Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are exploding in popularity as more businesses outsource their service management of applications like Atlassian. Atlassian Solution Providers can provide support or completely offload crucial tasks including security management, training, and on-demand troubleshooting.
But not all MSPs are created equal. Before entrusting support and management for your Atlassian environment to an MSP, it’s imperative to vet potential partners before signing on the dotted line to ensure the fit and long-term viability of a relationship.
Here’s a quick list of some key steps in choosing the right Atlassian Solution Partner for your organization.
6 steps to find the MSP for you
1. Choose an Atlassian certified partner
Atlassian has compiled a comprehensive list of all its approved Solution Partners across its Silver, Gold, and Platinum Solution Partner levels. If Atlassian is willing to recommend them, it’s a good bet the MSP is a viable option. Being your search for an Atlassian Solution Partner at Atlassian’s partner page.
2. Verify an MSP’s credentials
MSPs can earn certifications like Cyber Essentials Plus, PCI DDS, HIPAA, or other industry-specific credentials to bolster their reputation. However, these certifications can be narrow in scope so businesses should also look at other factors, like longevity and experience.
By and large, if an MSP has been around for a while and has happy customers, it means they know what they’re doing and they’re doing it well. They have to stay on top of trends, including security updates, to be able to provide a good service and will quickly fall out of favor if they expose their clients to threats or underperform in other areas.
Also crucial to a strong partnership is finding an MSP who has experience in your industry. This way, they will be familiar with regulations and other industry-specific measures you must meet. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the time it takes to get them up to speed.
3. Narrow down your list to include only the MSPs that match your needs.
Make a detailed list of the services your team needs (or thinks it needs), as well as other considerations such as geography, systems to support, and which internal teams will be most impacted by improvements to your Atlassian environment.
4. Compare their websites and marketing materials.
You’ll want to check their websites for customer testimonials, what services they provide, and go through any content they have on their site to gain an understanding of who they really are and what they can (or can’t) do for you.
Be sure to look at their marketing materials, like eBooks, social media presence, and blogs. If the MSP is truly an expert, the quality of content will speak for itself. They should be informative and the MSP should be able to prove any claims they make and reference reputable sources.
5. Talk with an MSP’s representatives.
It seems like a no-brainer. Talking with a company representative — a sales rep, solution architect, or an engineer — gives you an opportunity to interview them. Ask questions and compare their answers. Are they thorough but approachable? Do they use industry jargon around or do they truly answer your question?
You also want to be able to quickly develop a rapport with them. After all, if you don’t like their customer service, you won’t like working with them no matter how knowledgeable they are.
6. Ask for customer references — and talk to them.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options to a few MSPs, ask for customer references. You can always read reviews online but speaking to someone who has direct experience with the MSP can give you invaluable insight.
Ask them about what working with the MSP in question was really like. Follow up with questions about their customer service, knowledge level, and how thorough they were when providing the service in the first place. Watch out for red flags like slow response times and errors that were continually not fixed. If an MSP is unwilling to provide a customer reference, other than for legal reasons, this is the biggest red flag of all.
Like most business decisions, choosing to invite a partner into your environment can be a risky proposition. However, many organizations are finding that in an increasingly competitive global landscape, it’s a necessary step.
They’re also becoming aware of just how important the Atlassian MSP selection process is to their future success. Don’t be fooled by flashy marketing efforts or grand promises. Take the time you need to vet their experience and learn as much as you can about them. A little research will go a long way toward achieving the sustainable growth and success that all businesses are striving to achieve.
Learn more about how to choose the right Atlassian managed services provider for you in our latest eBook, “Unshackled: How managed services are key to unlocking Atlassian’s full potential.”