IT Managed Service Provider Request for Proposal Template

Technology gets overwhelming fast, all on its own. Weighing your options for an IT managed services provider can add layers of inscrutable jargon and detail you’d need a certification to sort through.

Asking for proposals from a short list of IT MSP candidates gives you a clear basis for comparing potential providers, and we can help.

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Outsourcing IT services to be managed by a third-party provider is a major business decision that will have a lasting impact on your business and its future success. As you begin looking at potential managed service partners, weighing your options can be frustrating because of all the inscrutable jargon and differences in specific service details. It feels as if you need a certification to sort through all of it. A useful way to move forward in the selection process is using a request for proposal template to give you a clear, structured basis for comparing potential providers. Our IT managed service provider RFP template is a resource we make freely available to any business or organization that wants to engage the process with all due diligence.

When you download our IT MSP RFP template, you’ll see everything laid out very clearly in terms of what should go into a request for a proposal to solicit bids from multiple providers to meet your technology management needs. The main elements covered include the following:

  • Cover Page:​ Think of this as a single-page executive summary about your company, the main critical features of the RFP and selection process (release date, due date for bids, timeframe for decision), and a concise description of what you’re looking for in terms of your IT managed service needs and an MSP partner.
  • Background:​ This section of the RFP template is a summary (a few paragraphs) of your organization, including a description of your market, what services or products you offer, a brief history, and the size (staff) and organizational structure. This gives context to how your IT department supports your greater mission and organizational goals.
  • Scope of Services:​ Defining this as precisely as possible is the key to making sure bids are for what you know you need. Our RFP template includes a comprehensive list of potential IT managed services from which you can choose the ones you want to include in your RFP.
  • Response Instructions:​ There are several details you need to layout in this section, including the process for submitting questions, whether there will be a bidder conference, submission instructions, so you get proposals in the format you want, bidder presentations to further cull the field, and the timeframe for vendor selection so bidders have an idea of when a project might begin.
  • Proposal Format:​ This section provides bidders with clear, detailed instructions on the sections you expect to see covered in a proposal.
  • Evaluation Criteria:​ Be clear about what criteria you’ll be using to evaluate proposals. The template gives guidance on what criteria to include that you can then prioritize or weight them however suits you best.
  • Technical Environment:​ In this section, you provide bidders with a clear understanding of your technical environment, including users, locations, devices, and network information. The more robust and precise you make this section, the fewer questions bidders will have to ask.
  • Contract Clauses:​ This gives bidders a chance to inform you of the legal language they use in their contracts, for you to have an opportunity to do your legal review to see if any red flags come up.

Outsourced IT management can be a critical driver of business and organizational success when you’re no longer able to meet your IT management needs in-house. Finding the right IT MSP partner is a process that begins with writing a good request for proposal to ensure bidders understand your needs and how the selection process will unfold.

Our IT MSP request for proposal template draws on our own experience as an IT MSP provider and as a contractor to large government and private-sector projects. We show you how to structure your RFP, what questions to ask to make the best-informed decision, and what you need to tell potential providers about your business to make sure you get what you need.

Use this template to take stock of where you are and where you want to go—and then use it to find the IT MSP provider who can get you there.