While gathering critical points of contact may seem like a menial task for an #MSP on-boarding a new #ManagedServices client, paying attention to the details & doing it right leads to a successful engagement and many other benefits including process improvement & risk mitigation.

In Episode 4 of Whiteboard Wednesday, NETRIO’s CTO, Brian DeVault discusses with Mike Cromwell the step by step approach that he and his team take to on-board a new #IT Managed Services client.

Among the topics discussed in this week’s episode:

(00:24) Identifying the critical points of contact, including: the people within an organization (IT’s clients), IT vendors, #SaaS companies & those who support the applications, technical points of contact, people responsible for any assets being supported in the environment such as desktops, applications, network, engineering. Administrative roles and those in the chain of command for decisions, including documenting organizational hierarchies & decision processes.

(01:12) HR Contacts: If I get a request in from the client that says, I need a new user account created, somebody needs to approve that same thing. If they’re off-boarding somebody, that we’ve got to have a workflow that defines who approves those things, same thing when it comes to other tasks that you wouldn’t wouldn’t normally consider, like who approves desk moves. Then things like, I need a cell phone or I need a new piece of technology. I need Adobe pro instead of Adobe reader.

(01:50) Financial & Billing Contacts: the knowledge of the organization and defining roles up front so that we understand as we’re going through workflow, that your normal, IT being insourced would understand because they know who the HR person is. So what we’re trying to do is build that familiarity with the organization. So we know who are the key points of contact, such as the CEO – people that we typically give VIP treatment.

(02:49) How establishing contacts improves organizational process: It forces you to create process. It forces you to create a procedure. Sometimes these approval chains, part of our documentation that we go through, it has three pages of just questionnaire, like, okay, who approves new computer purchases? What happens when that person leaves? How do we go about how do we go about getting that equipment back in? And then what do we do with it? Do we back up their data and archive it, or do we just throw it in the pile with the rest of them? And how are we doing all those asset management things that typically when customers are handling their IT internally, there’s no external, there’s no third party that’s auditing what’s happening within that it department.

(03:30) How outsourcing, defining contacts & improving process can help mitigate the risk of #ShadowIT – That’s where it came from. It’s because my IT department can’t do this for me. Right? So I’m going to figure out how to do it myself. That’s why those, those processes are so important. And some of them are very easy to establish. We have best practices that we use, you know, templates from. If we, when we come into an organization, say, do you have a business continuity disaster recovery policy? Yes. What is it? Is it written down? Is it documented? Has it been tested? How frequently do you, do you test it?

(04:03) What are your recovery time objectives? What are your recovery point objectives? All those things that are super important to the business leadership, but IT has, it doesn’t have the time effort, resources, capabilities to execute that.

(04:19) Outside Vendors: My SaaS providers who provides my servers and my firewalls. If I have a branch office, I’m going to need a key point of contact in each branch office. If I’m supporting that office from my centralized operation center, so that if this office goes offline, I can notify them. They can distribute that notification to their employees and say, Hey, our office is offline. We’ve got an ISP outage, you know, Netrio is escalated with the carrier, which I’m going to know for my vendor list and then bring it back online and communicate effectively.

(05:28) Asset Tagging & Inventory: I’m going to understand what these asset tags are associated with each of these assets and tie that back to a vendor. Then tie back to a support contract, the support contracts can have an SLA. So I’m going to understand, do I have next business day service on this asset or same business day service on this asset, that’s going to do several things for me. It’s going to tell me how to set the expectation for the end user.

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