How to Switch to a New Managed Services Provider (MSP)

If you’re looking for an IT solution that’s always available, cost-effective, and provides technical leadership, partnering with a managed IT services provider (MSP) offers all those benefits and more.  

Still, like any contracted service, each managed MSP will have minute variations on how they deliver IT support. For various reasons, at some point, you may determine finding a new MSP is best for your business. 

As a technology services provider, The KR Group knows it’s crucial for you and an MSP (including us) to work cohesively to coordinate the management of your IT environment. And occasionally, a specific partnership doesn’t click, and you need to move on to another provider. switch managed services provider

If you’re considering switching MSPs and onboarding with a new provider, here is a sneak peek of what you can expect:

  1. An explanation of MSP’s offer and methodology
  2. An audit of your existing IT environment
  3. Contract creation and retainer request
  4. Offboarding your old MSP’s solutions
  5. Your new MSP takes control
  6. Support is provided by your new MSP

Before you start any of the above processes or sign a contract with a different MSP, you must review the out clause of your current agreement. Many MSPs require a minimum 30-day notice for you to leave their company and have early-termination fees for ending a contract before the term expires.

Pro Tip: If you download The Managed IT Services Timeline, the following steps coincide with the first six phases in the graphic.


Explanation of Managed Service Provider’s Methodology

Since you’re already familiar with the concept and benefits of managed IT services, your prospective MSP will focus their initial presentation on what sets them apart. 

For example, The KR Group uses this opportunity to explain how we differentiate our services by taking an aggressive approach to cybersecurity.

During this step, ensure your new MSP can provide any services your former provider lacked. This is your chance to ask questions and ensure the prospective MSP will meet your expectations.


An Audit of Your Existing IT Environment 

During the audit, the prospective MSP will visit your location and evaluate your existing IT infrastructure and user needs.

This includes interviewing your team members and reviewing your hardware, software, systems, processes, and goals for the future. They’ll also calculate the number of users and devices you have and your final quote. 

Ultimately, the MSP is looking for what is working, what could be improved, and what needs to change. 

You can help your MSP with the audit process by providing documents on what services your current provider has implemented. (You can generally find this information on an invoice or in the original contract.)


Contract Creation and Retainer Request

Once your future MSP has completed the audit, they’ll take the information they gathered and start creating your contract switch managed services provider

The best MSPs understand that while most organizations have common general needs, there are always some individualized components to account for. 

Through the lens of their service methodology, they’ll craft a contract designed to meet your individual needs while abiding with your MSP’s hardware and software standards.

Ideally, you should receive your contract within one or two weeks after the MSP completes the audit. 

At this point, the ball is in your court. You’ll have time to review everything included in the contract. (You should take note of when the contract expires, however.)

Once you sign, your MSP will require a retainer to be paid (or make an ACH withdrawal from your account) within a few days. 

Providing the payment goes through, you’ll be onto the exciting part of switching to a new MSP: offboarding your old MSP and onboarding your new provider’s services. 


Offboarding Your Old Managed Services Provider

Of course, at some point, you’ll need to inform your current MSP you’re switching providers. 

You’ll want to be clear if you plan to complete your contract term or terminate early and pay any subsequent fees. By giving your MSP a heads-up of your plans, you can avoid blindsiding your provider.

Of course, there is always a chance your MSP won’t be cooperative. 

Before you decide to go this route, you’ll want to consider your existing relationship with your MSP and whether this information will significantly impede it.

While the alternative – waiting until you’ve already signed with a new MSP – is generally not advised, there are certain cases where it may be your best option. 

Rest assured that most of the time, incumbent MSPs are cooperative with the offboarding process. They coordinate a time to remove all their equipment and uninstall the software before the new MSP installs theirs. 

Additionally, the old and new providers often work together to coordinate offboarding and onboarding times to ensure minimal impact on your organization’s operations and security coverage. 


Your New Managed Services Provider Takes Control 

With your former MSP offboarded, your new provider assumes responsibility and controls your IT environment.

They’ll uninstall any software and hardware left behind by your old MSP and immediately begin installing theirs. 

They’ll change the network, administrator, and remaining hardware passwords to lock out the old MSP. At this point, you and your new provider will be the only ones with access to your network.

As soon as possible, they’ll also conduct a backup of your IT environment. This saves your most current information in the rare case your network has an issue during or soon after the onboarding process.

To finish the onboarding process, your new MSP will change computer names, patch or update tool sets, and ensure everything is up to date.


You’re Live with Your New MSP switch managed services provider

The first 30 days are often the rockiest period for you and your new MSP.

Knowing this, your MSP will give your newly onboarded IT environment extra attention to support the transition.

For the first week, your provider will station an engineer on-site to hand out new contact information, meet employees, and work through any issues. They’ll also provide on-site support and perform any migration work. 

The best onboarding sequences have a brief period of co-managed services (around 30 days), where your previous MSP is still available on an as-needed basis.

After this first week, you can also expect frequent on-site visits to check how the new solutions are working and answer any user questions. 


So You Want to Switch MSPs…

Understanding what goes into switching MSPs can help alleviate some of the uneasiness you may feel. However, it can still be a delicate process. 

In fact, it frequently takes more planning and cooperation than if you were to onboard with no existing IT support agreement in place. 

While you’ll already understand what managed services are, you’re now looking for an MSP who can provide for your previously unmet needs. 

And the audit, offboarding, and onboarding phases require you to coordinate with your old and new MSPs. 

However, you shouldn’t be intimidated about switching to a new provider. Once fully onboarded, you’ll start enjoying the benefits of managed services and improving your business because of it. 

To help guide you through the switching and onboarding process, download this free onboarding checklist.

It breaks down all the information you read into actionable items so you don’t miss any crucial components of implementing your new MSP’s services. 

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