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5 Questions To Ask & 5 Steps To Take Before You Do

Businesses in Buffalo often need to switch IT providers. And each has their own reason for doing so. You may want to switch IT companies due to lack of service from your current provider, or because your business has outgrown what they can offer. Changing IT service companies can be disruptive in the short term, but once everything is in place, your business IT will be in better shape than it was before.

How To Make Switching IT Companies Easy

The trick is knowing what questions to ask and to be prepared for the transition. If you are thinking about switching IT support companies, consider these 5 questions and 5 steps before you do.

5 Questions To Ask When Interviewing A New IT Provider

1. How long is it going to take to transition?

If necessary, your new IT provider can perform the transition within just a few hours. However, this isn’t the preferred way to go. It’s best to have a well-conceived, orchestrated, methodical plan and make sure that all of your employees are clearly aware of the transition plan.

2. What passwords do we need?

Your new IT company should present you with a complete checklist of all your passwords. If for some reason you can’t retrieve them from your old company, your new one can overcome this by resetting your IT devices. They might also be able to crack the passwords to reveal what they are.

3. When should we tell our old IT company that we’re switching to a new one?

It’s best for your new company to have a few days of “discovery” before you notify your old IT company that you’ll be leaving them.  They’ll need this to make sure they know how your system operates, how to access your network, and where all of your critical applications are stored.  This way, if the old IT company won’t cooperate, your new company can cut them off without harm to your organization.  If they do “play nice” this is all the better.

4. How long will it take for you to understand our network?

Your new IT company should have a team of experts who have been doing network management and monitoring for many years. In most cases, they can start providing IT support the same day. However, they should be proficient after about 30 days of managing your network.

5. Should we be concerned about anything when switching to a new IT company?

There are very few things that should concern you.  However, there are a few steps that you should take just to be sure:

  • Make sure that you own your domain name.  Some IT companies register client domains under their names. This gives them “ownership” of the domain name. Although this doesn’t happen often, it can be challenging to address.
  • Some companies will buy computers for you and register them in their company name. Make sure that they don’t. Again, this can be overcome, but it presents an additional challenge.
  • Finally, we recommend that you pay the final bill from your old IT company.  If for some reason it’s necessary to take them to court to get information, it will be easier to demonstrate to a judge that you have done all that you could to satisfy them.

5 Steps To Take Before Switching IT Companies

1. Remain In Control

Make sure you have full control over your files. Many IT companies love having high levels of jurisdiction over their clients’ networks. This allows them to switch passwords and lock you out of your data. Of course, not all IT companies do this, but you need to make sure that you won’t be “held for ransom” when you want to retrieve your files. If this happens at the last minute, it can create delays that you don’t need.

2.   Acquire All IT Documentation

Everyone has a different way of organizing, and it’s the same theory with IT companies. Acquiring your network map before you switch ensures that your new IT support company understands how your files are organized. It also helps to have a list of login accounts, usernames and passwords to make your file transition goes smoothly.

3.   Back Up Your Files

Having a duplicate backup is very important when moving files and transitioning. If the previous scenario takes place and your old IT support company won’t release your documents and files, they’ll be readily available from your backup. Having more than one backup is always a good idea when moving information from one place to another. This provides the peace of mind you need knowing that your critical IT is always available.

4.  Plan For a Testing Phase

Your new IT support company should test your network, printers, computers and backups to make sure everything is working correctly before you switch over to them. When you’re ready to pull the plug on the old network, your new one will work without worries about downtime.

5. Set Aside a Transition Time

Some IT support companies will set aside a transition phase to help you switch. Your old IT support company may not be happy about losing your business, and they may require that you pay an additional fee before you switch. This gives you the time you need to get your IT running as it should before the changeover.

Thinking about switching IT companies, but worried about the transition? Need more reliable services than your current IT company can provide? Contact Buffalo Computer Help for the support and service your business needs.

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