Category Archives: Manage Service

How Is Your Relationship With Your Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Business woman at her desk, on speaker phone with her managed service provider

Having a trusted relationship with your MSP is key in having a solid relationship with your MSP Provider

Challenges in relationships can happen to any couple, and sometimes they can happen when you least expect it. Challenges in relationships can also happen between businesses. It can certainly be frustrating when a provider makes promises to solve your problems, but you eventually discover that the provider is not able to fulfill those promises.

As the owner or manager of a business, you will seek the services of a Managed Services Provider(MSP). You may not have enough time to tend the technology that is used to help you operate your business. IT has become the foundation of businesses all across the globe. If you do not have IT, then your business does not have a reliable foundation. Your business is basically operating on shaky ground.

A business that experiences consecutive periods of downtime will discover that the business will lose revenue as the days go by. Like the revenue you will lose when your business is down, you can drain your business’s resources each time you are waiting for your equipment and other technology resources to meet the expectations you have set.

You need a Managed Services Provider(MSP) that works hard to work with you, but if you are partnering with an MSP that is not helping you elevate your business, it will leave you wondering if it is worth it to continue with the relationship. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to help you determine if your MSP is providing any benefits in the relationship.

Can You Trust Your MSP?

If you do not have reliable IT services, you will find yourself on the outside looking in it comes to your competition. If your business uses programs and hardware on a daily basis, it is important that your programs and hardware are functioning at all times. Regardless of the type of system you are operating under, you will need to have reliable IT services.

If you begin to discover that recommendations are being made that do not fit your business system or if your services and other functions are being cut, you will discover that your situation will become worse. If your MSP is making decisions that you do not trust, this is not a good sign in your relationship.

Does Your MSP Communicate With You?

When you first partnered with your MSP, you believed that the MSP would be effective communicators. However, if your MSP is making mistakes and not acknowledging those mistakes, this could be another sign that there is trouble in the relationship. If you have problems that your MSP is not resolving because it is difficult to reach them at any point in the day, your MSP is not an effective or reliable communicator.

If you find yourself demanding that the provider come to your location and repair the services, it may be time to leave this relationship and enter a new one.

Is Your MSP Reliable?

If you are facing one or more technical difficulties, how long can you wait for your system to be repaired? If your MSP is not reliable, you will find out really quickly. A Managed Service Provider(MSP) can be seen as reliable if it offers quick delivery of services and if it provides you with high-quality system performance.

An MSP can also be seen as reliable if it is available around the clock. An MSP that offers around the clock services will ensure that your business sees as little downtime as possible. A reliable MSP also is responsive and effective when it comes to communication. If your MSP is not excelling in any of these areas, your relationship and your business can go downhill in a hurry.

We understand how challenging it can be to choose a Managed Service Provider that can fulfill your needs. There are so many things that you will need to consider, and this can make it a very frustrating process. It does not matter what route you device to take when you are searching for an MSP, but we encourage you to be aware of what you should look for in an MSP.

Is it time to leave your relationship with your current MSP? Contact us today for more information on how to reevaluate your relationship with your MSP.

How Many Channels Should Your IT Help Desk Have?

IT help desk customer support agents using email, phone, screen sharing, and live chat

What is your preferred method for working with your managed service provider?

Running the IT help desk for your business is about more than just churning tickets and resolving problems. Communication is one of the biggest concerns of a help desk because each person who needs help will seek it in a different way. From the people you’re dealing with to the nature of the problems you’re solving, it’s important to include a variety of communication channels in your IT help desk infrastructure.

The more channels through which employees or customers can reach out for IT help when they need it and benefit from your assistance. More problems will be solved and the reputation of your IT help desk will skyrocket as users are delighted to find that you will connect in the ways that work best for them.

But which channels should you incorporate? Where should you start? Let’s take a look at the four leading channels that your IT help desk should incorporate.

Email

Email is the leading channel for IT help desks. Even if you connect over the phone, email is an essential element because so much more can be done through email than most other channels. Email is asynchronous communication, meaning that you and your users don’t have to be online at the same time to exchange information and work toward a solution. Email also allows for the trading of files and to carefully put together your responses with all the information, even if that takes some time per message.

