Do you like surprises? The answer probably depends on the context. You welcome surprises like lottery winnings and visits from an old friend. But surprises like, “Hey, we need an extra $5,000 to finish this project that’s already started” are very unwelcome. That’s where a contingency comes in.
Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365 — which is best? Many people are passionately on team Microsoft or team Google when it comes to productivity suites. You may not even remember why you chose one or the other. It could have simply been what you knew was available way back when you started your business or first adopted the technology. Someone, at some point, came along and suggested switching from Google to Microsoft or from Microsoft to Google. When the question comes up, most organizations struggle to identify which solution is truly best for their business vs. which one was just the flavor of the month when they made the choice.
Do you have piles of notes lying around your computer? Are you constantly writing things down in different notebooks, then scrambling to find where you put the notes from that last project update or team meeting? Microsoft OneNote is your answer. It has all the productivity and organization you need conveniently tied to all your other Microsoft applications and functions.
The overwhelming responsibilities of IT are stressful. As if daily new security threats weren't enough, you're also keeping up with general troubleshooting and network administration demands. You're facing more pressure to perform amid staffing shortages and a global pandemic that crammed five years of technology advancement into a few months. It just never feels like there are enough hands to respond to day-to-day end-user support needs while ensuring the network runs as securely and efficiently as possible.
You have a capable IT team, but projects seem to drag on forever. Plus, you never have time to optimize your technology or plan for improvements because day-to-day support consumes all your attention. You outsource some specialized functions, but a third party can't completely take tasks off your plate when they require assistance from your team to gain network information and access.
Have you recently completed a form or answered questions from your cyber insurance carrier? There was likely something in there about multi-factor authentication. And you probably agreed to ensure multi-factor authentication (MFA) is in place for certain types of users and network access.
If the last 25 years in the IT industry taught me one thing, it’s that people hate surprises, especially when it comes to ever-increasing technology spending. Yet it seems like your IT team always has their hand out to upgrade this or replace that. You’re left asking the same questions every time they ask to fund a new project: Why does this cost so much? How did we not see this coming? What do I need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again? There isn’t necessarily a one size fits all answer to these questions. The ever-changing nature of technology means there will always be some surprises, especially when it comes to spending. But you can minimize surprises with effective IT planning and budgeting.
Your business isn’t just like anyone else’s. So, why would you work with vendors who claim to help everyone? You’re not everyone. You have specific things you’re trying to accomplish. You might be expanding into a different market, researching new products and services, or preparing to downsize as you approach retirement. Your service providers must align with where you’re trying to go. They must help you get closer to that goal. Otherwise, what are you paying them for? Innovative is a managed service provider. We handle everything in your business that plugs into a network jack (or has a wireless connection) – that’s your servers, computers, phones, printers, and copiers. By that description, it sounds like most any business could be a great Innovative customer. But here’s the not-so-secret secret, anyone with some basic tech skills can install and troubleshoot computers, servers, phones, printers, and copiers (i.e., technology). Innovative’s value comes from helping businesses communicate better and generate more useful information (i.e., money-making information) with their technology. Long story short, it doesn’t make sense for you to hire us if technology can’t make a positive impact on your business and profitability.
If your business has more than 20 employees and is in Frederick or Hagerstown, Maryland, Kris Miner has likely knocked on your door (or gave you a call, sent you an email, or all of the above…). Kris leaves no stone unturned in his search for new Innovative customers. You may have brushed him off the last time he asked how you’re handing technology systems or if you’re happy with the support from your current IT company. Because let’s face it, we all think of the Wolf of Wall Street (and not in that Leonardo DiCaprio is dreamy kind of way) when we think about sales guys.
The five areas to consider when choosing a managed service provider (MSP) are: Customer service. Product and service offerings. Organization and culture. Security practices. Account management. When your business outgrows the DIY approach to IT, you may consider outsourcing IT functions to a managed service provider (MSP). Or, maybe you've been working with an IT vendor who is no longer meeting your needs and you're ready to make a change. Once you've decided that managed IT services are the right option for managing your IT, how do you choose the best MSP partner? In this article, we'll walk through the five areas to consider when evaluating a potential managed service partner for your business. As a managed service provider, Innovative gets a lot of questions from businesses choosing an MSP. While we certainly follow MSP best practices, we're not the perfect fit for every business. For the remainder of this article, we'll remove ourselves from the equation and present an unbiased outline of how to evaluate a managed service provider.