Step 1 - Consider resolving issues with your IT Support providerStep 2 - Look to the FutureStep 3 - Map out the required IT servicesStep 4 - Build the Request for ProposalStep 5 - Find a suitable list of IT Support providersStep 6 - Collate, compare and questionStep 7 - Request modifications to proposalsStep 8 - Final review of proposalsStep 9 - Review contract and award10

Step 4 - Build the Request for Proposal

Now comes the document that matters the most - the Request for Proposal (RFP). This can be as simple or detailed as you want it to be, but generally speaking the more you’re going to spend on outsourced IT, the more comprehensive this document should be. So what actually is the RFP? It’s the document that sets out all the information a MSP should need to provide an accurate quote. It hopefully covers everything, and there can be quite a bit to cover!

Here are some examples of the sort of things you can think about when putting together a RFP document:

Summary

  • Company profile & strategic direction
  • An organisation wide IT infrastructure diagram
  • Why your company is seeking an IT Support Provider (including what issues it is seeking to resolve)

Specifics

  • Scope: Specific details on what is to be supported, or what IT initiatives need technical solutions
  • Out of scope: List any IT systems that you will manage yourself, so don’t want quoted on. E.g. ISP connections
  • What hours technical support is required for
  • Details on costings for hosting, support, and change
  • Required solutions around Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
  • Monitoring requirements
  • Reporting requirements
  • Maintenance of information like asset, software, password registers
  • SLAs
  • User training
  • Requirement for onsite meetings and regular strategic meetings
  • Vendor management
  • Any projects that are underway, or need to be initiated
  • Details on how incidents and issues are assessed for priority (e.g. a priority matrix)
  • Detailed pricing breakdown
  • Site visits allowances
  • Fixed price vs T&M
  • Additional user charges  

RFP Reponse

  • MSP company profile / overview
  • Experience / staff list / competencies
  • Provider financial stability
  • Capability statement
  • Governance
  • Single point of contact
  • Change management
  • How to submit proposals (what format, where, when)
  • How responses will be assessed
  • Shortlisting, face to face presentations

Contract

  • Contract length
  • Contract termination
  • Payment terms
  • Termination / exit provisions
  • Sub contracting

As can be seen, there's plenty to think about from the above examples, and as mentioned the more you spend on your IT support the more serious you want to take this process.

The Next Step: Find a Suitable List of IT Support Providers...

 

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