The key to switching IT companies is to have a well-documented transition plan before you sign any contracts with your new Managed Service Provider (MSP), which must accommodate your current contractual obligations.
Switching MSP LIST
Here are the four steps to a smooth IT service provider transition:
1. Document Your Assets
2. Build a Transition Team
3. Pick Dates for Each Handover
4. Anticipate Some Security Hardening
Step 1: Document Your Assets
Take an inventory of all your assets, including hardware, software, networking components, operating systems, data storage—all your IT assets, whether on-premises or in the cloud.
Next, compile a list of passwords to your accounts, support information for applications that you use, and a list of key company contacts, including email addresses and best-available phone numbers.
Documenting your assets ahead of time gives you enough runway to track down any missing information. The switch won’t be delayed because you’re scrambling at the last minute to give your new provider passwords, or to tell them who's the point of contact for each area of your IT operation.
Step 2: Build a Transition Team
Assign one individual or one team leader to oversee your switch to your new IT service provider. This person will be your primary point of contact with the new IT vendor and will oversee all communication between your two companies so there are no opportunities for missed communication.
Your transition manager will also work with your company's leadership team and new supplier to mitigate risks, identify, and resolve issues that affect the switch, keep an eye on the timeline and the vendor’s progress in meeting milestones, keep all company stakeholders up to date on progress, and plenty more.
Step 3: Pick Dates for Each Handover
When companies switch IT service providers, they rarely switch everything at the same time. Changing vendors is not like flipping a switch. Most businesses today are far too complex for all IT systems to be handed over from one MSP to another all at once.
For this reason, you must pick dates for each handover.
Consider your backups, for example. If your new MSP is taking out your backup solution and putting in a new one, you must coordinate that between both MSPs. You must pick a date when you will switch backups and move to the new backup solution.
Another good example is managed security services. When are your current solutions going to be removed and the new ones put in? On what date, at what time, etc. Again, this requires collaboration between both IT service providers.
Remember that the dates you pick are part of your contract with your new IT company. Your new provider is responsible for supporting you from a given date and time—and not before. So, make sure you overlap your two MSPs for a time. You need access to each team and their resources during the transition.
Step 4: Anticipate Some Cybersecurity Hardening
One of the first things your new MSP is going to do when taking over your account is to change the locks. They will eliminate every conceivable way that your former MSP can access your networks, applications, control panels, and more.
Depending on the size of your company and the size of your IT footprint, this may involve some effort and time commitment on your part.
Onboarding is one of the most important steps in making sure your partnership gets off to a winning start. But Managed Service Providers onboard clients in diverse ways. So, ask potential MSPs about their onboarding process. Here are some things to review with all candidates on your shortlist:
*Ask to see their onboarding roadmap
*Invite them to describe their onboarding process
*Ask them how they will communicate (and how often)
*Ask them how they will set expectations for success
*Ask them to describe their training process for your staff
*Ask them about their plan to go live
People don’t typically look to switch IT companies if they’re happy with the one they currently have. Maybe yours is hard to work with, or they aren’t engaged enough, or they are too busy to look after you. Remember that poor attention to detail and lack of proactivity has the potential to hamper your operations, so there is no excuse for cocomplacency
Here at FOS.net, we have built a world-class onboarding program specifically targeted at small businesses. We follow the steps that we have documented in this blog article to facilitate a smooth and seamless transfer of services. We recognise that switching suppliers may sound daunting, but by having a robust and proven transition plan, we ensure that your time is not eroded.
To find out more please contact our team at: firstname.lastname@example.org