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Moving IT providers: What you need to know

Posted by Karen Houghton | 07-Sep-2017 14:24:31

You’re not getting what you need from current IT provider and you’re sure there are better options out there. So, what do you need to think about when choosing someone new - and what should you consider before the migration takes place?

Are you under contract?

This is the first, and most important, piece of information to find. If you’re under contract to your current IT provider then the likelihood is that you won’t be able to move without properly bringing the contract to an end. That usually means giving the proper notice period or paying a fee if you want to end the contract early. 

Why are you leaving? 

It’s always a good idea to establish what it is about this particular contract provider that’s left you feeling dissatisfied before you start looking for someone new. For example:

  • The current service is just too expensive
  • They customer service is poor
  • There is no 24/7 support
  • The business is too big to be personal or too small to be effective
  • They don’t offer the services that you’re looking for e.g. email hosting, cloud backup, remote working set up, IT documentation, effective security

Before you begin the process of moving IT providers…

Make sure that you confirm the terms of your contract and then carry out a complete audit of your IT systems. Collect passwords and IT documentation together so that you know all the points to which your current supplier has access. Most IT providers are professional when it comes to clients moving on but some take the opportunity to be vindictive or extortionate so it’s better to be prepared.

Once you’ve signed the documents and you’re ready to go…

  • Make sure that you have copies of all licenses and vendor agreements, as well as all the required passwords so that the transition from one provider to the next will be as smooth as possible. 
  • Define the contact points within your organisation should your new provider need to access information quickly. Assign someone to manage the transition and to deal with any problems that arise for those in the business.
  • Establish a timeline for delivery so that everyone has the same expectations. There will be an onboarding period and setup time to take into account and you may need to replace equipment or change software. Work with the new provider to establish sensible timeframes and expectations.
Ask for training from your incoming provider. If there’s anything new to your system operations as a result of the switch then don’t be afraid to ask for training. This will help ensure there are no issues after the switch and should lay the groundwork for a fruitful ongoing partnership.

Topics: MSP

Written by Karen Houghton

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