In the business world, many people are most comfortable communicating through email. If your IT help desk makes email outreach available and responds promptly, this is essential for many of your users.

Phone

Phone is the other half of classic help desk communication. There are still people who are most comfortable getting in touch over the phone and will have the easiest time solving their problems by explaining over voice. The phone allows users to reach out with 100% certainty that they are dealing with a real human being ready to help with their problem. Those who don’t type confidently or who don’t know how to explain their situation will have an easier time over the phone, as well as older generation’s habitual preference for phone calls over text conversations.

Live Chat

The latest in help desk communication is live chat. Live chat comes in many forms and can be extremely versatile when implemented correctly. Live chat works through web browsers, mobile apps, and any other interface with a keyboard and internet access. The most appealing thing about live chat is that it is right in the middle between email and phone support.

Like phone support, live chat is real-time which means users get the answers they need immediately instead of waiting for a return email. But at the same time, it’s text communication where each message can be carefully put together and files can be shared as part of the problem-solving process. Live chat is quick, convenient, and you can easily send a transcript of your conversation over to a client so they can refer back to your help in the future.

Screen Sharing

Finally, no matter what conversational communication you choose, make sure that screen sharing is possible for your IT help desk. Screen sharing is most often paired with live chat or video calls. Most importantly, screen sharing allows technicians to take a look at user desktops to more deeply understand what is going wrong.

Often, clients don’t actually know how to explain what’s wrong with their computers or programs. They don’t have the industry vocabulary or understanding to accurately describe the problem. Screen sharing makes it possible for your team to get the info they need from the primary source without having to guess based on the words chosen from a customer. Reverse screen sharing can also give your technicians the ability to show clients exactly what to do by sharing their own desktops and demonstrating the fix step-by-step.

Does your IT help desk need an upgrade? Contact us today to find out more about how to improve the performance and versatility of your IT help desk.

10 Instances When Should You Call Your Managed IT Team?

Mature business man at an office desk looking at a laptop while calling his managed IT team for help

Your managed service provider is here to handle all of these issues plus many more, let us handle it and you can get back to what you do best!

Working with a Managed IT service comes with a surprising number of perks. It’s like having an on-staff IT team, only instead of you taking care of them, they take care of you. A managed IT team makes it their business to keep an eye on your system and make sure your business tech performs exactly the way you want it to. They’ll help you build the perfect tech stack, select and setup the right hardware, and make sure all your software services work together. But they’re also there for the tough times when your team needs tech support.

So today, we’re featuring ten times when you should absolutely call your Managed IT team for assistance, guidance, or to make your other services shape up and act right.

When Your Computers Malfunction

If your computers stop functioning properly, in any way, then you can call your managed IT team for help. Sometimes, it’s as easy as turning the device or app off and back on again, but often technical problems are beyond the skills of your service teams. After all, there’s a big difference between being able to use software that’s working correctly and fix something that is not working the way it ought.

When Your Internet Stops working

One of the most common calls we get is when the internet for your office building goes out. Internet service providers are not always reliable, and worse, they don’t often put a rush on getting your service back online even when your entire business depends on availability to your customers and partners. A managed IT team will get on the phone and get to the bottom of your ISP outage.

When Your Software Won’t Work Together

Every modern business has a tech stack that is supposed to work synergistically. Each piece of software supplies data or infrastructure for the next. And when they stop working together, everything can come to a crashing halt. When your system stops working together, it’s time to call your managed IT team who will get your software all neatly stacked once more.

When It’s Time to Upgrade Your Software

Upgrades are a delicate part of any business’ lifecycle. When one piece of software in your tech stack is about to change its code, you need the rest of the stack to stay put and to ensure that the changes won’t wreck your current system. Your managed IT team can handle that for you.

When You Want to Rebuild Your Tech Stack

Likewise, you need to add new software to the stack or replace an older piece of the stack with the latest best variation, call your managed IT team to make sure everything integrates just the way you need it to.

When You Need Your Current Software to Do Something New

Interestingly, your managed IT team can also help when you’re not changing a thing, except how you use the software you have. When your business evolves, expands, or adopts a new practice, it can be necessary to find new ways to use your current technology. You can trust your team’s expertise to know how to put the features of your business software to new and creative use.

