Insurance in the Cloud: What to Ask Managed Service Providers
April 4, 2017
Managed service providers (MSPs) are popping up all over the place. There are startups, and those companies that have been around for the past twenty years. Even the companies that have the longevity may not have the technical expertise you are looking for in the insurance industry. The managed service provider you select will be the company in charge of your data, your company up-time, and the fluid to keep your operation moving. Picking the wrong provider can add up to delays at work, data loss or expensive maintenance issues later down the road. To learn more about finding the right MSP:
How is Billing Handled?
There are two parts to this question. The first is to find out if the provider charges hourly, monthly or yearly. If it is hourly, then just walk away. Not many providers use this form of billing anymore, but it can be common with insurance companies that have not hired a MSP for their office. The problem with hourly is that you cannot guarantee they are fixing the problem the first time out. Think about it. If it is not complete, then they can come out again, and again. The second consideration is simply to find out if you get a discount if you pay a yearly rate over a monthly rate. If the MSP does not offer a discount for yearly rates then you may want to consider someone who will.
Do you Have Expertise in the Insurance field?
It is sad to say, but computer people love a challenge. That means they may say they have the experience even if they do not. It is a challenge, but you do not want to be their guinea pig. Ask them what certification they have. Make them prove they are HIPAA certified. Have them show you references from other clients in the insurance field they have worked for.
Granted some companies will not allow MSPs to give out their name, because it may appear that they are a sponsor. A managed service provider that has had several clients will have the ability to show you a couple they have worked with.
What Kind of Devices are Covered?
It goes without saying the computers in your office are covered, but what about everything else. The Internet of Things (IoT) is an ever-expanding market and includes any wired device that requires a signal from the Internet and connects to a server. In other words, just about every electronic device in production today. Your insurance company is on the move. It cannot and will not sit back and wait for clients to show up.
You are not the kind of person that wants to wait until the end of the day to submit all the paperwork from your travels. You have a tablet and smartphone which you have decided is the best way to enhance your business. You want to alter files, gather client information, and check your schedule from the coffee shop you stopped at. You need a breather, but you have to keep working. Are all these devices covered in the contract? Find out first before you find out the hard way they are not.
Asking a few of these simple questions can help you to understand if the managed service provider is right for you. If you have any hesitations about their fit for your needs, then walk away and talk to someone else. You can always return later if they turn out to be the best choice. Get a free assessment today!
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