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Send in the Technician Cavalry

Tech Tips: Send in the Technician Cavalry

REP4 Tech Tips #6

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew when your computer or network was going to have problems?  Or if you knew when a co-worker would accidentally delete that spreadsheet you’ve been working on for the last week?  Unfortunately, we can not predict these disasters, but we can contribute to reducing them and be prepared when the do happen. And happen, they will.

Send in the Cavalry

What happens next depends on the amount of preparation you have done.  Is your IT guy available? Is she the neighbor’s teenager or the guy that fixes computers when he’s not at his full time job?  If it is your home computer, it is probably not a big deal and you can wait until they have time. If you are running a business, outages mean lost money.  Luckily, though, you are prepared, you have an ongoing relationship with your local IT/Computer Service company. Not only do they know you, but they know your system setup and they understand your business. With no time wasted trying to learn your setup from scratch, they go to work.

Cost Spike

The next most aggravating point of having a problem with your computer or network, whether you are a home owner or a business owner, is the unexpected costs of repair.  Unless you are confident in fixing your own computer problems or, as a business, have someone on staff that handles your IT and computer issues, these costs can put a dent in your wallet.  Even if you are fairly handy with a computer or one of your sales guys is also the part time IT guy, in most cases the time spent resolving the issue properly becomes more expensive  than hiring a professional.

Managed Services

Managed Services, this ambiguous term refers to the service supplied by most IT and Computer Service companies that allows individuals or companies to distribute their Computer, Network and all other IT repair costs over a period of time. This creates a predefined, “budgetable”  cost of services spread throughout the year and allows you to have the service you need with just a phone call. No spike in your computer repair costs, only an expected monthly fee.

Recently, when describing this service to a potential new client, they were intrigued by this concept. “You mean, if I have one problem in a week or twelve I am still charged the same amout?”, he asked.  “Yes, absolutely.”, I assured him.

How does it work?

When REP4 Technologies (our IT Services company here in Selkirk) was planning to offer this service, we took a sampling of customers of similar sizes and requirements and were able to come up with a formula that allows us to create a fair, monthly fee to support any small to medium computer and network system – even residential users.

The standard budgeted monthly fee is only one of the many benefits of using Managed Services.  Partnering with a Managed Service provider creates a unique relationship with your IT Services Company. There are many more advantages:

  1. Quality Driven – Probably the biggest advantage after cost: Since you, as the customer, are paying a flat rate, the better your Service Provider is, the more profitable they are.  This means that the Service Provider will ensure everything is done right the first time so they are not spending more time than required on a problem.
  2. Skilled technicians – by subscribing to the Managed Service advantages you are gaining the backing and support of a larger organization that focuses on staying up to date on the latest technologies and using them to your advantage.
  3. Maintenance Services – Managed Services normally include the more essential, but mundane tasks like ensuring your computers are receiving security updates, anti-virus is functional and backups are not only occurring, but ensuring that they actually work.

Computer outages can drain more than just your patience, they can also extinguish your monthly budget – quickly. Establishing a Managed Service contract with an IT Service Provider can bring many benefits and allow you to focus on running your business and not worrying how to cover the costs of the next technical issue.

Eddie Phillips is the President of REP4 Technologies Inc. in Selkirk, Manitoba. Eddie is a 16 year IT veteran using his experiences from working for companies like Microsoft, Texas Instruments and HP to grow technological awareness throughout the Interlake

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