Evaluating Top Managed Services Providers in Seattle – A Seattle Business Owners’ Guide (Part 7)

As a Seattleite, you not only know how incredibly high-tech our city is, you revel in it! Unfortunately, so do your customers, your partners, and your employees – which means that if your business technology stops working, even if it’s only for a little while, you’ll have to deal with a lot of angry phone calls.

No business leader wants to deal with unpleasant phone calls, which is why so many of Seattle’s business leaders choose to work with our city’s top Managed Services Providers (MSPs).

Here in Part 7 of the Seattle Business Owners’ Guide to IT Security, we’ll talk about how you can find your best fit for Seattle Managed Services Providers. So go ahead and pour yourself a cup of coffee, and we’ll begin.

Did you miss out on any of the previous 6 tips for Seattle Business Owners’? Catch up when you start back at the beginning.

Our Top Tip for Evaluating Managed Services Providers: Shop Local!

When it comes to network security and IT services, shopping local isn’t just a good idea, it’s pretty darn essential.

Sure, you could choose one of the national MSP teams… but buyer beware. Those national teams rarely come with critical services, like hands-on repair, which saves you from the “lovely” experience of crawling around on your hands and knees under your desks and in your server room, while being lectured over the phone by a snide call-in tech who speaks only in jargon…

We digress. Suffice it to say that you want to choose a local provider for your Managed IT Services.

You know, like the local, award-winning Managed Services Provider, Interplay. 😉

Now that that’s covered, let’s move on to how you can evaluate Seattle’s top Managed Services Providers.

Understand that All MSPs Are Different

Like diamonds, all Managed Services Providers are totally unique, though they may look the same at first glance. What this means for you is that you need to carefully inspect your potential MSPs, just like a jeweler does with that monocle-microscope thing (which, apparently is called a “loupe”).

Here’s what you’re looking for with your in-depth inspection:

Standard Services

You’d be surprised how much variation there is in the industry when it comes to “standard MSP services.” Typically, you’ll get 24/7 threat monitoring and automated software patch updates, but beyond that, you’ll need to ask for details.

Specifically, check into “should-be-standard” services like understandable threat reporting, after-hours patch updates applied in a timely fashion, 24/7 support with a real-live human being who doesn’t communicate in “geekspeak,” both PC and Mac support, email support, hands-on break-fix support… details you would normally assume are included with IT support.

Boutique Services

Boutique services are what really make up the differences between one MSP and the next – and there’s a lot of variation here too. While you’re evaluating your potential IT services provider, ensure that you find one of the top Managed Services Providers that offers services your company specifically needs.

You may want:

In addition, make sure the MSP you’re evaluating has specific experience working with your industry, and look out for red flags, like if the MSP tells you you’ll have to replace all your systems before they’ll start working with you. (Unless you’re still using CRT monitors and Windows XP machines. In that case, uh, you’ll have to replace all your systems before any MSP starts working with you.)

Specialized Services

Depending on your business, you may want additional, specialized services so you can securely implement today’s emerging technologies while blocking advanced cyberthreats.

  • Is your office on the cutting edge using Smart boards and HoloLenses? That’s pretty cool – but it means you’ll probably want advanced IoT protection to keep your network secure from all those wearables and white boards.
  • Do you deal with super sensitive information, or are worried that you may need to block cyberthreats as they’re happening? Check to see if the top Managed Services Provider you’re considering offers Managed Detection and Response (MDR) for cyberthreats, which provides the next level in cybersecurity protection.

Choose Wisely Because There Are Very Few “Top” Managed Services Providers

It’s obvious, but worth mentioning, that although every MSP you run across will claim to be one of “Seattle’s top MSPs,” they can’t all be the top options. That goes against all principles of math (and probably violates a natural law too).

Therefore, do your due diligence: ask for recommendations, read online reviews, check out case studies, and grill the heck out of all the MSPs you’re considering.


In fact, you may want to start with these detailed interview questions.

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