Will Your IT Managed Services Provider Be There When You Need Them?

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Were you a client of CareSync? If so, you aren’t anymore.

CareSync was a Tampa-based healthcare technology provider.  I say “was” because they’ve closed their doors.

According to a message on their website:

“After 7 years of working tirelessly and closely with our stakeholders to deliver best-in-class chronic care management products and services, CareSync has discontinued its business operations and closed its facilities in Tampa and Wauchula, Florida.”

CareSync launched in 2011, tried to combine the technology, data, and other services to improve patient care coordination, and planned to grow their business to an estimated 500 employees by the end of 2017.

Things didn’t work out as they planned.

CareSync’s “health” failed. This resulted in a complete shutdown of the IT healthcare provider leaving all of their customers without the services they required.

They even tried to sell the business, but this fell through.

What a disaster!

People have questions – and there is a lot to ask.

What happened? – And what happens to the patient data they were storing and managing for their customers?

They say that it will remain secure. But, if they aren’t investing additional resources in their own IT solutions and security software, can they guarantee this?

And now that the hackers know this, will this make them an even bigger target?

The lesson learned?

Make sure you do your homework when looking for an IT Managed Service Provider.

Ask The Tough Questions

Can they show that they have experience working with other businesses in your industry?  Relevant experience is important. If they have been providing IT solutions for businesses in your industry, they’ll understand the issues you face. This is a primary consideration.

How will they help you reach your business goals with cost-effective technology solutions? They should methodically take an inventory of your current technology infrastructure and document everything in a report that they’ll share with you.

Be sure they provide a clearly defined technology roadmap detailing where you are now, where they plan to take your business, and the priorities they’ll address. The technologies they recommend must align with your needs and budget, and also boost your network’s performance.

Can they provide metrics for accountability? You should be looking for actionable solutions with measurable outcomes that will take your business to the next level.

Ask if they have a process for tracking progress against your business goals.

How will they measure this?

And what will they do if their predictions are off track?

How often will you receive reports?  They should have processes in place for software and IT solutions deployment and network documentation.  You should expect monthly reports and meetings to discuss key metrics and whether these have been met.

This should include whether support tickets were handled to your satisfaction and if response times were adequate.

What does their SLA state? Make sure that regular reporting is included in their Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and what will happen if they don’t reach them.

The data they provide should be applied to drive performance; it should also formulate feedback designed to help improve processes and bolster solutions that may be underperforming.

Transparency is essential, and your MSP should check in regularly with results, issues, setbacks, and other issues.

What about their customer service? You don’t have time to worry whether your IT issues will be addressed and resolved promptly.

If you have an urgent matter, will it get escalated to a higher level of technical service? Will they be there after-hours, on weekends, and holidays?

Do they provide remote service and support to resolve issues behind the scenes? And, at what point will they send onsite support when more assistance is needed?

Your MSP should focus on help desk service and have the experience and resources to resolve issues quickly.

What are their data security policies and procedures?  Your business information and confidential client (or patient information in CareSync’s case) must remain secure.

Ask the MSP about their approach to privacy, and what processes and solutions they’ll use to protect your data.

You must also ensure they operate within your legal, governmental, and industry regulations. Will they help you comply with these? Will they train your employees in IT security?

Ask to see what’s included in their managed security plan.

Are they invested in a Partnership with you?  The right MSP will invest themselves in your business. Rather than acting like any other vendor, they should commit to being your IT Partner right from the start.

As your Technology Partner, they should take care of your business as if it were their own.  

These are all pretty standard today in the managed services industry, so if they hedge when you ask these questions, it’s time to look for another IT provider.

In the end, you must be able to trust that they’ll deliver what they promise without you having to give up control, pay more than you should, or compromise the reputation of your business.

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