A Guide to Building a Relationship with the Right Provider - Part I

Posted by Lou Person on May 28, 2011 in Cloud Journey

The information contained in this two-part guide provides a step-by-step plan to help you build a relationship with the right provider, regardless of whether you are looking to:

  • Outsource your IT functions so you can focus time and resources elsewhere;
  • Strengthen or refresh your existing IT infrastructure without tying up capital; and/or
  • Access specific capabilities without worrying about technological obsolescence

This document focuses on everything you need to know to find the best possible candidate for the job!

Part One

Step 1
Generally speaking, there are three types of providers to choose from based on your specific needs. It is a good idea to take the time now to study the descriptions below so you are certain about who does what. That kind of clarity will serve you well in two ways. First, it will make it easier to hone in on suitable professionals. Plus you’ll have a good grasp of what you can expect from each, which will help you to weigh candidates’ qualifications accurately and fairly. 

IT Services providers typically offer:

  • A combination of hardware and software for resale
  • Services on a time and materials basis

Managed Services providers typically offer:

  • IT support as part of a monthly services program contract for a variety of resources, including:
  • PC devices and infrastructure
  • Help Desks
  • Mobile devices and connectivity
  • Software and networking

Technology as a Service providers typically offer comprehensive packages encompassing:

  • Hardware and software rental
  • Managed Services
  • Hosting
  • Voice and data circuits

Step 2
Map out the borders of your organization’s and environments current and future states. Be as detailed as possible. You want to be as familiar as you can with the terrain and what it will take to navigate it effectively. Be sure to include information about:

  • Existing IT resources
  •  Financial and operational challenges/opportunities
  •  Preferred/Must have technologies and capabilities