Managed Service or outsourcing for the small Business!

It’s about time you put your Sales person back to work!

EngineerMany small and medium business and not for profit Organisations (SME) are too small to have a full time ICT person.   When this happens, these organisations have three choices.

All for one and one for all

Not have anyone do the job and just for everyone to look after themselves.   This may sound stupid but this is what happens when a very small business doesn’t understand the technological requirements of the business.   They are quite happy to use only 5% of their digital expertise and equipment to do their job.

Use someone on staff as the “go to” person who “knows computers”

In a large number of Organisations there is someone who knowns computers and is in turn delegated to the role of IT manager.   The delegated person may be there because they have an aptitude for ICT or they have made their own computer or in most cases they are gamers and that’s because gamers know business.

There are three problems with this:

  • They may know computers, have built them or played with them in their own time but in today’s digital world there is a vast difference between someone who knows computers and someone who is TRAINED in computers and technology.
  • The second one is a soft skills problem.   Small businesses have limited resources, and those limited resources have to be utilised to the best of the Organisations abilities.       In some places you have accounts people – both inbound and outbound, or you have sales and marketing person, they are employed to do that specific job within the organisation.       If they are also the computer guy then the original skills and resources will no longer be utilised to the best of their ability.   I.E. If they are the sales person how many months will you allow them to not meet their sales targets because they were fixing computers.
  • The computer person focussed more and more on the IT of the business and less on their original job requirement.   The more fun they have with fixing computer problems the less they like doing their original work – have you got someone like that in your organisation.

Get a professional to manage your computers.

In most small Organisations the resources are not in the budget to allow for a single person to manage the IT so the business has two options:

  • Hire a part timer, someone who will come in when something is broken and stay until it is fixed.   This can create monumental cash flow problems.   In addition, this solution will not give you the in-depth knowledge that every organisation needs in today’s digital world.       Yes they could fix a computer problem, a printer problem or even a server problem, but will they know how to use the cloud for the business, know what is needed to secure the organisation against the bad guys, know what apps or mobile devices are going to make your business more profitable using today’s technology?
  • The second alternative is to get a service level agreement with a MANGED service provider (MSP).   A MSP will monitor your network 24/7, give you access to a helpdesk system, fix problems remotely or on site, deliver monthly Management reports to you and be a proactive force, catching small things before they have a major impact on your business.   In most cases a MSP is a single monthly cost depending on your organisation size, your requirements and the MSP you are talking to.

Computers and the digital world are the mainstay of business in today’s world.   Get it right and the benefits can be stunning but get it wrong and the detrimental impact can be just as devastating.

 

Why we use Fortinet Products

Recommending products to clients is always a tricky proposition.  When most of us hear someone suggest we spend a lot of our own money, we tend to think, “that’s easy for you to say.”  That’s doubly true if there are cheaper alternatives out there.  In our line of work, we often have to recommend business security systems to our clients.  They’re usually not for profit organisations and small to medium businesses who have little excess money to spend, and we have to justify every recommendation.  Nevertheless, we try to persuade them to use Fortigage products—here’s why.

The managed services process starts with implementing some inexpensive recommendations.  This allows us to get the basics right.  Those basics include policies, procedures and processes: creating a disaster recovery, business continuity process and business resilience.  And in some cases, we need to change the culture through training and awareness programs. 

But none of these improvements can provide their full benefit without a state-of-the-art internet connection device.  That’s where clients sometimes balk at the cost.  It may seem like we’re pushing certain products, but we’re just looking out for the customer’s best interest.  Fortinet and the Fortigate products have the best return on investment of any security vendor on the market

Over six years of working with Fortinet, we have found that they have the best and most inexpensive enterprise-ready systems available for businesses.  There is a vast leap in technology from a modem/router that is purchased from a retail store to the modem/router made by a high-end security vendor like Cisco and Juniper but the fortigate products are as easy to set up and as good as the high end systems that are available. 

