Managed Service Provider – A better way to support your Business?

How often have you taken your car to a backyard mechanic, got the guy next door to do your tax return or represent you in a court of law?

Most businesses want their technology to just WORK.

  • Why doesn’t it just WORK?
  • Why doesn’t it WORK the way it use to?
  • Why doesn’t it just WORK the way it did in the sales brochure?

All good questions with a myriad of answers.

Most businesses have lousy ICT!    A hotch botch of old legacy systems and cutting edge technology and lots of stuff in between.   In most cases it is held together with string, gaffa tape and chewing gum.   It causes inconvenience and often impacts the businesses bottom line.   More often than not it is unstable, unproductive and a bitch to work with.   Ask your staff!

This jumble of technologies makes it hard to do business.    It creates instability.   Systems no longer work properly, you purchased a new computer and the old software is incompatible with the new operating system, most annoying!   There is no consistent ICT management, there is no consistent budgeting or forecasting and worst of all there are constant problems with things just not working.

The small problems are the most annoying.   They are the time consuming problems that never get fixed.   They cause problems with your staff and management.   Worst of all they impact your business productivity.

Most of these problems are not worth spending money on to get fixed, except for the inconvenience that they cause to your staff.    If you have on site IT support these are the jobs they spend most of their time on.   Your IT department has become the fire department, always putting out the small fires or the raging infernos.   There is no time or resources to innovate, to make your business more stable, more resilient more productive.  There is never a chance to stand back and put new technology on a business path, to discuss where technology will fit into the business strategy.

To understand the relations between good business technology and your business takes an expert.   Someone who understands your business and can implement the right systems to make your business hum.   Make it better, make it more stable, make it just WORK.

Today’s operating systems are complicated, they seem to be easy and for some of the tasks they are, but it takes an expert to understand them and to get the most out of them.   But if you think the operating systems are complicated then applications take it to another level.   Applications that have been written by outside programmers can be even more problematic to say the least.

How often have you taken your car to a backyard mechanic, got the guy next door to do your tax return or represent you in a court of law?   I would say never, but for some reason businesses go to the unqualified staff member to fix their ICT.   Invariably in business it is the guy who “knows computers” who gets the gig as IT manager.

Why do business owners and managers do that?

They get the best accountant and lawyer their business can afford and then scrimp on something everyone in the business uses to generate revenue and profit.   Computers are tools, expensive yes, but tools never the less.   They are used to do your job, just like a tradie who uses a hammer, most or all of your staff use a computer.   Email, documents, client management, sales and marketing are all done on a tool.   That tool can be a computer, phone, tablet, server, cloud based environment or a combination of all of them.   Why not get the best available to support the tools that are absolutely critical to your business viability.

The combination of understanding the technology, understanding your business and combining your business capabilities in a stable and productive environment is something that managed service providers (MSP) are very good at.   That is only the start of it, they can also do so much more.

Need to know what technology will help your business grow, ask a Managed Service Provider.

Want to keep track of what is happening within your business at a technical level, ask a Managed Service Provider.

Want to know how to secure your business, ask a Managed Service Provider.

What is this cloud stuff, ask a Managed Service Provider.

Need help writing an internet policy, ask a Managed Service Provider.

To most business the additional cost of having their own on call technical expert is worth it, normally at a factor of 10 times.   In addition to this a single monthly cost and technical support on call or regularly visiting.   What could be better for your business.

In addition they will finally sort out those little nagging problems that cause so much grief within your business.   Look after the little problems.   Someone to discuss the next upgrade with.

All achieved with R & I ICT Consulting Services platinum service.

We have specific packages for all types of business.  We are experts with not for profit Organisations.   We understand small business.   We know that money is tight, we know when to push to spend money and when to work with what is available.   We know when less is better.   We know where you will get that cheap software, a computer for that new role (you may not even need one) or that new application that will improve your business.

We know how to improve your business.   And we will guarantee it!   If you employ us as your MSP,we will give you a three month money back guarantee that we will stabilise your business environment, make it more profitable, manage it as well as report monthly on the condition it is in.

Businesses use the Internet, they use computers, servers, laptops, smart phones and tablets to do business.   It is the driving force for business.   It is the be all and end all of business requirements.  You invest large amounts of capital in your technology so get someone to help you manage it properly.

Call now!!!!!

Can we help you and your business to a more stable and profitable business environment – A MSP can!

