Aspects of Managed Services Support

Aspects of Managed Services Support

Managed services and break-fix services play essential roles in supporting your business in IT-related matters. Small and medium entities face tough choices in deciding between the two aspects and complementing IT resources as well as personnel in place. 

Managed Services vs. The Break-Fix Mentality

Just as the name suggests, the Break-fix mentality interacts with your business only when you experience IT problems. 

The vendors of break-fix services send IT professionals to your location to provide remedies at your business location. 

After finding a solution to your IT problem, you are charged for the services rendered. The break-fix services have no ongoing fees and do not tie you to any contracts.

On the contrary, managed services entails outsourcing service providers that share the responsibility for your IT system. 

It creates an extensive and continuous relationship between your business and your service provider. 

Such services work off your business premise and use their systems to supervise and deal with identified IT problems. Mostly, the problems are identified before you experience any system outages. 

Why Break-fix is No Longer Good Enough for Your Business

Below are the main reasons why the break-fix mentality is not any good for your business. 

Subdues Productivity

When you use this model, you are forced to assign your IT needs to your employees. Since this might be a good idea in the short term, it reduces the level of productivity and leads to wastage of resources. 

Cost

In this IT model, you pay for labor, repairs, and consultation. It is impossible to budget for the issues, and there is no reasonable way of establishing whether you are paying a fair price. 

Besides, there are no preventive measures that you can put in place to avoid any problems in the future. This leaves you susceptible to surprise system breakdowns and costs. 

Extended Downtime

In this model, when you experience an IT problem, every minute costs you money. The sporadic nature of this model leads to extended repair time. The extended downtime and the additional repair time increases the cost making it undesirable.  

Do Managed Services Cost More Than Traditional Break-Fix Services?

Managed services cost more than break-fix services. Managed services involve the provision of a recurrent service, which translates to recurrent expenses. 

The services differ based on your business’s needs though it is vital to be proactive in using IT services to achieve business objectives. 

When you use this IT model, you accrue higher upfront fees, monthly subscription fees, and monitoring fees. 

Engaging a managed service provider increases the level of visibility and your capability to establish robust IT strategies. In as much as it is effective and creates accountability, the services cost more than the services rendered in the break-fix model. 

How Are Managed Services Priced?

All businesses want to minimize costs, but that is just one factor you need to think about. Therefore, you need to understand all the pricing aspects of IT services models before you make a decision. 

Managed IT services pricing is based on the following.

  • The number of users
  • Risks Involved
  • Your needs

The price of managed services depends on the monthly cost per user, the coverage, the number of specialists, and the extent of coverage. 

The level of support included and your levels of business that the support is designed for affects the pricing of managed services provided to you.  

The Real Benefits of Managed Services

The benefits of managed services are clear. The model provides IT services to every aspect of your business. As a result, your entity achieves higher standards of IT services. 

Implementing managed services in your business offers several benefits, including:

Enhanced Productivity

Outsourcing IT functions dedicate in-house IT experts to projects that promote innovation and enhance achievement of set objectives. 

Promotes Scalability

Most entities find it more useful to start small and expand according to the growing needs. Managed services make it easy for you to scale either up or down and increase capacity depending on the scope of changes in your business needs. 

Keeps Pace with Your IT Demands

When you outsource IT services or partner with skilled IT professionals, you alleviate the pressures associated with keeping pace with the dynamism of technology. 

Contact us for professional advice on the best IT model for your business.

What is Included in a Managed Services Agreement?

What is Included in a Managed Services Agreement?

A managed services agreement is a contract between a provider of managed services and a client. It creates ties of the service level between the parties and records the primary understanding regarding different aspects of the deal. 

The agreement represents different aspects of your engagement, including:

  • Response times
  • Service-level agreement
  • Limitation of liability
  • Termination clause
  • Clarity of outline of support tiers
  • Service escalation process
  • Phases of setting priorities
  • Labor rates

Below are the things that need to be clearly outlined in your managed services agreement (MSA). 

Services

You need to identify the elements of the services covered, including supported IT services  and those not supported by your managed services provider (MSP). 

You need to ensure that there is clarity on your responsibilities and those of the service provider. 

By clearly outlining the services not covered in the agreement, it prevents any likelihood of holding your service provider liable for any incidents not outlined. A clear outline of the services allows your service provider to work for issues outside the agreement. 

