Salesforce rolled out a new Managed Services Partner Program in the FY23 and they have selected the best partners to join the program. As a prerequisite to starting your evaluation process for a Managed Service Partner (MSP), verify that any MSPs under consideration are members of this new program.
In these times of economic uncertainty and staff reductions, Salesforce customers are looking to MSPs to provide outsourced on-demand talent to augment their Salesforce support staff. Salesforce talent is expensive, and it is difficult for most firms to afford to keep all the different skill levels they may need onboard full time.
If this sounds like your company, choosing an MSP might be right for you. If you are considering evaluating partners for selection, here are the top 5 things you should consider when making your selection:
Your MSP’s reputation for customer success and client satisfaction is critical. Your MSP should put their client’s best interests at the center of all their decision making. Trust is Salesforce’s #1 value. Your MSP should be aligned with Salesforce and share Trust as their #1 value. Ask your MSP for references and then reach out to them to verify that their customers are satisfied with their service. You can also visit Salesforce’s AppExchange to read customer reviews and ratings.
Does the MSP you are evaluating have experience in your specific Industry? For example, if you are a Communications Service Provider, does the MSP know the Communications Industry? Do they have Communications Cloud expertise? Are they members of TM Forum? Do they follow Industry Best Practices? It is important that the MSP you select knows your business and Industry. You don’t want your MSP learning on your dime. Ask the right questions to verify their knowledge and track record of success with other customers like you. Once again, references and AppExchange ratings and reviews can be helpful here. Industries and Clouds are specified on the customer reviews.
Certifications & Talent
Make sure that the MSP you are considering holds certifications in all the Salesforce clouds you currently use as well as those that you may be considering in the future. Confirm that you will have access to all the different talent levels you may need. Can you get help from a Solutions Architect, a Technical Architect, or a Senior Developer in addition to an Admin? Your MSP should have the knowledge to support your current Salesforce Org efficiently while following best practices. In addition, you want to trust your MSP to provide future guidance on additional clouds and products that optimize your environment. Ensure that your MSP can serve as a Trusted Advisor now and in the future.
Hours of Operation
Does your MSP offer hours of support that match your hours of operation? This is very important. Many MSPs leverage offshore talent to reduce their costs. While there is nothing inherently flawed in this approach, it can often result in a disparity between your and their hours of availability. If your support resources are in a time zone that is 8 hours ahead of you, you may be able to get help in the morning but not in the afternoon. When there is an issue, you’ll want an immediate response and won’t be happy waiting until tomorrow for your MSP to get started on the issue.
Fair & Flexible Pricing
Salesforce resources are expensive, especially when you are carrying them on your payroll. Leveraging your MSPs resources on an on-demand outsourced basis can significantly reduce your costs in addition to augmenting your current team’s talent level and certifications. Quality Salesforce resources are also expensive for your MSP. You’ll want an MSP that is efficient and keeps their resources as close to fully utilized as possible. This allows the MSP to offer you rates that are reasonable. Efficient MSPs get more done in less time. Be wary of MSPs that just play the “rate game”. An MSP charging half as much but takes 3X longer to do the work is more expensive. Look for an efficient MSP that will right size your subscription model to fit your resource needs and budget.
There are other factors to consider as well (tools, hours and task reporting, on-time payment discounts, invoicing etc.) but these are the top 5 things to focus on in your evaluation process. Good luck in your search for the right MSP. At Palladin Technologies we are always here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out if we can be of service.