Navigating the Switch to an MSP: Advice from Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library

Having an in-person IT pro on your team can offer peace of mind that someone is always there to help solve your technology problems. But what happens when that person leaves? And what if your needs are beyond their skill set?

After their longtime IT team member moved on to a different job, the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library in Zionsville faced those exact questions. 

As they assessed their IT needs, they realized they had two big choices: replace that individual with another in-house team member, or make the leap to a managed service provider (MSP), a big transition for their operations.

Choosing Between In-House and Outsourced

As the Hussey-Mayfield team looked at their options, switching to an external IT service provider started to stand out as the best path forward. 

“It offered us more bang for our buck, and we got more access to more skill sets than we would have had with just one person,” says Kimberly Olivares, Assistant Director of Operations at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library.

Their previous IT person, while capable for most of their needs, was not traditionally trained in IT. Partnering with an IT service provider meant getting a team knowledgeable about a diverse range of tech who could not only help them solve problems, but meet their goals. 

Finding the Right IT Service Provider

As they started meeting with different tech firms and moving through the quoting process, the AxiaTP team stood out to their team for a few reasons. 

First, working with a local Zionsville IT service provider was important since it meant they would be supporting the local economy. Second, their conversations with the team showed that AxiaTP was interested in truly knowing and understanding the organization. 

“The sales process was very much them trying to understand where we were and where we needed to go,” Olivares said. “AxiaTP had answers to our questions and concerns and were willing to work with us on those concerns.”

Getting Started with an MSP

While the Hussey-Mayfield team was excited to get started with AxiaTP, it took a bit of a learning curve to go from in-house IT to an external support team. 

“The biggest pain point in going to managed IT was getting our staff to adapt to not having someone physically here,” Olivares said. 

Going through a formal ticketing process was a new experience—one the AxiaTP team has been patient to understand and shown flexibility.

“AxiaTP has been great at working with us to understand and find ways to change their procedures so that we’re making the best use of everybody’s time,” Olivares said.

Building a Relationship

Starting any new vendor partnership requires building relationships in order to be successful. 

“It’s very collaborative, the work we’re doing,” Olivares said. And building a collaborative relationship with AxiaTP has helped Hussey-Mayfield not just with daily IT needs, but bigger picture goals and ideas. 

Olivares notes that the AxiaTP was able to help identify problems within their IT—some known and some new to the Hussey-Mayfield team—early on. Part of their collaboration has been navigating within Hussey-Mayfield’s confines as an organization with limited resources trying to stretch its dollars.

“Their whole team has been understanding while trying to move us forward at the same time,” Olivares said. “They’re very responsive and have been on site multiple times. We’ve built some nice collegial friendships with team members.”

Setting Your Business Up for MSP Success

Are you considering the switch to an MSP? Bringing in an IT partner is a big step. Here are a few additional tips from Hussey-Mayfield’s experience on how to successfully navigate and utilize your new relationship.

Make Sure You Feel Understood, Not Judged

Don’t start a relationship on a negative note! If you’re operating with outdated hardware and/or software solutions, you might be intimidated to admit you’re not on the cutting edge. 

Olivares joked that AxiaTP didn’t respond negatively to their outdated software, but it’s important to remember you shouldn’t feel judged by your current situation. The right MSP is going to respect where you are and be invested in moving your business forward. The most successful relationship is a partnership.

Create and Manage Expectations

As they navigated the adjustment, Olivares made sure to build expectations and processes with the internal Hussey-Mayfield team in order to create the most positive experience. A large part of this was managing the switch to a traditional ticketing system and losing that go-to person in the office. 

Consider what processes your team will need and who will be responsible for actions, including if you need a point person for filing tickets and/or general communications with your MSP.

Use Their Expertise

The biggest benefit of an MSP is having access to more extensive knowledge. Use this to your advantage! 

When Hussey-Mayfield was having problems with third-party tech vendors, one of their AxiaTP pod team members (part of the CEE model) was able to step in as the more knowledgeable point person to make sure the problem had a resolution. “It’s allowed me to be more successful,” Olivares says.

How can AxiaTP help you be more successful? Learn more about what we do.