Most Businesses have an ICT investment of about 7% GDP  this can equate to a significant investment for any business.   Reducing that by just 1% can greatly increase your bottom line.   Most small and medium businesses and not for profit organisation need to find ways to increase profitability, reduce costs and use innovation to benefit the bottom line.  To do that the organisation needs to look at a number of available services and capabilities especially those supplied by external contractors.

The business drivers for reducing cost in all available areas of a business can be daunting so the use of a managed service provider could be beneficial to your business.

The managed services provider (MSP) should be able to do the following for a SME or not for profit organisation.

Reduce waste

By making sure that a business does not have duplicated systems, using virtualisation and increasing the capability and requirements of the in place infrastructure.   An MSP should bring considerable waste reduction to a enterprise with recommendation for better ICT infrastructure and the ability to change capital expenditure to operation expenses.

This alone will improve the organisations bottom line because the business is only paying for systems it is utilising to do business while not paying for large capital investments that put sever strain on the businesses cash flow.

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Increase productivity

Just like the old days where the just in time principle applied to mechanical spares, today’s business can leverage a similar capability.   The just in time principle relied on having spares in store when they were required and not eating money and storage on items that may not be used or may never be used.

When this principle is applied to today’s business it allows a enterprise to have the flexibility to add and remove storage, CPU cycles, RAM and business capability as required.   This comes from utilising cloud based systems, virtualisation of servers and desktops and the integration of BYOD into the business environment.

Increase business

Today’s business world needs to have the ability and agility to add and remove capability when required.   The ability can then be translated into your business requirements.   This allows your ICT infrastructure to be project based and deliver on those projects.   The creation and addition of required systems that can be shut down and removed on the completion of a project makes for a more flexible business environment.

It allows management and business to increase profits based on the business ideas.   No longer does a business have to expend capital to increase the capability of the business.   The use of a MSP allows for further savings for a business.   They will have the required expertise and capability on staff to allow the business to utilise them without have to increase the business spend on hardware, software, staff and training.

Enhance business agility

A good managed service provider will allow your business to be more agile in the work place.   This agility comes from the ability for the business to see opportunities and to leverage the ICT requirements to face and conquer that opportunity.

This allows the business to go off in tangents, creating better and more agile business processes and to work into newer and more versatile business environments.   An agile business can change its business direction, make profit, see further opportunities in the change and continue to change and morph to suit the business available.   This can be done with minimal changes to the ICT requirements.   Not having to put on more technical staff, more equipment or more resources makes the business more agile but by increasing your monthly cost makes for a better way to see the cost associated with your business requirements.

Enhance cyber resilience

The catch phrase of the new business world is to enforce security for all components of the business.   From the introduction of RFID to using SSL and TLS to secure information at rest as well as in transit.

Once again the MSP world can help you by knowing what your business requires to protect that critical business information.   From front facing firewalls to security access and business auditing the MSP can help secure your business data with a limited increase in the basic cost of doing business.

A Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can be an additional business resource with  a huge impact on the capability of the business with additional business processes and policies to enforce your business stability.

Its about the support

Most MSP’s are in the business of business support.   Yes, they are in the business to make money but most of them are looking to support small and medium business and not for profit organisations properly.   By  making sure that there is a flat fee for the technical support helps both the supported business as well as the supporting business.

The supported business knows exactly what they are going to get and how much it will cost per month.  The supporting company knows exactly how much they are going to receive and can budget and allocate resources based on their clients.   The supporting company can also allow its staff to meet stringent training and qualification requirements so that the support is always of the highest caliber.

Unlike the large support companies, IBM, Dell or IDS, most MSP’s are looking to make a profit but not at the detrimental of a really good business relationship based on mutual growth and respect.   This drives the requirements of both businesses.

To gain that respect they will often give more that they take.   From the technical support requirements to training staff in password etiquette, from disaster recovery to cloud computing advice a MSSP or MSP will make your business hum.

If you want someone to help make your business hum then contact us on this form.

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A couple of tips for Internet banking security

I believe that the numbers for internet banking are in the high 90% of all banks in Australia.   Most people and businesses have access to their bank through either computers, laptops, tablets or smart phones and most banks now have a secure application that can be downloaded.

With all of this access most people forget how much of an impact it would have if someone stole all,of your money.   Here are a couple of ideas that you can use to create a little more security around your banking access.

Audit your own access – some banks have a system whereas every time that you access your bank account you receive either an email or message.   This shows that your account has been accessed.   Most people would access their bank once a day and this is a good way to keep track of each of those accesses.   If you receive an email or message about access and it wasn’t you then you can get onto the bank straight away.

