IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices



  • What is the best practice on IT consulting / Manage Service with regards to below (other part of infra not specified is already contracted to consultant)? Local IT Team is capable of doing the day to day operations and management needed for all of the below. Where should a consultant fit it?

    Environment is 100-120 computers/laptops, 10-15 physical/virtual servers, 150 users

    Domain Controller Management, VPN, Firewall, WIFI system and network, Office 365 Management, File and Print Services.


  • Banned

    Are you asking what a fair rate would be to support an organization like this? To early, need coffee.

    If the local IT team is capable of handling everything mentioned, how did you get to have a conversation with this business?

    Certainly the business has a need for something. I would take a guess that they may want to completely outsource their internal IT department.

    So documentation would be a great thing to "consult" on. Finding those Information Silo's, and documenting what they have.



  • I'm asking how will i incorporate a consultant in the management of the servers since the local IT can handle it. The management thinks that the consultant should be involve even local IT can handle the day to day. Should it just be support when requested during outages or there's other practices?


  • Banned

    @c00l.ice said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    I'm asking how will i incorporate a consultant in the management of the servers since the local IT can handle it. The management thinks that the consultant should be involve even local IT can handle the day to day. Should it just be support when requested during outages or there's other practices?

    So consulting is an Hours expense. If the business wants to hire an IT consultant for 200 hours, they can ask that the consultant look over everything in the business, see how things are setup and document it.

    Or they could have the consultant just shadow the IT department and see what they do for a day to day as a means of Outside Job Appraisal.

    If I were hiring a consultant to come into the business, I would want the consultant to document everything in how it's setup. Compare what documentation exist if any, and update it accordingly.

    Documentation is a very valuable bit to have, and it must be current.

    Now do you need a consultant who's rate is "$150/hr" eh, maybe not, ask if you could have a junior consultant for this task and stretch your hours out.


  • Banned

    The key point to understand is that a IT Consultant is there to provide insight to issues that either local IT doesn't know exists or is unknowing of how to fix.

    They can say"Hey you know you have your RDP port open to the internet with nothing inbetween" (or anything in between)

    The role is to consult on issues that they find, while looking over the systems that the business has in place today, and provide recommendations to fix the issues.


  • Banned

    The only way that a consultant will be able to find issues, is by working on your systems. Or at a minimum performing some testing to find some obvious trouble points.

    Working with the local IT department is a great way to provide the consultant controlled access to the business systems. The consultant can investigate different issues, and document / inform the IT department of what those issues are.


  • Banned

    Hi I'm a consultant!

    I'm gonna pitch to you how I could slot in and help without knowing anything specific.

    Firstly, I work for you, Which means I have no reseller deals with HP/Dell or another vendor, so if I propose a solution it's because I want to do the best job I can for you not focus on making you sign a deal with a particular option.

    Secondly, If the in house IT team is lacking in a particular skill or piece of knowledge, the consultant comes in, gives training to the team for a pittance of the cost of hiring someone else with that skill.

    Thirdly, If management want a second opinion on how the tech team is doing. if they want a technical appraisal of their infrastructure and want to confirm or discover if the IT team is holding up, a consultant is great for that.

    Now if IT don't want a consultant and management does want one in the room...there is something going on there which you need to pay attention to. Even if no consultant appears, think about what might happen next.



  • In this kind of situation this is what NTG does:

    • We quote you for a block of hours (the larger the block the cheaper the per hour price)

    • We suggest that you have a full audit done on everything before we work on anything at all (this will give everyone a base line for knowing the temperature of IT in general).

    • We are able to consult on anything IT related. We have even sat in on board meetings/management meetings to just give our opinions on where the internal IT team should be and what the IT road map should look like.

    • We are here to do anything and everything IT. If you have a CryptoWall issue or just have to upgrade everything in the environment or everything in between.

    • New Hardware/Software consulting come in along side the current team to see what they were thinking and give them the background on what we know as any known issues etc. with their proposed solution.

    • We can even cover for vacations and overflow basic helpdesk needs as well.



  • Hi, I am an IT department guy that works with a MSP

    We use our MSP for mostly VOIP issues, but when we are overwhelmed or short handed we reach out to our MSP to help with certain tasks. It's nice for me to know we always have a bank of hours, that way we are never out of luck if we have a major issue or just need a hand.

    Basically we use our MSP as a 6th man. This allows our IT team to get treated like a normal employee and get vacation time and a relief for being on call all the team. It makes a huge difference if you have a major problem and you can instantly add IT members to your team.



  • Having a MSP as a 6th man will actually save you money.

    If something major happens, it can cost the business thousands of dollars in just a few minutes when you consider everyone's salary that is just sitting there. Not to mention the cost of not being able to do business during an outage.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    Now if IT don't want a consultant and management does want one in the room...there is something going on there which you need to pay attention to. Even if no consultant appears, think about what might happen next.

