You shouldn’t need to manage your Managed Service Provider!

… and 6 other ways to find out if you’re undervalued by your MSP

Everyone has probably been there: it’s late in the day, and you’re routed through multiple people re-explaining your issue over and over again, until you finally speak to someone who seems remotely close to solving your issue. Unfortunately, by then it’s usually about the time the mobile phone battery goes dead! Also, it’s very frustrating when a service provider lobs over raw data when they are expected to manage and synthesize reports. It gets worse when you’ve entrusted your Managed Service Provider (MSP) to proactively manage your mission-critical systems and applications. It shouldn’t be that way!
Too often I’m hearing from prospective customers, the woes of their existing MSP and the lack of service quality which is driving them to seek a better solution. Why is it so often that clients strive for satisfaction!? Client “satisfaction” is a bare minimum frame of reference, the MSP community should focus on, creating superior client service experiences that they truly love and recommend to others. To turn clients into active advocates, who truly love and recommend one MSP to another, it’s our job to go above-and-beyond expectations in multiple categories (and cost isn’t one of them).
You might be undervalued and unnecessarily managing your managed service provider (MSP) if you see any of these signs:

  1. You are calling your MSP to notify them of an issue they should be proactively monitoring. This seems to be a fundamental issue prospective clients suggest often. How can you manage what you can’t measure? Peter Drucker 101
  2. You are calling to educate them on new technologies that they should be providing to you regularly. Professional MSP experts should be regularly providing new ideas, options and perspective to help you and your unique organization move forward.
  3. You are investing in massive infrastructure overhauls at the end of every contract period, rather than seamlessly upgrading infrastructure. Thanks to the proliferation of scalability benefits from virtualization at all layers of the stack, this should be a non-issue, but is in many cases for MSPs that offer only legacy dedicated infrastructure models.
  4. You are reminding your MSP of repeat issues due to the same weekly processes. For example, if a batch job runs every week and you have to remind your provider each week, that’s a problem.
  5. You have solutions like “Disaster Recovery” or “Security Services” that are really designed to check a box (but haven’t been tested). In speaking with clients on what their biggest surprise was when moving to Secure-24, they exclaimed how surprised they were that “disaster recovery actually works and that we test it every year”. If you’re not asked to test your DR plans every year, it’s time to re-evaluate your provider, especially if the application is mission critical. Most organizations have moved security from a checkbox to a boardroom priority, and MSPs must understand that and be able to offer breadth and depth when it comes to security options.
  6. You don’t have a way to verify the level of service delivery. Is everything you run at an MSP really just a black box? Does your team have the access to the exact data needed to trust and verify that your MSP is providing exceptional all-around service? You shouldn’t have to check, but wouldn’t it be great to have that option at your fingertips?

Clients place an enormous amount of trust in a MSP when they select them, and they must do their homework on detailed references and read all the fine print to be clear on expectations upfront. With almost every industry going through their own digital revolutions and focusing on strategic growth and survival, imagine if you didn’t have to manage your MSP, but were given the option.
If your provider isn’t taking a proactive approach to managing your environment, its best to take a closer look and find a provider who has a high level of service quality you’re truly happy enough with to recommend to others.

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