3 Signs Its Time to Break Up With Your MSP
Bad business relationships are unfortunately quite common. Your company’s relationship with its managed service provider is one that should be reconsidered if it isn’t working out the way you would like. And let’s be honest, you’re currently reading this article, which indicates trouble may be brewing whether you’d like to admit it or not! When this partnership begins to regress it is important to know when to call it quits and how to move forward.
- Your provider is unable to keep pace and grow with your company: All businesses experience change, and hopefully some level of growth. If your provider is unable to keep pace and grow with your company as it is experiencing changes, then this should be taken as a strong sign that this relationship is no longer best for your business. You want to lock arms with an IT company that lives your vision right alongside you.
- Communication is not easy and open: This specific partnership is one that should cherish open and easy communication. The best MSPs provide significant feedback and reports in order to ensure that you are operating at your maximum potential. Sometimes this takes the form of a notification that your hardware needs an upgrade, or an IT roadmap that illustrates the path forward as expected growth is on the horizon. Despite what in particular is communicated, it is the open line of communication that is important here. If your current MSP is not communicating effectively, you should seek one out that is proactive and offers regular advice.
- Manipulative behavior: Another manifestation of a bad business relationship with your MSP is manipulative behavior. This can result in a sense of pressure to make quick choices that aren’t grounded in an understanding of the issues at hand. Your MSP should be attentive to your needs as a business, and not just concern itself with their own revenue. If you find that your MSP seems to care more about locking you into a certain service package than actually providing solutions that address your needs, then you should likely look for services elsewhere. Don’t sign up and approve services and products that you don’t fully understand, because there might be some manipulation at play.
Trying to Fix the Relationship
Anyone that has switched service providers understands that this process isn’t cheap or easy. Therefore, there is potentially a scenario that exists in which you can mend your relationship and move forward in a mutually beneficial fashion. The first step to fixing this relationship (if possible), is to review the original contract. When reviewing the contract, look for areas in which your provider might have offered more support or flexibility than they are providing you with. If that is the case then it is absolutely in your right to request changes in service.
If it turns out that this relationship is just not salvageable, make sure you are aware of the financial and legal ramifications of moving to a different provider. This advice is especially applicable when your company is in the middle of a contract with your service provider. Every contract is a little different, but most stipulate some form of early termination penalty, or related costs. In order to get ahead of this issue moving forward, there is usually some room for negotiation on the issue of termination provisions when signing a contract with a new provider. Additionally, it makes sense to include terms that require the MSP to help provide a smooth transition to a new provider should you terminate the relationship at some point.
Business relationships aren’t always easy, and every relationship is unique. Although there is no single approach to maintaining and nourishing these relationships, if you keep in mind what we discussed today then you will position yourself for a successful partnership with your MSP.