Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Breaking up is hard to do



Losing a client: nobody enjoys it, but is bound to happen sooner or later. What do you need to do regarding your client's GFI MAX installations after the love is gone?

In regards to GFI MAX, you normally will have 3 primary objectives during a break-up:
  1. Removing any benefits given by your service for which you will no longer be receiving payment
  2. Removing any unnecessary software or resource drain from your former customers' machines
  3. Adjusting your GFI MAX dashboard to eliminate any future payments you would need to make on behalf of that client
There are a few ways to accomplish all this, depending upon the situation you find yourself in, as well as your initial method of deployment.
  1. Uninstall by Group Policy. If you initially deployed the agents by Group Policy and are allowed access to the customer's server, you can do a Group Policy uninstall. Nice, simple, done.
  2. Manual uninstall on each machine. You can either do this in person, or via Take Control or other remote connectivity software. This, again, assumes that you are still allowed access to your machines by your now former client.
As part of your SLA with customers, you should reserve the right to uninstall any software on your way out. Sometimes, however, you are not able (or allowed access) to do an actual uninstall. The best way to move forward in this scenario is as follows:
  1. Turn off all higher-end features for that client, such as Patch management, Take Control, Managed Antivirus, Site Automated Tasks and Managed Online Backup.
  2. Delete all checks from the devices.You can read more about how to quickly do this in another article here
  3. Wait 2 hours to ensure that all deletions and feature removals have taken effect
  4. Delete the client from the dashboard to remove all possibility of further billing (regardless of removal method, this is the best way to ensure no further billings occur)
With the method above, there will still be an orphaned agent on your customers' machines, but they will not do anything of unpaid benefit to the customer (you disabled the features), cause significant resource drain (because you removed all the checks) or cost you further money (you deleted them from the dashboard).

Important: keep in mind that any time you uninstall the agent or delete a client, managed Antivirus will be uninstalled. You may wish to inform the customer of their need to install an antivirus solution of their own.

Following the above steps, you should be able to quickly manage your break-up and move on to giving quality service to your current, paying customers.


2 comments:

  1. Excellent advice and highly recommended. Thanks for thinking about this.

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  2. By creating a site under my company name called "Removal", and setting all services to force off, I can relocate the computers to that site and let it pull the services for me.

    I set the Default Template for that site to be "Asset Tracking Only", and one day, maybe GFI will have a "re-apply" button for the templates and it will move all the systems in that site to Asset Tracking Only. For now, it just leaves it with only the checks they had before and I think I can live with a couple of dollars a month for a month or two while the client decides whether or not they got a good enough bargain to start paying again. (Remote Access usually does the trick, as travel for one on-site visit pays for the monitoring).

    To fully remove, I can then execute the "Remove Monitoring Agent" script on those computers.

    Or... I can leave them as they are until later.

    Until there is a better way, this is my work around.

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