What is Managed IT Services? I don’t understand what a Managed Service Provider (MSP) does.
Managed IT Services refers to the management, typically by an outside third party, of an organization’s services and equipment related to computers, networks, or software.
True MSPs are 100% responsible for the safety, security, and reliability of your IT infrastructure and work on a fixed-fee basis. This changes the incentive from “finding problems” to “preventing problems.”
This business model also alleviates the IT budget for the client resulting in no ugly surprises from a billing standpoint.
Trust increases substantially since the MSP now has assumed shared risk with the client, enabling what can truly be called a partnership. You can rest assured that any decision we make or advice we give is in both of our best interests because if something goes wrong, it is at our expense.
Flat Monthly Fee? What’s the catch?
There is no catch. Over the years we have determined what level of network health is achievable on any given network and we know how many hours of support are needed by a network of that complexity, when it’s properly managed.
We can use those ratios to predict how much support you’re likely to need once we onboard and stabilize the network. In the beginning, we will lose money because we are taking care of neglected items and pent-up IT demand. Eventually, we will get all of the gremlins out of the network and move into the next phase which is maintaining and planning for the future.
There are a few things that we do not include:
• Adding new project, new technology, buildouts or relocations
• Personal (non-company) systems and home site visits
• Support for servers out of warranty
• Support for PCs more than 6 years old
• Support for PCs more than 4 years old only includes one hour of support per PC
How does my team request service?
Service Desk is provided to answer your team’s questions from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday via phone, email, or customer portal. Our dispatch team verifies the requests and assigns your tickets to our awesome team of service desk engineers. This includes everything from password resets to server outages. We support you using remote connect tools and as needed will send an engineer on-site to handle the request.
We also provide afterhours support for other service requests either for an additional monthly fee or on an hourly basis.
What happens if one of my team needs service after normal business hours?
They should reach out the same way that you would during normal business hours. We have a primary and backup support engineer on call every single night, including holidays, weekends, etc.
We won’t nickel and dime you for service requests that are on the fringes of business hours. However, if a ticket should require immediate assistance and is clearly after hours, we will confirm with your authorized contacts before proceeding. This is to avoid an unexpected bill at our after hour’s rate.
How often do you come to our office?
A key piece of our Managed IT Services approach is what we refer to as Network Administration. You’ll have at least two engineers dedicated to your account who visit your office on a regular basis to ensure everything is working as it should. They’ll know your network and your employees inside and out. This means you don’t have to explain things over and over again and that they’ll know how Joe interacts with his computer is totally different than Sally.
In addition, if a service desk request cannot be addressed remotely, we will send an engineer on-site at no additional cost.
What kind of companies are good candidates for Managed Services?
If you can relate to 3 or more of these statements, your company will benefit from a Managed IT Services approach:
You realize that IT is an integral part of your business that can no longer be handled by the boss’s kid, one of your staff members, or the guy next door.
You understand that IT is no longer an optional expense, but an operational expense similar to electricity.
You want an IT firm that thinks like a business advisor before thinking like IT technicians.
You just want it all to work!
You did not choose your career to mess around with IT issues.
You understand what it costs your company when you’re not able to focus on your top priorities.
You do not want to be in the IT business.
You do not want to deal with IT.
You are done trying to get techies to understand what you really need.
You realize the hourly cost of downtime and business interruption is so much more than a technician’s hourly rate.
You are finished with trying to manage your network’s assets.
You are done with finding, hiring, and managing IT staff.
You never want to deal with technology vendors blaming each other.
Signs that you might not be a good candidate for Managed Services?
You are a do-it-yourself type and only want help when you cannot figure it out yourself.
Why pay someone else if you can figure it out yourself?
Your IT plan is to keep the network running until the wheels fall off. Then we will deal with it.
You do not measure the performance of your business and employees.
You are content creating “work-arounds” or applying “Band-Aids” to fix problems.
You do not care how your employees use business resources during business hours.
You think “those IT problems” are not too bad, we can just work harder.
You believe a PC should last more than 6+ years.
You enjoy spending free time learning how to fix computers.
You really do not care if employee efficiency or morale can be improved.
You depend on “non-professionals” to help you out with IT.
You maintain that business productivity and performance are secondary to IT costs.
What geographical area do you service?
What sized companies benefit from Managed Services?
For managed IT services to be of value to your company, you should have at least 10 workstations/end users and at least 1 server.
The maximum size depends on your company’s business model, number of locations, strategic initiatives, growth plans, etc.
For companies under 200 end users, an MSP can be the total IT department (CIO, service desk, network administration and centralized service) or just act as a supplement to in-house IT staff with ala carte services and projects.
