Choosing a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) to support your organization’s technology operations is a serious decision. In the managed services model, the service provider partners with a business to help strategize, support, and manage their IT operations on an ongoing and long-term basis.
Picking an MSP can be a difficult and confusing process, so in this blog you will get answers to some common questions about working with DP Solutions, and MSP’s in general.
What exactly am I getting when I sign a Managed IT Services Agreement?
It is critical that our clients receive a high level of support when they engage with us. Our managed services agreements include all the core services necessary to ensure that tech issues are resolved quickly and that we are proactive enough to avoid incidents whenever possible. This includes:
- Full access to our 24x7 service desk
- On-site IT support when necessary
- Patch management
- Other tools and services that allow us to be responsive to your IT needs.
Depending on your existing technology, there may be other relevant services, such as spam filtering, managed backups, and other recurring items that can be bundled in.
We also want to be forward thinking when it comes to managing your technology. Therefore, we include proactive reviews from a dedicated Network Administrator, as well as Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR’s) with a Client Strategy Advisor (CSA). Our goal is to keep your technology working for you, rather than responding to avoidable challenges.
Outside of the typical services included in the managed services agreement, what additional services can I get with DP Solutions?
Every client is unique and may have needs that require a special level of service. We often add other services to our agreements, such as (but not limited to):
- Managed Security Operations Center (Managed SOC)
- Phishing Testing and Security Awareness Training
- Disaster Recovery Testing
- Microsoft Cloud Services such as Office 365, Azure, SharePoint, and others
- IT Projects, such as Server Migrations and Network Upgrades
We believe in maintaining strong standards for technology, while at the same time being flexible enough to provide services that suit your unique needs.
(See our Case Studies for a glimpse at our work)
What is the onboarding process like when working with DP Solutions?
Onboarding a new client is a critical step to establishing technology success with our clients and we invest considerable time and energy into this process. Once an agreement is approved, the DP Solutions team reviews the new client in full detail including:
- Background information
- General business information and goals
- Existing IT documentation
- Key points of contact
- Other relevant information.
The CSA and Onboarding Manager are then quickly introduced to the client to kick off the process.
DP Solutions’ dedicated Onboarding Manager oversees the onboarding process and directs various resources within DP Solutions to begin the process. This includes:
- Making sure software agents for support tickets are installed
- Teaching the client how to submit service requests
- Documentation of client systems and third party vendor documentation
- Working through any projects that need to be completed to make supporting the client successful
Specifics will vary from client to client, but the important part is that the Onboarding Manager continues to check in with the client’s points of contact to make sure that progress continues, and expectations are met.
It will take us a little time to get to know you, but we’ll hit the ground running so we can start taking your support calls as soon as possible. Within the first 30 days, our team should be fully acclimated with your technology, and by the first 90 days, your CSA will schedule your first quarterly business review (QBR) to establish your short- and long-term IT strategy.
(Learn more about onboarding with DP Solutions)
What is the typical support experience like when we are having difficulties?
DP Solutions has a 24x7x365 onsite Service Desk at its Columbia, Maryland headquarters with support engineers and technicians available around-the-clock. You can submit support tickets by phone or email. Most issues are resolved remotely by the Service Desk, however, there are times where issues need to be escalated to other technicians with specific expertise or an on-site technician. More details about escalation procedures will be shared during the onboarding process where we can answer any specific questions you may have.
How do you support our remote staff, including geographically distant employees?
The Internet has given many people the ability to work anywhere, anytime, from a variety of different devices. DP Solutions’ support tools allow us to remotely connect to devices no matter where they are, if they are connected to the Internet. We can also perform other maintenance tasks remotely such as anti-virus/anti-malware scans, patches and updates, and even installing certain applications.
For clients requiring on-site service outside of the Mid-Atlantic region, DP Solutions has partnered with trusted technology service providers throughout the United States in order to manage issues that require a local touch.
We have some IT staff in our office, but they need additional support. How do you typically work with internal IT staff or departments?
Technology has grown so much and has become such a broad discipline that there is no one person or company with unlimited expertise or resources. We often find that IT staff will work with us to augment and support areas where we can help fill the gaps. During the proposal and agreement process, we will determine where we can specifically help your IT staff/department. We will also learn what service procedures we need to follow to support your local IT resources.
Are there limitations on what you can offer when it comes to technology services?
Primarily, DP Solutions is a managed IT services provider, supporting local and wide area networks, servers/workstations/laptops, mobile devices, backups, and more. But there are areas where we will work with partners on things we don’t offer as part of our core offerings, such as web development, application development, or running network cabling. Fortunately, we can leverage our many relationships developed over our 50-year history to make sure that even if we don’t directly offer it, we can address your needs.
How do you work with organizations that have compliance concerns for HIPAA/PCI/CMMC/etc.?
If you are dealing with any kind of sensitive data, there’s a good chance that you need to be compliant with some kind of law, regulation, or privacy standard. During the proposal phase, as well as the onboarding process, we will take the time to understand what data you manage that is considered sensitive. Between our in-house staff with knowledge of many of the typical compliance standards, and third-party auditors and assessors, we can make sure that the products and services we put in place will address your specific compliance and security needs. Compliance is a discipline, so as standards and your business change, we will continue adjusting your compliance plans as part of your regular quarterly business reviews.
Additionally, DP Solutions performs many internal management practices, such as security assessments and disaster recovery testing, to ensure that our own technology is managed in a safe and compliant fashion.
Do you use third parties and/or offshore support for your Service Desk?
Every technician taking a support call through DP Solutions’ Service Desk is a DP Solutions employee. While we do work with third parties as needed for specific software or hardware needs, our Service Desk staff are 100% local, U.S.-based DP Solutions employees that are not offshored whatsoever.
These are some of the questions we hear most often from organizations looking for the support of a managed IT services provider. If you have a specific question or there is something you would like to learn more about, please don’t hesitate to contact us!