Managed service providers

Getting the Most from your Managed Service Provider

November 17, 2017

The small to mid-sized insurance agency lives in a complicated and competitive environment. Your clients are constantly under threat of encroachment by competing carriers seeking to build their own businesses by stealing your market share.

The last thing you want to worry about is a technology infrastructure failure.

The really bad news here is that agency budgets require doing more with less. This rules out hiring a technology team to streamline and optimize your hardware and software.

Fortunately, there are IT managed service providers that not only understand your business but can help you grow it.

This post explores how to best work with a managed service provider and how insurance firms can establish productive partnerships with these IT professionals.

How a Managed Service Provider Can Help

Insurance agencies can thrive by hiring an outsourced IT managed service provider. That’s because these professionals can handle all or part of your agency’s IT frameworks. Some of the services that can be outsourced include:

  • Vendor management
  • Email
  • Disaster recovery planning
  • Security and network monitoring
  • Software
  • Hardware – including internal/external digital devices
  • Storage
  • Backup and virtual machines
  • Training
  • Automation and Optimization of software/hardware

A managed service provider offers these services (and others) while ensuring that your IT infrastructure keeps operating smoothly. But that’s not all. A managed service provider can actually help an agency manage costs through the use of streamlined services, automation, and cloud-based technology. The days of maintaining onsite hardware are over; a managed service provider can configure, set-up, and maintain a variety of subscription-based services that eliminate the hardware expenditures of old.

CISCO calls partnering with a managed service provider “a strategic decision to complement the core business and refocus employee efforts where they really belong.”

Learn more about manageable subscription services – download the white paper IT as a Utility.

Market Trends Necessitating Managed Service Providers

Technology has moved from a back office server room to becoming the key component of business today. Customers expect ready access and service – immediately. Customers clamor for the easy access that the net brings and we’ve been tasked with providing claims information and support anytime, anywhere, and on any digital device.

The good news is that the cloud has finally brought big technology to small business. The Internet has been the great equalizer, bringing tools to our fingertips that wouldn’t have fit the small agency budget less than a decade ago. Data can now be stored securely in the cloud and as agencies ramp up, it’s easy and low cost to add more services or bandwidth to accommodate growth.

But who manages access and network security in the cloud? What resource does an agency have to help piece together and streamline all of the software and hardware at our fingertips today? How does an agency even choose the best applications and platforms that will help improve the client experience?

The answer is an IT managed service provider. But be careful in forming these partnerships.

Managed Service Provider – What to Look for?

So how can your agency choose the right managed service provider to ensure the best possible outcome consistently for you and your customers?

Finding the right mix of professionals skilled in your industry along with the technology you use is crucial. It’s likely that you’re unsure of what types of services you need, so an initial consultation is extremely important when choosing an outsourcing partner. Ask the following questions:

  • Are they experienced in your industry?
  • What standard services are offered to clients?
  • What security protocols do they have in place to protect data?
  • What is the process of migrating services?
  • Who handles after-hours service issues?

Ask for references and find out the history of the firm. Managed service providers come and go – making sure the one you choose has longevity is important. Finally, have a candid conversation about what applications are working well, and what needs to be improved. The best-managed service provider will be able to spot ways to streamline the implementation of technology that will save money and time.

Technology has always been one of the largest expenditures for any small business. Finding a managed service provider to keep your network secure and stable is a necessity – and a competitive advantage.

TOSS C3 is here for you. Request a quote today.

Let's Start a Conversation.

Connect with us and experience the TOSS difference.

Send this to a friend