IT projects can be disruptive and time consuming especially if you don’t have an IT provider. Whether you need a new server, network design or help to move a network to a new office location, starting from scratch with a new vendor is not in your best interest.
Businesses often call multiple IT service providers to qualify who is capable of doing the project, in what timeline and at what cost.
This approach typically results in misdiagnosis of the problem and missed expectations.
Look For a Managed Services Provider First
Instead of putting forth the time, effort and sometimes network assessment fees for a one-time project, look for a managed services provider (MSP). Having a trusted advisor who understands your business and your network can be priceless.
For example, an apartment management company reached out to us because they were looking for a server project and a MSP. We advised them to first select an IT provider based on the ongoing managed services agreement and to focus on the project after the fact.
They took our advice and fortunately selected us to be their managed service provider. Now that they have been a client for about 30 days, we are starting to discuss the server project, which looks completely different than the original project. The scope of work is much more informed and focused on business needs that we only could have learned as their MSP.
If You Just Need This One Project
Any company with one server and five users would benefit from a MSP. In fact, not having an MSP may be more costly than having one. Ideally, one would already have provider in place when projects come up. So a project should indicate an IT provider hunt cannot wait any longer.
If You Have an IT Provider
Occasionally, business owners will contact us when they have a provider, but they suspect they could find a better price. Our advice: it’s not worth it. If you have a good relationship with your IT service provider, and they are capable of doing the project, they are the most qualified to perform the work. They know your business; they know your needs; and they know your network inside and out.
In addition, if and when problems occur, identifying the culprit to resolve the issue is often difficult when two separate vendors are involved. Your project vendor may be pointing at your IT provider, while your provider is pointing right back at the project vendor.
However, if your provider is incapable of doing the project, or hasn’t been reliable, obviously you should shop around, but not for a project vendor. You should be looking for a new IT service provider who can grow with your business and implement the type of projects required.
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