Category Archives: Manage Service

It’s Better to Use Managed Service Providers

Woman with beautiful smile holding a tablet and managed service providers concept

Are you ready to outsource your IT needs?

It’s natural to want to save money wherever possible — and what smart businesses don’t do this? Relatively small businesses whose owners happen to be tech-savvy can get away with managing their own computers and equipment. However, for larger types of businesses with several computers, it’s not practical to manage their own IT even if the owners are tech-savvy. This is due to the fact that large businesses consume too much time via administration or other ways to be able to effectively manage their own IT infrastructure — and this isn’t even factoring in stress. To run a large business and attempt to manage the computer infrastructure on top of that would make life pretty dull — and exhausting. What satisfaction comes from a large business when it’s owner attempts to run the whole show themselves? There really isn’t any.

This is why using managed service providers is a novel idea. Instead of the owner, manager, or employees attempting to manage the computer infrastructure, they can focus on business productivity and leave the tech stuff to professionals. Outsourcing routine management of computer systems to service providers not only helps save time, but it saves potential disaster. Many successful businesses have suffered great losses due to their computer systems not being properly managed — when devices stop working, repairs are often attempted by those who are not familiar enough with the systems being repaired, and in some cases cause more damage than the original problem being fixed. For small computer systems or networks where productivity disruption is not a big issue, self attempts at repair are generally more acceptable — but not with relatively large businesses. Data preservation and restoration in the event of disasters or breakdowns in and of themselves can be sophisticated without even getting into device repair or maintenance. Let’s expand a little bit on some points above.

Stress

So your business just received its first major payoff. All the planning, hard work, sweat, and tears are paying off and the prospect is looking bright. The bucks keep rolling in but there never seems to be time to enjoy the fruits of the labor due to the desire to save as much money as possible — by attempting to self-manage the computer infrastructure. It’s great that the talent to achieve such a task can be retained, but let’s not forget why we start businesses in the first place — it’s aspiration toward freedom from the general boundaries of an average employment. By attempting to manage every aspect of the business, the joy of starting the business in the first place can be easily negated.

Time

This point sort of goes back to what was discussed about stress. However, although more time spent toward managing a business can increase stress, managing computers steals time away from the productivity side of the business. Take the following as an example: An important business associate is on phone and content of certain E-mails are being discussed — then, suddenly, access to E-mail goes down postponing the productivity of the phone call. Whether the E-mail connectivity went down due to postponed maintenance or something breaking down, the business is on the hook to take care of the broken E-mail in addition to — hopefully — resuming the productivity of the lost phone conversation.

Risk

Self-management of computer infrastructures carries risk through various means. Some of those are loss of productivity, lost time, and lost money — all due to inefficient attempts at repair, maintenance, backup and restore, and perhaps physical illness due to being overstressed. Imagine performing a routine backup of customer data and when the time of year comes around to reach out to customers via E-mail marketing, it’s discovered that the entire customer-information database has been wiped out and unrecoverable due to an overlooked detail in the backup system.

Examples of risks are numerous and can generally be avoided by outsourcing to managed service providers. SystemsNet has sufficient experience and manpower to deal with the needs of large businesses. Please contact us to discuss how we can help your business.

How to Encourage Your Staff to Call their IT Help Desk

Male receptionist calling an IT help desk in a hotel

Having a fully staffed help desk allows for faster resolution of issues compared to a single employee help desk.

IT help desks can be incredibly useful inside your business infrastructure. They help employees solve problems, make better use of their technology, and face down cybersecurity threats with confidence. However, many IT help desks are sorely underutilized as employees are hesitant to make the call when they experience trouble.

Most modern professionals are independent-minded. They enjoy solving their own problems and, if the IT desk is new, they are used to handling technical hiccups on their own. Even if your IT team could streamline and improve their own troubleshooting, staff may not realize just how much they’re missing out by not calling the help desk at the right times. They wind up losing hours each year to attempting to fix or –worse– attempting to work on half-broken workstations.

So today, we’re here to highlight a few useful ways to encourage your staff to call the help desk when they need it.

Add IT to Your VoIP Quick Contacts

The first and easiest way to encourage your staff to call IT is to make it easy to call IT. Your VoIP phone system can feature a list of quick contacts that every staff member has access to. This may include the front desk, mail room, HR, and of course their own supervisor and team members. Make sure that this quick-contacts list also includes a prominent link to the IT help desk phone number.

If your team uses handsets, ensure that one programmable speed-dial button is set to take them straight to IT. This way, talking to IT is a single click or button press away. No need to look up the number which acts as a procrastination barrier to calling for IT when it is needed.

