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What to look for in an IT support partner in Auburn
Finding the right IT support partner in Auburn is a lot like finding the right employee for an internal vacancy. You’re usually looking for a blend of professional skills and personal attributes, including a positive attitude. Cost is a consideration, but it isn’t everything. Delivering great value is more important.
The good news is that the same sort of strategy you would use to find a great employee will also work effectively when you’re looking for a great IT support partner in Auburn. Here are some tips to help.
Make sure you know who they are, what they are and where they are
It may sound cynical but it’s a whole lot easier to put together a professional-looking website than it is to run a solid IT support company. Because of this, it’s a good idea to do some basic checks on a company before you even decide whether or not to request a proposal for them. This obviously doesn’t mean full due-diligence, it just means taking a good look at their website (and/or the internet in general) so that you’re comfortable that they are who and what they say they are (i.e. a serious company) and that they are based where they say they are based.
Check if they provide on-site support and if so where
If you’re looking specifically for an IT support partner in Auburn, then the chances are it’s because you either know or think you might need on-site support. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to double-check that a potential IT support partner can offer this and if they do whether or not there’s an extra cost for it.
Take the time to understand their service models and the associated prices
This is the part of the selection process which can actually take the most time, since you basically need to take a close look at each candidate’s offering and figure out what exactly it contains and how it compares to the others. This part of the process is, however, really important because it’s what enables you to judge how much value for money an IT support company can offer.
You might also want to check how and when you would be billed. IT support is a bit unusual in that contract work is generally paid in advance. Typically you will buy a number of credits/support hours per time period and essentially use them or lose them. Some IT support companies may allow some unused credit/hours to be rolled-over but this is unusual and there will typically be limits on what can be rolled over.
These days most IT support companies will offer monthly billing as standard, although they may offer discounts if you pay quarterly or yearly in advance. It’s highly unusual for IT support companies to insist on hefty upfront payments for a quarter’s or even a year’s service.
Ad hoc work, pretty much by definition, has to be billed in arrears and standard payment terms are 15 days or 30 days. Again, some companies split the difference and allow 30 days, but give a discount if you pay in 15. For the sake of completeness, when IT support partners undertake ad hoc work, they often take a fairly firm line to the effect that final sign-off means exactly that, so the onus is very much on you to check everything properly before you confirm that you are happy.
Clarify what staff you can contact, when and how
In short, if you have a problem, what process are you going to need to follow to get it resolved? For example, will you have to go online to open a ticket yourself or can you call a support number? If you can call a support number is it free and if not what is the charging structure?
Are frontline staff just customer-service staff or do they have actual technical training? In either case, what is the process for escalating to second-line and beyond and does it vary with the time of day (e.g. during core business hours and outside core business hours)? If the latter, what is the variation and how is it handled? Will you get a dedicated engineer to be your main technical contact or will you just be assigned whoever happens to be available?
What are the guaranteed SLAs for response and resolution? Do they vary according to case type and/or the time when the case is raised?
Last, but by no means least, will you get an account manager to be your main point-of-contact for non-technical issues?
If you’d like to speak to an experienced and reputable IT support partner in Auburn, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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