When You’re Worried That a Hacker Might Have Infiltrated

If everything is going well except that you’ve seen signs that perhaps a hacker or malware has infiltrated the system, your managed IT team is where you turn to for advice. They can help check for defense breaches and get rid of any lingering scripts or malicious software that may have taken root. As well as knowing what to do when there’s risk of a data breach.

When You Have New Regulations to Meet

Speaking of data breaches, the latest wave of data security regulations is ever-more strict and your managed IT team can help you get compliant. When there are new regulations released or your business starts doing something that requires new regulations, we can help make sure your standard operating procedure is within the new parameters.

When You’ve Lost Data to a Common Data Disaster

When fire, flood, or human error causes your business to lose a chunk of important data or access to data-handling devices, your managed IT team can help you restore everything from backups and sometimes even recover the latest data from a damaged source.

When You Need to Set Up a New Location

Finally, if your business is moving or expanding into a new location, your managed IT team can help you get everything set up in the new place exactly the way you need it, from the hardware and workstations to integration with your cloud services.

Contact us today to find out more about what managed IT can do for your business and how to get the most from your managed IT services!

How to Run Your Business Without Hiring an IT Employee

Small business owner, woman in blazer, smiling, working in the IT industy with IT employees

Outsource your IT and get a staff of qualified techs for a fraction of hiring one internal employee

Today, IT professionals are in high demand, and the labor shortage makes it more than a little challenging to find one who can join the staff at small-business prices. Not when corporations are already hotly competing for every technician, admin, and developer on the market to fill their own in-house staff.

But that’s no need to worry. Fortunately for small business, the IT industry has you covered. There a wide variety of IT teams who work hard to provide outsourcing options in every manner of IT service you might need. This arrangement works for everyone, as the IT teams get to keep busy even when your entire network is running smoothly. Small businesses also get the IT support they need, when they need it, at small-business prices.

Today, we’re here to share a few trade secrets on how to get the IT support your small business needs without competing to employ your own on-staff IT employee. With a combination of the following services, you should have all or most of your IT bases covered.

Managed IT and Cybersecurity Subscriptions

Managed IT is the primary resource that every small business need to know about. Often abbreviated to MSP (managed service provider), what this means is an IT team that will curate your network, your software, and your cybersecurity for as long as your small business is subscribed to their service. Managed IT teams are there to be your outsourced IT department in many ways, but they also only deal with computers, software, and networks.

Rent Printers and Copiers with Tech Support Included

To cover that special equipment need, you can rent your printers and copiers along with other office equipment from a service that also provides complete tech support for their devices. Large-scale office printers and copiers often need a significant amount of IT support and maintenance, making supported rental far more practical for a small business team if you don’t have an IT printer expert on staff.¬† Just be sure that your rentals are with a company that offers full support of both the hardware and software required to keep your printers and copiers humming.

Full-Service Website Hosting

For your website IT, many small businesses benefit from working with a high-quality hosting provider. The company that provides your online server can also help you maintain and secure your website. The key is to look for a full-service package from a reputable hosting provider. Don’t be taken in by cut-rate hosting, as the services are often well below standard and the perks are non-existent. Realize that when you invest in a mainstream host like Azure, AWS or Digital Ocean that part of what you are paying for is the support of their on-staff IT to keep your website safe, secure, and even properly updated with the right supported hosting package.

Local Computer Repair and Refurbishing Services

Finally, for all your additional on-site needs, you can partner with a local computer repair service. These teams and workshops often specialize in riding to the rescue when you need them most. When a computer is physically malfunctioning rather than simply experiencing a software problem, local computer repair teams can make it right. Not only that but when your devices get old and it’s time to get new ones, these teams are often eager to buy the gently used computers and mobile devices from you and help you find a good price on new or like-new refurbished models.

Small businesses have a surprising amount of options outside of hiring on-staff IT to cover every one of your universal or unique IT needs. If you need managed IT services, security, or cloud communication solutions, then contact us today! We look forward to supporting your company with our shared technical expertise.