Considering a New MSP/TSP
The Best Ways Your Company Can Get Ready to Work With a New TSP
You know that you need help with your business’s technology. You’ve reached out to a reputable Technology Solutions Provider (TSP) and scheduled an initial consultation. You’re looking for solutions that can help your business grow, or maybe for insight on running your existing technology more efficiently, or maybe you’re just looking to get another year’s use out of your PCs.
A TSP can help solve all of these problems, but to get the best results out of your new business relationship it’s well worth taking some time to prepare.
Treat working with a reputable TSP as an investment in your business’s future. Make the best investment possible, and take the time to know where your business’s technology stands today, and determine where you want it to take your business in the future.
Giving your new TSP such a thorough perspective on your business helps them define the most effective solutions for your unique situation and prioritize their implementation according to your near, middle, and long term goals.
Know Where You Are
If you’re contracting with a new TSP then you already know that your business needs better technology solutions. And you probably have ideas already about what your most pressing needs are. However, when you give them appropriate context, your TSP is usually able to apply their expertise and determine the best order in which to tackle tech problems. So it’s worth taking the time to prepare a full list—top to bottom—of all the business technology needs that you have.
You can start by pulling together a list of all essential hardware and software currently in use at your business. Your TSP is going to want to see the current state of your IT infrastructure, see how your staff uses it, and understand how your business manages it. How many new IT service requests has your business generated over the past year? How many new projects and capital expenditures?
Make sure to gather input from your staff too. Quite often owners are not the best-positioned people in their business to know what are the most impactful day-to-day technical problems.
Your new TSP should also receive a full report on your current IT and associated spending. This can include expenses on hardware—servers, laptops, and desktops, as well as software, tools, and staffing.
What a good TSP will also ask for, and help you determine, are the more intangible costs of your technology usage. These can include missed savings. For example, as can happen by sticking with paper recordkeeping versus investing up front in a new, digital document management system. Opportunities like that can save your business time and money year over year. Other intangibles could include the hidden, soft costs of your business’s technology. Your discount email service may have saved you a couple hundred dollars up front, but what about the cost of all the maintenance and downtime your staff has incurred since?
Thinking these intangibles through can be an enlightening experience, and will help your new TSP figure out the greatest opportunities for your business to save and invest in technology.
Know Where You’re Going
Just as important as understanding the state of your technology today is understanding where you want it to take your business in the future. Some business’s relationship with IT boils down to just getting the PCs running so an order can go out the door that afternoon. In the hands of skilled professionals, technology can offer so much more than that.
Used correctly, technology can be a strategic business tool. It can help you work more efficiently, respond more quickly to client demands, and tackle projects your business could not otherwise accommodate. It can provide real, competitive advantages for your business.
But this requires longer term thinking and planning. Working with a trusted TSP can help you determine what’s right for your business in the local market, and best position you against competitors.
Taking the time to collect your files and your thoughts on where you are today, and where you want to take your business is the best way to begin working with a new Technology Support Provider. Your initial in-house planning doesn’t need to be perfect. After all, that’s one of the reasons you contracted a TSP for help. But putting time up front into organizing your business’s technology needs can pay dividends for years to come.
Get super powered Technology Solutions for your business. Contact Tools 4 Data today.