How Do I Switch My IT Service Provider? Everything You Need To Know
Your current IT provider started out great. They were responsive, provided efficient service, and solid solutions. Over time though, things have changed.
You feel like your current provider no longer understands your goals and is just pushing technology or services without fully explaining the benefits.
You've tried to be patient, but when you consider the long response times, insufficient IT solutions, and overall lack of enthusiasm, you are ready to switch to a new IT provider.
You’re frustrated, unhappy, and may even feel stuck because you have worked with them for years. It’s hard to make the break. Where do you begin? How does the process even work?
I can help. As a technical alignment manager (TAM) at Kelser Corporation, I’ve helped hundreds of customers just like you navigate this necessary and (sometimes awkward) road.
In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know. After reading this article, you’ll feel confident that you understand each step of the process and how the steps will bring you to IT nirvana.
What Do I Need To Do To Switch My IT Provider?
Once you’ve decided to switch IT providers, there are a few simple steps in the process.
Step 1: Evaluate New IT Providers
The first thing you need to do is look for a new IT provider.
Ask your social and business associates who they use for IT support. Are they happy with their provider? What has their experience been like? Have they experienced lags in response time? Are the costs in line with other providers? Dive deep and find out as much information as you can.
Don’t discount the internet. We’ve had several current customers find us via an internet search. Visit websites. Pay attention to ratings and customer feedback.
Step 2: Interview New IT Providers
Select several providers to interview.
Ask them questions about their service, their turnaround times, their fees, what services are covered under your agreement, and when you will incur extra charges. Ask whether you have unlimited access to the service desk for IT support. Ask where their service desk is located. Ask for references. Ask as many questions as you can.
But equally important, think about how the meeting made you feel. Did you get the warm fuzzies? Chances are you either disliked the meeting or got very excited.
This is one case where first impressions provide a good indicator of whether the new IT provider is a good fit for your organization.
Can you see yourself working with them? Did they take the time to understand your business and your goals? Were they good at communicating? Was there a feeling of mutual respect?
Step 3: Provide Infrastructure Information To IT Provider Candidates
Once you’ve selected your top candidates, you’ll provide them with a general overview of your IT environment and the services you currently receive from your IT provider.
The candidates will want to know things like:
- How many offices do you have?
- How many users/devices do you have?
- What software do you use?
- What applications will need support?
- Are there things within your IT environment that you use other vendors to support?
Step 4: Evaluate IT Provider Proposals
The candidates will provide proposals for your evaluation. Make sure you understand what is and is not included. You are building a new relationship and mutual trust is paramount. It is the responsibility of both parties to communicate clearly to avoid discrepancies in expectations.
Different providers offer different things and it can be difficult to compare them. Ask questions so that you have a full understanding of the similarities and differences.
Some things to pay particular attention to are after-hours support and service-level agreements (which dictate response times).
Step 5: Select And Notify Your New IT Provider
Once selected, the new provider will have internal meetings and conduct an on-site audit of your IT environment, confirming the information you provided at the proposal stage. The contract will be finalized to account for any discrepancies and signed.
Make sure you read and understand the terms of your agreement. If you have questions, ask!
Included in the agreement will be a timeline for when the new IT provider will take over the administration of your environment from your current provider. The new IT provider will coordinate all of that with your current provider.
That's it! There is no need for you to be involved with your former provider.
What’s The Bottom Line When Switching IT Providers?
The bottom line is that changing IT providers doesn’t have to be difficult. When you know what to expect it takes away a lot of the stress.
The five basic steps once you decide to switch IT providers are: evaluating new providers, interviewing them, providing infrastructure information, evaluating proposals, and selecting and notifying your new provider. The new provider handles the coordination of the switch with your current provider.
The most important thing in the entire process is communication. This is one of the foundations for any successful relationship.
At Kelser, our main goal is to understand each customer's business and the role IT plays in helping achieve their goals. With that understanding in mind, we partner with clients to provide proactive IT service and the dedicated technical experts (including virtual chief information officers, technical alignment managers, and service delivery managers) our customers need and deserve.
We pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive IT solution that keeps the IT environments of our customers safe, available, and efficient.
Want an IT partner that works to understand your business, goals, and IT requirements, and provides proactive support to keep everything running smoothly? Find out more about Kelser in this article: What Does Kelser Charge For Managed IT? What's Usually Included?
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