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How to choose the best server management company – 7 point checklist

Server management companies are a dime a dozen, and everyone seems to promise the Earth for dirt cheap prices.

How do you know which ones to trust?

Here’s help. Follow this tried-and-tested 7 point checklist to find out the best server management company for your business.

1. How experienced is this company in your technology and industry?

Why it is important

What if your server starts showing an error, and your server admin says, “Let me try clearing the cache”, or “It might be because of the new upgrade”.

That is guess work, borne out of indecision and lack of specific knowledge.

When you are pressed for time, you need your sysadmin to be decisive – to act fast, and fix the issue, the right way the first time.

What to look for

You need to look for companies with demonstrated knowledge in your specific industry and technology.

It can be blog posts relevant to your industry/technology, or testimonials from companies like you, or even in the way they explain things to you during sales talks.

For example, an experienced company will be able to explain the important challenges and its solutions even without you having to explain it to them. They will give you specific measures & effort required to maintain your servers; in a simple language without tech jargon.

Before you choose a company:

  • Check their blogs for content relevant to your industry and technology.
  • Read reviews from customers in your industry.
  • Ask them for a consultation on how they can take care of your infrastructure.

 

2. What is the sysadmin’s level of expertise?

Why it is important

Many server management companies showcase expertise in a particular administration software, like say cPanel or DirectAdmin.

The trouble with that is, they’ll be limited by what the software can or cannot do. If an undocumented error comes up, they’d have no option but to escalate it to the vendor and wait for a solution.

That can lead to many hours, if not days of service deterioration or downtime for your customers.

What to look for

Look at the basic qualification of the server admins. Are they technology graduates, or just amateur enthusiasts?

Sure, there are a lot of brilliant sysadmins out there who doesn’t have a formal degree, but when you engage a remote admin company, you just don’t know what the tech is capable of.

A graduation certificate in technology is an efficient filter to weed out techs with superficial knowledge.

For example, here at Bobcares, we employ only Computer Science engineers with 4 years of rigorous training in operating systems, networking and coding. This helps us resolve server issues at the operating system level, and not be bound by admin software limits.

When considering a company, ask them:

  • Are your sysadmins engineering graduates?

 

3. How long has the company been in your industry?

Why is it important

New companies crop up all the time advertising cheap support and world class facilities.

But more often than not (at least in server admin business), these companies close down within a year or so because of unmanageable costs, staff churn or management challenges.

Unstable companies have overworked or underqualified sysadmins who either won’t notice server issues in time, or takes days to actually resolve even an urgent problem.

What to look for

Look at how long the company was active in your industry. The longer a company has been in the industry, the greater they have invested in the business – and by extension a lot more they have to lose with a poor service feedback.

When considering a company:

  • Find out when this company was established. (A whois search of their domain should do)
  • Read the feedback of this company in your industry niche forums.

 

4. Do they provide references?

Nothing speaks louder than an endorsement from an existing customer, because only a truly delighted customer would take time to answer a reference from another business.

So, when considering a support provider, ask them:

  • Can you provide a reference to one of your customers?

 

5. Where is the business located?

Many companies feel unsure about engaging a server support company because they don’t know how they can hold the provider liable should they not deliver on their contract.

That’s why it’s important to have a legally bound agreement with a provider that has valid US business.

For example, Bobcares runs part of our support operations from USA under the registered company Poornam Inc. All legal contracts are signed under this company name, that guarantees our customers a 100% trustworthy association.

So, when considering a company:

  • See if the company has a registered office in your country.
  • See if it is a token presence or a fully operational center.

 

6. What’s covered in the service?

Why is it important

Many companies use clever sentences to highlight what they deliver, but not mention what they don’t.

For example, many 24/7 monitoring companies do not restore a failed service. They just send you an alert when a service goes down. What use is an alert if you’re away from your computer or otherwise unable to attend the issue?

What to look for

Your server management company should be able to take care of everything that’s needed to keep your server online, fast and secure.

This should include 24/7 monitoring, human alert verification, quick failed service recovery, server optimization, server hardening, backups, disaster recovery, and more.

When considering a company:

  • Look at what they offer under 24/7 monitoring, server security, server performance and disaster recovery.
  • Specifically ask about what’s not included.
  • Read their FAQ, and customer reviews about each service.

 

7. What is the response time guarantee to on-demand support?

Of course, your support partner should take care of alerts and server issues in 10 minutes or less – that’s a given.

But what about their response time guarantees to issues that you report? For example, how fast will they react if you want help with a website hack issue?

Surely, it’s not going to help you if your company responds in hours, and not in minutes.

When considering a company:

  • Ask them how quickly will they react to an issue raised by you.

 

Conclusion

Choosing a server management company ideal for your business can be daunting. Today we’ve seen where you can go wrong in choosing a company, and what to look for to avoid the common pitfalls.If you have any questions, we’d be happy to talk to you.


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Bobcares
Bobcares is a server management company that helps businesses deliver uninterrupted and secure online services. Our engineers manage close to 51,500 servers that include virtualized servers, cloud infrastructure, physical server clusters, and more.
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