First 45 Days with a Managed IT Services Provider: What to Expect
While each IT services provider will handle things a little differently, here’s what you can expect after becoming a SWAT Systems managed IT client.
Managed IT Services Providers (MSP) function as your IT department, including strategic planning, day to day management and a 24/7/365 help desk. But when you sign the MSP contract, that doesn’t magically happen overnight. It takes a little time for a new company to onboard with an MSP. Here’s what you can expect in the journey from stranger to client.
First Meetings with a Managed IT Services Provider
When you reach out to an MSP by phone, email or online, the first step is a discovery call. At SWAT Systems, this is typically a 30-minute call to determine if your current IT needs are a good fit for our MSP services. This is a high level, broad strokes discussion where we also provide “out of the box” pricing.
Next, we meet in person for a first-time appointment. You’ll meet with a lead engineer and your account manager to discuss needs and services more deeply. Based on the first-time appointment, we can determine the appropriate service level and provide accurate pricing.
Finally, we schedule the quote review. Your decision makers review the customized proposal with your account manager to address any questions and ensure the quote is fully understood.
Onboarding With Your IT Services Provider
Congratulations! You’ve accepted your proposal and are ready to start. This process is called onboarding because it involves everything we need to get you on board and using SWAT Systems’ services.
We start off with a kick-off call that will be followed with some paperwork. This will include your master service agreement that lays out all the services and your start, or “go live,” date where we initiate support for your team. We will also set a date for your technical site visit.
For the technical site visit, your dedicated onboarding engineer (DOE) and account manager visit your work site(s). The engineer reviews your entire network and any existing documentation. That means every computer, printer, firewall, email system, software, DNS, security protocols and more will be reviewed.
The engineer then creates new technical documentation and provides recommendations for network improvements that will be reviewed during your first QBR (quarterly business review). In this time of COVID-19 quarantine, some adjustments may need to be made, but being on-site and physically seeing the systems is important for the engineer to gather enough information for a smooth launch.
Still Onboarding (aka the Bulk of the Work)
Now comes the two-week gap. This is the time between the technical onsite visit and the “go live” date for the start of support. Your onboarding engineer is installing agents on all of your workstations, reviewing security policies, creating new Visio diagrams, etc. There are also quite a few policies that need to be assigned to your network through our tools.
It may seem quiet on the client side, but during this time there is quite a bit of activity for SWAT Systems. It is important we have our ducks in a row so that we can provide good customer service to your team from the beginning of our relationship.
Launching With an IT Services Provider (aka Flipping the Switch)
The “go live” is a bit like flipping a switch. The heavy lifting is done and it’s now time for your company to start using your managed IT services. Your account manager will conduct a 15-minute welcome meeting with your entire staff to talk them through how to access IT services. A one-page contact sheet is distributed to your team to make sure they know how to contact SWAT Systems and what to expect when they reach out.
After the welcome meeting, you are officially launched! Your employees can call or submit tickets online for any issues or questions.
The First Weeks Post Launch (aka Dancing with a New Partner)
After “go live,” there’s a period of getting to know each other, both for your employees and your MSP team. We compare this to dancing with a new partner — at first we’re going to step on each other’s toes, but after time, we get to the fun part.
It’s important to talk through the issues. Usually, small simple tweaks will resolve them. Communication is key in every relationship. We’ll also be helping you, as a leader, to clarify what you need in terms of ticket priority, password changes and more. And there are always one or two things you forgot about in those initial discovery sessions. Don’t worry, we’ll come up with a plan together.
Smooth Sailing (aka 45 Days Ago We Were Strangers)
We ARE your IT department — we just live in a different building. SWAT proactively manages your systems like they are our own, monitoring for threats, anticipating issues and sharing strategic insights. Your tech worries are gone and you can focus on running and growing your business.
At the three-month mark, and every three to four months after, SWAT Systems performs a quarterly business review (QBR) with our point of contact and any other key stakeholders at the company. The first QBR includes a light network assessment with action items and focuses on budgeting for the upcoming year. We use the OPBP (one page business plan), a simple guide that drives the conversation and addresses KPIs from top ticket categories to client satisfaction surveys.
You are Going to Get Hacked
Know What to Do with our Checklist
Whether you've been hit by ransomware or are just worried about a ransomware attack, this checklist can help. This one page checklist has simple instructions to help your team act fast and feel confident in how to respond. Print, post and prepare your team wo know what to do in a ransomware attack.