We like to use the carpet snag analogy - if you start pulling one snag, you may quickly find that the fiber you are pulling is connected to another, and another, and another…unraveling even more snags you didn’t even know existed.
Last, but certainly not least, know exactly what you and your partner are agreeing to. Some managed providers will give you a free analysis just to try and get a sale going. Once they are engaged, however, they may not do as thorough of an analysis if they are close to closing the deal. Other vendors may charge an upfront fee for an initial analysis of your current IT environment. While one is free, and one is for a fee, consider the value in each. Maybe it’s worth it to pay an upfront fee if it means a more thorough analysis? Whatever the approach, understanding what is, and what is not, included in a consultative sales process is important. It just might save you time and frustration later.
When searching for a solution, make sure it’s yours. Aim for total transparency - only then can you decide what makes the most sense for your organization. Which ever side of the partnership you look at, a good arrangement is one with a mutual understanding of needs, goals, capabilities, and expectations. Don’t settle for anything less.