I’ve done a good number of technology cutovers during my time at Xcentric and thought it might be helpful to share some things that help them go smoothly.
Accurate and timely information is a good foundation.
- Xcentric will lead you through the on-boarding process, but we can’t do it on our own. We need a knowledgeable contact to work with us through the process from start to finish.
- Nobody knows your firm like you do; be ready to share with us how things work for you.
- Timely interactions using our systems will keep us ahead of the deadlines, setting you up for a smooth transition.
Bad documentation is better than no documentation.
- It’s very helpful to have a spreadsheet with all of the desktops and laptops and who is using each.
- It is helpful to have a map layout of the office(s) so we know where people sit and what their roles are. Many firms have all tax people in one area and audit in another, etc.
- Licensing is huge! If you have your licensing information and software keys all in one place, it will take far less time to enter them into our system and move on to the next step.
3. Proper Expectations
Setting proper expectations with end users about down time
- We almost always do cutover tasks on Monday, meaning we have the office to ourselves, along with our primary contact at the firm
- We generally cut off access to email and the system by 5:00pm Friday before cutover and let the staff know they will be live in the Cloud after training Tuesday morning.
- Cutover week is not a good week for users to be out of the office. Whether it’s an admin, manager, or partner, your users need to be in the office to go through training and take advantage of the onsite consultant’s time.
Setting proper expectations with the Partners
- The week of cutover will feel, at times, like things aren’t working – this is normal. We do this for a living and will get the job done.
- It is normal for your IT staff to feel like they are getting stuck in the middle. They are trying to help us, maintain a good relationship with us, and meet the demands of the partners all at the same time.
- Many firms try to capitalize on a down day and do an ISP cutover or office move at the same time. This is understandable but not recommended. It tends to make things more complicated, and, when you have so many moving parts, you are setting yourself up for more chaos and frustration than necessary.
There is downtime during a cutover, always. But it doesn’t have to be down time; it can be productive.
- Many firms schedule their CPE training on the down day.
- Schedule your down day for a day when your firm has many people out already or you have a firm-wide event planned.