news is good news” doesn’t apply to your partnership. If they remain silent, they could be performing counterproductive tasks that have either no or ill effect on your IT networks.

Regular check-ins are also your time to voice any dissatisfaction with your IT systems. Your MSP should have good support in place so you can get help when you need it. However,  you can use your time together in a check-in to get on top of potential issues before support calls are needed.


Their Data Security Measures

Most MSPs offer cybersecurity solutions in some capacity. As you dig into how they’ll protect you, remember to investigate how they protect themselves. Consider that Verizon estimates that 62% of network intrusions originated from a third-party vendor.

No matter how well they can protect you, you still risk a data breach if they don’t do the same for themselves. That’s because you likely won’t have the same level of security against them as you would external users. If something external gets into their network, it’s too easy for it to get into yours.

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Unnecessary Upselling

Every business upsells. It’s an important and effective sales and marketing tactic. Upselling itself isn’t a problem, unnecessary upselling is.

By that, we mean you should steer clear of MSPs that pitch solutions that make no sense for your business. This is a sign that they care more about making money than they do about helping you.

Before you hit that point, think about how much time your candidate devotes to understanding your business. If they actually care about learning your business needs, that’s a sign they’re less likely to partake in unnecessary upselling.


A Focus on Long-Term Solutions

As your business continues to grow, you need a partner who can keep up with you. Larger businesses have different tech needs than smaller ones and your MSP should understand that.

Ask your candidate what their strategy would be if your business experiences rapid growth. If they can’t answer, that may indicate that they aren’t thinking in the long term. Plus, if you do go through a big growth spurt, you’d be stuck with underperforming IT that didn’t scale with you.


How Else Can You Make Your IT Life a Little Easier?


Over-Reliance on Testimonials

As important as it is to trust a partner with a proven track record, you should be suspicious if testimonials are all they give you. There are a lot of reasons why a company could get a solid testimonial. Maybe they just got lucky, or for all you know it could be a friend or someone they paid.

Feel free to ask for testimonials, but don’t rely too heavily on them. Make sure your MSP candidate can answer questions on their own without referring to someone else’s words. This proves that they have well-established solutions and truly earned their testimonials.

If you’re not sure how to dig into that, start by asking them to explain their processes. Even if you don’t understand all the details of it, the point is that they should be able to explain it in a way that makes sense well enough. A couple of other caution signs to watch for are:

  • They focus too heavily on their help desk: while they should offer IT support, overfocus on the help desk may indicate that they are more of a reactive service than a proactive one.
  • They focus too much on their partnerships: this implies that they’re more interested in sales than providing assistance.


Try Our Sensible Managed Services Solution

Now that you’ve gotten a better idea of how you can avoid unnecessary IT managed service provider challenges, it’s time to start exploring the MSP market with more confidence.

Since you’re already here, why not take a look at Sensible Business Solutions?

Our managed services team offers a unique combination of tech and business savviness. We use this combined skill set to ensure our technology solutions will actually solve real business problems.

Alongside managed IT, we also offer comprehensive:

Please feel free to contact us to see if we’re a good fit.


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