Choosing your CMSP to act as a trusted adviser and guide you through your digital transformation and cloud success is key.
To make sure you partner with the right CMSP, ask and answer the following questions for all potential candidates – making sure the partner is the right fit to enable the success throughout the lifecycle of your cloud journey.

1. Do they meet your security, compliance and regulatory requirements?

Cloud security and compliance should be standard. The governance of cloud infrastructure is an ever-changing world and if this is your first passage in to the cloud, understanding the technologies and the regulatory requirements is a million miles away from your on-prem infrastructure. You should select a partner that will carefully guide you through the potential minefield, make sure your data is where it must be and that the flow of data is secure and compliant at all times.

The right CMSP will not only have a thorough understanding of the regulations you must comply with, they’ll have the ability to completely manage your regulatory compliance and will have a proven track record of doing so. They should also have undergone third-party accreditation, such as ISO 27001 (for information security management systems) and Cyber Security Essentials backed up by a Cyber insurance policy that protects you. A CMSP should have a managed SOC for that added level of security and reassurance so you can rest assured your data is in the safest possible hands.

2. Do they have the experience of full end to end digital transformations?

A full digital transformation should be the end goal of any organisation. To do that you’ll need a CMSP that can deliver expertise each and every step of the way; guiding you through the entire journey. Every new provider brings the necessary due diligence and a mountain of processes and pointless work which no one likes! Select a partner that delivers the services that are right for your business and has the experience and expertise to mitigate any added potential costs which could result in superfluous delays.

Select an Expert that can guide you through a tried and tested digital transformation process. This means they will tailor each aspect of your transformation to fit perfectly within your IT budget and timescales. They will also be able to foresee any challenges and plan accordingly to avoid any integration and implementation disruption to your business.

3. Are you happy with the CMSP’s Service Level Agreements (SLA)?

When performing a cloud migration, understanding your CMSP’s SLA is critical. The SLA is the best way to set your expectations, as well as determine the CMSP’s level of commitment. A rock-solid SLA is the best way to ensure your CMSP meets their obligations and your best recourse should they fail to do so.

When looking at an CMSP’s SLA, pay close attention to the following three areas:

Service agreement: 
This is the legal agreement that will quantify service levels and the metrics that will be used to measure these. This section also details when and how reporting will be accomplished and the responsibilities of each member of the partnership.

Process and procedures for when things do go wrong:
This is probably the most important aspect of your SLA, as it outlines what a problem is, various levels of severity and how the problems will be reported and dealt with. Included will also be the CMSP’s response and resolution time. Be careful here, as most traditional MSP’s will offer a response time but not a resolution time. If the MSP is worth their salt, they will offer you a time to fix SLA, as we do at Atech.

RACI Matrix:
SLAs are meant to be mutually beneficial. For this reason, there is usually a section detailing your duties and obligations. This ensures that the CMSP gets the information and resources they need in a reasonable and timely manner. This enables the partner to plan and makes sure that they are efficient with their time to reduce the costs to the end user.  

4. Are they the right culture fit for your business?

When interviewing for a new employee, you want to make sure that they are a good fit culturally for the organisation, right? This shouldn’t be any different when selecting your CMSP. Taking the time to understand the Vision, Mission and Goals of your CMSP will ultimately make sure you’re aligned strategically.

The values and the people behind the services being delivered is as important as the cost. There’s no point in entering into a partnership without the understanding of these; if the partnership isn’t right from the start, this will just cause unnecessary delays and money thrown down the drain. Make sure your CMSP has a clear onboarding process and they’re as interested at finding the right partner to work with, as you are in selecting them.

5. Are they credible within the market space or incredible and true experts in their chosen field? 

Gold stars and awards shouldn’t be just for school sports days! The time and effort that CMSPs put into training their employees ultimately results in being experts and specialist in the technology of choice. Having the team with the right accreditations and awards for your business is just a good decision all round.

Do they have a good relationship with their public cloud provider of choice? Is a global support agreement in place with the vendor, making sure their customers are protected when incidents happen outside of their control? The relationship and support your CMSP receives will only benefit you and the exceptional service they deliver.

If you’re ready to choose a CMSP that is passionate in delivering service addicted support and can help accelerate your cloud migration and digital transformation, or if you just have questions, contact the team of experts at Atech today. #letstalkazure