When choosing networking equipment, there are a number of important considerations. First, consider whether the products are designed with managed service providers (MSPs) in mind or - at least - offer functionality that is useful for managing multiple customers’ networks. You need tools that can be easily managed remotely to reduce truck rolls for routine maintenance. Consider whether devices can be managed alongside additional gear you have in service from a single console.
It's essential that the products you install at customer sites deliver a satisfactory customer experience. You need reliable products that work. Look for equipment that is self-healing, so if one connection fails the network is intelligent enough to re-route traffic. Another important consideration is WiFi coverage. Choose access points that offer wide coverage and seamless roaming to deliver a consistent signal throughout the facility.
User forums and channel networking events are great places to start searching for product information. Speaking with people who use the product regularly is a great way to get unbiased information on any product. Current users can tell you how the product performs in the real world. MSP peer groups meet locally or online and allow members to learn from each other, in formal and informal settings. Peer groups offer sessions lead by industry veterans on topics such as management, sales and marketing, employee relations, vendor engagement, and new technologies. Members are encouraged to network and bounce ideas off each other as well. These meetings can be an excellent source of unbiased opinions about technology. For Datto partners, the Partner Community Forum is an excellent place to crowd source as well.
Finally, when delivering IT services to clients, you need to be sure that you’ll have adequate vendor tech support. Again, speak with customers of the vendor you are evaluating. If they are unhappy with tech support, they won’t hesitate to tell you.
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