When you’re anticipating a switch to a different IT managed service provider, the experience that you have in the transition will largely depend on the incoming company’s onboarding process and the outgoing company’s cooperation. You can’t control how amiable your old provider is going to be when you tell them you’re moving on, but you can be prepared by knowing what a good transition looks like.
The best transition to a new Managed Service Provider (MSP) is going to have a phased approach, starting with the gathering of information, and moving into setup before the new company takes over support.
Essential Components of the Transition Process
Provide Ample Notice of Cancellation
If you can allow an overlap of about a month with your incoming and outgoing companies, that can enable the coordination and communication needed for a smooth cutover to the new services. You also should make sure that you’re familiar with the contract terms so that you can make a clean cut off. Ask for their cooperation during your transition to the new company.
Designate a Point-of-Contact
There’s going to be a lot of communication flowing between your company and the two MSPs and designating someone to be your main Point-of-Contact will make life easier for everyone. This will be the go-to person for questions. If they don’t have the answer, they’ll find the right resource. This person will also facilitate the gathering of any existing network documentation.
Facilitate the Sharing of Information and Documentation
Documentation will help your new MSP learn about your IT environment. Network documentation includes diagrams of all of your hardware including switches, routers, and access points, and how everything is connected. It can also include a lot of other IT resources like your IP addresses, cloud services diagram and routing protocols.
Other documentation that will be useful to your new managed IT services provider will be a list of any recurring services and vendor agreements that pertain to technology.
Tool Setup and First Steps
Your new managed IT service company will need to install their hardware and software and make sure that the old MSP has removed all of their tools. The new MSP will most likely want to run a backup of your data as soon as possible. They’ll also run initial security scans, change passwords, and make sure that all software is patched.
Plan for Employee Communications and Training
When you’re moving to a new managed IT service provider, keep employees in the loop by communicating with them about the changeover. In addition to providing training about how employees are going to access support, let them know that part of the reason why you decided to change providers is because you want to set them up for success with technology.
Don’t Be Surprised if There Are Surprises
Your incoming MSP will have done preliminary analysis of your network to determine pricing. When they get started delivering services they’ll be able to take a deep dive into your IT environment and they could very well find some things that will need immediate attention – especially if your documentation is weak. This could be anything from discovering that you have out-of-support software to additional computers that weren’t documented.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Keep the lines of communication open, with employees and with the two IT companies. Be proactive by letting people know what’s happening and give them instructions up front about what they need to do. Be quick to respond if there are hiccups in the transition and don’t leave people wondering what’s going on.
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