Provide Live Chat Connection to the IT Help Desk

For many modern professionals in their 20s and 30s, live chat is a far more comfortable form of communication than talking on the phone. Chatting doesn’t require ‘small talk’ or laughing at each other’s jokes. There’s also no worry about sounding awkward or stilted when talking about tech stuff that employees may not understand.

By providing an easily found live-chat link to the IT help desk, you may find that many more staff members are comfortable reaching out and asking for help when they need it.

Offer Rewards for Reported Phishing and Malware Attacks

Employees often don’t know what to do when they receive a phishing email or think they have just witnessed signs of a malware attack. What you want them to do is report it to IT so that the problem can be hunted down, defended against, and stopped in the future. The best way to do this is to offer some kind of reward or bounty for every phishing email or malware attack spotted by an employee.

They are sure to call IT with each false or suspicious email with a reward on the line, something that is great for morale and great for your business cybersecurity.

Encourage Staff Directly in Meetings and Memos

Always combine the direct method with opportunities. IT may be on live chat and speed dial, but your team needs to know that you really want them to call the IT help desk when something comes up. So encourage them. Encourage them in group meetings, and offer reminders through emails and mentions at company parties.

The more often you mention that calling IT is a desired company policy, the more staff members will pick it up to be good employees.

Audit Currently Half-Broken Workstations

For stodgy old professionals who just don’t call IT no matter what, one of the best solutions is simply to audit workstations. Have IT come through and assess whether each personal workstation is in ship-shape or has been limping along with unsolved software errors, up-updated programs, or undetected malware.

Anyone with a half-broken workspace should then receive a pointed speech about how not calling IT puts the company at risk while their workstation is either replaced or repaired before they can return to work. This will drive the point home for heel-draggers.

Praise Employees for Taking Care of IT-Assisted Repairs

Finally, remember to offer praise as well. It is an employee’s duty to keep their workstation in good working order and to call IT if anything problematic or suspicious arises. Each time someone takes care of their own IT scutwork without having to be told, offer a small word of praise or reward. The simple reinforcement will build morale and show that IT responsibility is worth respect in your company.

Those who are IT-vigilant will feel that respect and others who want praise will follow their example.

Making use of your IT help desk is about more than just technology. You need your entire team onboard to the idea of calling IT when something goes wrong and following their directions to fix the problem efficiently. These methods can healthily promote the use of your IT help desk by offering opportunity, encouragement, and minor consequences for neglect. For more IT help desk tips or services, contact us today!

5 Reasons Your Employees Need an Internal IT Help Desk

Internal IT help desk: IT engineer in the server room connecting cables

Whether your a small business or large enterprise, SystemsNet has the right plan for you

As your business grows, it’s important to start thinking not just about the needs of the customers, but also about the needs of your internal staff. A small business starts as a team, grows into a structure, and then finally becomes a microcosm community of professionals all working together toward a common goal. An office that grows large enough needs an office manager, then admin staff, then an entire HR department. And the IT needs of your office follow a very similar path. First, you need a tech to call when the computers break, then a team who can set up a network of workstations sporting the business software. And, eventually, your staff will need an IT help desk to keep your tech infrastructure up and running as the company continues to grow.

Today, we’re here to explore not just the use of an IT help desk, but why your employees need the help of on-call technicians to maintain efficiency, security, and workflow.

1) On-Demand Repairs for Software & Computers

When a workstation breaks or your company software malfunctions, work stops. No company likes to see a paid employee twiddling their thumbs at a broken workstation or losing hours trying to solve tech errors that won’t go away. Having an IT help desk on-call is the best thing you can do for employees who want to keep working but are stopped by malfunctioning technology.

An IT help desk knows all the right answers. Not only can they help employees fiddle with settings to get the best performance, but they also know when a reboot or even reinstalling the software would be faster and cleaner than trying to unsnarl a messy problem. Your IT team can even get held-up employees on a different workstation while the broken station goes in for repairs.

2) Make Full Use of New Company Software

Of course, IT isn’t just there to fix problems. An IT help desk used correctly can also guide employees to making the most use of their company software. Business software tends to be complex with a great many options available to streamline work and connect data. However, employees tend to learn only a few basic uses of the software at first then become more skilled with it over time.

With help from the IT help desk, employees can call for guidance on how to do certain tasks and IT can show them how to make much more diverse and efficient use of the software in the process. From there, your employees can teach each other and share tricks to increase the productivity and skills of the entire team.

3) Guidance Setting Up New Workstations

When a team grows (or a workstation breaks) new workstations are necessary to allow for that growth. Each new workstation will need to be installed with the write operating system and cybersecurity infrastructure. It will need to be connected to the company network, have the business software installed, and accept logins from company employees.

