five features of flat rate it – part 1
Most MSP’s (Managed Service Providers) make the same vague claims. They say things like… “We’ll maintain your network like it’s our own,” or “We’ll monitor your network and keep you safe” and the widely popular and rarely explained, “We’ll help you grow your business.”
We confess that we’ve made some of the same vague claims in the past. Why? Because most non-technical people just don’t get excited over talking tech the way we do, so we try to keep our explanations about what we do (and how we do it) brief before people’s eyes start to glaze over from boredom.
In this two-part series on the Five Features of Flat Rate IT Support, we want to walk the line between plain English explanations while still giving specifics to the how and why behind our managed IT service.
Feature #1 – Unlimited ServiceDesk Support
It’s not a gimmick; it’s truly unlimited. With Flat Rate IT Support, there is no limit to the number of times or the frequency that clients can connect for support. You could connect ten times in a month or a hundred times in a month, and your monthly fee does not and will not change.
What makes this feature an advantage isn’t only the unlimited access to support – it’s the ability and motivation of the ServiceDesk to find and resolve the root cause of every issue.
When it comes to IT problems, band-aides only cover up the issue. Even if that works for a while, it still exists under the surface, and typically an unaddressed issue only gets worse as time goes on.
The right way to resolve any problem is to stick with it until the root cause is discovered and dealt with accordingly. Sometimes this takes a little longer and involves a bit more effort, but in the long run, it prevents problems from recurring and from getting worse.
With Unlimited ServiceDesk Support, our motivation is the same as our client – both of us want as few IT problems as possible. Fewer problems with your computers lead to more productive days at the office and a much happier workforce. Fewer problems for our ServiceDesk means more time can be spent on proactive management.
Feature #2 – Proactive Management
Every minute that our team can spend proactively managing your IT systems saves seven minutes that we would have to spend on reactive support. In other words, every hour that we spend being proactive saves you seven hours of issues that will occur if we don’t stop them before they occur.
The challenge with proactive management isn’t the results; it’s the resources. Most people don’t want to invest time, money, and effort to prevent problems that they don’t know for sure will crop up. The problem is, they do crop up, and once they do, you have to deal with them. And dealing with an issue is seven times more costly than preventing it.
With Flat Rate IT Support, proactive management is built-in. We start with always-on enterprise-level monitoring of all your critical network devices like firewalls, switches, and ISP connectivity. Premium endpoint protection is applied to all servers, desktops, and laptops. Critical security patches are installed via automation services. Even temp files and disk drives are cleaned on a regular schedule to keep equipment running like new, even when it’s not.
Feature #3 – Vendor Management
A unique feature of our Flat Rate IT Support is our vendor management service. We don’t just point fingers at your other technology vendors. As your IT representatives, we connect directly with any of your other vendors to solve your problems quickly. Doing so saves you time and the frustration of feeling caught in the middle.
Approximately 30% of the calls that come into our ServiceDesk are an issue with another vendor or line-of-business applications. It wouldn’t be fair to claim that our clients have Unlimited ServiceDesk Support if we immediately turned our backs on 30% of their issues.
The primary reason that the percentage is so high for our Vendor Management is because we want your first call to be to us. Even if you suspect the issue is with Quickbooks, or if you think a printing problem has something to do with your copier maintenance, you should call us first.
When you call us first, we can quickly determine if your suspicions are correct. Next, we will make the initial call to third party vendors with you. We speak geek, so you don’t have to – and when people can speak the same language, problems get resolved much quicker.
A bonus for our clients is that their employees don’t need to know ten different support numbers, they don’t need to diagnose issues on their own, and usually after an initial introduction vendors will work with us directly to resolve future problems that arise, meaning your team rarely has to stay involved in the process, and you can get back to work on the things that matter most to you. We safely assume that your first priority in the morning wasn’t to solve the connectivity issue with your printer or restore last night’s Quickbooks data.
In part two, we’ll address our next two features, IT Security and Strategic Planning. Stay Tuned!