When tendering for IT service providers, things must be considered from many perspectives. The prospective partner must convince with their expertise, trust must be built, the price must meet the customer’s needs and, somehow, it should be ensured that the deployment process will also be successful. When a new partner takes over the company’s entire IT environment at once, there are several moving parts.
These issues were considered in early summer 2020 by Alupro, a company that designs and manufactures architectural surface structures. They organised a tendering process for outsourcing their entire IT environment within a very tight timeframe: services from the new partner were to be available at the beginning of September. The deployment project would be tight and demanding, so they should be able to fully trust their partner.
“In the tendering process, we considered the total selection of IT services, how companies have acted in the past and how the promises made have been fulfilled. When everything was put together, we were convinced by Itaito, who was credible and inspired confidence. Itaito is also a partner of just the right size for us: large enough to provide sufficient services, but not so large that a company the size of Alupro would be lost among the throng of customers and would no longer receive individual service,” says Jukka Hämäläinen, Managing Director of Alupro.
The schedule for taking over the IT environment was strict, only three weeks, and hard work was done to ensure a smooth change-over. The environment seemed quite clear at first glance, but a closer examination revealed problems requiring quick resolution.
“During the change-over phase, we unexpectedly found things like a broken firewall, which had to be replaced completely within a fast schedule. Despite the surprising problems, the start went brilliantly and, even in retrospect, I can’t think of anything to criticise about Itaito’s work. Everything went exactly as we thought – or even better, considering the time span,” Hämäläinen continues.
The work certainly doesn’t finish with taking over the IT environment; by contrast, that is where working with the right partner only begins. It was important for Alupro that the new partner carefully documents everything that has been done and brings clear operational processes, and that the customer continuously knows what they are paying for.
“We have deliberately chosen to outsource all of our IT services and have no IT staff of our own. That’s why we need a partner who will tell us what to pay attention to. Is there a server that needs to be replaced within a year? Is there any switch that’s running out of warranty? And if there is, does that mean we have to replace it or will it still work? Itaito also has the ability, and especially the desire, to document their actions carefully, so we know exactly what has been done about what and why. We also don’t need to wonder about the invoices, since each line clearly states the reason for the technical person’s visit, for example.”
No IT environment is ever ready, but you must keep up with the times. Itaito put forward proposals for the further development of the IT environment already at the tendering stage, and Alupro immediately took heed of them. Elias Pekkala, Head of Sales at Itaito: “It is nice to work with Alupro because they have a desire to invest in their IT environment and its development. Once the environment had been taken over on schedule and the situation had stabilised, we immediately continued to work on development plans at service meetings.” Indeed, service meetings are an important tool for assessing the company’s own operations, listening to the customer’s problems and highlighting development targets. “We hold service meetings more frequently for new customers, so that we can quickly and safely get things to work without problems. After an intensive start, service meetings are continued on a regular basis, and each meeting also deals with issues related to the development of the IT environment,” Pekkala says.
Itaito has convinced Alupro with both its competence and helpfulness. Jukka Hämäläinen thanks Itaito for always answering the phone and handling requests quickly and professionally. In addition to doing the daily work, Itaito actively informs the customer about what is going on in the IT world and about the latest trends in the field that could also be utilised at Alupro. Itaito makes sure that the solutions that are implemented really support Alupro’s business and are the best possible for the customer.
“Now we have a partner who is on our side and can genuinely be trusted. It’s important to us,” Hämäläinen notes with satisfaction.