It was a very clever commercial. Four masked men enter a bank with baseball bats yelling “on the floor, on the floor”. A woman patron laying on the floor looks up to a man dressed as a security guard and whispers, “do something” and the man replies, “Oh, I’m not a security guard, I’m a security monitor. I only notify people if there’s a robbery” then after a long pause he says, “there’s a robbery.” It’s a funny commercial and I think most people actually remember that it’s a spot for LifeLock.
Unfortunately, when selecting a Managed Service Plan (MSP) from an IT services Provider, you must understand what their definition of 24 x 7 network monitoring is. Oftentimes it’s just that. Monitoring. If an incident happens at 2:00 in the morning, many IT support firms will not become aware of it until they arrive at the office at 8 or 9AM. Sometimes, it’s after you or your employees have arrived only to find they can’t begin work.
This is another feature of an MSP area that needs to be clearly defined when vetting an IT services firm. You have to find out exactly what 24 x 7 monitoring means to them. The thing to ask is “does your monitoring include ‘real-time’ remediation”. If so, ask the tough questions and perhaps lay out some likely scenarios and find out how they would be handled.
When comparing services offered by a Managed Service Provider, you need to be aware of each component and discern exactly what you’ll get once you’ve signed on. It’s tempting to try to reduce the selection task to a checklist, but as you can see, the devil is in the details and in order to truly compare service firms, you owe it to yourself and your organization to dig deeper. This selection process is important and taking the extra time on the front-end, will reduce your post decision dissonance on the back end.
Check out my previous blogs and watch for future contributions for a look at each MSP offering with tips on how to evaluate them.