Helping your IT provider to help you – five top tips

It’s good to know that your IT provider is there to help you if things go wrong. But did you also

know that you can help them to solve your problems faster?

Communication is at the heart of IT, and that includes communicating with your IT provider.

According to Delia Gill, Managing Director of Wellington-based IT provider IT Engine, little things

can make a big difference. Here are five ways in which you can help your IT provider to help you.

1. Provide at least two months’ notice of an office move

There’s a lot to do when a business moves to new premises. From cabling to ISP

notification, fibre connection to server configuration, it takes time to do it right. Two weeks is

not enough!

2. Let your IT provider know before your website team makes any changes

According to Delia Gill, this is often overlooked. If your web-dev team makes some

configuration changes behind the scenes, that could affect more than just the website’s

design. It could take your site offline and even prevent email access. Make sure your web-

dev team talks to your IT provider before they start work.

3. Adding new multifunction printers (to photocopiers)

Modern multifunction printers are highly capable devices – but they need network access to

work properly. The time to talk to your IT provider about this is a week or so in advance of a

new printer being installed. Don’t wait until the printer company technician is on-site and

saying, “I need to reconfigure your network…”

4. Changing ISP

The choice of Internet Service Provider for your business is yours to make. But if you

decide to change – say from Spark to Vodafone or vice-versa – check with your IT provider

first. A lot depends on how internet traffic is routed into and out of your company. Keep

downtime to a minimum by talking to your IT provider before you make the switch.

5. Adding and removing staff

Obviously it’s vital that you tell your IT provider well in advance of a new person starting

work. They will need their own email address and other accounts, which can take a little

time to set up.

But according to Delia, removing staff is the big one. “What happens when staff leave?” she

asks. “What happens to their out-of- office messages? Where are their documents stored –

are they on that laptop that you’re about to wipe? Do you have their iTunes password?

Have they removed their account from all Apple devices? If not done properly, that

expensive work iPhone could end up being bricked.”

It’s also wise to ensure their incoming email is being forwarded to someone else – not

going into a black hole. And just in case things turn nasty, be sure to recover all deleted

items in Exchange and elsewhere. It pays to be prepared.

If you don’t already have a policy to deal with all of this, now is a good time to create one. Just ask

your friendly IT provider – they’re here to help.

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