Banking that has a third access process are more secure – some banks have a system where you need a user name, password and a third component to access your account.   This third component is usually a 4 diget number that is generated so that it is different every 5 minutes or so.   This added complexity to access your account makes it harder for criminals to access your account.

Update your software / operating system regularly – because you are accessing your bank account from either your computer or a mobile device you need to make sure that you have the most secure systems available.   Make sure that you apply updates regularly.

Do not access your account from free wireless connections – I know that free wireless is great but because there is no encryption between your mobile device and the wireless point then anyone with the right equipment can capture your username and password and therefore access your account. M free wireless where you are given a access code are OK.

Regularly scan your computer with a decent end point protection system – every system, no matter how careful you are, can be infected with a virus, spyware or malware.   To make sure that you are not infected to a regular scan of your device for these types of problems.

Use complicated passwords (alpha numerical and punctuation like – The easy way to create complicated passwords) – this can be hard because some credit unions use passwords consisting of just numbers, but this is changing.   Use a complicated password, longer than 7 characters, no real words and different from any other password.   Do not write  it down.

Change passwords regularly – I know of people who have had the same bank password since the account was activated.   This is not good.

If you think about your banking details – they are critical to your well being.   Just ask someone who has been hacked.   Most banks will cover a certified breach and theft but the violation that occurs when it happens if not the best feeling in the world.

Why do big ICT companies have no idea of the requirements of not for profit organisations?

One of my clients recently received a proposal from a large ICT company based in Canberra that I found very interesting.

We manage a large number of not for profit organisations in the canberra and ACT area of Australia.   Our clients range from 3 users up to 50 users and 80% of them are not for profit organisations.   We are no means the cheapest managed services provider in the ACT but, I believe, we are one of the best and we deliver exceptional value for money with our blended managed service solutions.

I am not saying that to brag but our repour with our clients and our capability to deliver high level business and ICT support have given us glowing testimonials and references.   Why I am saying that is we deliver great value for money to those not for profit organisations based in Canberra.

One of our best features is that we go out of our way to deliver the best solution for businesses with little money to invest In their IT infrastructure.   We do not deliver sub standard and we always deliver over what we have promised, furthermore if we quote a price that is how much they pay.   We have NEVER gone back to a client and said it is going to cost more than we quoted so they have to pay more.

So to get to the crux of this article.   We were recently privy to a proposal from a large ICT company.    Our client is a large national charity that is separated into sub groups, individual locations and they all have separate budgets.   Like all not for profit organisations all of the money that they raise goes back into their cause.   They do not spend money outside their cause without some serious consideration.   Everything they do is for their cause

This group has a database system that creates reports that are used to justify government spending, the system tracks their business processes and is used to manage their staff and clients.   This system was purchased and installed  across the whole of the organisation for under $10,000.00.   One of the idiosyncrasies with the organisation is that although they are the same organisation they like to keep everything they do as separate and separated as possible.

Each of the areas of this national not for profit are so protective of their own little piece of Australia that they have their own boards and management structure, their own ICT support and their own way of delivering their benefits to the local community.   The only standard is the way they report to the government.   The ICT support for individual areas is delivered either internally or as a managed service, in most cases as a donation or at seriously reduced costs.

If you had this understanding of the not for profit organisation you would know that to approach them with a $150,000.00 initial cost and $17,000 per month proposal would be totally ludicrous.  Furthermore it shows that you have no understanding of the systems and politics of the organisation as well as showing a lack respect for their cause.   Maybe it was the sales team just putting the proposal out there, but a lot of work went into it.

So at a sales level it is a total fail, but at a technology level it is also a total fail. Not for profit organisations are looking to improve their technology but not at a cost and detriment to their cause.   In most cases they will invest in a solution as long as it fits certain criteria.   Like any organisation they are not looking for cheap, but they are looking for value for money, improved functionality and better ways of doing business so that the savings can be reinvested in the cause.   This proposal fails at both of these levels.

Business thinking not ICT thinking should be driving your business.

capsuleIt is the old chestnut, an all inclusive chicken or egg scenario.

Is business driving ICT or is ICT driving business?

If you look around the business world there are combinations of both, there are groups who swear by one version over the other, but which is the better way to go.

From our perspective and experience, the most successful business are the ones who are driving their ICT investment and making sure that that investment has a decent return. A relatively short return on investment (ROI) will ensure better productivity, better revenue and higher profits.

There is a special breed of people in the work force who have been trained to understand both the business components required for business success and the ICT infrastructure that needs to be put in place to make it happen.