Terms and Conditions

Identify the provider of managed services and their contact information during and after working hours. The agreement needs to stipulate the pricing, terms of payment, and the duration of the contract. Also, it clearly outlines the date when the contract starts, ends, and when it auto-renews. 

Termination of Agreement

The contract between you and your managed services provider outlines the rules of termination, the need for adhering to regulatory requirements, and the owner of the data once the contract ends. 

Length of Warranties

The agreement includes the specifications of the hardware used and the information regarding different types of hardware used in implementing a managed services model. 

Authorization of the Managed Services Provider

The MSA provides extensive information on the licensing of your provider and SaaS.  

Backups

The contract specifies the terms and the length of incremental copies and the total number of copies. 

Limit of Liability

The MSA outlines your confines on instituting legal proceedings for negligence against your provider. Also, it includes information on risk allocation by your provider. 

Insurance

Aspects of cybersecurity insurance are included in the MSA. It covers the level of coverage for your managed services provider. Also, it outlines aspects covered and not covered in the insurance policy. Your MSP needs to give extensive information on any potential liabilities. 

Definitions of Terms

The contract explores the meaning of different terms for all parties. It includes terms that are specific to the entity, providing managed services to your business. 

Discretion

The managed services agreement includes other agreements including the:

  • Licensing agreement
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Non-disclosure document
  • Non-complete document for your provider’s employees 

Assignment Clauses

The document considers the contractual obligations of both parties and specifies the responsibilities and rights that can be transferred. 

Illegal Behavior

The MSA includes a plan of action of prompt reporting to the authorities in case either party notices prohibited behavior. Also, it emphasizes that you are expected to follow a certain course in notifying the authorities. The list includes the major aspects included in a managed services agreement.

Contact us to help you develop an agreement that is satisfactory to both the parties and facilitates the growth of your business.  

Your Managed Service Provider Wants You To Know These 3 Things

Your Managed Service Provider Wants You To Know These 3 Things
What To Know About Managed Services

Do you need an MSP? Or maybe you already have one. Regardless, to truly benefit from your relationship with an MSP, you need to work as a team to achieve the business goals you have in mind.   

Listen

IT providers, good ones, take their work seriously. When you hire a managed service provider they should treat your business as if it were their own. That is why it is key to listening to them, as well as trusting them when they discuss suggestions or changes. Also, an advantage of having an MSP is that they are there to help with third party vendor partnerships. Let them take the lead when dealing with technology providers in VoIP, cable, or internet. This will allow you to concentrate on other things and not have added stress.  

Be Available 

While it’s great that you may outsource your IT completely to your managed service provider, they still need to get together and talk. From changing business needs to updates and safety checks, your MSP doesn’t need to be caught off-guard. Being available to discuss your challenges and needs is important and requires communication every month or at least every quarter. 

Communicate

A managed service provider needs to know everything about your business so as to properly handle the technology side of it. Just as you would share everything with your doctor regarding your health, you need to do the same with your MSP. Below is an overview of topics that need to be discussed in order to help with your businesses IT needs. 

  • What does your business so?
  • Who are key clients to your business?
  • Which industry verticals does your business serve?
  • Does your business experience busy seasons?
  • Any core regulatory codes applying to your business based on industries you work for?
  • Will your business expand, and if so what are those plans?
  • What are your future goals for your business?

Most often clients do not want to delve into discussing all these things. This is generally because there is a lack of trust between the MSP and the business owner. From fear of sharing business plans to passing along confidential information to competitors, most do not have a solid relationship with their MSP. It is imperative the managed service provider you choose is not only knowledgeable but trustworthy.

For 17 years 4 Corner IT has been Long Island and NYC’s premier IT services company. With over 60 employees, let us help you with your technology needs. Contact us today or fill out a contact form to speak to a technical adviser.

Benefits of Managed Network Support Services

Managed IT Services

Today, businesses are experiencing intense competition in different industries and finding ways to counter the same can help them thrive in a volatile market. Cloud technology is one of the things you need to consider investing in to promote faster access to information, reliability, and to secure your company records to overcome the existing competition.

Managed network support services can become the ideal solution if you want to stand out from the rest as an expert in your industry. Here are some of the benefits of managed network support services.

