Switching IT suppliers can feel daunting. If you are considering changing IT suppliers and unsure of what to expect, then this article will help.
Reasons why businesses switch IT suppliers
Changing IT providers is a journey that might begin with:
Outgrowing existing IT supplier
Curiosity; what else is out there?
Bad service experience from existing providers
Existing suppliers are reactive and not proactive. For example, you may need proactive IT support to keep your business ahead of technology changes; advising and implementing cybersecurity and digitalisation
Poor value from existing IT provider, pricing does not reflect service.
BCRS' journey to switching IT suppliers
BCRS went through this process. They provide business loans from £10K to £150K to small businesses, social enterprises, and other organisations unable to access traditional financing. They are an SME, based in Birmingham. But as BCRS' chief executive, Paul Kalinauckas' asks:
"How does any small business, which isn’t qualified to distinguish between IT providers, choose a new company to work with?"
What to expect when switching IT suppliers
Many business leaders feel this way. BCRS had outsourced IT support for a number of years, but were increasingly unhappy with the service they receiving. This is BCRS' chief executive, Paul Kalinauckas, journey of changing IT suppliers. Hopefully his experience will help you understand what to expect and also, how to approach switching IT suppliers.
Draft a specification
"We drafted a specification and sought a consultant’s help. My neighbour works for a large IT outsourcing company. He agreed to help in exchange for two tonnes of topsoil, although he had to move it himself!
Search for local IT support providers, send across specification
"He helped us clarify what we were looking for and we put together a specification which we sent to local IT suppliers."
Run a tender process
What kind of business do you want to partner with? What does a good fit look like?
"We were looking for a good fit with the supplier. We wanted to have a preferred partner we could trust and wouldn’t rip us off. Superfast IT were one of the companies that we invited to submit a formal tender.
"We ultimately chose Superfast because it was clear James Cash was running the show and there was none of the corporate nonsense.
“Just a genuine, similar-sized operation to our own. It was clear that there was a professional team in place and it wasn’t just some smart alec sales guy who would say whatever was necessary to win the business."
What questions do they ask?
“James listened to what we said and asked good questions. I felt like he really understood what we wanted and was flexible in meeting our needs."
What will the transition of suppliers be like?
“He gave us assurances about the transition and made sure the process ran smoothly. I’m pleased to say we didn’t end up as piggy-in-the-middle between the old and new supplier.”
Good tender process = successful new partnership
“The service we receive from Superfast IT is excellent. With their help desk, we get a virtually instant response. Not someone on a mobile phone who is stuck under a desk somewhere.
“There’s a real quality of service which far exceeds the contractual obligations. You think, ‘God, that was quick!'
“We can now get on with business without disruption. Nobody moans about IT anymore and our staff constantly sing the praises of Superfast IT.”