Not all managed IT services providers (MSPs) are created equal. Some specialize in a local area or particular industry, whereas others have more infrastructural and human resources at their disposal. The purpose of MSPs is to help small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) leverage IT to grow, so if a provider fails to meet this purpose, you have to find another MSP that’s better suited to fulfill your requirements.
“But so many of our IT systems are tied up with our MSP. Wouldn’t switching to a new MSP be time-consuming, costly, and disruptive to our operations?”
We encounter this question a lot and understand where it is coming from. The technical aspects of managing networks, active directories, data security, virtualized environments, and cloud operations look awfully daunting, especially for non-IT professionals. You may be imagining — just like many other managers and business owners have — that the migration process is like dismantling machinery and gutting walls for rewiring. Many things could and would go wrong, and suddenly there would be a lot more things to fix. You’re afraid that your business can’t afford the downtime or exacerbated technical problems, so you’d rather put up with bad service and poor results.
The thing is, you don’t have to. Far from being a doom-and-gloom scenario, switching MSPs, from the customer’s perspective, is often a simple and seamless experience: the new MSP takes over administrative rights for your network or, in the case of cloud deployments, just redirects the client’s IT environment from the current MSP to their own. Provided that you’ve amicably cancelled your contract with your current provider (more on that later), they will cooperate with the new provider and help make the transition be as smooth as possible.
Most professional MSPs configure their base operations similarly, so migration hiccups are rare and minor in scope. While IT systems and configurations can be complex behind-the-scenes, the goal is to completely minimize the impact on the customer — in most cases, it will be a seamless experience to you. And it is standard practice to schedule migrations during off business hours, so there’s practically no adverse impact to operations at all.
“Why are you telling me this? Aren’t you also saying that if we’re your client, we can easily switch to your competitor?”
The short answer to this is “yes.” But that’s why we say service is key. We will never be beaten on service, and we know that, so we are confident that our customers want to stay with us. The point is, if you are putting up with poor MSP service or performance, then don’t allow yourself to be convinced that it’s too hard or too disruptive to make a change.
When breaking up with your MSP, you must be able to tell them this: It’s you, not me.
Of course, as with any relationship, it takes two to tango. Communication and mutual agreement are keys to making things work, so begin by reviewing your contract. Use it as the basis for your expectations and ask yourself the following questions:
- Have we been demanding things that are outside of the scope of our agreement?
- Have we been conveying our requirements in an unclear and untimely manner?
- Have we requested changes or new projects, but failed to respond to the MSP’s requests to authorize?
- Are there or have there been any internal miscommunication issues that make it difficult to objectively evaluate the MSP’s performance?
- Can poor results be attributed to improper implementations of strategy from our end?
If your answer to each of those questions is no, then you’ve more or less eliminated yourself as the cause of your problems. That is, it’s your MSP that’s not holding up their end of the bargain, and that it’s time to have the talk.
It’s possible that the MSP will agree with you that the relationship is not working out and may never will. Perhaps, for one reason or another, the service provider is unhappy with you as well. In any case, it’s often in the MSP’s best interest to separate amicably with you because the market is saturated with service providers, and any bad online reviews or word of mouth will be bad for their business.
Discuss with your prospective MSP that you are coming from a previous relationship and that you need the transition to be as smooth as possible (you’ll most likely need to include transition terms in your new contract). Full-service, professional MSPs are capable of handling things for you so that moving won’t be disruptive to your business at all.
Need to change MSPs but unsure of the impacts? Talk to us. XBASE Technologies Corporation’s 31+ years of experience means you’ll experience the quickest, smoothest, and least disruptive IT Services transition available. That’s why we call it Exponentially Better™!
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