Why am I saying this?  Well, with a Fortigate router, we can do so much more with your business at the cyber protection level than we ever could before. 

Let’s take Facebook, for instance.  Most businesses and organisations use Facebook as a marketing tool, so certain people need access to it during working hours—but does everyone?  Using simple rules, you can restrict users who don’t work with social media.  Or maybe you want your staff marketing through Facebook, but not wasting time on Farmville.  With other settings you can also make that happen.  But you don’t want to seem like an ogre—you want to allow full access to Facebook over lunch.  Once again, a simple addition of a rule can do that.

A single Fortigate device can manage applications that precisely.  in addition to that, the standard Fortigate system using its UTM (Unified Threat Management) system comes with next-generation firewall capabilities, VPN Connection, web filtering, intrusion detection, malware protection, and a level of anti-SPAM.  It can also come with a high-end wireless system that is independent of the main network. 

Since all these functions are now combined in one connection device, you need to ensure that that your business will not suffer.  Fortigate supplies a four-hour replacement warranty, but in addition to that we also keep spares ready to go into a site at a moments notice.

Using Forticlient (a free AV product for PC, MAC, IPhone and Android) you can protect all of your devices, but when it’s combined with a Fortigate appliance you can use it to manage, monitor, and enforce your business policies on all connection devices in the system. 

You don’t have to believe Fortinet’s own hype; all of their systems hold their own when independently tested against others in their class.  In a number of cases—Forticlient AV, for instance—the product has proven better than most of the independent AV providers.

So the reason we use Fortinet products is threefold:

·         They have the best integrated product

·         Their support is top-quality

·         They have the best return on investment (ROI) of all other security vendors

I know—it’s easy for me to say.  But if you’re serious about security, you might want to consider Fortinet.

If You Think You Need a Computer Tech, You Probably Do

Most small and medium business and not for profit organisations have a similar mindset when it comes to business ICT and cyber crime.  That attitude is the old “everything will be all right” and “it won’t happen to me”. 

To the scores of SME’s who have lost their intellectual property, been hacked or had their client list stolen, I could say “I told you so,” but I won’t.  The problem is that most SME’s who have this attitude do not understand how the cyber criminals attack their business, or any of the other things that can go wrong with today’s technology.

This is where an IT person comes into the equation.  For an SME, ICT is what makes your business run correctly, but to make it run at the highest level you need to get information from an expert.  In most cases, an SME considers Google the expert.  Google, combined with “someone who knows computers,” is all that they need to get the best out of their business’s ICT.  Sorry, but that is completely wrong!

There is one large problem with this attitude:  When consulting Google you have to have the right questions.  In most cases, the answer to your question is out there on the internet, but when it comes to getting the best for your business the beauty is in the question.  The more accurate the question, the better the solution will be.  I don’t profess to know how Google works, but in my line of work, we also use Google.  An answer to a question I type in would deliver far more accurate information than a question from someone who just “knows computers.” 

Recently we were troubleshooting a problem on a site.  The client had an on-site computer person, who had been working on the problem for about a week.  The problem was starting to have monumental repercussions for the business, and they called in a professional.  Going in, we had no idea what was wrong, but after about one hour we had a fair idea.  We then asked doctor Google the right question.  Not only were the results totally different from anything the IT tech had turned up, but the actual answer was the second result.  The solution was a quick change to the registry, removing a number of temp files, and a restart of the problematic systems. 

We were on site for about two hours, and the total cost was $300.00, but there was no more loss of productivity within the business.  Considering they lost about $10,000 in productivity, it’s clear that persisting with a tech person who does not know what they are doing is a total waste of money.

In today’s world, your ICT systems are the lifeblood of your business.  You can’t just set them up and then ignore them.  To keep them running at the right level, you have to ensure that they are secure, productive, stable and resilient.  That is a tall order for someone who just “knows computers.”

