Managed Services can be a great way for businesses of all shapes and sizes to transform IT from a cost center to a strategic business asset.
Utilizing the skills and experience of a reputable provider to get a stable functional IT experience eliminates a lot of headaches for business owners and can be a great way to get the most out of your technology dollars. When you have a good relationship with a qualified managed services provider, it really feels like they’re part of the team and the experience is extremely positive. Conversely, if the company you are working with isn’t experienced, reputable, or knowledgeable it can create a technology nightmare.
A less-than-professional managed service partner presents a number of potential problems. They’ve got your passwords, they have access to large amounts of data, and if the relationship has been a long one, the chances are good that your company now relies heavily on services that they manage. They may have even started hosting your servers or data on equipment that they own and maintain. If you’ve decided to transition to another product or service provider, what happens if your current provider decides they don’t want to cooperate?
The first thing we have to make clear is that any professional service provider who cares about their reputation will work with you to make sure your transition to a new provider is a smooth one. There are a lot of reasons a change might be happening, but being difficult to work with during the switch is one of the few ways to guarantee former customers won’t have anything nice to say about them in the future.
The easiest way to make sure things don’t get complicated at the end of a partnership is to do your homework before you enter the partnership. Don’t just rely on case studies of current clients. Ask your potential provider why some of their previous customers have left and how those transitions have gone.
Ideally, you’ll only enter agreements with providers that bring a good reputation of working with both current and former clients. However, you should also make sure that every contract you sign clearly states that your company will be protected at the end of the agreement. While it would be great to know that the professionalism of your partner would carry you through any potential problems, having the legal backup of a contract that details how potential problems will be handled is the only thing that can keep you protected.
Symplexity Business Development Manager Steve Saylor contributed to this post.