Your IT Provider Site Visit: What's The Purpose? How Can You Prepare?
Whether you are new to managed IT support or are switching from another provider, you are probably wondering what happens when the provider sends their engineer to conduct a site visit.
Why do they come to your site? What are they looking for? What questions can you anticipate? What will they need to access? Who will they want to talk to? How long will it take?
I’m a technical alignment specialist at Kelser and I’ve performed many engineering site visits in my IT career. I hear this question a lot, so I’m writing this article to provide all of the information you’ll need to know about IT site visits.
Kelser provides managed IT support for small to medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries. But, I’m not here to convince you to work with us.
You see, at Kelser we do things differently. We know that managed IT isn’t the right solution for every business. So we focus on providing honest information that business leaders like you can use to decide which IT solution works best for you.
That’s why we publish articles like these that provide educational information about our industry. We know it can be stressful to work with an external IT support provider and by answering your questions upfront, we can help you have the confidence to make the decision that’s best for your organization.
Our feeling is that it’s better to answer your questions upfront so that you are comfortable and know what to expect before an IT provider shows up at your site.
When you know what to expect, understand the purpose of the visit, and are prepared to provide access to certain things, the whole process will go more smoothly.
At Kelser, we form relationships with our customers that are based on honest, clear communications. Articles like these are just one way we do that.
What Is An Engineering Site Visit?
An engineering site visit is an informal walk-through of your site(s). This is an opportunity for an IT provider’s engineer to get a comprehensive, first-hand view of your entire IT footprint and infrastructure.
From devices to servers, the engineer needs to understand your current state in order to make intelligent, proactive recommendations about the best path forward.
What Is The Purpose Of An Engineering Site Visit?
The purpose of an engineering site visit is to gather detailed information about your current IT environment. This information typically forms the basis of the proposal document the provider will prepare for your organization.
When Does An Engineering Site Visit Happen?
The engineering site visit happens early in the process to ensure that the provider has the relevant information to include in the service agreement being prepared for you.
Who Should Be Available During The Site Visit?
You’ll likely want someone from your staff to escort the engineer. This person will show the engineer where things are located, so they should have a basic understanding of your access points, devices, servers, and other hardware.
Ideally, this person will have the best understanding of your current IT environment from a technical perspective.
You might also want to have key stakeholders available to explain how they currently use technology. The engineer may want to talk with them about what works well and what they wish technology could help them do differently.
This information will help the engineer assess, understand and make best-in-class recommendations.
What Happens During An Engineering Site Visit?
During the site visit, the engineer will want to get an inventory of the number and type of devices in use as well as the types and locations of access points. They’ll want to look at your servers and racks. And, as mentioned, they’ll also want to talk with your technology expert(s) and users.
What Questions Should You Be Prepared To Answer?
During the site visit, the engineer will usually ask some general questions like:
How well does the current set-up work for your business?
How do users interact with IT resources?
What are your concerns/pain points?
What would you like to be able to do with technology in a perfect world?
How is the compliance workload affecting your internal team (if you have one)?
Do you have regulatory considerations?
How are you feeling about cybersecurity overall?
Then, the engineer will want to get specific about the IT equipment you have on-site as well as any remote technology resources. Some of the specific things they’ll be looking at include:
- Data Closets/Server Rooms
- Network and Wireless
- Phone System
- Devices (laptops, desktops, tablets)
- File Sharing
What Happens After The Site Visit?
This article has given you a comprehensive overview of what goes on during an engineering site visit. You know what the visit entails and why it’s a key part of the process. You know when it is likely to happen and who should be involved. You know what happens during the visit and some of the questions you should be prepared to answer.
The site visit is an integral component of the IT support process. It helps the provider develop a proposal that takes your unique needs and requirements into account.
No matter the current state of your infrastructure, it’s important for the provider to gain a full understanding of it so that there are no surprises down the road.
For most providers, the next step after the site visit is an internal meeting with sales and engineering. In this meeting, the team discusses the current state of your IT and recommendations for moving forward. Your proposal will be delivered soon after the site visit.
If you have questions in the meantime, reach out to the provider. There’s a lot to think about and the provider is your resource for information.
At Kelser, we know that managed IT support isn’t right for everyone. If you are wondering if it might be the right solution for you, read this article: Is Managed IT Support A Good Solution For Small & Medium Businesses?
If you currently use traditional (or break/fix) IT support and are curious how it compares to managed IT support, we tell you everything you need to know in this article: Break/Fix vs. Managed IT: Cost, Reliability, Security, Productivity.
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