    Interesting - I kinda find this insulting - but at the same time I see your point. The IT team shouldn't be afraid of being audited. But unless the IT team itself says that they don't have the skill set to do a job, it seems more like management doesn't trust their IT team to 'do their job' if the consultant is there for anything more than a audit.

    I agree that everyone needs to have someone look over their should from time to time to make sure they didn't do something crazy or loose their way, but to bring in a consultant for a second opinion without your IT team saying they don't feel up to the task - I gotta ask, why are those people working for you?



  • @Minion-Queen said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    • New Hardware/Software consulting come in along side the current team to see what they were thinking and give them the background on what we know as any known issues etc. with their proposed solution.

    This seems like something the IT team should be doing on their own. What I mean is, the IT team should be hiring NTG to look over their specs, not management hiring NTG to look over IT's specs. Unless Management just doesn't trust IT to do their job right, then again I ask.. .why does management employ those people in IT?



  • @Dashrender said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Minion-Queen said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    • New Hardware/Software consulting come in along side the current team to see what they were thinking and give them the background on what we know as any known issues etc. with their proposed solution.

    This seems like something the IT team should be doing on their own. What I mean is, the IT team should be hiring NTG to look over their specs, not management hiring NTG to look over IT's specs. Unless Management just doesn't trust IT to do their job right, then again I ask.. .why does management employ those people in IT?

    We go over our DR plan and other high level stuff with our MSP all the time. It is a great idea to get a second opinion. An advantage of a MSP is they see alot of environments and solutions so they may think of something you haven't.

    I've never seen a MSP as a threat. I am not sure why any IT department would. We almost never have our MSP do desktop support and it's rare that we have them make frequent server changes. We use them more on a high level than with actual implementation. Although we do bring them on for bigger projects like mass migrations, VOIP, etc.



  • Management doesn't understand what IT does. I have seen it happen (and had to fix so many different customers environments), where IT does what they want, spends what they want and management has no idea what it is they do. Then they decided to leave or Management realizes that something fishy is going on, and they are screwed. There is no documentation no one knows the environment, it is a badly done environment. This puts in some level of accountability. Now I know most of you guys and I know you don't try to screw over the company you work for. But it happens WAY too often, sometimes it's not intentional but sometimes it is.



  • @IRJ said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Dashrender said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Minion-Queen said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    • New Hardware/Software consulting come in along side the current team to see what they were thinking and give them the background on what we know as any known issues etc. with their proposed solution.

    This seems like something the IT team should be doing on their own. What I mean is, the IT team should be hiring NTG to look over their specs, not management hiring NTG to look over IT's specs. Unless Management just doesn't trust IT to do their job right, then again I ask.. .why does management employ those people in IT?

    We go over our DR plan and other high level stuff with our MSP all the time. It is a great idea to get a second opinion. An advantage of a MSP is they see alot of environments and solutions so they may think of something you haven't.

    I've never seen a MSP as a threat. I am not sure why any IT department would. We almost never have our MSP do desktop support and it's rare that we have them make frequent server changes. We use them more on a high level than with actual implementation. Although we do bring them on for bigger projects like mass migrations, VOIP, etc.

    When we are brought in to support, we are not trying to take over for the internal IT department our job is to work with them. It has served us well. We have one particular IT person we have worked with now at a few different positions. He keeps bringing us in to help.



  • @IRJ said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Dashrender said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Minion-Queen said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    • New Hardware/Software consulting come in along side the current team to see what they were thinking and give them the background on what we know as any known issues etc. with their proposed solution.

    This seems like something the IT team should be doing on their own. What I mean is, the IT team should be hiring NTG to look over their specs, not management hiring NTG to look over IT's specs. Unless Management just doesn't trust IT to do their job right, then again I ask.. .why does management employ those people in IT?

    We go over our DR plan and other high level stuff with our MSP all the time. It is a great idea to get a second opinion. An advantage of a MSP is they see alot of environments and solutions so they may think of something you haven't.

    I've never seen a MSP as a threat. I am not sure why any IT department would. We almost never have our MSP do desktop support and it's rare that we have them make frequent server changes. We use them more on a high level than with actual implementation. Although we do bring them on for bigger projects like mass migrations, VOIP, etc.

    Yeah, the MSP isn't a threat, as long as A) they aren't in the management's office trying to displace the IT team and 😎 the MSP is hired by the IT team.



  • @IRJ said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    We use them more on a high level than with actual implementation. Although we do bring them on for bigger projects like mass migrations, VOIP, etc.

    Maybe I have my terms wrong - but that seems more like project work, not MSP work.



