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If You’re Changing IT Companies…

Precious few business relationships last forever, and we know that from the clients we’ve gained as well as from those we’ve lost. But you can make an IT switch more effectively if you follow a few good practices.

Changing an IT service provider is stressful because it happens either after something has gone catastrophically wrong or is still catastrophic. And as we are seeing with one of our new clients, some of the effects could have been mitigated if they knew all the details of their subscriptions and had the passwords.

The client has enough Microsoft 365 licenses to cover their employees to use their Office apps, but we found they weren’t making efficient use of them because of how they were set up. It never bothered them because they used another email system. When the email became an issue, they decided to switch to Gmail, which we can set up through Microsoft 365, but in our opinion, it makes sense to use Outlook through the Office 365 platform.

Regardless, their problem is that they don’t have all the passwords for their Microsoft 365 accounts, and they really don’t know how all the accounts are set up. They have had two other IT companies since their system was installed. If we can get all the passwords, we can move everything around to be where they need it – and figure out if Gmail or Outlook will work best for them. If not, we’ll need to dismantle their system and rebuild it. That’s time-consuming and costly.

How can you avoid something like this?

First, understand exactly what you’ve installed on your system and thoroughly document all the steps needed to make it work properly. Whenever you make modifications, update your documentation. It’s important because once you get everything up and running, it’s hard to remember exactly how you got something to work. Documentation can jog your memory or help you and some of your employees solve a problem. It will certainly help an IT specialist figure out what’s going on.

Second, write all passwords on a piece of paper and store them in a safe place. In most cases, you can recover passwords after you jump through hoops, but it’s not guaranteed.

If you know you’re going to change your IT provider and the relationship is still workable, you might consider paying the old and new organization for a week or two or maybe a month. When we are ending a relationship with a client, we always provide the information a new provider needs – as long as there are no outstanding invoices. We learned long ago that it doesn’t pay to burn bridges or dodge payments. It can also save you money in time and aggravation in the long run.

If you are thinking about changing IT providers, call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to get a checklist of information to have before you pull the plug. That’s regardless of whether you hire us or not.