Closely related to the question of breadth of expertise is the issue of integrated IT service and support. Having multiple skills is great, but the real value is generated when they all come together in the service of your business.
For example, an IT managed service provider in melbourne city who can offer a Unified Communications service will be able to integrate your email, fax and phone communications into one seamless system, drawing on a range of expertise in the process. Similarly, an IT service and support company with skills in networks, servers and remote backup will be able to develop a coherent, rounded strategy for managing your business information – rather than putting forward piecemeal ideas that make you feel like you’re simply buying a product rather than creating a solution that supports your business.
Size of Team
IT service and support providers vary widely in terms of the size of team that they offer, from small teams and one-person operations right up to much larger concerns with hundreds of personnel.
If your enterprise is small or medium-sized, you might be tempted to opt for a smaller supplier, or even a one-person outfit. If you go down this road, remember to make sure you’ll have adequate cover in the event of sickness or time off – if you’re dependent on a single individual, you’ll be without support if they’re not working. A small team gives more reassurance, but there still may be capacity issues if all their clients call for IT service and support at the same time.
Conversely, a very large concern will be able to give much stronger reassurances (perhaps at a cost), but with a trade-off in terms of the personal touch. You may not get to know the people who support you, or it may be a different technician who visits you each time.
For many clients, a medium-sized IT service and support provider offers the best of all worlds – enough team members to provide reassurance in terms of service levels, but a small enough enterprise to deliver genuinely personal service.
While many IT service and support functions can now be carried out remotely, the physical location of your IT service and support partner is still important. In an emergency, will they be able to reach you quickly and deal with problems promptly? What commitments can they make in terms of speed of response?
Many IT service and support clients opt for distant suppliers on the basis of cost or expertise, only to find that they can never get to see the people who are supposed to be ‘supporting’ them. Make sure you’re confident that you’ll be getting the level of support you’ve paid for. Ask to see customer testimonials or case studies, and consider contacting your prospective IT service and support supplier’s customers directly.
Christopher Burke is a Director of Onyx Integrated IT, an IT service and support provider based in Norwich, Norfolk UK. Onyx provides local clients with IT service and support in Norwich Norfolk, serving a broad range of businesses and organisation throughout Norwich and Norfolk.