These people are the ones who can take a successful business from scratch and promote it into the stratosphere.   These people, whether they have been formally trained through degrees and diplomas, or have learned in the school of hard knocks on the street are worth their weight in gold.

They analyse the business requirements prior to implementing any ICT requirements.   These people are hard to find and from a small and medium business and not for profit organisation perspective can be exceedingly expensive and very had to justify.

We work heavily in the not for profit area within our managed services portfolio.   We understand that they have little money to spend, little expertise in the ICT requirements area, but they need a higher ROI than most businesses.

The mantra for most NFP is to bring money in and then spend as much of it as possible on the cause that they are passionate about.   We understand this mantra and work around it to bring in innovated ideas and support packages that are tailor made for their business.

Talking from experience, you can not put forward a managed services proposal to an NFP that has lots of zeroes without justifying their investment.   You cannot say that they need to replace everything with the newest, fastest, or shiniest because that is how YOU make your money.

You can however, justify a one monthly cost, all inclusive managed services contract that will benefit their business, but you have to prove it with testimonials.  A well thought out proposal that includes initial investment, monthly cost and quantifiable deliverables will ensure a CEO or director at least looks at it.

On the other side of the coin there are businesses out there who have invested heavily in technology but have not had a definitive direction to go in.   These business are the ones who jump into new technology because it is the newest bleeding edge system, it has the computing power of a low level data centre but when used in their business is probably only being used for basic calculations and email.   Yes it is faster at these processes, but why the significant investment.

These are businesses who invest in cloud computing without an decent ICT strategy, they spend money on technology without the benefit of a defined ROI and they wonder why they do not have the money to make payroll.

There is also a third group of companies, these are the ones who have invested heavily in technology because they are improving, programming and then on selling this improvement to their clients.   These businesses have a need to invest in the required technology because it is a part of their business.

They invest in it, hopefully, because it has been though through and they have a definitive ROI for the investment.   For them it is no use delivering the best database product if it has not been tested on the newest and best systems available just because their clients have made that investment.

So to refine what I am saying, yes, you need to invest in your business technology but that technology has to fit your business requirement, it has to have a definitive ROI and furthermore it has to be part of your business plan and your future.

Don’t let your ICT and technology drive your business otherwise it could drive it into the ground.

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   Rapid Restart Appliance Creator.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world. 

Just relying on security technology can damage your business!

Man standing with laptop and wifi antennaNearly every day you hear about another security threat spreading across the internet. As a small or medium business, or a not for profit organisation (SME) how vulnerable are you to these threats?

SME’s are connecting to the internet in record numbers to support improved and greater market opportunities, to increase productivity and to strengthen communications with staff, management, customers and suppliers. The problem is, the more you open your network and business to the internet the more your confidential business information and data is at risk.

So you think you are too small to be a target?

Think again, if you use Microsoft software then you are a target by default. Microsoft is not bad but it has the largest market share, therefore any released virus, worm or application created by a hacker can achieve more with less. These programs spread rapidly and inflict damage on a global scale and you, as an SME can be caught in their net.

Security threats are constantly emerging and evolving, the job of securing your business information becomes all consuming. Little jobs take time – updating and checking anti-virus, patching and updating operating systems and applications, checking firewalls with renewed rules and policies are a critical requirement of your business risk analysis.

They still have to be done regularly.

The importance of checking these components in a timely manner cannot be underestimated. Consider the cost in lost productivity, reputation and non-compliance penalties that a breach could visit on your business. Effective security can be costly, time consuming and difficult for SME’s to implement successfully. Skilled security people are often difficult to find and cost prohibitive to have on staff. As a result the job often falls on the technologically savvy staff member who is already snowed under with other ICT matters or their own job to implement security features properly.

Today’s security threats are business size neutral. They leave a SME with the same security challenges as large corporations. The trouble is that SME’s do not have the depth of resources to handle them. This is where a Managed Services Security Providers (MSSP) can be of benefit to your business.

What are the benefits to your business of outsourcing your security?

You can focus on your core business

Outsourcing allows all of your staff to concentrate on revenue generating business initiatives instead of computer, security and infrastructure issues. Having limited IT resources on staff takes business resources away from your core business.

Reduced Cost

Outsourcing security sources provides your business with access to “big business” security protection at an affordable price. The expense is more cost effective than hiring or contracting a security expert and the consistent monthly billing helps ensure security services that you need are available without unforseen hassles and expenses. An integrated and comprehensive solution that can help reduce the expenses of maintenance, upgrades and add on security solutions is a benefit to any business.