Setting all this up can be done by team members or on-site IT but it’s much easier to handle with a knowledgeable tech on the phone. An IT help desk tech can walk any employee through the process of booting up and setting up a new workstation. Especially if you already have a workstation ‘image’ that can be used for backup recovery or to create an identical workstation to those already in use.

4) Reporting Suspected Phishing or Malware Attacks

When employees receive a phishing email or suspect they have just witnessed a malware attack, they need someone to call. Cybersecurity is vital and employee vigilance plays a major part in keeping company data safe. Your IT help desk can serve as an employee’s next line of defense, the IT authority to call to help the company maintain cybersecurity integrity.

An IT helpdesk tech can tell employees what to do (and what not to do) in response to a malware attack or a phishing email and may be able to use that information to neutralize the threat.

5) Enacting Disaster Recovery Steps

Finally, who do your employees call when a computer crashes, eats a database, or seems to be infected with malware? When you need backup recovery enacted, you don’t necessarily need an IT professional on-site. A call to the IT help desk can assist the team in walking through the correct backup recover steps to restore lost files or wipe and fully restore an infected workstation

Having an IT help desk for your team serves many purposes and can solve a wide variety of problems that occur in most modern businesses. From making use of software to stopping a malware attack in its tracks, your IT help desk can ensure your team is using their workstations and software to the utmost benefit for the company. For more on how IT help desk services for your business, contact us today!

5 Tips to Increase Your IT Help Desk Inquiry Efficiency

IT Help Desk Inquiry Efficiency Concept

How efficient is your internal help desk?

The usefulness of your IT help desk isn’t just in the software you use or the skilled technicians solving problems. It’s also in how your employees approach their problems that need solutions. If you really want to increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of your IT help desk, part of that formula is helping your staff ask questions efficiently and learn to solve more common or basic problems on their own.

Here are five highly effective ways to increase the inquiry efficiency of your IT help desk.

1) Include Live Chat and Ticketed Inquiries

Traditional help desks function with ticketed inquiries. Employees send an email or use a form to submit an asynchronous request for assistance with any information they have. This works well for off-hours or long-solve solutions, but it can actually slow down the solve on quick or surface-level problems. Live chat has been found to be more effective at high-speed and interactive IT support than email or phone because it allows both parties to ask and answer questions quickly, share files, and run troubleshooting tests in real time.

2) Build a Detailed Tech FAQ – Keep it Updated

Interestingly, you can also increase help desk efficiency by eliminating a percentage of inquiries made. The answer is simple: A really helpful and well-build FAQ. FAQs have evolved well beyond a list of question-and-answers into ‘help portals’ that assist the user in finding the answers to common and easy to solve problems.

For example, you probably don’t need as many IT help desk calls about troubleshooting printers or employee emails as your help desk handles. A good FAQ as your first line of defense can help employees quickly solve any problem that is already known and has only a few simple steps to try.

3) Equip Chatbots to Answer FAQ Questions

Of course, not everyone is apt at searching a FAQ or help portal for the answers they need. Others don’t have time to explore the interface. For your rushed employees, the key to streamlining quick IT services and access to the FAQ is a simple chatbots. Programmable chatbots can be ‘loaded up’ with answers to common questions. And a common question is a FAQ by any other name.

What this means is that not only can you provide a FAQ answer portal, you can also equip a chatbot assistant to listen for ‘FAQ’-like questions and give the standard answer. This will speed up early troubleshooting immensely. A Chatbot can also direct employees to a real live IT help desk member for questions that go beyond the scope of the FAQ.

4) Provide Micro-Learning on Common IT Solutions

You can even teach your employees to handle increasingly complex-yet-common fixes through the use of micro-learning modules. These ‘just-in-time’ lessons can walk employees through how to do complex fixes that your company may deal with on a regular basis. The best part about micro-learning lessons is that you can ask your IT help desk team to create or map them based on the questions they really do get and solve the most often. From there, employees can summon the lesson and walk themselves through common solves without having to call IT again.

5) Have Employees Mark Category and Urgency

Finally, for problems that can’t be handled through FAQ best-practices or a quick live chat, you want a superb ticket sorting procedure. Your IT help desk can do their job best when they know what each ticket is about, how much time it will take, and how urgent the solution is before they start. Which means your team needs to know how to convey this information when they submit a problem.

When possible, ask employees to mark the category, severity, and urgency of every support ticket they request from your IT help desk. The more detail you encourage to be shared, the better. This gives your IT team a clear place to start when they pick up the ticket, live or asynchronously.

Providing an IT help desk to your employees is an important step in streamlining any modern business. But the help desk doesn’t have to be on your permanent staff. Take advantage of internal streamlining techniques and the logistic advantage of outsourced IT professionals. For more information about how to make your IT help desk more efficient, contact us today.