10 Things Your it Support Provider Should Do for You as Part of a Fully Managed Service Contract

by Gen Wright - Date: 2008-12-24 - Word Count: 676 Share This!

Using an outsourced IT support provider is a smart move for small and medium sized businesses. It enables them to maintain business continuity at a fraction of the cost of running their own in-house IT Department.

But there are many providers out there. How do you go about choosing the right one for your business?

Here's the BITS list of things your IT support provider should do for you as part of a fully managed service contract.

* Prevent problems by adopting a pro-active approach.

* Provide quick response where appropriate.

* Advise on other areas of technology that may impact on IT.

* Provide advice on how to get/keep things running smoothly.

* Ensure you have a robust back up routine in place.

* Is an easily accessible point of contact for employee's IT problems.

* Provide all inclusive pricing.

* Provide fixed price for projects

* Has proven knowledge and expertise.
For example Microsoft Small Business Specialist

* Conduct annual meetings to help plan your IT strategy. More frequently might be necessary for fast-changing businesses or where the client prefers this.

* Deal/Assist in dealing with other technology providers. On your behalf. For example for warranty claims.

* Use tried and tested solutions tailored to the individual client. Not one solution fits all.

What is a managed service contract/managed service provider?

Most major companies have an IT Help Desk, often employing tens or even hundreds of staff. These are the people who are at the beck and call of employees each time their printer won't work or their laptop won't boot up.

Sounds expensive doesn't it? As a smaller business your only option is to manage your own or just call someone every time you have a problem.

This is referred to in the industry as "break fix".

1. It breaks.

2. You call someone.

3. They fix it.

4. It breaks again.

5. You call them again.

....and so it goes on.

The more it breaks the more money they make and it becomes an expensive option for your business.

But don't worry. Help is at hand!

There is another option - a managed service provider (MSP).

The keywords here are pro-activity and cost control. OK, sometimes there will be reactive issues to be dealt with but a reputable MSP will aim to prevent problems arising in the first place.

Secondly, a managed service model means you pay the same amount every month without being charged for the hours worked. That means it's in the interest of the provider to work proactively to minimise issues.

That's a win-win situation for both parties.

Here are some key features and benefits of an MSP:

? Fixed costs for budgeting

? Enables better long term planning and budgeting.

? Skills and experience of an IT department at a fraction of the cost.

? Tools in place to monitor remotely, cutting out on travelling and on-site time.

? Reduces the need for staff to spend lots of time dealing with IT problems.

? Increased employee productivity and morale. Reduced frustration!

Not convinced yet? Here are two typical examples of where an MSP can benefit businesses:

? Example 1

Space running out on the server ? this is picked up by monitoring and an engineer looks at it and resolves the problem. The client doesn't even need to know about it.

What would have happened without Managed IT Support? Eventually the server would have run out of space completely and would crash/refuse to boot up ? this would cause considerable down time and prevent employees from working. Worse still your service to customers could deteriorate.

? Example 2

Anti-virus software not updating, this is picked up by daily monitoring by the MSP and corrected.

What would have happened without Managed IT Support? The customer's machines would ultimately have become infected with a virus. Over time further viruses could have entered the system. Your entire IT system could crash thus affecting business continuity. Worse still viruses could be unwittingly transferred to outside parties via email.

To summarise, an MSP enables you and your team to focus on fee earning work. Ultimately this benefits your profitability, your efficiency and your customer service.

BITS Ltd is an IT support company with its base in Wiltshire Providing amongst other services IT support Bristol, We are recognised by Microsoft as a Small Business Specialist Delivering Computer support Bristol in and around the South West. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

© The article above is copyrighted by it's author. You're allowed to distribute this work according to the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license.

Recent articles in this category:

Most viewed articles in this category: