1) Visit Their Office
A site visit will quickly give you a sense of the company’s ability to support your IT needs. Without conducting a site visit you can only base your decision on marketing materials, sales presentations, and references.
2) Meet The People You’ll Be Working With
Find out who will be assigned to your business, what experience they have, and what they will be responsible for. Make sure they have the right combination of technical expertise and interpersonal skills to get the job done.
3) Meet The Support Management Team
Have a face to face meeting with the support management team. Make sure you know who they are, what their roles are, and how to get in touch with them.
4) Get a Copy of Their Certificate of Insurance
An IT company that does not have adequate insurance could create liabilities for you down the road. A certificate of Insurance verifies the existence of insurance, and will show you the type and amount of insurance coverage that they have.
5) Make Sure You Understand the Company’s Hours of Operation
It’s easy to say you provide 24 x 7 service – It’s much more difficult to deliver on this. Make sure you understand how your systems will be monitored and how issues will be handled at various times of the day or night. Always ask if any additional fees will be charged for nights, weekends, or holidays.
6) Find Out What Work is Done By Employees and What Work is Outsourced to Subcontractors
Ask if you will be working with company employees, subcontractors, or an outsourced helpdesk located overseas. Make sure you understand how all support services are delivered.
7) Get an IT Prenup
Make sure you have a document that clearly states what happens if you wish to part ways with the IT vendor. The most important thing here is that all network documentation, passwords and other vital IT information will be provided upon request. Another good idea is to make sure there are no early termination fees or penalties. In fact, why have a contract at all. You should be able to part ways with your IT vendor the minute you think they are not delivering value. Your IT company should be earning your business, not just taking your money because you signed a contract.