Choosing the wrong computer consultant to support your network can be incredibly frustrating and expensive, and could end up costing you in downtime, data loss and expensive repair bills, not to mention headaches and frustration! From misleading information and unqualified technicians to poor management and terrible customer service, we’ve seen it all…and we know they exist in abundance because we have had several customers come to us to clean up the disasters they have caused.
Here’s 3 questions you should ask your IT provider before hiring them to support your network!
- When they offer an “all-inclusive” support plan, is it TRULY all-inclusive, or are their “gotchas” hidden in the fine print?
Our “all-inclusive” support plan is just that – all-inclusive. One of the more popular service plans offered by consulting firms today is an “all-inclusive” or “all-you-can-eat” managed services plan. These are a good thing because they’ll save you a lot of money in the long run – HOWEVER, make sure you REALLY understand what is and isn’t included. Some things to consider are:
- Is phone/email help desk included or extra?
- Is onsite service included or extra?
- What about network upgrades, moves or adding/removing users?
- What about 3rd-party software support? (We recommend that this IS included.)
- What are the costs/consequences of early cancellation?
- What if you aren’t happy with their services? Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What about an early termination guarantee?
- If hardware and software is included, what happens if you cancel the contract?
- Are off-site backups included? To what extent?
- If you have a major disaster, is restoring your network included or extra?
- What about support for remote offices?
- Are home PCs used to access the company’s network after hours included or extra?
- Do they include any other value-added software like Antivirus, Remote Monitoring and Management, Remote access, or Threat Detection?
- Do they manage your firewall or is that extra?
- Do their technicians participate in ongoing training – or are they learning on your dime?
Our technicians are required to participate in monthly technical training sessions. We also rely heavily on checklists and process documents, so our technicians never have to “guess”. If technicians are always “figuring it out” on the go, then IT support is not a repeatable process, it’s a “science experiment.” That’s why we believe so strongly in the power of processes and systems. While vendor certifications are useful, we feel that true on-the-job expertise is at least as important and that comes from training with senior engineers, testing solutions in-house, working closely with our technology vendors, and collaborating with peers and senior management. In addition, our hiring process is so stringent that 99% of the technicians who apply don’t make it through (guess who’s hiring them?). In fact, we NEVER hire “Level One” technicians or trainees. We only hire specialists with a minimum of 5 years of full-time experience. In fact, on average, our technicians have between 10 and 12 years of real-world experience.
- Do they INSIST on managing an off-site as well as an on-site backup, or are they letting you rely on outdated hard drive or tape backups?
Connectability doesn’t allow our clients to use only tape or hard drive backups because they are downright unreliable and much more susceptible to cyber security vulnerabilities. We ensure all our clients have a secure cloud backup solution for their critical data. We offer a range of backup solutions depending on your needs and the nature of your data, but we require all clients to have some form of cloud backup. The reason many companies go out of business is a critical data loss. We will NEVER allow that to happen to our clients.
We hope you have found this guide to be helpful in shedding some light on what to look for when outsourcing the support of your company’s network. Also, check out this report we’ve written: 21 Revealing Questions You Should Ask Any Computer Consultant to discover all the questions, you should ask an IT provider before getting into business with them.