It’s not you, it’s me.

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So you’ve reached the point where your company needs and your I.T. vendor are no longer seeing eye-to-eye.  It happens.

It’s easy for a company to outgrow their technology provider, especially when it comes to new and quickly growing businesses.  Companies often start up on a shoestring budget and therefore work with a provider that matches that budget.  As your company grows, it’s imperative to have the right foundation in place to support that growth.  If you started with an ad hoc technology plan instead of a solid infrastructure, your company may struggle with growth and begin to see problems in the technology.

That’s when companies start questioning the ability of their technology vendor, which can quickly turn into finger pointing. The company asks, “Why did you install products that were not capable of growth?” The vendor replies, “Why did you not properly budget for growth during the technology implementation?”  As you can see, no one wins in this scenario. The reality may be that your technology provider is simply lacking the experience and resources to properly help you plan for growth on a tight budget.  The simplest way to avoid this is to budget for your current technology needs and plan for growth from the beginning. As we all know, hindsight is 20/20.

So what can you do about it NOW? Well, lick your wounds, learn from your mistakes and move on.

Here’s what to look for in your new technology vendor:

  • A company with experience and a track record of success.  Don’t be afraid to ask for references!  Find out how many years the company has been in business. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for the company’s rating.
  • A company consisting of more than just one or two people with limited skills. You want a company that will ensure you have good support when you need it, not a freelancing I.T. guy.
  • A company that is properly insured for your needs and data value.
  • A company that’s available when you need them – even if that’s 24/7.  This may not be the first thing you think of, but I can promise that your server does not care when business hours are when it’s decides it’s time to break!
  • A company that will respond quickly. The surest way to find out? Test it yourself! Find out how quickly you are able to get ahold of a LIVE person at the company.
  • A company with techs who are industry certified for the exact products you will need serviced.
  • A company you’ll get along with! Make sure you and your vendor click!  Even when it comes to technology service and repair, it’s always better to form relationships with someone you can relate to and that treats you with respect.

So, what do you do when you’re ready to switch I.T. vendors?

  • First, REVIEW any contracts in place with your current vendor so you’re aware of any potential ramifications of making a switch.
  • Be sure to get a GOOD BACKUP of all of your data.
  • Secure your new vendor BEFORE notifying your current vendor.
  • Have your new vendor verify ALL PASSWORDS to all devices on your network.  Request any passwords needed from your current vendor.
  • Have your new vendor CHANGE all administrator passwords and disconnect any remote services that your current vendor may have access to.
  • Make certain that ALL services being provided by the current vendor are accounted for and that the same devices are being provided by your new vendor.
  • Audit any hours used or left on retainer with your current vendor to ensure you get refunded if possible.
  • Get a written statement from your old vendor stating that they no longer have access to your system or any of your data stored in their possession.

Going forward, remember that I.T. needs to be a vital part of your company growth!  Even though your  I.T. vendor is not an employee, they should still be kept in the loop about changes in your company so that growth can be planned and budgets reflect actual needs.  Having a good partnership with your Technology Provider, will ensure that you’re not blindsided with loss of data or unaccounted for cost during growth.

And if you need a Technology Provider who meets the criteria listed above and more, we’re just a phone call away.