By: Tushar Dadarwala on February 03, 2023
Your Onboarding Site Visit: The Purpose & Steps To Prepare
Shortly after signing a managed IT support agreement with Kelser, your technical alignment manager (TAM) will visit your site to familiarize themselves with your technology infrastructure and begin the documentation and alignment process.
You may be wondering why we come to your site. Or what we are looking for. You may be uncertain about the questions we may ask and what we’ll need access to. You may also wonder how long it will take.
As a technical alignment manager (TAM) and systems engineer, I conduct on-site discovery visits regularly. In this article, I’ll answer your questions about the first visit. After reading this article, you’ll know everything you need to feel comfortable and prepared.
Whether you are switching to Kelser from another provider or it is your very first time using external IT support, we know it can be stressful when you don’t know what to expect. We like to answer your questions upfront, so there are no surprises.
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 smoothly for all of us.
What Is The Purpose Of Your On-Site Discovery Visit?
Within a few days of signing your agreement with Kelser, your TAM will visit your site at a mutually agreed-upon date and time.
Once there, they will explore the facility and use a comprehensive engineering checklist to collect detailed information about your technology infrastructure. This is an opportunity for us to get a thorough first-hand view of your entire IT footprint.
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This information will help us gain a deep understanding of your environment and how it operates, so we can provide optimal service from the very beginning of our relationship.
What Will Your TAM Need To Access?
Your TAM will need access to all of the elements of your technology infrastructure. They may take pictures. They may ask for detailed drawings of your facility so they can understand your technology pain points.
They will need access to data closets and server rooms. They’ll want to see servers and racks, devices, printers, access points, and any other things that may be attached to your network such as phones, cameras, etc.
They need to examine and document what is in place to help us support you in an efficient manner. For example, your Wi-Fi may be slow if you don’t have enough wireless access points or if they are in the wrong locations.
But, no matter the current state of your infrastructure, the point of this visit isn’t to tell you how bad everything is.
The purpose is to explore how things work today so we can work together to make sure your technology is operating optimally in support of your business processes and strategy moving forward.
Which Members Of Your Team Should Be Available During The On-Site Discovery?
Ideally, the person or persons with the deepest understanding of the details of your infrastructure should be available to answer the TAM’s questions. You may also want some of your users to be available to weigh in on some of their technology pain points.
What Questions Should You Be Prepared To Answer?
The TAM will want to know what’s working well and what pains you have with your technology. They will want to get into the weeds to fully understand your business and your priorities.
They’ll ask about your email system, security protocols, file-sharing needs, backup processes, network and wireless performance, procedures and policies, and regulatory or compliance considerations.
What Happens After The On-Site Discovery Visit?
The information the TAM collects is entered into our centralized system so that every member of our technical staff has access during service calls.
When issues come up, this will ensure that they have the background information they need to resolve any issue quickly and efficiently the first time.
Your TAM and virtual chief information officer (vCIO) will use this information to make intelligent, proactive recommendations about the best path forward to optimize your technology so that it seamlessly supports your business goals today and in the future.
This is part of the process of aligning your business strategy and your technology.
Related article: What Should I Expect From A Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO)?
Following the on-site discovery visit, your team will begin deploying the software we use to keep your infrastructure safe, available, and efficient.
The software we deploy includes:
- an agent that serves as our primary tool for monitoring your system and connecting remotely to your PC when you need help
- an end-point security agent that protects your system from viruses and malware, and allows us to manage encryption keys if you have a laptop device,
- a DNS agent that ensures incoming traffic is safe and that users don’t inadvertently visit potentially harmful websites.
Related article: Managed Services: When To Expect On-Site Vs. Remote IT Service
The Bottom Line
After reading this article, you are prepared for your TAM’s on-site discovery visit. From devices to servers and everything else that is part of your network, our engineers need to understand your current state in order to provide the service you need.
You now understand the purpose of the on-site discovery visit, what your TAM will need to access, which of your team members you may want to make available, the questions you should be prepared to answer, and what happens next.
You also know what comes next. At this point, you likely are comfortable with your understanding of the on-site discovery visit, but if you have any questions reach out to your service delivery manager. They’ll be happy to answer any additional questions you might have.
Read this article to learn about the ongoing strategic technology alignment check-ins your TAM will conduct throughout our partnership.