  • @Minion-Queen said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    Management doesn't understand what IT does. I have seen it happen (and had to fix so many different customers environments), where IT does what they want, spends what they want and management has no idea what it is they do. Then they decided to leave or Management realizes that something fishy is going on, and they are screwed. There is no documentation no one knows the environment, it is a badly done environment. This puts in some level of accountability. Now I know most of you guys and I know you don't try to screw over the company you work for. But it happens WAY too often, sometimes it's not intentional but sometimes it is.

    Sure, so the idea of management doing an audit is something I understand and agree with. The fishiness you mentioned is a great reason for management to get involved. But also a sanity check is good on occasion as well. Any good IT team shouldn't be worried about a manager/management who tells them, we are hiring a consultant to just do a sanity check of our network.



  • @Minion-Queen said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @IRJ said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Dashrender said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Minion-Queen said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    • New Hardware/Software consulting come in along side the current team to see what they were thinking and give them the background on what we know as any known issues etc. with their proposed solution.

    This seems like something the IT team should be doing on their own. What I mean is, the IT team should be hiring NTG to look over their specs, not management hiring NTG to look over IT's specs. Unless Management just doesn't trust IT to do their job right, then again I ask.. .why does management employ those people in IT?

    We go over our DR plan and other high level stuff with our MSP all the time. It is a great idea to get a second opinion. An advantage of a MSP is they see alot of environments and solutions so they may think of something you haven't.

    I've never seen a MSP as a threat. I am not sure why any IT department would. We almost never have our MSP do desktop support and it's rare that we have them make frequent server changes. We use them more on a high level than with actual implementation. Although we do bring them on for bigger projects like mass migrations, VOIP, etc.

    When we are brought in to support, we are not trying to take over for the internal IT department our job is to work with them. It has served us well. We have one particular IT person we have worked with now at a few different positions. He keeps bringing us in to help.

    And this is an example of the IT team knowing it's limitations and doing the right thing for the company by hiring a consulting firm to come in and assist. Definitely no reasons to be concerned.. IT is managing the outside help.

    It's when management decides that IT needs help when IT didn't ask for it. Really that's a sign that management doesn't trust IT anymore. And I mean brings them in for 'help' not an audit.



  • @Dashrender said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @IRJ said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    We use them more on a high level than with actual implementation. Although we do bring them on for bigger projects like mass migrations, VOIP, etc.

    Maybe I have my terms wrong - but that seems more like project work, not MSP work.

    Your terms are probably right.



  • @c00l.ice said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    I'm asking how will i incorporate a consultant in the management of the servers since the local IT can handle it. The management thinks that the consultant should be involve even local IT can handle the day to day. Should it just be support when requested during outages or there's other practices?

    This is a question for management. They clearly have a vision of what they want the consultant to do, you just need to query them to find out what it is. The consultants isn't "needed" here, so likely I would guess management wants them in some kind of audit, oversight or backup position. But it's impossible to guess. The local IT company is a consultant already, right? So this is a second, redundant consultancy. Nothing wrong or weird about that, but if the first one covers all of the bases, then the second isn't needed. Maybe management thinks that a base is not covered or feels that redundancy is not covered.



  • @Dashrender said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Breffni-Potter said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    Now if IT don't want a consultant and management does want one in the room...there is something going on there which you need to pay attention to. Even if no consultant appears, think about what might happen next.

    Interesting - I kinda find this insulting - but at the same time I see your point. The IT team shouldn't be afraid of being audited. But unless the IT team itself says that they don't have the skill set to do a job, it seems more like management doesn't trust their IT team to 'do their job' if the consultant is there for anything more than a audit.

    I agree that everyone needs to have someone look over their should from time to time to make sure they didn't do something crazy or loose their way, but to bring in a consultant for a second opinion without your IT team saying they don't feel up to the task - I gotta ask, why are those people working for you?

    What's that phrase that management uses..... trust but audit.

    This doesn't apply to IT, it applies to everything. It's not insulting, it's actually an indication that management sees IT as a meaningful business function. If they didn't audit, wouldn't that imply that they don't feel that IT matters?

    And no matter what internal IT thinks that it knows and can do, there is a value to auditing to find out if outsiders with more and different exposure agree.



  • @Dashrender said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @IRJ said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Dashrender said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Minion-Queen said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    • New Hardware/Software consulting come in along side the current team to see what they were thinking and give them the background on what we know as any known issues etc. with their proposed solution.

    This seems like something the IT team should be doing on their own. What I mean is, the IT team should be hiring NTG to look over their specs, not management hiring NTG to look over IT's specs. Unless Management just doesn't trust IT to do their job right, then again I ask.. .why does management employ those people in IT?

