When you contract with a managed IT services provider (MSP), like ICS, you’ll experience the benefits and solutions to problems accompanying the services. Maybe you’re unhappy with your current MSP’s customer service, or you’ve realized there are more affordable solutions out there. You know you want to continue utilizing managed IT services, but you want someone else to manage them for you.

If you find yourself in this situation and want to switch from one MSP to another, you’ll have to go through the switching process. This is the process where a new MSP examines your IT environment, quotes you a price for services and, ultimately, onboards you as a customer.

The switching and onboarding process when changing your managed service provider includes five phases:

1. An audit determines what the managed services onboarding process will look like.

Regardless of why you’re switching, an audit by ICS is the first step.

During the audit, ICS will look at your existing hardware and software. Your existing antivirus, anti-spam, and anti-malware software will give us an idea of what you’re currently using, as well as what you need. Auditing your firewalls and backup hardware lets ICS know if you own or lease the equipment. It also gives us an idea of what hardware capacity you need.

2. Onboarding a new MSP involves a period of transition.

You’ll have to say goodbye to your current MSP before welcoming us. Look at your contract for your out clause first. When you contact your MSP to tell them you no longer want their services, you’ll want to know the terms of your current agreement. Many MSPs require a 30- to 90-day notice for you to leave their company. Once you know your contract term, you will inform your current 

MSP you’re switching providers. Off-boarding is the process where they’ll remove all their hardware and software from your IT environment.

3. You have to off-board your old MSP to onboard your new one.

Your old MSP coordinates the off-boarding time with ICS’s onboarding time. This ensures there is little impact on your business operations and provides almost continual security coverage. This typically happens remotely on a Friday after hours. If you’re leasing any hardware from your former MSP, though, you’ll need them to come on-site to physically remove it. After your old MSP has finished off-boarding, ICS will start onboarding. We will install new hardware and software and check if your old MSP removed all their hardware and software.

To complete the off-boarding process, your old MSP relinquishes control of usernames and passwords. They hand-off login credentials, which gives your new MSP access to your network, domain, and remaining hardware.

4. ICS takes control during the onboarding process.

At this point, ICS has control of your IT environment. During this transition, we’ll take the burden and ensure safety and effectiveness with the transition between MSPs. We’ll uninstall any software and hardware left behind by your old MSP and immediately begin installing ours. We’ll change the network, administrator, and remaining hardware passwords to lock out the old MSP. You and ICS will be the only ones with access to your network. As soon as possible, ICS will also conduct a backup of your system. This saves your most current information in the rare case your network has an issue during or soon after the onboarding process.

5. Onboarding concludes with support from ICS.

Once you resume business for the workweek, ICS will assign a CSM to pass along any information, meet employees, and work through any kinks. The goal is to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible.