How to Change MSPs: Make Your Transition Painless

How to Change MSPs: Make Your Transition Painless

It’s that time of year again and no, we are not talking about a change in seasons or a holiday. Unfortunately, it’s time for you to figure out how to change MSPs. After working for a while with a managed services provider (MSP), there may come a point when a business realizes the need for a change. 

The reasons you need a change could be many:

  • The skillset of the current MSP is not enough to keep pace with your organization’s ability to scale
  • The MSP may not be equipped to make use of the full functionality of strategic business applications (like Microsoft 365)
  • Your company is unable to realize the value of the investments you’ve made
  • There are better (if not more affordable) options out there

Whatever your reason, the switch is never easy. It could potentially lead to significant hurdles:

  • Incomplete knowledge transfer due to a non-supportive incumbent provider
  • Bandwidth challenges of existing staff
  • Lack of good documentation

All of these things add to the difficulty of the transition, making the task daunting and leaving you wondering if the question is, “How to change MSPs,” or “How to work better with the MSP you have?”

When It’s Time to Part Ways

Knowing what questions to ask your IT services provider will help you get a better understanding of who you’re entering a partnership with and help you avoid disappointment down the road.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when seeking a new MSP for your business:

Competence and Expertise

You want an MSP that really knows their stuff and has proven ability to work well with clients. Make sure you assess each potential company’s skill and experience. Send these questions to each candidate so they can respond before you decide to meet in person:

  1. Can you describe your company and provide an overview of your services, skills, people and knowledge?
  2. Can you provide your company’s relevant experience serving organizations with environments, verticals and needs similar to ours?
  3. Are you able to list any relevant certifications or partnerships that support your company’s ability to successfully deliver service? (For example,  if you are looking for an MSP to build/support a Microsoft environment, is that MSP a certified Microsoft partner? Do they have engineers with relevant certifications?)

Work Culture and Relationship Building

The last thing you want from a managed service provider is sub-par IT support and a difficult working relationship. It’s a good philosophy to work with a company that believes in treating their clients like they want to be treated. Use these questions to guide your assessment of each provider’s approach to service and client relationships.

  1. What is your company’s account management philosophy and approach to delivering exceptional service to your clients?
  2. Can you provide profiles of your key client engagement staff and their relevant experience?
  3. What is the one area that helps make your client relationships most successful?
  4. What are your company’s service commitments and values?
  5. How do you support your employees in growing their careers and in ongoing education?
  6. What do you do to retain great employees? What is the average tenure of your non-executive employees?

Security, Insurance and Certifications

Aside from increasing cybersecurity and having the necessary certifications geared toward your specific industry, MSPs should be able to provide proof of insurance to their clients in the event that they incur a data breach. Your data could easily be held ransom by bad actors in the instance of a data breach. Your MSP needs to be able to cover costs to retrieve any and all stolen data. Here are a few questions to ask to guarantee your business is protected from all sides:

  1. How can you guarantee my data is protected?
  2. What are your data retrieval methods?
  3. How can you help me in maintaining my cybersecurity framework to keep my organization safe?
  4. Do you have the necessary certifications to manage a business in my industry? In what areas are you certified?
  5. Do you eat your own dog food? In other words, do you use the same software and technology to manage your business that you use for clients? (For example, Microsoft 365, Azure Sentinel, CISCO)
  6. Where could your company improve upon security? (If an MSP claims their clients are completely secure without possibility of breaches or incidents, consider it a red flag.)
  7. Do you provide cybersecurity awareness training to staff members?

Want to Know How to Change MSPs but Unsure Where to Start?

Start by keeping it simple. Don’t overcomplicate the process. Prepare a list upfront of probing, honest questions. The hardest part of switching managed IT service providers is choosing one. After that, the provider should do everything possible to make the transition seamless for your company and staff.

The MSP you choose to do business with takes trust. That is why SkyTerra is firmly committed to a customer-centric culture of excellence. Honesty and integrity is critical to who we are, therefore, we won’t suggest a technology, application or tool if it doesn’t align with your business goals. 

The right managed IT service provider can take the day-to-day tech issues off your plate and help you plan for your future needs. Contact us today to make IT easy on you.

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Dan Bergeron

Dan spearheads the company’s business development initiatives, operations, and vision for a client-first centric culture of excellence.