A Guide To SME IT Support

A Guide To SME IT Support

A Guide To SME IT Support

IT support providers are something that every SME will need for their business.  This is even more important today because businesses rely on their IT more than ever.  Most businesses will look at outsourcing their IT to a managed service provider to ensure that all of their IT needs are taken care of by one company and that there is only one company to call if something were to go wrong.

The problem is that there are many different IT service providers to choose from.  This can make it hard to choose the right IT support provider for your needs.  To ensure that you are hiring the best IT provider for your needs, there are a number of points that you should consider before you contact anyone.

Know What Your Requirements Are

There are a lot of people who simply go to the first provider they find and let them do the talking.  The primary problem with this is that it allows the supplier to talk you into services and solutions that you do not need because you have allowed them to take control of the situation.  It is important to remember that IT suppliers such as VectorCloud are looking for a sale and they will generally try to sell you more than you actually need.

This is why you need to make a list of all your IT requirements before you start looking at suppliers.  Once you have this list, you can send it to the suppliers before you meet them to ensure that they are a good match for your business.  Having this list and sending it out will also help you set the tone for the meeting.  Your list will also allow you to see how the supplier will meet your needs.

Do Your Homework

It is recommended that you meet with a few suppliers before you commit to working with one.  When you meet with the supplier, you should have some set questions that you ask them.  These questions need to help you determine whether or not you are going to want a long-term relationship with the supplier or not.  There are no rules to what the questions should be, but there are some that you might want to consider.

The first is how long they have been in business.  You should also find out about the type of clients that they work with.  It is important to note that not all suppliers will provide you with the names of their other clients, but they should be able to tell you about the market they work in.  Ideally, you will be looking for a supplier that has other clients within your market.

You also need to find out how large their team is.  This should be broken down into the help desk team, the sales and the engineering team.  You also have to find out if they have a clear image of the type of business that you are and how they are structured to support you.

Know The Service Levels You Need

When looking at an IT service provider, you will notice that there are different service levels that you can choose from.  If you are very serious about getting the best support experience, you might want to look at a fully managed service.  Suppliers will generally offer this service as their top level with lower levels of support which offer telephone support only or ad hoc contracts.  When you choose these lower service levels, you might actually end up paying more in the long-run when compared to the higher levels.  

Other Points To Consider

There are other points that you need to consider before you hire a company.  The availability of the helpdesk is important and some suppliers will have 24-hour support.  However, there are others that cater to business hours only and will charge extra for support at other times.

The service level agreements should also be considered.  These agreements should be clear and explained to you before you sign anything.  It should also offer a suitable log to fix response that you are happy with.

You should also consider if the service offers remote monitoring and management.  Your critical servers and services should be covered by this to ensure that the IT service will pick up any issues before they become major problems.  This will usually be included in fully managed packages, but it is recommended that you check.

 

Cormac Reynolds

Cormac Reynolds is the owner of UK marketing and SEO company My Online Marketer and has written for a number of prominent publications online. Get in touch @brightoncormac

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