10/28: TAM All Stars


Here are a few highlights from this week's webinar.

A TAM posed the situation, "We have been having difficulty getting our clients to 1) Replace their old out of warranty network equipment with our new Standards. 2) Getting buy-in from newly onboarded clients to replace legacy or out of alignment (compliance) network devices. For example, we use Meraki MX (they usually come round to this) and Meraki data switches. My mentality is if I cannot manage it, access it, and or if it's out of warranty, we need to replace it."

  • That is fixed through education. Don't be a Virtual Captain Obvious.
  • We have started explaining replacing infrastructure as akin to replacing the tires on your car.
  • Get them on something that has lifetime warranties? We use HP/HPE/Aruba.
  • My vCIO was the former TAM. It's extremely helpful to me.
  • Legacy equipment either gets replaced according to the agreement or has a T&M ticket assigned to it. It will ultimately cost them less to replace the equipment than getting billed high rates for old stuff.
  • This came from clients thinking servers/infrastructure were like the cars, run for decades, and not a "maintenance" item.
  • Here is an analogy for you. I cannot help you win the Daytona 500 in a Yugo.
  • The security hole from an outdated switch could lead to a whole day of downtime from a cryptolock. Might be worst-case but it's not impossible.
  • Did they sign up only to get ticket labor covered? lol
  • We've even allowed them to break out the costs into monthly payments to help them out.
  • That takes a conversation with the ownership/leadership. Most clients will say that they have 0 tolerance for downtime.

A few other pearls:

  • Unrelated to the current topic but what is the TAM consensus from other individuals on onboarding a client with multiple sites???? Does everyone try to onboard all the sites at one time thus slowing down the overall process or does everyone focus on onboarding one site at a time before moving onto the next site? We find ourselves having delay issues when a client has 3-4 sites getting our MyItProcess reviews done and also fixing the problems in a timely fashion due to the overwhelming amount of things to do.
  • I like going into the office and seeing clients but it's a chore. I'm happy staying remote right now.
  • It's hard.
  • We have been building a project for the whole but split it off into different kickoffs.
  • That depends. If it is legacy equipment that needs to be changed, it may be better to propose a project to replace the equipment. The documentation will be easier to manage across several sites if the equipment is being replaced.
  • At each kickoff, we install our clients, replace the firewall (if we can), and get the other information gathering.
  • Take your time to onboard each site. It will pay off on the support side. We try to make the onboarding take 30 days, then open the gates for end-user support. Without the discovery, the initial experience for both the end-user and support desk usually goes bad. Learned the HARD WAY!!!
  • Our onboarding is 1 TAM visit a month for 4 months. Perhaps the answer is multiple TAM visits per month for onboarding.
  • Onboarding isn't fun.
  • That big client we took on 8/1 is still really patient about support. And they still say we are better than the previous MSP.
  • For us, the TAM's are the lead for new client onboarding.
  • Develop a documented, repeatable processes.
  • We do all sites onboarded - maybe some super minor changes, but nothing major; then, alignment and cleanup process starts.
  • The problem I've run in to with onboarding is that I'm new to the process, and was given the same timeline for a client with one site, as for a client with multiple sites.
  • We have to hand off to the service desk on day 2.
  • The expectations are the most important.
  • Long term business relationships don't have to be and cannot be made in 2 weeks.

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