Archive for July, 2013:

6 Reasons Outsourced IT Support is a Good Idea!

Posting Date: 07/26/2013  |   Filed Under: Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Outsourced IT support is becoming more and more popular with regard to both small and medium sized businesses and large corporations.  Outsourced IT support usually consists of a combination of the following services: hosting as well as web development and maintenance; data storage and back up via cloud solutions; application and computer software development; database development and management; program support and management; telecommunications; data security; help desk and/or tech support services.

Business owners see the value in outsourcing as a way to remain competitive by access the latest technological know-how and utilizing skilled technology professionals while still keeping the bottom-line in mind.

Here are 6 reasons why Outsourced IT Support may be a good idea for your business:

1: Equipment Cost Control: A new business can really benefit from the cost savings associated with the cost of IT infrastructure. Although, a business at any stage of maturity can use the money saved related to IT infrastructure and re-invested into various revenue making initiatives.

2: Stability: An important factor for any business is stability. Moving to an outsourced IT support model can help your business gain the stability it desires (at least for your IT department). Time wasted on employee hiring and training will be a thing of the past, equipment upgrades will be handled at convenient times that you deem acceptable and technical problems will be monitored proactively so they become almost nonexistent.

3: Efficiency Technical Expertise: This benefit can be felt immediately, true technology experts will be able to seamlessly integrate and easily become familiar and understand your systems.  Those who focus on delivering outsourced IT support have technical expertise and offer efficient strategies to benefit their clients.

4: Operational Cost Control: You are only paying for the IT services that you have outlined as needed with your outsourced IT support provider, therefore keeping costs controlled. You are also able to save in other areas like rent by needing a smaller workplace for fewer workers, less equipment, and other personnel related expenses.

5: Remain Competitive: You don’t need to break the bank on IT expenses to stay competitive. Outsourced IT support providers can use their leverage, having multiple clients, to get you access to “big business” technological know-how and professional expertise for a low budget prices that you need for your business to remain competitive. This competitive edge will make an impression on your clients.

6: Run Your Business: Concentrate on your business and what you do well and stop wasting time and energy on technology issues. When you trust your business to an outsourced IT support service professional they handle technology issues and take a proactive approach to preventing issues.

Is Outsourced IT Support Right for Your Business?

Posting Date: 07/25/2013  |   Filed Under: Consoles, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Numerous companies are beginning to utilize Outsourced IT Support, but the fact of the matter is very few people know what it is and how it can help their company. We have leaned on a seasoned franchise owners to help us uncover the answers that surround the questions about Outsourced IT Support and why your company may wish to consider this option.

According to a survey completed by CompTIA 62% of the organizations surveyed planned to make greater investments in Outsourced IT Services (managed services) over the next two years.

Q: What is Outsourced IT Support?

A: Removing the frustration of ensuring your computer, network, and server is functional while ensuring you or your own staff is performing the roles they were hired for and are experts. By allowing an organization that has the expertise and ability to properly support your computers, you can forget about technology equipment except as vehicle to help you in achieving a profit.

Q: How should you evaluate if Outsourced IT Support will be beneficial?

A: If you are spending over an hour a week dealing with laptop or computer issues, if anyone automatically associate technology with various “descriptive adjectives”, if you have more than 3 employees/systems or your needs extend past just one computer, you need an outsourced IT support crew.

Q: What products/services does an Outsourced IT Support model implement as well as support?

A: Anything and everything in the IT world that’s needed to allow you to focus on your organization objectives.

Q: Does this Outsourced IT Support model work better for certain corporations and industries than others?

A: Without a doubt.

Q: What questions should you ask when assessing an Outsourced IT Support provider?

A:

  • What is the service guarantee?
  • What is included as service?
  • Are added maintenance items charged or included in the monthly service?
  • Does the provider work proactively or reactively?
  • What is the expected response time?
  • What is the expertise and skill level of the provider? (Can the support networks as well as servers, etc).
  • Can the provider show a listing of clients?
  • Can the service provider actually fix things or is it just smoke and mirrors? (try them on a project basis first).

Q: What business indicators can suggest that an organization should consider Outsourced IT Support?

A: An Outsourced IT Support provider needs to be used if:

  • The primary machine(s) for the business are not recoverable or properly backed up
  • Minor issues linger over time (account details, email, install of Line of business applications and updates).
  • If the Infrastructure has not updated or evaluated for over 30 days.
  • If anyone person in the company spends more than 5 hours a week on IT issues.

Q: What benefits do your customers find moving to an Outsourced IT Service Model?

A: Less stress, more cost effective, single source of contact to solve issues among multiple vendors, proactive solutions regarding equipment and computer software, reduced time researching problems, difficulties, solutions, accountable historical data such as tickets and reports, reduced worry on moving to various platforms.

Q: Is there a cost savings when moving to an Outsourced IT Support Model?

