Managed IT Services

Demystifying the MSP Meeting: What to Expect

Post by
Net Friends

Forget the awkward small talk and one-sided pitches... Choosing the right Managed Service Provider (MSP) is like picking your ideal travel companion. These initial meetings are your opportunity to forge a connection, establish trust, and set the foundation for a successful, long-term journey together. Think of it as your first itinerary meeting with your IT dream team – a chance to explore desired destinations (goals), map out a potential path forward, and discover if there is a spark that could ignite a successful collaboration.

Demystifying the MSP Meeting: What to Expect thumbnail graphic with photo of smiling Net Friend

Prepare for Productive Meetings

Just like researching a new destination, finding the right fit is crucial when choosing an MSP. Be prepared to share your travel itinerary (your business challenges and goals). This open dialogue allows for a collaborative route planning session, helping you determine if this MSP can be your ideal travel guide – someone who understands your journey and can navigate it successfully with you.

The next consideration is who should attend? The best outcomes are achieved when both the key stakeholder(s) and the internal lead attend these initial meetings. Technical experts typically join in a final meeting to resolve or address any outstanding issues. Their participation is often dictated by time constraints, making it essential to determine their availability early on, especially if time is limited.

Good preparation and the right people at the table are your secret weapons. They help you move beyond superficial chit-chat and delve deeper into the core aspects of a successful partnership.

This focused approach ensures you make the best use of everyone's time and increases your chances of finding the perfect IT travel guide!

Image with what to expect for the first MSP meeting with smiling colleagues at workstation
The First MSP Meeting

Getting to Know You

Congratulations! You have narrowed down your travel brochure collection (MSP profiles) and secured an initial meeting with a few promising options. Before diving into specific service offerings, it is important to know what to expect to ensure this initial meeting goes smoothly and sets the stage for a long-lasting partnership.  

Discussion About Your Issues

A significant portion of the getting to know you phase will be dedicated to discussing the business challenges and IT issues your company is facing. This conversation is crucial for the MSP to gain a deep understanding of your current situation, including any specific pain points or obstacles that are impacting your business operations. Common topics for potential discussion are:

  • Support & Response Times: Understanding the MSP's support structure and how issues are resolved.  
  • Scalability: Discussing how the MSP can support your business growth and adapt to changing needs.
  • Communication & Reporting: Setting expectations for updates, reports, and feedback loops.
  • Security & Compliance: How the MSP ensures data protection and meets regulatory requirements.
Top pain points for SMBs micrographic with bulleted list
Top Pain Points for SMBs

Current IT Infrastructure and Operations

Expect to delve into the current state of your IT infrastructure and operations. Discussing what systems and processes you have in place, along with any existing issues, will help the MSP assess your needs and identify areas for improvement. It is important to note that a technical expert is not necessary for this initial conversation; the focus here is on understanding the big picture rather than delving into technical specifics.

Background of the MSP Team

This is an opportunity to learn about their experience, expertise, and the specific individuals who may be working with your company. Understanding the background and strengths of the MSP team can provide insight into how they might handle your IT needs and the value they can offer to your operations.

If you are transitioning from an MSP, be prepared to discuss why. This information can offer valuable context to the new MSP about what has not been working for you and what you are looking for in a new partnership. Also, understanding when you will no longer receive service from your current MSP is important to communicate during the early meetings to ensure there is enough time for the transition.

The primary goal of this phase is for the MSP to learn about your challenges, budget, and timeline to gauge whether they can offer the solutions you need. A successful outcome is one where there is a clear understanding of these elements, setting the groundwork for a tailored IT support strategy.
Transitioning from another MSP micrographic with bulleted listl
Transitioning from Another MSP

Evaluating Fit & Understanding Value

The getting to know you phase with an MSP is like the pre-trip consultation – you chart your course, and determine what itinerary is best. The transition to the second phase should be smooth sailing.  

This next stage is where things get real. We move beyond the "what" and "why" of your IT needs, and dive headfirst into the "how much" and "what's the payoff?"

Imagine it – the foundational understanding from the first meeting becomes your travel itinerary, guiding you as you explore the costs and benefits in detail.

One of the primary topics will be the price. It is important to gain a clear understanding of how much the services will cost and what payment models are available. This discussion should provide a transparent breakdown of pricing, including any setup fees, monthly charges, and potential costs for additional services. By discussing price upfront, you can assess whether the MSP's services align with your budget and financial expectations.

Expect to receive a comprehensive overview of the IT solutions and strategies tailored to your business needs. This includes not only the immediate services that will be deployed but also how the MSP plans to support your business's growth and evolution over time. Understanding the scope of services is essential for assessing the MSP's capability to meet your current and future IT requirements.

The overarching goal of this meeting is to enable you to evaluate if this MSP is a good fit for your business. Through discussions you should be able to determine:

  • If the pricing model works within your budget constraints.
  • Whether the MSP's services and strategies are aligned with your business objectives.
  • How effectively the MSP can support and grow with your business over time.

Once you have learned about the numbers, service offerings, and future plans. Now comes the big question: are you ready to book your airline tickets?

Micrographic with text: What Key Factors will help you confidently choose your next IT Partner?
What Key Factors Will Help You Confidently Choose Your Next IT Partner?

Investing in the Right Partnership

Choosing an MSP is not about snagging the cheapest local guide. It is about finding your ideal travel companion – someone who becomes your trusted confidante on the journey. Imagine them as your tech wingperson, someone who adapts to your evolving needs, navigates challenges with you, and always has your back (figuratively and, literally when it comes to your servers). It is about the travel chemistry – trust, reliability, and proactive support.

By following these steps and approaching your MSP meetings strategically, you will be well on your way to finding that perfect IT partner. Remember, the ideal MSP is not just a vendor, they are a trusted advisor, a collaborator who is invested in your success story. This newfound partnership will free you to focus on your core business goals, with the peace of mind that your IT infrastructure is in capable hands, propelling you towards a future brimming with success.

Net Friends understands the importance of finding the right MSP match. We would love to chat and see if we could be your perfect IT partner. Set up a meeting with us today to learn more about how we support our clients and help them achieve their goals.

WHAT READ NEXT:
- How Managed Service Providers Help Businesses Thrive
- Does Your MSP Understand You?
- How to Align Your IT Ducks Before Choosing Your MSP

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