Choosing the Right Company for Managed Services

Considering that the news these days is filled with ransomware and phishing attacks, it’s no surprise that many local business leaders have decided that their best option for protection is to turn to managed IT services in Seattle. Managed IT companies provide cybersecurity expertise on-demand, along with around-the-clock network monitoring and fast, effective IT support that covers their clients’ current and future IT security needs. 

But here’s the problem: choosing a managed IT services provider is tough work – especially because a lot of the advice you run across on the internet is written by IT geeks, for IT geeks. Or, at least, that’s what it seems like, because everything is written in dense, incomprehensible “tech-speak.” 

Lucky for you, you just happened to stumble across an article from one of the “non-cryptic” IT security experts on the internet, which means you now have, in your hands, a guide that can clearly explain the step-by-step process for finding the right provider for managed IT services in Seattle. 

Let’s get to it. 

There Are 3 (Involved) Steps to Choosing Your Managed IT Services Provider

We’re not going to lie to you and pretend that choosing an IT services company is an easy process, but we have made the process as simple as possible by breaking it down into only three steps. They’re big steps, each of them, but if you simply devote some time to this, you’ll get through all the steps without too much effort.  

STEP 1: Take a Look at Your Company’s Needs

The first thing you need to do is figure out what your IT security needs actually are. You may feel tempted to skip this step, Google “managed IT services in Seattle,” and just start emailing everyone that comes up but, trust us, this is a very bad idea. 

Before you contact a single provider, you need to know what kinds of services your business needs – and that requires taking a good, hard, sometimes painful look at your current system vulnerabilities. 

Investigate the nitty-gritty details: stuff like passwords, firewalls, protocols, and software versions (along with a lot more), and keep everything organized by using a detailed checklist from an IT expert

STEP 2: Ask Around for Recommendations (and Curses)

Never be shy or hesitate to ask other business leaders about their experiences with managed IT services in Seattle. This could be your best untapped resource of information and insight. 

In our experience, business leaders have pretty strong opinions about IT providers, so once you ask your peers what they like and don’t like about their current provider or situation, be ready to hear a varied list of glowing recommendations and curse-word-filled rants. 

Make a list of the companies that get mentioned a lot (and note whether the speaker thought the provider was good or bad), and then use what you hear to update that Needs List you created in Step 1. 

Start getting ideas on what local business leaders say about their IT providers by looking into these case studies

STEP 3: Set Aside Quite a Bit of Time for Researching

Okay, let’s just clear the air right now: the research process takes a while and it’s not that fun, but it’s extremely important. If you want good results finding managed IT services in Seattle, you have to take your time on this step. 

To help you organize your research, we’ve broken this step down into micro-steps. For each provider you’re researching, follow micro-steps 1-3, in order. 

Word to the wise: Don’t skip micro-steps. Other word to the wise: micro-steps pair well with micro-brews – and responsible consumption of micro-brews can really make this process more enjoyable. 

Okay, sigh, there’s no point in procrastinating your inevitable research, so here goes. For each of the prospective managed IT services providers you listed in Step 2: 

  • Make Contact
    This micro-step requires making calls and asking questions. Check if the companies you’re calling offer the services you need. Have the provider explain those services to you, even if you already perfectly understand them, so you can see how well they explain tech processes. After all, someday you will definitely run into tech problems you don’t understand, so you’ll want to make sure any provider you choose can explain those problems, clearly, when that time comes.
  • Assess Customer Service
    When you’re hiring an outsourced managed IT services provider in Seattle, you need to make sure that they’re responsive and that they respect your business. Make note of the companies that answer the phone quickly and/or get back to you in a timely fashion – and cross out the companies that don’t deliver even this basic level of service to you. C’mon, if they don’t work hard for you now, they certainly won’t work hard for you when you’re their client.
  • Talk to References
    Any good provider of managed IT services in Seattle will have a long list of happy clients they can call on to provide a recommendation. Assuming the provider passed the tests in micro-steps 1 and 2, ask them for references.Give the provider a few days to check with their clients to make sure they have the time to chat with you, and then, when you receive reference contact information, make sure that you take the time to talk to the references and ask detailed questions. This is a great opportunity. Don’t skip it.

Don’t Be Fooled by Big Marketing Dollars

Here’s a quick, time-saving tip for you during your search. 

Naturally, the IT providers that are likely to get the most attention online and in ads will be the ones with the most marketing money to throw around. Smaller local businesses with less marketing cash can frequently give your company more attention and personalized services, but you might have to dig a bit to find them. 

As you’re looking, focus your attention on IT services providers large enough to offer a fast response time around the clock, but small enough to know your system like the back of their hand. 

Choose the Right Managed IT Services Provider for You

Choosing a managed services provider in Seattle doesn’t have to be hard, as long as you keep a few things in mind. Look for an award-winning, experienced, long-standing company with a history of meeting their clients’ exact IT needs – and you’ll be well on the path to success. 

Since 2001, Interplay has been helping companies of all sizes get the IT services that perfectly fit their business needs. Not only is Interplay one of the longest-standing IT services companies in the Seattle area and one of the only true managed services providers (MSPs) around, we’ve also got a knowledgeable, friendly team who, as you can tell, is very good at explaining tech concepts and processes. 

Start off your search for the right provider of managed IT services in Seattle when you contact Interplay to Request a Quote. We look forward to meeting you.