Before the evolution of information technology gave us managed service providers, many companies employed a “break-fix” strategy when it came to their computer systems. They waited until their equipment or networks broke, then called a tech to fix them. But waiting for something to break is less efficient than managing equipment to avoid work stoppages and lost revenue.
Managed service providers should ensure they are not employing a break-fix strategy for their MSP contracts.
For those not involved in IT, managed service providers (MSPs) are companies that offer services to their clients like: help desk, managed security, remote administration, telephony, or software support. Businesses can basically outsource things like IT and get 24/7 coverage without pulling employees away from their regular duties. For companies that can’t employ people with the special knowledge needed to maintain computers and networks, managed service providers offer support crucial to their business operations.
As in many businesses, MSPs use contracts with their clients. Managed service agreements (MSAs) are used to spell out agreements made during negotiations. This contract is your guidebook for future dealings with your client. Inattention to detail here can affect every future project you have with this particular client. Rather than trying to renegotiate later, try to get your contracts ‘one and done.’
Why should you ‘manage’ your contracts instead of waiting for them to ‘break?’
Waiting for a contract to ‘break’ is just as inefficient as waiting for a network server to go down. Using a contract that is not written correctly, omits important clauses, or is out of date, can be very expensive in the long run.
When a contract is poorly written, disagreements between MSPs and their clients can end confusion, non-payment of invoices, termination of services, or lengthy litigation. A well-written contract, on the other hand, can reduce disagreements and limit damage to relationships.
Some of the most important sections of an MSP relate to limiting liability, protecting intellectual property, and securing confidentiality. Omitting these sections of an MSA can leave an MSP unprotected. And not being protected can cost a company big money in the long run.
Don’t wait until something happens before reviewing your contracts for trouble spots.
At Virtus Law, we have the tools and experience to review and analyze your contracts. We urge you to consult with one of our attorneys as soon as possible. To set up an appointment, call us at 612.888.1000 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Serving clients in Minneapolis, Edina, Mendota Heights, Red Wing, and surrounding communities.