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May 12, 2017
Managed service providers are popping up all over the place, and not all of them offer the same services. Some are really just cloud service providers that maintain their own private network, and they want you to place your data inside their protective ring. Others may only service a specific type of infrastructure, and still, others may have invested the money to ‘be like’ the real thing but they are not experienced enough to perform the job properly. Healthcare agencies need to be particularly careful where they store their data. Find out some of the most important questions to ask when interviewing a managed service provider.
Experience and Expertise
There are managed service providers out there, like TOSS, that have been around for years. These companies are the type you want to look at. The ones that have had experience working specifically with healthcare organizations. At the same rate, you want a managed service provider that can provide the proper utilities and services you require. Providers should have current knowledge of databases, server management, virtualization, and security. They should also have experience in mobility options in case you decide to take your organization to another level.
Get all the information you can before choosing a managed service provider. Start with:
Once upon a time network administrators would wait for hardware to break and then fix it. Then the ideology transformed into a preventive maintenance attitude, in which hardware and software would be replaced after a set amount of time. Diagnostic tools were created to find what the problem was when something was broken. Now there are progressive monitoring tools that tell IT when something is not running up to par. These monitoring tools will verify traffic, check bandwidth, and report losses in performance before something breaks. This gives them the ability to replace hardware or update software before it shuts the network down.
Not only should the provider have some of the best security measures in place for their own networks, but they should have options to help you with your local network’s infrastructure as well. Ask if they have a security specialist who can look at your network and offer advice for upgrades. Also, find out if they are knowledgeable about disaster recovery plans. A disaster recovery plan is a policy that requires your team and the managed service provider to work together to ensure the safety of your data in case of a disaster.
TOSS’s vBCDR gives a brief account of disaster recovery, but you should contact them to find out more about how to protect your data from the worse disasters.
Portals are more than just bells and whistles. Portals give you and your people access to the data monitoring of the system. In some cases, it can even help you track the bandwidth you are using from your provider. This helps determine if you are getting the service from the provider they promise. Portals can be accessed by IT, but some providers have other portals that can be viewed by various departments depending on their needs. Find out what portals they have available for your healthcare organization.
This would seem obvious, but it is not. It is important to find out if the provider is certified in the healthcare industry. Ask what certifications they have. This can be anything from HIPAA to networking certifications. It is important they have the ability and the knowledge to manage your data properly.
There are many managed service providers claiming to be right for healthcare, but the reality is that only some truly are. You need to ask them an array of questions and make sure they answer every one of them to your liking. If they are iffy on any questions or do not provide the answer you want to hear, then find another provider that can meet your expectations. Get a free assessment today and see what TOSS can do for you.
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