Managed Services Tiers – Part 2

If your Managed Services Company has a tiered approach to services and you picked the “Gold/Platinum” or “Complete” plan you probably aren’t getting what you paid for.

It’s not the service tiers that are the best indicator of success, it is the business model your vendor uses to ensure consistent delivery of services that you need to review closely to avoid getting disappointed.

Managed Services Tiers – Part 2

Note: This article is a continuation of Managed Services Tiers – Part 1.

But I Picked The “Gold” Plan!

Kudos – you did your part.  You looked at the options and decided to select the plan that had it all – including the kitchen sink.  Probably wishing to avoid repeating mistakes from the past with other IT companies you “went for gold” hoping that picking the best plan would give your business the attention you so craved.

But any company that uses the multi-tiered approach simply CAN’T provide “Gold” level service.  If ANY part of their business depends on pay-by-the-hour support they simply can NOT deliver a truly proactive service and often fail to live up to “Gold” expectations.

Here’s Why…

If an IT Company gets 50% of their revenue from their “pieces-and-parts-al-al-carte” managed services plan at the first of the month – what do they need to focus their best and brightest talent on during the month?

Of course – Getting the other 50% of the revenue they need to get through the month and make payroll!

And who is left to provide your promised ‘Gold’ level support?

Exactly!

So they chase after every new ‘Bronze’ customer who gives them a call, run their people here, there, and yonder responding to customers who they haven’t heard from in 6-month who have the inevitable emergency because they haven’t been managing their infrastructure properly.

And You Are Left Wondering Why The ‘Gold’ Plan, Feels Just Like the ‘Bronze’!

Managed Service Tier Trap

So maybe you’re looking for a better solution for IT support.  You’re talking with multiple vendors, getting quotes, checking out websites and then you see it – a spreadsheet of itemized, tiered offerings organized under a few well-crafted titles like “Essentials”, “Complete”, etc…..

Stop Right There!

Don’t waste any more of your time.  Run the Other Way!

Let me ask you something, Why would you ever want to engage with a business partner, knowing in advance, that you are not engaging with them at their best? 

A better question would be – why would any IT Services company allow a customer to receive anything less than their very best?

Let’s say your talking to your doctor…

And he says;

“Under my ‘Bronze’ package I’ll create an incision – our entry-level service.  With ‘Silver’ I’ll actually perform the whole heart surgery but I won’t close the incision – that’s our more budget-friendly offering, but with the ‘Gold’ I’ll actually stitch you back up and monitor your recovery until you get back on your feet!”

This makes zero sense!

When you’re buying a service – you want your provider to do the job, the whole job, and do it to the best of their ability!  You want them fully vested in the outcome, just like you are.

It’s the same with your Managed Services Provider.

What Should You Do?

You should understand the providers business model!

  • Find out how they service their customers (ask to see examples of their process)
  • Find out how many customers they have
  • Find out how many of their customers pick the plan you are considering
  • Find out how many employees they have
  • Find out if they have people in dedicated proactive roles
  • Find out as a percentage of their revenue, how much typically falls outside of the plan you are considering resulting in an additional charge – if they don’t know what this figure is – you are in big trouble!
  • Find out if they do one-off project work for people not under their managed services agreements – this business will take time and resources away from YOUR account

But more importantly, don’t fool yourself into thinking they can be something that they aren’t.

If they have a Bronze plan, 300 customers, and 60 employees, take side work and generate another 50% of their revenue from stuff that falls outside of their service offering – you WON’T get the personalized service you want – no matter what the salesperson tells you – it just defies gravity!

And you WILL get surprised with additional IT support costs that you will be powerless to control unless you start withholding items from them.

A ‘real’ Managed Service Provider is going to demand to give you their very best. 

Besides – I don’t think any business owner really wants to work with a partner who isn’t giving their best. 

Look, if all you need is some patch, spy, spam and someone to call when there is a problem then a “Bronze/Silver/Gold” vendor may work our just fine – many businesses use this model and go their whole existence using this approach and it suits them fine.

If, however, you are looking for Best Practices that drive down issues, a budgeting process you can count on, long-term strategy and guidance without being sold more technology every quarter – this is a different animal and these types of services simply can’t be delivered by an IT vendor that tries to be all things to all people.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that half-measures or cut-rate services offerings that leave out key services will somehow magically solve your complexe business needs and make a positive impact in your business.

First – decide what you need, then go looking for a company that is built to deliver that!

 

Have more questions about Managed Services? Check out our Managed Services Guide for more information.


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