Maximum Performance and Increased Productivity

Most business owners appreciate the need to maximize the performance of their systems to increase productivity and managed network support services can serve this purpose. A competent network support services provider can merge voice and data networks to enhance the performance of your company systems while reducing support time to promote savings on cost and time.

Your staff will perform their duties efficiently and effectively when you opt for managed network support services, which results in increased productivity.

Proactive Maintenance

The possibility of system failure is one of the setbacks that most businesses are struggling to manage on a daily basis. Unfortunately, some companies do not have the resources to prevent possible system failures. Managed network support service providers have the necessary tools and resources to support the implementation of new software and for upgrading your systems.

Frequent system failure becomes a thing of the past when you invest in managed network support services. The reason is that providers of network support services perform proactive maintenance of your company systems on an ongoing basis.

Improved Network Security

The network infrastructure of every organization is prone to various threats, including inappropriate web content, spam, intrusions, malware, and viruses. Any attack on your business network derails your operations, and it also affects your service delivery significantly. Managed network support services secure business voice and data networks to protect critical applications and every transaction.

If you need more information on the benefits of managed network support services, contact us today!

Why You Need to Be Familiar with Your SLAs

Why You Need to Be Familiar with Your SLAs

Normal. Usual. Typical. When your business is going well, it all feels “normal”. When you are faced with a major technology problem, however, it can trigger a series of catastrophic issues that interrupt, or in some cases destroy, the equilibrium reached when things are going as they should.

This peace of mind is the main reason many businesses owners like you have chosen to sign a service level agreement (SLA) with an outsourced IT provider. Keeping everything “normal” can keep profit rolling in. Today we look behind the SLA to show you how it works to protect your business’ normal.

What Are We Agreeing To?

At 4 Corner IT, we understand just how much you depend on your technology. That’s why we’ve established our value-based managed IT service. Not all IT service providers do it this way. Many computer shops still just fix computers when they break, and while it’s okay to do it this way, we believe that our way, where we offer you several services designed to proactively protect your company’s technology, is simply more all-around valuable. In order to make it work, however, we make use of a carefully constructed service level agreement that works to establish the kind of service delivery you can expect, while giving our clients the peace of mind about how we handle our technical, personal, and financial processes, and what they mean for your business.

The Typical SLA Covers Two Major Factors

Uptime/Downtime – Since any IT management service worth its salt will come with comprehensive remote monitoring as a standard part of the agreement, up-time is a crucial variable when thinking about an organization’s servers. This is an increasingly important metric since many IT service providers host infrastructure, applications, storage, or some other utility for their clients. Most SLAs will guarantee a certain degree of up-time.

Response Time – This measures how much time your IT services provider has before they need to respond to the problems you are having once you contact them. Generally, SLAs require the organization to go through the proper channel (usually a email-integrated ticketing system or chat interface), and hold short intervals of time to ensure that your IT system gets the attention it needs to be effective.

Scope

The first thing the SLA will establish is a description of the service that has been contracted. The SLA will outline the specifics of what technology is covered, and how it will be covered. Typically, service-based companies will have tiers of service that customers can choose from to keep the SLA process simpler. Some companies provide more or less flexibility depending on their clientele’s needs. In managed IT services, we like to think of ourselves as solutions providers, so we try not to limit the amount of good we can do for a company, but to protect our business, we have to explicitly outline what the agreement covers and what it doesn’t.

Penalties

The SLA will likely detail the kind of compensation that the organization would receive if the IT service provider fails to meet the promises outlined in the SLA. Typical responses to this are in the form of account credit. These serve to give an organization a certain percentage more service for the following month if a situation arises. There will also likely be a clause in the agreement that allows an organization to get out of their SLA if they aren’t delivered a certain level of service.

Cost

The agreement isn’t just in place to protect the service provider. Sure, without one there are no official boundaries put on a client to demand resolution of an issue, but it also serves to outline just how much the service costs, eliminating the risk of ambiguity on the buyer.

Why Your SLA Should Matter to You

The SLA provided by your IT company helps you determine where your monthly IT budget is going, what it protects you against, and how emergencies are handled. This sets an expectation for your company when issues occur. Granted, not all IT providers live and die by their SLA, which in our opinion, is a massive disservice to their clients. Have you ever felt like you weren’t getting what you paid for with your IT provider? We understand – and we can do better.

Give us a call today at (954) 474-2204 to talk about how we could raise your expectations for your IT.