Don’t let the fear of switching and changing IT providers prevent your team from receiving the services they deserve at a reasonable price.
But “Better the devil you know,” you might say? Well, not anymore…
Staying with a poor IT provider because you’re afraid to move away is no longer an acceptable excuse. In this article, we debunk 9 myths about switching IT companies and you’ll learn how changing IT providers is a much simpler process than you think—it takes little time and has no impact on your employees.
In this article, we cover:
Preying on your fear
There are many reasons why businesses stick with their subpar unreliable, or exorbitantly priced IT service provider, but the main and fundamental reason remains: the fear of switching.
This is because changing IT providers is often seen as a daunting task that’s not worth the trouble. It would require a considerable time commitment, disturb employees, and result in downtime for business systems.
This very fear is what your current IT provider preys on, to continuously get away with poor service experience whilst increasing their prices year after year.
The reality of the IT Support market
Something that most people don’t realise, and IT support companies might not want you to know, but….
The IT industry is in fact a “switch market.”
The primary source of new business for IT support companies comes from businesses who have previously outsourced their IT but are wanting to switch providers (typically due to subpar service and bad advice), instead of businesses looking to outsource IT for the first time.
The IT support business model therefore relies on easy onboarding processes for new clients, and the offboarding procedures follows suit.
Company ‘wind ups’ and other business synergies, like mergers and acquisitions (M&A), can create some client turnover among support providers, which means preparing a customer for departure is an integral part of the service and is not something you should fear.
Keep in mind that this IT service, is a “support service” to aid what you already have in place without taking ownership of your data, licenses, or critical business systems.
This means: A provider will never own your data, or your core system licenses from Microsoft or Google; they will only have administrative privileges to manage them. When you leave, this access is easily transferred to the new provider, and you retain the credentials and ownerships throughout.
If you have a separate agreement with your IT provider for Managed IT services like Internet access, telephones, or security monitoring in addition to the support agreement, that’s fine too. When you move away, they will just become another third-party with whom your new IT company communicates with, just like Microsoft, Google, BT, and other essential service providers.
Changing IT provider and moving away – the why?
In today’s busy business environment, there is almost no workflow that doesn’t involve IT. Irrespective of the size, Businesses now rely entirely on tech to function and operate efficiently.
Ensuring your systems are fit, your company is secure and thus the reliability of the services you provide, can only be established by having an efficient IT support partner.
But, your systems health and your business cyber security, is just the tip of the iceberg…
Negative effects on employee retention and satisfaction, business productivity and financial performance among others, are just a few of the many problems that can arise from using a poor IT support provider. Having a trustworthy Managed IT partner is a necessity for your company.
Your business simply cannot afford bad IT.
And thanks to the cutting-edge technologies that have been developed recently, a lot of the traditionally time-consuming processes are now streamlined, consequently increasing the overall dependability of service delivery. IT support is now available at a fraction of cost, but many businesses are not reaping these benefits yet. Check out 9 ways Sereno improved IT service while saving you cash.
For a stress-free transition, download our handy IT switching checklist. Here we outline everything you need to prepare before changing IT provider, what to expect during the switch, and how to ensure success afterwards. It will ensure that you are fully prepared for a painless transition to your new and improved IT support partner.
Busting 9 concerns – Switching Fears vs Reality
Now that we covered why it’s worth reconsidering a subpar IT company, we outline common myths and debunk 9 switching concerns that most of our current clients face when changing their old IT providers. The realities are much simpler than you think, so don’t let these fears influence your decision.
The entire process, including liaising with the old provider, will be managed by the new one. One point of contact will need to confirm and provide details for the staff, but that’s it. Expect 3-5 hours maximum during the typical 3-month transition process, most of which will be agreeing on the new processes with you.
The only ‘disruption’ should be about 10 minutes per employee to train them on how to use the new service and introduce them to members of their new support team. We suggest doing this in an already scheduled monthly.
The ‘onboarding process’ includes a discovery phase before any services or administration access are handed over. Systems reliant on the old provider will be reviewed ahead of time, and a plan will be implemented. In almost all cases, this is a simple transfer of management control rather than a drastic cutover or service disruption.
Any system holding data will simply be a management control handover because you already own that system. In the rare event the old provider hosts one of your services or online environments, it will be discussed in the discovery phase and a plan will be agreed upon well in advance.
To cover the costs of this process, some providers charge an ‘onboarding’ or ‘migration’ fee. You should not pay more than a month’s worth of support fees for this process.
Sereno currently does not charge new partners an onboarding fee in 2023.
Over 90% of your system information is documented and will be made available to the service provider. Another 5% will be found in a comprehensive investigation and discussion during the onboarding phase. The remaining 5% will be discovered and documented and would be a risk even if you stick with your current provider, because there is no guarantee the engineer who has this knowledge will remain employed there.
They provide us with other services outside the support contract that we still need or are in contract so we cannot move.
Most IT providers have comparable services outside the support contract, meaning if you are out of contract, the new provider can offer a similar alternative.
Suppose you are under contract for these services; that is no problem. They simply act as another third-party provider and your new IT company will work with when needed, like Microsoft.
If you settle your outstanding invoices, this is extremely unlikely to happen. Most businesses understand client turnover is inevitable, and treating employees and customers with respect during this time will protect their brand in the long run. When done correctly, the onboarding process will make your old providers’ involvement as minimal and straightforward, to reduce your reliance on them as much as possible.
Hopefully, you have done your due diligence effectively enough to get a good understanding of their capabilities. However, look for a well-planned onboarding process as an example of their professionalism and contracts with service guarantees.
At Sereno, we offer a 30-day rolling notice in the first 12 months to reassure our new partners and a Partner Experience Guarantee for the rest of our partnership.
Download our switching checklist here to ensure a smooth and pain-free switch.
At Sereno, we know the switching, or ‘onboarding’ process, is one of the most important projects we will do as a company.
We will oversee everything and ask for the minimal information we need so that everything moves forward without a hitch.
- An onboarding engineer will be introduced and assigned to you as your single point of contact throughout the onboarding process and the initial weeks of support.
- We have a well-documented 6-stage process that includes the internal steps necessary for our engineer and another external one with any actions requiring your involvement, so you know exactly what is expected from the start.
- We’ll send you brief email reports on our progress and set up a few check-ins as the launch date approaches to reassure you and keep you in the loop.
- Our team doesn’t assume; instead, we verify all access and information in advance and record the results for future reference.
- We will visit your office at least once to take pictures, draw up a network diagram, verify the accuracy of the data given, and get to know your staff so we can better address any problems they’re experiencing.
- During this process, our engineers assess your entire environment to ensure it is up to industry standards, covering everything from network reliability to data security. Within the first two weeks of support, we conduct a Technology Assessment Review where we will share what we have learned and heard and discuss any problems or opportunities for improvement.
- We will also offer in-person or online training for employees on how to make the most of our service, ideally within 15 minutes of a scheduled company meeting. All future employees will be introduced via a training video that we produce.
- Our next step will be to discuss your company’s short- and long-term goals and objectives, after which we will incorporate the resulting improvements and actions into an adaptable IT Road Map.
This is not a one-and-done procedure but rather a regular part of our dedication to you, so we will review and re-evaluate it every quarter.