When considering how to change IT providers, the choice is one of the most consequential decisions you will make for your business. Get it right and you can sit back and relax, knowing your IT operations are in the best possible hands. Get it wrong, and you could suffer annoying outages, time-consuming delays and even a devastating loss of data.
Hopefully you got it right the first time, but if not you can change IT companies and enjoy all the benefits that come from working with a true professional. Unfortunately, many businesses are reluctant to switch IT providers, putting up with subpar service out of fear or reluctance to abandon the status quo.
Changing IT providers can be a daunting proposition, and there are many unknown variables to the equation. Businesses considering a change in IT company may face challenges such as:
- Contract issues: Some businesses don’t even know they are in a contract. Others don’t understand the intricacies of their existing contract, including the terms of the agreement or the penalties for an early exit.
- Uncertainties over backups, hardware, licensing and email: Can you say with certainty that you own your backups? In many cases, backups are held in the name of the IT company which can make it difficult (but not impossible) to change providers. In addition, some organizations run into issues where hardware, licensing, and subscription services like email are owned by a previous IT company.
At Ontech, we are committed to full transparency, including who owns your backups and how these essential files are handled. When you choose Ontech as your outsourced IT provider, all backups are stored in your company’s name, giving you one less thing to worry about.
Questions to Ask When Changing IT Companies
No matter how dissatisfied you are with your current provider, switching to a new IT company requires an adequate amount of consideration to ensure they will be a good fit both now and into the future as your business grows. There are a number of key questions to ask when evaluating IT providers.
- How large is your company and are your services scalable? You need to know your new provider is committed to growth, both yours and theirs.
- What parts of the country (or the world) do you cover? Is the IT company regionally based, or do they provide service from coast to coast?
- Do you offer multiple types of service? There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managed IT services. Ask about various levels of support, from basic data protection to complex IT integration services.
- Are response times guaranteed? When your servers are down and your website is offline, every minute feels like an hour. Guaranteed response times help ensure your IT infrastructure, and your business, will be up and running as quickly as possible.
- Will my business have a dedicated account manager? Having a single point of contact is essential, so ask who will be handling your account and how you can get in touch with them.
- Will I have a dedicated technician? Always ask if you will have your own assigned technician, a professional who you can rely on to know the ins and outs of your network.
- What type of training program do your technicians undergo? Managed IT is a complicated industry, and ongoing education is an essential part of the process. Be sure to ask about training programs the company provides for its front-line technicians and other essential staff members.
- How will I be charged and how can I pay? Ask about pricing plans, payment terms, and available methods of payment.
- Do you support vendor management? Often times it can be daunting to identify the right equipment or vendors needed for a project. Some IT companies handle everything for you, while others require you to do the research and purchase equipment on your own which can be overwhelming and cause problems down the road.
- Do you supply the hardware or just support? Managing IT infrastructure is the job of the company you are hiring, but some firms also take care of the hardware requirements. Knowing what you are getting is essential if you are to budget properly.
- What happens if I cancel? Hopefully you will be happy with your new IT provider, but it is still important to understand their cancellation policy, including how your files will be transferred and whether or not an early cancellation fee will be assessed.
- What is (and is not) covered under the contract? It is important to know exactly what is covered under the support contract with your new IT company. Just as importantly, you need to understand what is excluded, so you can factor those exclusions into your future plans.
- Do you work with preferred providers? Some IT companies work with specific hardware and software providers, while others are more flexible. If you have a specific software product or hardware brand in mind, make sure the IT company supports it.
- Ask about remote management and monitoring. Ongoing monitoring can spot intrusion attempts, stop ransomware demands in their tracks and help your business run more efficiently. Always ask if remote management services and ongoing monitoring are included as part of your contract.
We invite you to contact us at 262-522-8560 and consider Ontech Systems as your IT partner. Our support team will gladly answer these questions and any others you have in order to make a smart decision.
Common Mistakes When Changing IT Companies
It’s helpful to learn from others’ mistakes to ensure your transition is as easy as possible. These are some common mistakes to watch out for:
- Making significant changes immediately: Ensure your new IT provider fully understands your network, along with your current and future growth plans before making significant changes. Many IT companies kick things off by implementing a significant number of changes that can send your operations and staff into a flurry to get acquainted with the new system. This is also a red flag that they don’t fully understand your systems and aren’t willing to take the time to do so.
- Not conducting thorough research: Be sure to take the time to thoroughly check the new company’s references. This includes conducting online research to read unbiased reviews from past and current customers.
- Choosing a provider that does things “their way”: Some IT companies like to do things their way and their way only. As a new client, they push their preferred software and hardware solutions rather than evaluating your network and making recommendations that are best for your business. Be sure your new provider plans to kick things off with a complete audit and assessment of your existing network before they make recommendations for improvement.
- Choosing a provider that relies on the break/fix model: Proactive monitoring is the modern day approach that your new IT company should adhere to. The industry has shifted away from the outdated break/fix model in support of a proactive approach that can help alleviate smaller issues before they become major problems.
Ontech’s Approach to Onboarding
At Ontech, we know that changing IT companies is a critical time, and we strive to make the process as simple as possible. In the end, it is our approach to onboarding that makes all the difference. When you switch to Ontech for your managed IT service, we will:
- Identify your needs: Ontech’s complementary Network Discovery process identifies the documentation needed, simplifying the onboarding process.
- Plan the move: Once you decide to move forward, Ontech provides a letter to the existing IT provider, asking for the necessary documentation to guide the process forward.
- Plan the kickoff: Next we will schedule a kick-off call to introduce the members of our team, review the necessary documentation, install an inspector program to automate the pulling of data and schedule an in-person onboarding visit.
- Implement the move: Once the necessary steps have been completed, we will settle on a date for the implementation. Once that date is agreed to, we will begin to load the documentation into our IT Glue Documentation platform. We will also change passwords, removing access for the old vendor, providing a safe and secure onboarding process for your company.
- Review the results: The final steps ensure you are happy with our services. During the 30-day review we will send a customer satisfaction survey and sit down with you to discuss the implementation and answer any questions you have. We will also schedule a 90-day review, along with an annual IT review meeting and a budget meeting if necessary.
If you are tired of slow, unresponsive service and a lack of expertise, it may be time to change IT companies. At Ontech, we are dedicated to making the transition as simple and painless as possible, and it all starts with a quick 10-minute call to see if we’re a good fit: 262-522-8560
We encourage you to contact Ontech today to share any concerns, ask questions and learn more about our exceptional IT services and reputation.