Co-existing with another IT support company and my top 4 advice for making it work

Those of us in the computer support and services industry will likely be in this situation. It is very rare for any business to have one contact for their IT support needs and will find themselves jungling a few IT staff from different companies in order to run their business.

Unless the company is a startup, they would already have worked with previous IT companies and you would be taking over support from the last one. Most times, the tie or relationship with the last IT company is not completely severed and they continue to provide expertise in some areas until you get up to speed. This is the situation we are in at with a couple of our clients and learning to cope with this reality is key to keeping our business relationships healthy.

If you are the sole computer support company for your clients then it is easy for you. However, IT Generalists will find it difficult to be experts at all things and will likely evolve to subcontracting others or the business will do it for you. This is what happened to us with our other client and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Some things to keep in mind when co-existing with other IT support companies:

1) Don’t take it personal. It’s a business relationship and is not a reflection of your IT technical prowess or lack thereof;
2) Learn to rely on others’ expertise. It’s all for helping grow the business that you support so learn to feed off the other IT company’s strenghts and weeknesses.
3) Be humble. Check your ego at the door and treat everyone with respect. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you because you are dispensable.
4) Share. Consultants tend to do very little documentation in order to keep job security but it goes against #2 where your mission is to help the business grow. Providing documentation and cross-training the competition is ok.

These are some of the advice I try to follow myself and which hopefully makes sense to you. Others are quick to step up if you don’t.

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