If you’re switching to a new IT provider for the first time, don’t worry. Though it may seem like an overwhelming transition, there are a few things you can do to be prepared for it, especially if you’re a small to medium-sized business.
The most effective way to prepare for this transition is to have as much information as possible for your managed services provider (MSP). An IT MSP onboarding checklist sets the stage for what to expect from your new managed IT service partner.
What To Expect: IT MSP Onboarding Checklist
To work with you effectively through the initial stages of your new relationship, your MSP needs a lot of information. To best streamline the onboarding process, be sure to have the following information prepared:
- Administrative passwords
- A point of contact from your company
- License information
- An account of all hardware and devices and their total value
- Which managed services are needed
- Third-party IT management details
1. Administrative Passwords & Access Permissions
You wouldn’t ask your mechanic to fix your vehicle but not give them the keys. Likewise, your MSP needs access to administrative accounts for things like:
- Gateway routers
- Email portals
This information is vital for a new IT provider to begin to get up and running. Documenting these passwords makes it easier for them to get signed in and to work.
Label the passwords as specifically as possible. For example, are the passwords for a domain or a workgroup? What software do you use? Are you running servers from 2012, 2016, or maybe Windows 10? Do you have any specialized machines that you use? Are your computers Mac, Windows, and so on?
Your MSP will likely change passwords to keep your network secure.
Ensure your new MSP has access permissions to everything in your network and that your former MSP no longer does.
2. A Point of Contact From Your Company
Who will the MSP primarily work with? Who should they call if they need more information or encounter a problem? Having one point person streamlines communication between your company and the MSP. It would also be helpful to provide instructions in case an emergency arises.
3. License Information
It’s pretty rare for companies to buy discs to download software. Instead, the software is downloaded through an online portal that includes a list of all your purchased software ready to be downloaded.
- CAD software (Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor)
- Accounting software (QuickBooks)
- Shipping software (UPS WorldShip)
Curate a list of licenses of all software you have.
4. An Account of All Hardware & Devices
Network equipment is easy to get mixed up, so keep a running list of everything you have and give it to your IT provider. Your list should include things like wireless access points and switches.
Providing a diagram of your network will help your IT provider. Show the physical locations of your main networking closet, servers, switches, and additional equipment.
5. Which Customized Services Are Needed?
An MSP may offer various levels of services, as not every company has the same IT needs. You may need your MSP to handle all of your IT needs or merely support your current IT staff. Your MSP will work with you to find a suite of services for your business.
6. Third-Party IT Management Details
Are parts of your IT managed by other vendors? Your new MSP will need to know things like:
- leasing and service contracts
- hardware warranties
- ISP accounts
Resource: Looking for a new MSP? See what services Omnis offers.
Beginning Work With Your New MSP
Providing detailed and accurate information allows an MSP to get to work. The onboarding process continues with:
- A network assessment
- A service level agreement
- Setting up remote monitoring & management software
An MSP will perform a network assessment to get a clear understanding of how your network and operations work. This report helps the MSP to understand how the network currently runs and what improvements should be made. The assessment includes a review of:
- Existing IT infrastructure
- Management systems
- Security problems
- Network processes
- Overall network performance
Service Level Agreement
After getting a complete understanding of your IT needs, a service level agreement (SLA) will be drafted. This legal document provides the framework for your working relationship with your MSP. This document should set clear expectations and deliverables from both sides. An attorney should draft the SLA to minimize liabilities.
Setting Up Remote Monitoring & Management Software
Your IT person no longer needs to be in the same building. In fact, they could be in a different time zone. Your MSP will likely install remote monitoring and management (RMM) systems. This software allows them to monitor your network continuously and address problems wherever they are.
This setup includes:
- Installing RMM software on your servers, workstations, and personal devices
- Testing the RMM to ensure it works with antivirus and data backup software
- Installing antivirus software on all devices
Your new MSP will likely have software that is new to you. They should provide your business with training that ensures everyone knows how the software works. They should also inform you of any new protocols necessary for your network’s security.
IT Onboarding Doesn’t Have to be Scary
Switching to a new MSP can be intimidating. However, establishing open and transparent communication up front goes a long way toward establishing trust. The sooner you and your MSP are on the same page, the sooner they can keep your network safe and running smoothly.
Partner With An MSP You Can Trust
Don’t let your technology be a distraction. From basic computer services to server and infrastructure projects, Omnis Technologies has the MSP experience to ensure your business thrives. Contact us today.