Choosing a Managed Services Software Suite

IT services are now being provided by managed services providers, and most of these providers offer a variety of software choices suitable for the small and medium enterprise market.  For starters, customers can often choose between VMware and Microsoft's Hyper-V to supply their virtualization needs.  How then can such an enterprise know with confidence which of the available options will best support their IT needs so that their clients' employees can concentrate on workflow related to the firm's core competencies?

The advice of your selected managed services provider is an important first step.  Work closely with your MSP to be sure that lines of communication are completely open and your MSP understands your vision of how technology can enhance the bottom line and streamline operations.  These lines of communication must go both ways, however.  Be open to the advice and expertise that your MSP can offer you when it comes to managed services, their own field of specialty.

Once a tentative choice has been made, a good next step is to take the software on a ‘test drive’ of sorts.  Ask for demonstrations at the very least and inquire if free trials of the software packages are available.  See how the new system fits into the existing atmosphere of your business enterprise.  Share the system's new features and functionality with key personnel and solicit their input on a final decision.  

Finally, when you find a software package that suits your needs, ask about the remote monitoring and management that the MSP will provide to implement it.

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