For companies with more than 200 end users, we usually see businesses hire an in-house technology engineer, but still keep certain parts of IT strategy, Business Continuity, Cybersecurity and Network Patching and Monitoring outsourced depending on your needs.
How difficult is it to change IT Vendors/MSP? We seem to have outgrown our existing person’s ability.
Outgrowing one’s “computer guy” is an issue that we are seeing more frequently than in the past. Today’s computer networks have become more complex in the past few years and not every “computer guy” has been able to keep up with the myriad of changes that continue to occur in the industry.
Sometimes the pace of technology passes the pace of the incumbent IT person and that person is then no longer a good candidate to manage one of your business’s most important assets.
Changing to a professional IT firm to manage your network is a process that should not be taken lightly. While it is done every day, there is risk involved. First, we do everything within our power to work with the previous provider to ensure the transition is smooth and painless. We begin with a project to get your environment up to speed as well as providing service desk to your team. During your kick-off meeting you and your team will be introduced to your two network engineers and vCIO. And then they take it from there!
I only want to pay when I need you. Why would I want to pay a monthly fee?
The “Break-Fix” (pay-as-you-go) model is when an organization calls an IT service provider to fix a single problem. The provider usually goes onsite, and repairs the issue, then sends a bill for their time. This model rewards IT companies when things break.
One of the issues with this type of arrangement is that there is no incentive to fix any problem but the one the technician has been called in to fix.
Today’s computer networks need regular “care and feeding” to catch and correct problems when they are small and easy to handle.
Managed Services reward both the client and the IT service provider for UPTIME! It is in the best interest of both companies to maintain a strong and healthy network.
We do not offer “Break-Fix” repairs and only offer monthly maintenance plans.
So, what does a typical plan cost?
Do I have to sign a contract?
You do not have to sign a contract, but if you would like one, we’re happy to provide one. Either way your monthly fee is locked in for one year and only changes when you add a user, server, or network.
What happens to my bill if I use more hours than usual in any given month?
Your monthly bill is based on the number of users under management, not on the number of hours of support that you require.
Do you charge an onboarding fee?
We do not have an onboarding fee. From our technology assessment, we may find gaps and/or vulnerabilities around backup & disaster recovery, cybersecurity, and business continuity that you will and should hold us accountable for. We would rather have our clients invest in fixing these gaps and getting their foundational technology stack in order than charging a fee to bring you on board.
What is SOC 2 Type 2?
SOC (Service Organization Control) 2 reports on various organizational controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, or privacy.
Are you SOC 2 Type 2 certified?
Yes, we are.
Does your entire company have a SOC certification, or just the data centers?
This is a great question and a meaningful distinction between Managed Service Providers and third-party vendors (ex. data centers) they may use. We have a SOC 2 Type 2 certification specifically for Managed Services systems, processes, and methods. Our third-party partners have their own and separate SOC2 certificates.
Are you insured?
We carry Business Liability, Workman’s Compensation, Errors and Omissions, Cyberliability and any other state or federally required insurance that will protect you and your business.
We have IT employees. What can you do for us?
No problem. Many of our clients have an existing IT staff. If you already have IT employees, we will work with them to relieve their daily responsibilities so they can focus on larger projects. This allows your existing IT staff to work more efficiently, saving your (company or organization) time and money.
We offer customized IT plans based on your technology needs. Our plans range from 100 percent coverage to simple network monitoring and antivirus protection.
We are able to automate tedious tasks that take up much of your IT’s time and can allow your IT to focus on bigger picture issues.
You pick the plan, based on what you need and your budget.
How do we know if the cloud is the best option for our business?
There are many reasons to migrate your organization to the cloud, including better security, flexibility, and collaboration. But first, you must gauge if the cloud is right for your organization’s technology environment.
And we are here to help. We can evaluate your current technology environment and assess the best options for you, whether that be the cloud, on-premise, or both.
What if our network is already working fine?
There is a lot that can be done, from installing patches to verifying and improving security to replacing outdated hardware that will improve the average network.
What happens if we try out your service but find that we don’t like it?
We’re confident that you’ll not just like it, you’ll love it. That’s why we offer month-to-month contracts. Once you’re with us, you’ll never want to leave.
You’ve convinced me. What’s my next step?
Interested in finding out more? Set up an initial strategy meeting with our team to find out how we can partner with your team for awesome IT support.
If we’re a good fit, we’ll schedule a Technology Audit to assess your environment and then present our findings and proposal to you in a Solutions Presentation. Once you’ve had time to digest and evaluate the proposal, we’ll finalize the contract in a Q&A call and schedule your kick-off meeting.
Didn’t answer your question? Reach out today and we’ll answer any other questions you might have.