Much of the conversation about managed services is focused on technical functions. A managed services provider (MSP) employs experienced personnel who handle all the day-to-day management and administration of IT equipment. Customers’ networks are monitored for performance problems or security concerns, and users have a help desk to call for any support issues that arise.

However, best-in-class MSPs take a holistic approach to IT management, providing a wide range of services that help their customers’ operations run more smoothly. Given the complexity of today’s IT environments, third-party vendor management is one of the most critical, yet underappreciated functions performed by an MSP.

Large enterprises typically enjoy close relationships with their IT vendors. In most cases, the enterprise will have dedicated vendor representatives who are readily available to answer questions and offer recommendations. When problems arise, the vendor’s technical resources work directly with in-house IT staff to provide support and troubleshoot the issue.

For small to midsize businesses (SMBs), such a relationship is all but unheard of. SMBs simply lack the buying power to warrant dedicated vendor resources or the other perks that come with large-scale IT purchases. Vendor reps who focus on the SMB space are typically spread thin and have little insight into the needs of their individual customers. Obtaining vendor support is often a time-consuming exercise in frustration.

Worse, vendors sometimes point the finger at one another when problems arise. After all, it’s human nature to assume that the other guy’s product is causing the issue, not yours.

An MSP can help relieve these headaches by serving as the all-important liaison between you and the various IT vendors. The MSP’s staff will provide the first line of support, isolating the root cause of issues and troubleshooting most problems without vendor intervention. If support escalation is required, the MSP will likely be familiar with the vendor’s operational processes, and can communicate effectively with the vendor’s technical staff. Many vendors also have partner programs that include technical assistance for MSPs.

An MSP’s consultants will have their finger on the pulse of the IT industry, and also understand your unique business needs. They can advise when it’s time to replace or upgrade certain equipment, and which technologies may benefit your operations. They’ve seen which products work best in the field, and which vendors offer the best support. In order to gain the most objective insight, it’s important to work with a vendor-agnostic MSP who doesn’t have a vested interest in recommending a particular product or solution.

SSD Technology Partners is here to serve as the single point of contact for all your technology needs. If you have a problem with a hardware or software vendor, we’ll take care of it and see the issue through to resolution. That’s what we mean by Total IT Management.

After all, you can’t be productive when you’re waiting on hold for vendor support. Let our team take over your third-party vendor management and help ensure that your business runs smoothly without interruptions.