This is the point where it's important for a business to have a Managed IT Services contract, such as the one that Innovative Technology Solutions provides. When these businesses tried to conduct business they found themselves down. The ones that had contracts with us called us right away. Not only were we knowledgeable about the outage already, but we knew exactly how to test this and were already working with the ISP to restore this. Our Managed IT clients receive 24/7 outage notifications. So in this case, our overnight team was already calling the ISP to get these modems back online and functional. All of our clients were back up within 2 hours of the outage.
Now, we happened to be ordering lunch this day for the office. We called our local pizza place and ordered lunch. When we showed up to pick it up, she found that her credit card machine was down. Since she only runs Internet to a router and then to the credit card machine, she didn't know her network was down. While we waited for her to call the ISP, they suggested they needed a dispatch to come out and fix this. Since she is a small business with limited technology, she felt that she didn't need someone to watch her network, be there for support, or help with upgrades. Her company was down almost all afternoon before we were able to work with the ISP and her to get the account modem fixed.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to fix an issue, but does your business want to spend all that down time working with someone else to fix the problem? Even worse, something should happen to a computer that isn't covered by another provider. Then where do you start.
This is where the MSP (managed service provider) is key. A typical MSP is going to provide you with one stop support for all IT issues. This number is the only number you will need to know. Your MSP will handle network management and monitoring, IT desktop support (onsite and remote). as well as preventive maintenance. By doing preventive maintenance and network monitoring your company should see a minimal downtime compared to just using a repair shop when something breaks.
We typically ask our clients for their last year's IT repair and purchase bills. We then compare those bills to their monthly cost breakdown for managed IT. Most of them, spend 3 to 4 times more in a year by using break-fix and retail purchase programs than they would using a Managed IT package.
One of the factors that most companies don't consider with Managed IT is proactive maintenance. As we talked about a little bit ago, most MSPs will provide proactive maintenance and monitoring, but what does that mean to your company. A computer is any other living breathing thing. It requires care, maintenance, frequent "baths" and "food." Most companies will only let Windows Update run and assume that all is good. There are some companies that at the very least bought retail versions of an anti-virus software for their machines. Even with those simple things, you will see computers slow down over time. This is where the "bath" part comes in. Weekly computer maintenance is essential to the longevity of your computers. During a "typical" MSP maintenance, you will find that the system runs; windows updates, full system virus scan, CCleaner, and a few other back end program and process cleaners. This gives your PC the full "bath" each week that it needs.
As you can see, simply taking your computer to the repair shop when it breaks isn't the best plan of action for any small business. This would be like never giving your car an oil change or a tune up, but wonder why you have to take it to the repair shop when it breaks. Managed IT solutions can be affordable for any small business. The larger the MSP, the more costly it is going to be to your company because they have overhead too. We always recommend that you look for a smaller MSP in your area. Innovative Technology Solutions is a small business IT MSP. Our goal is to keep the cost as low as possible for your company. How do we do that? There are a variety of plans and options available to your company so that we can meet your needs without breaking your budget.
This article is written by James Bowers (C) 2016. James is the owner and senior systems administrator at Innovative Technology Solutions, LLC. Visit us online at www.innotechmi.com