24 X 7 (always available) expert security staff.

You’re on staff, in house expert is normally available only during working hours. In most cases your outsourced Security Company can act as an always available security and ICT management department. They can also provide your business with access to an internet security expert without incurring the cost of hiring, training and retaining highly skilled staff.

Gain Customised Service

All MSSP’s have service plans and you can select the service plan that will fit your requirements.

Receive up-to-date protection

Technical security solutions such as firewalls, antivirus software, content filtering solutions, and virtual private networks (VPNs) are far more effective when they are maintained regularly with the latest system updates. Changes to your business resilience and regulatory requirements can also have a detrimental effect on your business stability.

Why R & I ICT Consulting Services is right for you!

How do you know you are getting what you paid for?

  1. Company reputation – see what our clients are saying about us. We have references and referees that you can ask.
  2. Plans and services – we have a comprehensive assortment of plans and services depending on your business requirements and size.
  3. Service Level Agreement – all of our plans and services have a service level agreement incorporated into them so that you know what will be delivered in protecting your business.
  4. Guarantee – We guarantee all of our technicians work with a 100% money back guarantee. We also stick to any pricing that we put forward to you. All projects are priced on a per project basis so that no matter how long it takes it will not cost you anymore. No more “time and materials” projects based on how long is a piece of string that have costs blowing out uncontrollably.
  5. Monthly Reports – we supply monthly reports that are delivered with your next month invoice. We like to prove how much we have done for your business in the last month.

 

Who is going to keep australia safe online?

Small and medium business and not for profit organizations (SMB) are becoming an easier target than previously understood when it comes to cybercrime. One of the largest problems for these businesses to understand is that they are a very easy target because of their size.

SMB’s do not have the resources or the financial support to spend large amounts of time and money on the protection of their business.   This lack of investment means that they have a “just enough is good enough” attitude to the security of their business, this I am afraid, is false economy.   No matter what the business, the theft of money, clients and / or Intellectual property will have a detrimental effect on the business if not actually putting it out of business.

The introduction of IPv6 in the near future will make the protection of SMB business that much harder.   IPv6 is the next transmission protocol for the Internet and although it is understood by most technical people the basic understanding of the protocol is lost on 99% of the Internet user population.

The introduction of IPv6 as a transmission protocol will make it so much harder to protect your business and your users from the Internet.   The introduction that HAS to be done, IPv4 has already run out of addresses, is being delayed partly because of the security implications of the new protocol.

I really hate it when i have to put calculations into a post, but the primary difference of the transmission protocols is the number of addresses IPv4 has 2 to the power of 32 ( 2 x 2 x 2 (32 times) where IPv6 has 2 to the power of 128 (number of stars in the galaxy plus a couple of billion).

The address pool is huge, but the management of that address pool is going to require some serious computing power and management.   Is that management going to fall on government, industry or someone who is neutral?

I am not going to go into all of the difference but some of them are profound and will have major implications for all users but it will have the biggest effect on Government Departments, defence systems and business infrastructure.   From a technical point of view it will be a vast improvement and some believe that it will speed up the Internet but the down side is also profound.

Security is going to be a major problem.  The proliferation of attack vectors, spyware, malware, viruses and SPAM will mean that SMB’s will be under constant attack.   Is that protection going to fall directly on the shoulders of business to find more expensive or prohibitive security systems, processes and compliance requirements or is there going to be some level of Government  intervention.

I am sorry but I do not have the answer to that question and at the moment, to tell you the truth, I don’t believe that anyone else has either.   Hopefully the powers that be will have an answer in the near future, definitely prior to the global switch, so that everyone is playing on the same field.

Looking forward to 2012 – will the trends be big data, security and clouds?

Yep here we are, 2012, the end of the world is less than 12 months away, according to the mayan Callander, and we are looking at the trends that may start to appear this year. I have noticed that in the last 5 years these predictions usually come to nought.

So these are the predictions that I am putting forward:

Clouds – the better offering from Australian cloud suppliers are now starting to come through as the larger ICT companies start to realise that sales of hardware and software is no longer the best way to increase profits. The best way for business to leverage the cloud is to look at what your business requires and then see if it will come in as a better solution. Most of the time this does involve getting in an ICT consultant to report on what your business requirements are.

In some cases it will not be a better solution, in some cases the solution will come be more expensive but will deliver better results and in some cases a cloud solution will drastically improve your business without the expected overheads.

