After the decision has been made to bring in an outside vendor to maintain and manage your IT environment the initial meetings are always dedicated to discovery. For this reason, the initial meeting is rarely ever one meeting. There will be lots of questions asked on both sides for which the recipient does not have an answer. “We will have to look and get back to you” is a very common answer I get when meeting with potential clients. So, in an effort to make this initial engagement go even smoother, here are five pieces of information that will save tons of time and effort.
1. Points of Contact
This is critical to establish in the beginning so that everyone on both sides of the table knows who to contact at the client site for every issue related to the relationship. This doesn’t have to be a single person and normally isn’t, normally we have at least an IT point of contact to authorize support calls and an accounting point of contact for billing issues that may arise.
2. Count of Active Users/Equipment
This allows us to easily scope out the size of the engagement and get accurate pricing to you quickly as well as seeing if licensing matches the count of users.
3. Administrative credentials
This is critical to being able to troubleshoot issues as fast as possible. This applies to Servers, Network Equipment, as well as third party vendor credentials such as website hosting, email hosting, and DNS registrar. This way we can maintain the licensing and renewals of these services.
4. List of business-critical systems
Do you have a piece of software that everyone uses and must be running otherwise the business will grind to a halt? We need to know what that is. This can also be software for a single user that is mission critical for their specific job as well (ie Quickbooks for an accounting admin).
5. Things we Missed (TWM)
TWM refers to anything else that you think we need to know that are critical to the success of the relationship. For example, do you have users that are scheduled to work night shifts or weekends? If so, we will adjust maintenance windows so that we don’t disturb those users.
Come armed with this information to a meeting with a potential MSP and the discovery phase of the engagement will go much smoother. For more information feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].