There are four different ways most businesses acquire IT support. You can: Hire an internal IT person Hire an on-demand IT vendor or freelancer when you need help Pre-purchase blocks of IT support hours Partner with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) Each approach to IT support has its pros and cons, and within each approach are various pricing models.
I'm currently re-watching The Office (US) for what feels like the 100th time. This time, I realized that some parts have a whole new meaning now that I work for an IT company that provides tech support to businesses like the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. In this clip from Season 7, Episode 9, "WHUPF.com," Jim tries to reset the server after a power outage causes it to go down. He's stuck and The Office can't do any work since he doesn't know the password to sign into the server. This causes Michael to recall all of The Office's former IT guys to determine who originally set up the server. As Michael thinks through the list of IT guys backward from the most current by the nicknames he gave them, "Glasses, Turban, Ear Hair, Fatty 3, Shorts, Fatty 2, Lozenge, and Fatso," Kevin remembers that 'Lozenge' set up the server eight years ago. Michael recalls that whatever the password was made him laugh when he heard it but, "Pam got really offended." Jim ultimately enters Kevin's suggestion of "big boobz," based on Michael's clues. The password is accepted, the server is reset, and Dunder Mifflin lives on to sell paper another day.
Think of your business’ domain name as your own, branded corner of the internet. It is the space you own for business-related web and email traffic. In today’s digital economy, most businesses own a custom domain for their website. However, it’s surprising how many aren’t using a custom domain for email and instead use generic email addresses like gmail.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, etc. Even if you have not yet registered a custom domain, the process is relatively simple and inexpensive, and the benefits to your business are significant. Here are the top five reasons every business needs a custom email domain.
Welcome to the third and final installment of our three-part series demonstrating the types of services you should expect from a quality outsourced IT vendor. Part I outlined the support you should expect from a help desk and service team, and Part II showed how your IT vendor should advise on business strategy. Now, we’re featuring the third element of service provided by an outsourced IT vendor, project management and implementation. Part III: Project Team Projects are pre-planned, scheduled activities, like new device installation, software migration, cabling, etc. This role might be filled by the same team that handles your day-to-day support. However, when you’re evaluating an IT partner, it is important for you to understand how they maintain the capacity to respond to daily requests while meeting their pre-scheduled project commitments.
In Part I of this series we outlined the Service Team component of an outsourced IT vendor. The Service Team tends to see the most day-to-day activities from customers since they handle incoming help desk calls and emails. They resolve issues remotely or on-site at the customers’ locations. Plus, they proactively monitor and maintain customer networks to address as many potential issues as possible before end-users ever notice a problem. As you evaluate the benefits of working with an outsourced IT vendor, you’ll want a good understanding of the process for requesting assistance and their guaranteed response and resolution times. Additionally, you’ll want to understand what proactive steps the team takes to resolve issues before they impact business processes and productivity. But it doesn’t stop there - the Service Team is just one component of the relationship you’ll have with a quality IT vendor.
You've reached the point where you know your business needs some more sophisticated IT support than your current model can provide. You've evaluated the options, and are considering working with an outsourced IT vendor or managed service provider. An outsourced IT vendor can handle a lot of different functions for your business, but you're struggling to evaluate the return on the potentially significant investment you're about to make in their services.
Most businesses launch their operations on a shoestring budget and manage the business on readily available technology. If your business starts in your home, as many do, you probably already have a basic computer, internet connection, and phone service. All you need to do is register a domain name for your website and email, set up a basic website through a web hosting provider and platform, and select an email hosting provider. Eventually, you start to grow and bring on your first few employees. With employees comes more computers and the need to share information and applications. Great employees expect to have the tools and resources to do their jobs well, and you need to spend your time growing the business not dealing with day-to-day technology challenges. You may have a friend or colleague help you with your IT needs, but you’re starting to think you need a bit more support than one person can provide. This is usually around the time when a business starts to think about obtaining some sort of professional IT support. There are a few ways you can go at this point.
If you're planning to upgrade hardware or networking infrastructure in your business this year, you may see significant cost savings by purchasing that equipment soon (i.e. this month) thanks to increased tariffs on Chinese imports.
From basic desktop computers to complex network infrastructure, all businesses need some sort of technology to operate. With the amount of technology necessary to compete in today's economy, how do businesses maintain margins and absorb ever-growing IT costs? Leasing is an option that reduces your initial investment and allows for the flexibility to adopt new technology based on your business needs and not capital budgets.