Telecom is heavily interconnected with IT leaders and the projects they are working on. Telecom services provide the foundation upon which companies can build the rest of their IT infrastructure. Due to the relationship of Telecom and IT, IT professionals often ask me the question:
Recommending an outsourced IT service provider is not a responsibility I take lightly. The work they do is ultimately a reflection of me. It is important to find an outsourced IT provider that you like and trust. They are an extension of your business that will be deeply intertwined in everything you do.
Top 5 Outsourced IT Companies in San Diego
I’ve put in the work to research and interview many of the outsourced IT providers here in San Diego to help you procure a partner. Here is what my process looked like for bringing you my top 5 outsourced IT recommendations for San Diego.
Step 1: Compile All of the Options
I combined online research along with my own personal experience to start with a long list of possible companies.
Step 2: Remote Research
Much like shopping for anything, I started my research online. I then began connecting with respected professionals in the San Diego community to get references, recommendations and experiences that people have had with the companies on my list. Using remote research I was able to narrow down my list to just a handful of companies.
Step 3. Interviewing the Companies
With the companies that made it through the filters of remote research I began to schedule interviews. It took a few months to get the right people on the calendar and conduct the interviews. I then conducted video conference interviews, to draw out some detail and help build these profiles. This post summarizes the best of the months worth of research and interviews into a guide that I hope helps you to find the right partner for your business.
Finding the Right Fit For Your Business
All of the companies highlighted here are different from one another. None of these differences are implicitly better or worse. They are simply different and it will be up to you and your team to decide if one approach or another is better for your business.
What Do You Need Help With?
It is important to first get clarity around what it is that you need help with. One of the issues selecting an outsourced IT partner is that they tend to identify themselves by different names depending on what they specialize in. Examples of categories that they may fall into are: Managed Service Provider, Value Added Reseller, Cloud Service Provider, Outsourced IT, IT Integrators, IT Solutions Provider, and the list goes on. This made the research a little difficult when trying to get my head around all the companies that help with outsourced IT services. Clearly identifying the projects and services that you need help with is the first step towards selecting the right provider.
Top 5 Outsourced IT San Diego Profiles
I’ve known of Managed Solution for a long time and know them to have a great reputation here in the San Diego market. I was able to catch up with Sean Ferrel, the Chairman and Founder of Managed Solution. Sean is a dynamic and articulate speaker, energetic, and visibly passionate about the field. He has a wealth of knowledge regarding strategy and execution in IT related matters.
Managed Solution is a San Diego based Outsourced IT company. The services they provide include, Managed IT Service, Professional IT Services, Cloud Services, and IT Consulting Services. According to Linkedin, Managed Solution currently employs 80 people making it the perfect size if you’re looking for a company where you won’t get lost in the shuffle. At the same time they are robust enough to have the engineering power and resources needed to support most businesses.
“When a user calls in with a problem they are faced with in their everyday work. We look at all the tools they have at their disposal to find a better user experience.” ~ Sean Ferrel
Quick Response Time
Calls are answered on the first call every time and emails are triaged in under 15 minutes.
Start with an assessment
The “Secure Score”, it’s like a credit report, but for your company’s security position.
Overarching Security View
The 3 Main Components to Managed Solution’s security approach:
- Protect the users.
- Protect the data and information.
- Create profiles within the company so in the event of a breach, segments of the business can be isolated and dealt with right away.
Want to work with a company that is giving back to the San Diego Community?
Managed Solution works with Just In Time Foster Youth to provide free computers and tech support to youth who are transitioning out of the foster care system and into college.
Unapologetically Focused on The Microsoft Cloud
Microsoft is a force in the business technology landscape and an incredibly powerful tool. Agile IT knows Microsoft inside and out.
Focused on the big picture, Agile IT is beyond the days of looking at IT as a cost of doing business. They focus on aligning with customers to find ways to create IT business drivers that will drive revenues higher. I had the opportunity to speak with Sean Spicer, Marketing Director of Agile IT. Sean is a technology enthusiast and a great storyteller, making him an easy person to work with. His enthusiasm about how technology can transform your business is contagious.
Agile IT is a cloud service provider, exclusively delivering Microsoft solutions. Based here in San Diego with 36 employees, you can expect a personalized relationship when partnering with Agile IT. The company is detail oriented and you will begin experiencing that early on in the process when you receive a personalized statement of work and implementation plan, which can range from 50-300 pages! In any service based business setting clear expectations is important and you will have those expectations defined from the start when working with Agile IT. Agile IT strikes the right balance between driving towards the big picture and being dialed into the details.
If something goes wrong, Agile IT does not just focus on fixing the symptom, but rather on fixing the thing that is causing the symptom
By setting up Microsoft Intune they can manage all your laptops, workstations and mobile devices. If there is an issue it can be fixed remotely in minutes, by simply returning to the last known good state.
Security is a major pillar for Agile IT and they believe that security planning needs to happen as soon as you start discussing any cloud infrastructure. Sean is a major proponent of Multi-Factor Authentication. He is passionate about it and for good reason, it can help to mitigate 99% of breaches. Agile IT is on a very short list of approved cloud service providers even allowed to sell Azure’s GCC and GCC High, which is a microsoft office 365 version designed to meet federal security and compliance requirements. Even if you are not a federal entity this signals that Agile IT is highly dialed into security and compliance on the Microsoft Cloud.
I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside FIT Solutions for more than 5 years now. I have first hand experience seeing them work through projects and provide ongoing support. I’ve grown to know, like, and trust many of their team members over the years. In preparation for this post I was able to connect with Ephraim Ebstein, CEO and Co-Founder and Natasha Herrera, COO of Fit Solutions.