Security – in the next 12 months the security and how businesses secure their information is going to go through a major upheaval. It is no longer a viable solution to think that because you are small (up to 500 users) that you are not a target.

This is no longer true.

Just toward the end of last year, a small think tank in the states got hacked. 10 users, a server and some laptops, workstations and tablets but because of what they did they had upward of 300,000 individual personal records on their systems, as well as their corporate Intellectual Property (IP) and some defence department information. This business relied on its anaminity for its primary security solution, but because it was on the Internet it was visible to the robots trolling the web. Anaminity is great but you need something substantial backing it up.

Big data – this is a spin off from the cloud but the ramifications are huge for any size business presence on the Internet. The business who can analyse and react to the huge proliferation of information and data that is available will be the ones who will have a better business going forward. It will also,involve the analysis and management of the social media monolith that is a huge component of the Internet.

There are 2 other areas – social media will increase its footprint on the Internet exponentially and the proliferation and increased usage of smart “stuff” (phones, tables) will also increase and change the way we do business.

So 2012 is here, let’s embrace it and see where it can take us into the future.

MANAGED SERVICES – TAKING OWNERSHIP OF YOUR PROBLEMS

3D Small People - AngryIn business the greatest threat to the information and data within your business is the speed to which you and your staff have access. Problems like everyone’s email not working are a big decision, but it is easy to delegate the repair to either internal teams or external companies. When things go wrong you want them fixed NOW and fixed FAST.

What about the niggly things?  Your user wants to print to the third tray on the printer and cannot, your receptionist wants to send out a letter but the mail merge database is no longer connected.

As a business owner or management level executive you don’t want to triage the problems.  Most of the time the management or staff does not have the time or the expertise to look at and resolve the problem, and often the person with the problem is told to “get over it”.   This is not a good state of affairs.   The problem then festers and grows till it does have a major impact on the business.

The best solution for these problems is to get them fixed.   How can you do that without additional cost to the business?   What you then have is a catch 22 situation.

Wouldn’t it be better just to contact your support company and know that it is all covered under the managed services agreement?
The business world is full of computer support and managed services companies that want your money, now don’t get me wrong we are a managed services company, and a good one at that, just ask our clients.   The difference between the other MSP’s and us is that we take ownership of any and all of your technical problems.

So what is the benefit of being one of our clients?

If you have signed up for out 5Nines support program, especially the platinum plan – trouble free technology – then all of your problems are our problems. Your problems are our problems, we take ownership of any problems or complaints that are generated by your staff during working hours that are related to computers, printers, internet, and email… practically anything.

Unfortunately we have no control over the coffee in the lunch room but for a taste of the problems we will fix:

• My mail is not working = our problem;   solution – remote in or send technician onsite;     Cost to you $0 (covered as part of the Service Level Agreement (SLA)).
• How do I create a mail merge document in word 2003 or 2007 = our problem;  Solution – remote in and talk user through problem and show what needs to be done;               Cost to you $0 (covered under the SLA)
• Helpdesk has noticed that one of the computers is reacting sluggishly = our problem; Solution – remote in and fix problem and then report to management;                  Cost to you $0
• System reports problem with a service on the server = our problem – Solution – dispatch technician;          Cost to you $0
• My computer is not working = our problem; Solution – dispatch a technician with a “loaner computer” then replace and repair;               Cost to you $0

The SLA dictates when they will be seen and response times to problems associated with your network.   They are an agreement between you and the MSP to ensure that you and your technology is protected 24/7.

Service levels should relate to items like these but they also depend on a triage process to ensure that a small problem is not related to a bigger unidentified problem .

• Server crash  = our problem – Technician onsite within 60 Minutes;           Cost to you $0
• Workstation Crash = our problem – Technician onsite within 60 Minutes;           Cost to you $0
• Service down = our problem – Technician working on the problem remotely within 30 Minutes;       Cost to you $0
• Printer problem = our problem – Within 4 hours;          Cost to you $0
• User problem = our problem – Next business day;        Cost to you $0

Finally, for any business there needs to be metrics that are measured and reported on. This is also true about your managed service provider. Daily, weekly and monthly reports on the condition of your infrastructure are important for decision making. To improve your business and ensure that the technology is correct and directed at your business, a quarterly report and meeting should also be included as a standard for your managed service.

As you can see not all managed service providers are the same and it is a case of choosing the right one for your business. R & I ICT Consulting Services can help manage and solve these important IT decisions and leave you with more time to get on with the day to day running of your business.