So how do you avoid IT disasters, and the costly visits from consultants that come with them? A managed service provider will deliver the necessary level of expertise so that your business can focus on what you do best:  Using your expertise to make money, create revenue and drive profit.  That is why you are in business—not so that you can play with computers.

Build a ICT support package for your business

Business technical support, whether it is in house or outsourced, is a management headache.   Today’s business and tomorrow’s future business is all based on digital information.   That is not the problem, the problem lies in all of the systems that your business requires to do business.

From producing documents and spreadsheets to contact information for clients to sales information all the way through to management and protection, you have systems that have to be managed by someone.   That management and how you pay for it is going to be critical to your future and the future of the business.

I could throw a large amount of buzz words around here, cloud, virtualisation, BYOD, and the like but these are just the technology.   They are the media for you to do business.

The most important components of your ICT are resilience – the ability to react to change, culture – the get up and go of your business and finally management – how you get things done and why you do it that way.   The only way to protect this Intellectual Property is with a management and ICT system that is transparent to your business.

To make management decisions you need to see what is happening with the technology, your business has to be transparent to you.     You can do this in house with your own ICT support team and the inherent cost that come with it or you can out source it.   By outsourcing your ICT, two things happen, you get better trained IT technicians and you get a flat monthly management fee with no hidden or unforeseen costs.

You also reduce your ancillary costs within the business.   No more super, no more extra desks, seating and offices, no more replacing staff after you have trained them up because they have had better offers.   What you do get is trained ICT people, access to knowledge that your business needs to compete in your business environment and NO ADDITIONAL COSTS.

If you want some information, talk to a ICT outsource company, a Managed Services Provider and get the correct information concerning your business.    Their MSP plans should deliver Trouble Free Technology to your business.

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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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.

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.

 

Will a managed services (MSP) contract save you money?

DoctorTechnology can be a funny thing, one second it is working and the next second it’s not.   Sometimes you don’t even have to do anything to it to make it break.  If you now apply that to a larger scale, then a break in your business technology can have a sudden and lasting impact on your business and your staff.

When your ICT systems fail you need to have someone who has the correct skill set to resolve the problem.   Not only do you need the hard skills to resolve the problem but you also need the soft skills to reassure your staff and management that everything is being done as fast as possible but also with the greatest care.

Those technical skills including troubleshooting and resolution management are hard enough to find but in combination with the soft skills required you really need to ensure that the problem doesn’t happen to start off.

With a failure in technology you now have the additional problem of lost revenue, lost sales, the cost of down time and the cost of the fix or resolution of the problem.   How can you protect your business from this level of inconvenience?

There are a number of ways but the best solution to this inconvenience is the implementation and installation of some level of network, computer and user management that will protect your business.   This can be done in a number of ways but the best one is to outsource your technology problems to an external business or a managed services provider (MSP).

Some business have problems with this idea, an MSP does not have the same level and commitment as someone who is on staff.  This problem can be resolved by utilising a good Service Level Agreement (SLA), this will ensure that the MSP is committed to protecting your business as if they were a shareholder.

Most of the Other problems can be resolved with the application of common sense, talking to some of the MSP’ s clients, or just basically doing your due diligence to ensure that what they say is reflected in these referrals.

The SLA will also ensure that your business has no hidden costs.   The monthly fee for management and monitoring, should also include help desk, onsite and off site support and the resolution of any problem reported during working hours.   Out of hours and weekend work can be included but the cost will reflect this requirement.   This outsourcing solution will put professional ICT personnel at your fingertips at a monthly cost that you as a business can afford.   This is possible because you have negotiated your requirement at the time of signing the SLA.

Furthermore a good MSP will look at your requirements and act like a business analyst.    They will put the needed technology at the businesses fingertips because they have gone out of their way to understand your business.   This creates a better business environment for your staff and will improve efficiency and increase revenue which will eventually increase your profits.

This may also be reflected in better client management and better internal systems making the business of doing business easier.   Yes a managed services contract will save you money in the long run.

For more information on MSP’s

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.