What to look for in an effective tech support package

Daniel Strain 03-Feb-2022 14:01:25
Young male technical support agent trying to explain something to a client while using hands-free headset at call center

Outsourcing has become one of the most effective models for profitable business operations. It has been acknowledged as a successful competitive strategy that enterprises can use long-term. Outsourcing can help companies concentrate more on their core business while simultaneously controlling expenses.

With so many different technical support packages available, how do you know which one to pick? Let’s look at what makes an effective support package so that you can get the best out of your partnership.

Proactive support

What’s the use in waiting for things to break before getting involved? This method of IT support is outdated and costs your business time and money.

A good MSP will proactively maintain and monitor your entire network. As a result, they can detect and deal with problems before they occur, often without you ever knowing there’s been an issue. They should also predict when you need to change or upgrade your devices, software, or security, thus reducing unexpected spending and encouraging better budgeting.

Ongoing expert advice and guidance

When your IT needs updating, it should be done with the future in mind. Imagine spending thousands on a new server, only to realise that the cloud would be cheaper, offer more features, be more flexible and better connect a workforce. 

A good tech support package should include a Virtual IT Director to advise on technology, answer your questions and look for ways to improve your business IT with the future in mind. 

How do you know when it's time to switch IT support partners? Check out these 7  signs.

A clear focus on cybersecurity

The cyber threat landscape has exploded in the last two years at an exponential rate, with attack vectors being able to breach big companies like Solar Winds, Twitter, and others. Therefore, a support package must encourage investment in security for the sake of the business, its reputation, and your peace of mind.

Good IT support should cover quarterly security audits, anti-virus, anti-spam, 24/7 monitoring and alerting, backup and disaster recovery and end-user security training. 

You should also ask any managed IT partners what security guards they have in place for themselves. If they don’t take their security seriously, it could put your business at risk.

Backup and Disaster Recovery planning

If the worst should happen and your business suffers a cyberattack, what is your support partners plan for getting you back up and running?

Businesses often have many backup systems incompatible with each other. Meaning when a backup is needed for swift business continuity planning, it takes a long time to manage the process – potentially expensive and damaging for the business, not least in terms of its reputation.

A good BDR solution should backup your systems data every hour for optimal data recovery and have you fully operational within 30 minutes from server failure or disaster. Your sensitive data should also be stored in the cloud and on-premise for maximum security and recovery purposes.

Technology partners for the platforms you use

Whether you’re shopping for a consumer product on your own time or evaluating a potential IT partner for your organisation, you depend on reviews, professional assessments, and certifications to help you make the right choice.

By using a technology partner for the platforms, you use (or want to start using), you can be safe in knowing that your chosen IT solutions provider can give you the support your business needs to champion its technology and grow.

3rd party vendor management

When there is an issue with a line of business applications, managed IT customers shouldn’t be expected to take time out of their busy day to chase down their suppliers. Instead, all issues should be handled between your IT partner and the App supplier so you can go about your day and not have to worry.

A balance between “My way or the highway” and “Anything goes”

Client’s don’t want to find themselves in a situation where they are being forced to work in a certain way because it best suits the tech support supplier. Nor do they want to hear “yes” to everything; this should raise alarm bells regarding expertise and specialisation. No one is good at everything. 

You should expect a tech support package to recommend a single central SaaS platform, like the Microsoft environment and have two to three options for standard hardware (role-specific exceptions will apply). 

Good customer service

Most importantly, clients need to know there are people behind the chat window and someone that will pick up the phone to guide them through any issues. 

There is a clear difference between being supported by someone who cares and someone that doesn’t. A great support partner will work diligently to make the entire customer experience as positive as possible.

Before choosing an outsourced partner, look at their reviews and case studies from recent clients to see how good their customer service is. You could also ask about their recent Service Level Agreement (SLA) stats.

To recap on what makes an effective tech support package, the three key points you should look out for:

  1. Proactive problem management: Experienced and friendly experts that identify and solve problems and known errors before further incidents related to them occur. Thus, reducing the number of critical incidences and increasing your uptime.
  2. Strategic guidance and advice: A Virtual CIO who acts as your outsourced IT director. Someone to advise and guide you on your technology and design a forward-thinking roadmap to suit your budget, business needs and goals.
  3.  Stong security offering: Audits your current security position, pinpoints weaknesses and builds a plan to strengthen your security and achieve a Cyber Essentials pass. They should also create a disaster plan for worst-case scenarios.

Netitude offers a variety of support packages to suit the needs of your business, from fully managed, to co-managed to extra cybersecurity support. If you’d like to look at the service Netitude can provide you, you can check our support packages here. Or, if you’d like to speak to one of our team, you can book a call here.

Need some advice, or want to talk about your options? Book a call with Adam