Making the Switch? 3 Documents You Need Before Hiring a New Managed Service Provider

Law firms may change managed service providers (MSPs) for a variety of reasons, such as their MSP contract approaching renewal, or they are experiencing growth that requires additional technology and services.

Although transition processes vary from one MSP to another, law firms can proactively prepare for the transition by keeping important documents updated and easily accessible. By collecting the documents in advance, MSPs will better understand the scope of the firm’s needs and mitigate risks at the forefront. Consequently, these benefits result in a better relationship from the outset of new engagements between law firms and MSPs.

If your firm is considering switching its MSP or expanding services by adding a new MSP, we recommend you have these three documents ready to ensure a smooth transition.

 
Workstation build documents
Firm computers and laptops typically run on custom workstations that are built and maintained by an MSP. Custom workstations allow firm devices to perform complex tasks configured with the firm, practice area, and role of the user in mind. Workstation build documents include necessary line-of-business applications, scripts, and other customizations. A new MSP will likely rebuild or update these workstations. This requires understanding the specifications of each workstation component and how these components come together to fit the specific needs of the users. Preemptively collecting current workstation build documents will speed up the discovery process for the new MSP, ultimately benefiting the firm.
 
Onboarding and offboarding checklists
Law firms should supply an onboarding checklist, which includes everything the MSP is responsible for completing for the user to be successful in their role. This includes any hardware or software that an MSP will need to configure for each user, including security settings, distribution lists, where each user is located, their roles, practice area, etc.
 
It is also helpful to obtain offboarding checklists that will be used when an employee leaves the firm. To manage the security of the firm, it is imperative to have offboarding protocols. A new MSP should understand protocol for offboarding employees, which ranges from blocking all user access immediately to maintaining specified access points during a less restrictive departure. Additionally, firms’ password reset policies are typically nuanced and should be shared with the new MSP, along with these checklists to ensure security policies are met.
 
Asset list
Obtain a complete asset list, which includes a detailed overview of current technology. The asset list will help the new MSP price agreements and create the best plan of support so law firms can obtain the most cost-effective services. When compiling an asset list, include standard devices such as computers wireless access points, and other physical equipment as well as software licenses, infrastructure lease agreements and data.
 
Whether or not your firm is considering changing MSPs, firm and IT leaders should have access to all the documents outlined above. If they do not, it’s important to collect the information now so it can be easily referenced and updated in the future. Keeping these documents up to date and readily accessible is always our recommendation.
 
If you have questions about which documents and policies your firm may need when transitioning to a new MSP, FrontlineManaged Services can help. We are proudly one of the only MSPs worldwide that is highly specialized in the legal industry. Contact us today.
 
Bailee Rios serves Frontline as Director of Service Delivery in Managed Information Technology Services(MITS) with expertise in the Legal IT and operations spaces.