You Might Need A Managed Service Provider If…

You Might Need a Managed Service Provider If... Red Flags For IT Support CompanyWe hoped you enjoyed this last week’s festivities and enjoyed your fair share of BBQ, Fireworks and time with family and friends.

In honor of celebrating our American heritage this month and our country’s independence, we thought we’d poke a little fun at the old American adage: “You might be a redneck if…” by spinning it to the tune of our industry, “You Might Need A Managed Service Provider If…” and addressing some major concerns to check in and evaluate if your IT Support company is offering the level of service your business needs to stay efficient, productive and keep costs down.

Without further ado… here we go!

You Might Need A Managed Service Provider If…

…Your On The “Gold Plan” With Your IT Support’s “Tiered Plans”

Any IT support company that’s offering tiered levels of services, as I mentioned before in our post, “Multi-Tiered Managed Service Plans” Myth Debunked— they’re dividing up their caliber of effort when they compartmentalize their levels of service amidst clients.

Even if you picked the “Gold” Plan or the “Platinum,” you’re going to receive a muddied level of service that’s might as well be called The “Rust” Plan or “Decrepit Galvanized Steel” Package.

It’ll come complete with:

  • up-selling products
  • cross-selling tools
  • software upgrades you don’t actually need

This is part of a “low end” “budget-friendly” IT Support company business model.

An IT support business offering the “best price” has to recoup their losses and add margins somewhere, so up-selling and cross-selling is one great way to add those margins.

“You’re only billed when you need us!” “We’re saving you money!” are the promises and reasons you buy in, but then additional charges for upgrades and additional maintenance fees “outside your level of service” creep into their invoices because they didn’t charge enough to provide adequate service in the first place.

The other edge of the “multi-tiered service” myth? The bronze clients are in the same pool as your “Gold” offering, and the same IT staff assigned to your account are putting out IT fires and spread thin– responding to customers they haven’t heard from in 6 months, all resulting from an improperly managed IT infrastructure. Half-Effort for a half-priced offering, affecting your account, too.

You Might Need A Managed Service Provider If…Your Employees Become Volunteer Fire Fighters

If your general manager, office manager, or heaven forbid, one of your C-Suite staff has turned into a Volunteer Fire Fighter for your IT Issues, red flag.

Instead of fulfilling their job description, if your team member finds their week time sucked away as Point Of Contact for your IT Vendor to “minimize costs and drive results” — you just might need a Managed Service Provider.

As I mentioned in a previous article, “Letting Staff Deal with IT Issues Doesn’t Save You Money” – this myth of letting your in-house staff handle IT fires to keep costs down bring up several factors that actually drive UP the businesses costs; the time wasted by the POC in ‘managing’ the relationship.  Any partner you need to ‘manage’ is just a vendor and slowly erodes profits.

You Might Need A Managed Service Provider If…You Have “Common IT Support Issues” In The First Place

What if “Common Issues” weren’t supposed to be “common” in the first place?

These common client issues, once they occur, sap your time AND cause you to incur costs with your provider but the common issue isn’t really the issue. The ISSUE is the process your IT vendor uses to manage your technology that allowed the problem to occur in the first place. If your IT vendor’s business model is built around service level agreements and hourly billings, then they really don’t have any incentive to truly resolve these common issues, so they don’t recur or better, don’t happen to begin with!

You Might Need A Managed Service Provider If…Your IT Support Company Views “Tickets Resolved” As A Badge Of Honor

Most IT providers don’t track tickets the way they should. They see the number of tickets resolved as some heroic badge of honor that justifies their existence. We see it as a failure – if a problem is truly fixed, it shouldn’t be recurring again and again.

If you had to call your plumber every week to fix the same leaky faucet, wouldn’t you start looking for a new plumber?

True business impact comes from looking at ALL the issues that arise and asking – “Could this have been prevented or the impact minimized?”  The answer to this question, when applied to all reactive issues, is the secret to becoming “proactive” versus installing some newfangled monitoring application.

These are some red flags or indicators it might be time to notice these big pictures patterns in your business. Our stance? The only time you hear from your IT support shouldn’t be when there’s a fire to put out.  IT Support shouldn’t be just another SCE&G expense to your business’s bottom line, rather, a proactive partner in helping you do what you do, better.

Increasing your bottom line, supporting employee productivity, increasing time efficiency, and driving down costs is at the center of a True Managed Service Provider.