Based here in San Diego, FIT Solutions is a customer centric, Outsourced IT solution provider. At the time of this writing FIT Solutions currently has about 57 employees according to Linkedin. However that number continues to grow as the quality of their work is discovered and the word about them gets out. They are well established enough to have defined systems and processes in play that will make working with them efficient. At the same time they are nimble and flexible enough to create individualized plans for their clients.
In any interaction with FIT solutions there is a sense of professionalism, organization, and likability that comes across. This makes FIT Solutions a great all around recommendation for companies with an IT issue standing in the way of their business success.
FIT solutions has a unique approach to ongoing client support which allows them to scale as a company, while keeping the customer experience personalized. Their secret has been to create internal teams of engineers and account managers who are directly aligned with customers. As a client you are assigned a team and you will get to know those 5-8 people supporting your account very well and they will get to know your operation very well in return. The result is that each company receives a personalized approach and feel even as FIT Solutions continues to grow as an organization.
FIT Solutions has a sister company, solely dedicated to cyber security, SOCBOX. SOCBOX provides a San Diego based security operations center (SOC) that will defend your organization against cyber attacks. I’ve toured their facility many times with colleagues and clients. Anyone I’ve ever been there with has always left talking about how impressed they were by the Security Operations Center (SOC), which is staffed 24/7 to monitor customer networks and keep an eye out for anything suspicious. I’ve found that the team at SOCBOX delivers value even in the preliminary stages when you are evaluating them as a potential vendor. I highly recommend at least having a conversation with them. If nothing else, you will learn something about your organization’s security posture in the process.
Technology Integration Group
I spoke with Tom White, Vice President of West Region Sales at Technology Integration Group (TIG) to learn more about this well established IT resource based right here in San Diego. Tom is an industry veteran and deeply understands the marketplace.
Founded in 1981, Technology Integration Group is the largest company on this list of San Diego Based Outsourced IT companies based on the number of staff. Linkedin, which only provides the employees who self-report data has Technology Integration Group at 563 employees. Their global presence includes 21 locations. TIG provides a broad range of services and solutions that you might expect to see from a provider of their size. Services include, but are not limited to: managed services, service desk, asset management, technical staffing, hosting, printer management, device as a service and enterprise network services. Whether you are a small to medium sized company, larger enterprise, government entity or school district, TIG has a great depth of resources that they can bring to bear. TIG believes in providing an excellent service at a fair price. They are a collaborative, consultative, people first organization that has shown tremendous growth over the last 40 years.
TIG brings a consultative approach to support. My IT manager serves as a full service outsourced help desk for many small and mid-sized businesses. If needed, they also provide the option of having techs onsite full time. No matter what you are looking for TIG likely has the support option that will fit your needs.
Part of having a tight security plan is having a depth of technical knowledge at your disposal. TIG is an organization deep with security focused engineers that they can bring to the table for you.
Lee Gartstein and I spoke about the many ways ePlus brings a breath of outsourced IT options to companies around the globe.
I’ve worked with and known Lee, Senior Account Executive of ePlus for many years and would describe him as a customer advocate, operating with a high level of integrity and a fun personality to work with.
Given the chance to work with him, I think you’ll find he is a great liaison into a company with a tremendous depth of resources.
Just as it is true that an outsourced IT company based here in San Diego can support your company across the country, it is also true that you can find an outsourced IT company anywhere in the country to support your business based here in San Diego. ePlus is a larger company with a presence all across the country including here in Southern California. If you are a part of a larger company with a national and even global presence, ePlus is a great option to consider.
ePlus has a variety of support options to choose from. Whether you need techs at your office, your data center, or if you need remote hands, ePlus has a service offering that matches your needs.
The sudden shift in work culture has exposed new cyber weaknesses and ePlus has been helping clients to navigate this new landscape.
How to Shop for Outsourced IT Services
If you’re reading this post, there is a good chance you are shopping for outsourced IT services. Something I wanted to better understand throughout this process is what are the right questions to be asking outsourced IT providers as you evaluate them. I asked each company the following question:
Would ask questions around 3 main areas:
- Service level agreements and how customer satisfaction is measured.
Understanding the mechanics of how the provider operates internally and how they can blend IT departments and tools with the provider.
The knowledge transfer process. How is information documented, so that if one engineer leaves there is a smooth transition.
- What is their culture like?
- What are their facilities like?
- How big is their staff?
- Do they have references that they can provide?
- What are their areas of competency?
- What is out of scope for them?
- How do they approach compliance?
- What is included in the price?
- Will they help build your business strategy?
- Are they able to scale?
- What does offboarding look like?
Ephraim and Natasha - FIT Solutions
Keep It Simple
Natasha is a fan of keeping it simple. She recommends asking: “Can you solve my problem?” Oftentimes, we over complicate shopping for a partner and lose sight of what is important. Find out if this provider can provide the services you need.
Ephraim suggests getting to know exactly who it is you will work with on an ongoing basis and connect with them before you sign on the dotted line.
Trust & Likability
Start by learning as much as you can about a range of team members across the organization and ask yourself: “Do I like and trust these people?”
Size and Redundancy
Tom says, “I wouldn’t want to feel like I was their biggest customer. So I would ask questions about similar projects that they have worked on.”
Understanding the Plan
How are systems going to be highly available and secure?
How are you going to tie my organization to an IT roadmap?
How are you going to leverage IT to give us a competitive advantage in the marketplace?
Size and Scope
What level of engineering expertise is available to my company?
How do you make sure that the solutions you are providing are scalable and efficient?
Call their existing customers to ask them about the relationship with the provider.
Thank You and Stay in Touch
Throughout the process of writing this article I’ve learned a lot and would be happy to share the information with any other IT professionals seeking guidance. I do not receive any financial compensation from these companies, but I always enjoy talking about tech projects. Let me know if I can help.