What Items Must Be Covered in a Managed IT Services Agreement?
MSPs might provide fairly similar services, but the way they provide those services and the agreements those services are covered under will differ. So how do you know what should be covered and what shouldn’t be covered? This can be especially hard if it’s your first time shopping around for managed IT services.
You definitely don’t want to miss anything essential because it’s truly up to you to make sure the agreement you’re signing covers all of the bases. A properly prepared managed IT services agreement achieves the following:
- Each party’s responsibilities are documented.
- Each party’s best interests are protected.
- Appropriate expectations are set among all parties.
- A service level agreement for services provided to the client is outlined.
Essentially, a managed IT services agreement should act as an instrument in which to measure against in terms of performance, health, and client satisfaction.
What Has To Be Covered
Here are the “non-negotiable” items that MUST be covered:
Services: First and foremost, the services provided to you should be covered. This may include the following:
- Data backup and disaster recovery
- And more
Terms of Agreement: As a binding contract, the agreement should outline the length of time the overall terms are active, any cancellation policies in place, and what to do in order to renew them. The rights of each party in regards to the terms of the agreement should be outlined.
Support Coverage Standards: This is standard in most contracts. They should outline their helpdesk support team’s responsibility to you in terms of core hours of operation, the level of support, and expected response times to have someone get back to you. They may also outline expected resolution times for various issues.
Performance: 99.999% uptime is great, but if you’re constantly struggling with a lack of performance in terms of workstations lagging, software failing, and so on – it’s not very helpful. There should be an expected performance level outlined for ISPs, operating systems, and other factors.
Fee and/or Payment Breakdown: Every managed IT services agreement should be transparent when it comes to the cost, including payment schedules, monthly costs, and any potential fees that may be incurred and how they will be addressed. If any new pricing arrangements are made, the agreement should be updated.