Why We Do Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs)

Why We Do Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs)

A QBR is a quarterly business review. That term may be used a lot of ways by different businesses and industries, but here’s what it means for current (and future) SWAT Systems IT services clients.

Just like the name sounds, a QBR is a time set aside for the SWAT team to sit down with client decision makers to review current tech infrastructure and plan for future needs. The purpose of quarterly business reviews is to make sure that clients are fully prepared for their future tech needs and SWAT understands the trajectory of their business.

The most important thing for you to know about the quarterly business review is that it is an IT meeting — not a sales pitch!

How far in advance we plan sometimes depends on the industry. For example, nonprofits often have rigid budgets that are board-approved once a year with no opportunity for changes. Therefore we must plan more than a year in advance to make sure these organizations have the budget they will need for future tech expenses. Making sure clients are prepared for what is coming in advance is one of the key reasons for a QBR.

The Quarterly Business Review Meeting

The QBR meeting involves IT decision makers from the client, a SWAT Account Manager and a SWAT engineer. Other team members may be included depending on the organization and the topics to be discussed in the review meeting.

While we love to do these meetings onsite and face to face, conducting QBRs virtually has become more popular. We will work in the format your organization prefers. There’s a lot to go over, so we typically schedule about two hours for a QBR meeting. Although we’re happy to give that time back to you if we move through the topics more quickly.

What’s Included in Your QBR Report?

While the specific details will depend on your IT infrastructure and your line of business applications, a typical QBR report will include:

  • One Page Business Plan. This is a quick summary of where your business is currently and where we know we need to go.  Think of it as the 10,000ft IT snapshot.
  • Your Contact List. Because you are billed by the number of computer users or FTEs, it’s important for us to verify who we’re serving and scale your managed services agreement accordingly.
  • Your IT Assets. What tools is your business using? Are there changes since the last QBR? Is there a request or new need? We also look at the licensing and documentation for each application to ensure you are prepared for renewal costs or user-based licensing changes.
  • Your Workstation Life Cycle Report. This is like a countdown clock for every managed PC and server so that we are prepared for end of life.  The Workstation Life Cycle Report provides a projection for when a device (such as a laptop) might become too outdated to function sufficiently and would need replacing. For instance, if we have a client planning to move to Azure in Q2 next year, then we need to make sure all the end-user equipment is capable of running on that platform. Don’t worry, we use simple indicators to provide an at-a-glance look at where things stand for your QBR.
  • Phishing Report. As part of your managed services, SWAT provides ongoing cyber security training to educate your entire organization on how to avoid falling victim to phishing and other social engineering attacks. This report gives us all a sense of how effective that training has been and what gaps of knowledge need to be closed.

Download our free Phishing Prevention Cheat Sheet to share with your team.

Why Your Quarterly Business Review Is So Important

We can’t speak for other managed service providers, but at SWAT Systems, your QBR is core to our support process. We want to feel like part of your business. The QBR is a great way to touch base and build our partnership.

Here are some topics for discussion that often are covered in QBRs. They can be broached by either the client or the SWAT team. That’s the point of this organic communication setting:

  • Real-time problem solving. QBRs often bring to the surface new issues that may not have been communicated yet. It allows us to get ahead of problems quickly and address them before they impact your productivity.
  •  IT trends. What’s the latest tech innovation and could it be right for your business? What changes are on the cyber threat landscape?
  • General industry trends. What are you seeing in your industry? What issues are you hearing from similar organizations? What is important to you?
  • Customer services review. How are we doing? How can we better serve your company or better support your team?

The most important thing for you to know about the quarterly business review is that it is an IT meeting — not a sales pitch!

What Happens After the QBR?

Your SWAT engineer lead and account manager will meet with the support team to go over what was discussed and outline a plan for changes as needed and continued support. Once that’s done, we’ll send an email to your QBR participants outlining next steps for each issue addressed and updating your business’s one page plan. That means we’re literally on the same page and moving forward.

Have questions about the QBR or any part of your IT support? If you are a SWAT client, contact your account manager. Not a client yet? Contact us or book a meeting for a quick consultation to discuss your IT needs and SWAT services.

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