Evaluating how well your current IT supplier is serving your business can be hard, especially if you don’t know what good service looks like. In this post, we give you 7 things to check with your current supplier.
1. The same things keep failing
There is a myriad of reasons why IT systems fail, however, there is no reason the same thing should fail again and again. Your supplier should regularly review your ticket trends, specifically hunting for re-occurring issues, then address those issues with a permanent fix. They should also be monitoring your entire system 24/7, with the better systems available they could also be automatically raising tickets and resolving issues before you are even aware of an issue. If these steps are being taken in the background, they should also be able to evidence this work.
Netitude carries out quarterly ticket trend analysis on all of our accounts, generating our own task lists specifically to deal with and eradicate re-occurring issues. We also have the top-of-the-line monitoring systems, with “self-healing” scripts written for each individual business and network need. This means, in some cases, we can fix issues automatically, that’s even faster than dispatching an engineer – hows that for high tech! All these actions are ticketed and available for reporting – our model works because of this work going on in the background, so we want to be able to show the hard work that goes into it too.
The REAL cost in IT is downtime. When your business stops because IT systems fail. So stable, secure and robust IT systems and infrastructure that deliver silent and dependable IT is the goal.
2. They don’t understand what your business is doing
When was the last time you met with your supplier when something wasn’t broken? Do you meet with a knowledgeable and experienced account manager on a regular basis, or do they only come to see you when they want to sell you something?
All Netitude fully managed account holders have a “virtual IT Director” assigned to their account. By regularly meeting with your key stakeholders and by taking the time to understand your business, how it works and what it’s aiming to do, we keep your IT systems aligned and in step with your business needs.
Part of this service is helping to plan out your IT budget for the coming year, understanding the changes in your business and staying on top of the simple but necessary tasks such as timely and cost-effective workstation replacement plans.
Our Virtual IT Directors aren’t salespeople either. We don’t pay commission on sales, so our account managers are not financially compensated for selling you the latest and greatest. They are motivated by providing your business with the right technology, the guidance to best take advantage of that technology and seeing your business succeed. This is a key part in delivering our mission, growth through technology.
3. They send you unexpected bills for using up “on-site” time
If your current supplier caps the amount of time “on-site” in your contract… it might lead you to think that they might well end up coming to site a bit more than they really need to?
We believe if it’s a truly well-managed service you shouldn’t be charged for call outs or time spent on site. How can a supplier that benefits from “burning” time on your site, truly be aligned with delivering the best and fastest possible route to fix?
Netitude’s support service is truly unlimited, we don’t put a limit on calls, remote support, on-site support or workshop repairs. It’s truly an “all you can eat” service with the best possible service result built into its core.
4. They don’t keep you secure
If your business cyber-essentials compliant? (or are you even aware of the cyber essentials initiative?) Do you have a robust network security policy in place? When was the last time you changed your wireless password? Do you have a separate network for guests, and is that secure too? Cybersecurity requires a diligent and multi-layered approach.
Cybercrime is a real threat to your business, and sadly it’s only getting worse. There are some simple checks to see if your network is secure, like the Eicar test file download (if your network fails this test, and nobody has told you about gateway virus scanning, then that’s not keeping you informed or secure), there are easy to spot maintenance tasks too, like operating system and third-party (Adobe, Java etc) patching, anti-virus updates, wireless password changes – all of which needs to be up to date and regularly reviewed to be secure and in line with the Cyber Essentials standards. This is just “easy to discover stuff” if these bits aren’t compliant we would dread to think what else has a hole in it!
We also roll enterprise-grade anti-virus into our support offering, so you know we are monitoring your network for threats 24/7.
Netitude’s customers have a full cyber essentials audit carried out every quarter as part of our dedicated network administrator site visit. Not only do we check your systems are in line with industry best practice, but we also carry out the stringent Cyber Essentials Audit points, ensuring your network is secure and able to defend against today’s ever-growing cyber threat.
Once your network is aligned and cyber essentials compliant, we can then have it audited and certified. The great thing about carrying out the audit every quarter is that when renewal rolls around a year after certification, your business will sail through.
5. They only help when things break
Because IT support isn’t just about fixing things that are broken, it should also be about enabling your business and users to use technology in the most effective way possible. If your users are left “struggling” with Word, Excel etc, or don’t know how to use their computer in the most efficient way, your business is losing productivity and wasting time.
Your supplier should have the ability to help your users with “how-to” tasks, spending time with your users to solve those little issues that might never get raised as a fault ticket, or helping design a “Standard Operating Procedure” to keep your whole business on the same page, using your systems effectively and moving forward with technology.
Our dedicated network administrators visit our clients each quarter, this time is not only spent auditing your systems but also with your team. We believe the relationship between our network administrators and your users is key to developing a great “all on the same team” working relationship. With time spent on-site and in your business to help and advance your users having a huge benefit to efficiency and productivity.
Our clients also benefit from a full Microsoft Office 365 training platform as part of our service, delivered through our secure customer portal with easy to follow video guides and exams, allowing you to track your team’s efforts and watch their skills grow as they work through our coursework.
6. They aren’t investing in their own business
As you would expect, the technologies available to IT support companies are moving at an incredible pace. The leading managed IT service companies are constantly investing in the best technology and software platforms to enable the best service. For example, Netitude uses a variety of software platforms to deliver our service including the market leading “PSA” platform ConnectWise, a client documentation platform, a live dashboard system, a customer survey system, fully customised help portal, mobile helpdesk app, Microsoft training system and our centralised monitoring platform from SolarWinds N-central to name but a few. All of these systems are neither cheap or simple to implement and require a huge amount of dedication to use effectively. As a mature dedicated business only IT supplier, we have been using these systems for years, fine-tuning to meet our exacting requirements.
We also invest heavily in training for our team, with our engineers always off on another course or certification programme, ensuring our team are fully clued up on the technology we deliver.
Is your supplier is still using a freebie web helpdesk or worse still no ticketing system in place at all? No documentation system or even installs free anti-virus? Thing’s like this should be ringing alarm bells!
You might also ask the question, are they charging enough to even make these investments? Cheap can often mean poor in actual value-for-money to your business. It might even mean they disappear over-night, leaving your business in a desperate situation.
7. They aren’t focusing on business IT
Business and domestic IT are 2 very separate disciplines and it’s obvious that you can’t be the master of both. If you are looking for business IT services, it is logical you should be looking for a business only supplier to ensure they are truly skilled and experienced in supporting business networks.
Trying to also offer domestic IT services is at odds with delivering business-centric services and having the right resources to support your business. For example, selling “back to school” laptops on the high-street has a very different skill set requirement than designing out your IT security and network use policy.
We often see, as businesses get bigger they often out-grow the “retail” IT shop they used when they first started out. Put simply, your business deserves an IT supplier that is dedicated to delivering business IT services, not distracted by domestic IT ad-hoc piece work.
A business only supplier will also work under SLA (*Service Level Agreement”), meaning your issues are worked on and resolved in a timely manner. If your supplier doesn’t have a well staffed and dedicated service desk it’s unlikely they can offer a suitable SLA. Netitude support agreements operate under a strict SLA, with direct access to knowledgeable engineers.
Did your supplier pass the test?
So there you have it, a small rundown of the kind of things to watch out for with your current IT supplier. If you feel your current supplier isn’t meeting the mark or it sounds like our service could meet your businesses needs a bit better, we would love to come and see you and discuss the Netitude advantage in fully managed IT support.