    We go over our DR plan and other high level stuff with our MSP all the time. It is a great idea to get a second opinion. An advantage of a MSP is they see alot of environments and solutions so they may think of something you haven't.

    I've never seen a MSP as a threat. I am not sure why any IT department would. We almost never have our MSP do desktop support and it's rare that we have them make frequent server changes. We use them more on a high level than with actual implementation. Although we do bring them on for bigger projects like mass migrations, VOIP, etc.

    Yeah, the MSP isn't a threat, as long as A) they aren't in the management's office trying to displace the IT team and 😎 the MSP is hired by the IT team internal IT is doing a great job.



  • @Dashrender said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @Minion-Queen said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    Management doesn't understand what IT does. I have seen it happen (and had to fix so many different customers environments), where IT does what they want, spends what they want and management has no idea what it is they do. Then they decided to leave or Management realizes that something fishy is going on, and they are screwed. There is no documentation no one knows the environment, it is a badly done environment. This puts in some level of accountability. Now I know most of you guys and I know you don't try to screw over the company you work for. But it happens WAY too often, sometimes it's not intentional but sometimes it is.

    Sure, so the idea of management doing an audit is something I understand and agree with. The fishiness you mentioned is a great reason for management to get involved. But also a sanity check is good on occasion as well. Any good IT team shouldn't be worried about a manager/management who tells them, we are hiring a consultant to just do a sanity check of our network.

    Exactly, it shouldn't raise concern at all. The only question would be "what did management see that we, the IT team, didn't?" Ideally, if a consultant is warranted, IT should have brought it up first. Maybe not demanded one, but suggested the idea. If management had to bring it up first, it kind of suggest that IT might have missed something in their planning. Still, no cause for concern, but maybe sit down with management and ask what IT missed - if a consultant is a good idea here, where should we have seen it and requested it earlier? A question like that can make for growth and a good conversation and might highlight a gap in IT planning - or a bad process in management because maybe a consultant isn't really needed in this case.


  • Banned

    I personally always feel that if a consultant is brought in (by managements choice without it being discussed openly) that there is something missing or wrong with the local IT department.

    Management has an issue, and they want someone to come in and provide an evaluation.

    So which happened, did management bring in the consultant from the blindside. Or did IT request that a consultant come in?



  • @DustinB3403 said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    I personally always feel that if a consultant is brought in (by managements choice without it being discussed openly) that there is something missing or wrong with the local IT department.

    Management has an issue, and they want someone to come in and provide an evaluation.

    So which happened, did management bring in the consultant from the blindside. Or did IT request that a consultant come in?

    It sounds like management sat in on some type of class or read an article that told them they need to use an IT consultant. Which is sound advice in the scenarios mentioned, even if your IT department is 100% on top of their game.

    He was just wondering why which I believe has been answered.



  • @DustinB3403 said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    I personally always feel that if a consultant is brought in (by managements choice without it being discussed openly) that there is something missing or wrong with the local IT department.

    Management has an issue, and they want someone to come in and provide an evaluation.

    So which happened, did management bring in the consultant from the blindside. Or did IT request that a consultant come in?

    That is your own problem, and truly hints that there are problems in how things currently run and you are covering things up.

    If you are doing things to the best of your ability, you should not feel threatened by an independent review.


  • Banned

    @JaredBusch said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    @DustinB3403 said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    I personally always feel that if a consultant is brought in (by managements choice without it being discussed openly) that there is something missing or wrong with the local IT department.

    Management has an issue, and they want someone to come in and provide an evaluation.

    So which happened, did management bring in the consultant from the blindside. Or did IT request that a consultant come in?

    That is your own problem, and truly hints that there are problems in how things currently run and you are covering things up.

    If you are doing things to the best of your ability, you should not feel threatened by an independent review.

    It might be a personal issue, I agree there. But to assume that "I'm trying to cover things up" is a stretch.

    An independent review by a business that up until being hired hasn't the slightest clue of how the business is configured to me feels like having a random stranger tell you that you're driving your car wrong.

    You'd tell them to piss off.



  • @DustinB3403 said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    ... to me feels like having a random stranger professional driving auditor tell you that you're driving your car wrong.

    You'd tell them to piss off.



  • @DustinB3403 said in IT Consultant / Manage Service Practices:

    An independent review by a business that up until being hired hasn't the slightest clue of how the business is configured to me feels like having a random stranger tell you that you're driving your car wrong.

    I get that. We use Static IPs across a large network. We constantly are told we should move to DHCP, but there are reasons why we can't and once we lay the reasons out it makes sense.

    You should be able to explain any abnormal configurations in your network. Sometimes, yes, you have to do things in a way that may not be ideal. As long as you document why and weight out all the options, it shouldn't be a problem. You just have to make sure that if you don't follow best practices, you have a specific reason why.


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