A: Initially, no. After the first two or three months, the savings begin to appear. The start of agreement may be costly while the IT infrastructure is base lined and brought up to date. Afterwards, the ROI expands because systems demonstrate improved efficiency and reduced down time. As the IT Infrastructure recedes on the “front burner” of issues, the IT Infrastructure produces better return on investment by processing properly and allowing the business to focus on the primary company objectives.

Q: I understand this can be this a proactive method to IT Support rather than reactive, can you explain how that is helpful?

A: By finding issues before they impact the organization, any down time can either become eliminated or moved to non-productive hours (after hours). For example: if a hard drive is failing and swapped out during off hours, the computer is not offline from use and system / data is saved. If the hard drive announces its failure during the day, the organization down time of not having that machine as well the potentially lost files or programs can certainly linger and impact the company for days or weeks (or longer). Presume the accounting laptop or computer is failing: if it is repaired and operating without impacting the organization, it makes money. But if that fails and accounting data is lost for the year (or longer), the impact is felt for a year; especially during tax season.

Q: What should your Outsourced IT support provider actually provide and be the client to establish trust?

A: Honesty: If the provider makes an error, they should admit it and have a plan to resolve the error. Experience & skill: Not measured in years, but in work performance. Responsiveness: The provider needs to respond quickly and work to eliminate the problem quickly.

Q: Once the decision is made to move to an Outsourced IT Support Model what’s the process to convert a business?

A:

  • A provider should perform site survey and consult EVERY users for their technology  pain points.
  • The service provider should detail the transition method, the milestones, and offer regular status updates around progress.
  • The client should anticipate a flurry of activity for the first few weeks as systems are base lined (hopefully after hours).
  • The client needs to have control of the items being worked on with the service provider. For example the service provider, as well as client, should agree on the resolution plan and timeline before the work begins.

Outsourcing Your IT Services

Posting Date: 07/16/2013  |   Filed Under: Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Outsourcing Your IT Services

The term “IT outsourcing” is generally defined as the use of a third-party service provider to deliver IT- enabled business processes. Outsourced IT support services typically involves sub-contracting responsibility for some of the following processes: application and software development; data storage via cloud services; web development and hosting; application support and management; database development and management; security; telecommunications; social media management; technical support and help desk services. Outsourced IT support enables both large corporations and small businesses to benefit from experienced IT guidance; remain up to date on technology; and have access to knowledgeable best practices. It’s simply not possible for a business owner to be an expert at everything. It’s a smart strategy to know when to hire an expert for certain functions that will enable you to keep your focus on moving your business forward.

Did You Know Utilizing Outsourced IT Support Can Benefit Your Business?
Did You Know Utilizing Outsourced IT Support Can Benefit Your Business?

A business owner can contract for outsourced IT support services with a provider in the neighborhood, across town or on the other side of the country. Some IT service providers even come to the client’s site. Geeks On Call already offers this type of skilled IT service to many of our clients. Whatever the particulars of the chosen outsourced IT arrangement might be, the practice is increasingly popular because there are many advantages to this service. Here’s a list of the top four benefits you can take advantage of by outsourcing your IT support services:

  • Benefit 1: Control costs by eliminating full time staff to manage IT functions. By outsourcing IT support responsibilities, you pay only for the specific tasks you need accomplished. You can also control your initial capital outlay for IT infrastructure which can be especially costly for a new business. At any stage of the game, the money you save on IT infrastructure can be invested into creating various income streams or directed towards operations that generate revenue.
  • Benefit 2: Expertise and efficiency is immediately available by outsourcing your IT functions. IT service providers have a wide range of technical expertise and are focused on delivering efficient strategies and outcomes to their clients. As a business owner, you won’t need to worry about a full-time employee being trained, skilled and experienced for each new IT project. Simply call your IT service provider and a skilled professional is available to help.
  • Benefit 3: Stay competitive even if you don’t have a big budget for IT expenses. Large companies may have in-house tech professionals and cutting-edge technology, but smaller businesses generally don’t have the financial resources to support these services. Through economies of scale, outsourced IT support services provide access to the technology and professional expertise that you need for your business to stay competitive. By outsourcing your IT support services, a small business can function like a big business. This competitive edge will impress your clients.
  • Benefit 4: Focus on your business by not wasting time worrying about IT headaches. Business owners can save both time and money by working with a skilled IT service provider who is an expert in the field. By outsourcing IT responsibilities, you can streamline business practices and focus on your core responsibility – running your business.

 

Stay Ahead of the Competition with Outsourced IT Services
Stay Ahead of the Competition with Outsourced IT Services

In today’s economy, the business world has become increasingly competitive. Business owners need to carefully manage every aspect of their business to stay a step ahead of their competitors. If trying to manage IT issues is distracting you from the core issues of your business, it’s probably time to consider an alternative. Outsourced IT support services are an affordable and efficient alternative to wasting your time on IT headaches. Geeks On Call can provide professional IT services to your business as needed, with no need to hire full time employees. Let the experts at Geeks On Call work with you to assess your IT needs and develop a customized plan for your business. Geeks On Call can manage your IT services and you can manage your business. Give your local Geeks On Call office a call and one of our computer professionals will be happy to help you.