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How to pick an IT support partner in Davis

Even if you use IT managed services for all your everyday IT tasks, it can be reassuring to know that you also have an IT support partner in Davis you can call on if you need them. This opens up your options for dealing with any issues which get pushed your way by your regular IT managed services partner. If you don’t use IT managed services, then it can be even more important to have an IT support partner in Davis, so that you have someone to call on for help if you need it.

With that in mind, here are some tips on how to pick an IT support partner in Davis.

Make sure you do your groundwork thoroughly.

In short, define your needs and wants and confirm that they do actually come under the heading of IT support rather than IT managed services. The basic difference is that IT support works to a break/fix model, whereas IT managed services takes care of regular, predictable housekeeping tasks. These days, there are quite a few companies that do both, although some may lean more to one side or the other, but they are still different concepts.

Do some basic “hygiene checks” on companies as you long-list them

The long-listing stage is way too early to get into full due-diligence, but it’s certainly an appropriate time to do some basic hygiene checks on any company you are considering as an IT support partner.

First of all, you want to make sure that a company actually can offer the services you need and ideally the services you want as well. This may seem like stating the obvious, but the lines between different IT niches are becoming increasingly blurry. This means that sometimes IT support companies may offer services you don’t expect them to and sometimes they won’t offer services you do. Taking a few minutes to check early can save you a bit of time later on.

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Secondly, it’s a good idea to see whether or not a company’s message is cohesive and consistent. For example, if a company says it’s an IT support company in Davis, then you’d expect to see a freephone number or a number in Davis, or at least in Sacramento. You certainly wouldn’t expect to see an international number.

Make sure you include all key questions in your request for proposal

The average IT support company will have a set of standard points it will typically cover in any response to a request for proposal. Beyond that, it will only think to answer the questions you think to ask. Here are some suggestions.

Where is your legal/operational/technical base?
What geographical areas do you support?
Do you only work with certain vendors and if so which ones?
Do you have a choice of service/payment models?
What’s included in each model?
What additional charges might be levied?
How and when are your customers billed?
Do you provide a dedicated account manager?
Do you provide a dedicated engineer?
Do you offer remote management and monitoring?
What’s your exact process for resolving issues?
What are your guaranteed response and resolution times?

Most of these questions are self-explanatory. The one which might come as a surprise is the one about the IT support company’s legal, operational and technical base(s). In principle, this should just be a matter of confirming what you’ve already checked on their website. In practice, a company’s website is often a sales tool and as such will generally highlight what the IT support company thinks they want to know and, to a certain extent, what it thinks they want to hear.

For example, an IT support company may indicate that it is based in Davis because it has an operational base there, but its legal headquarters and infrastructure may be elsewhere. You might want to check where and confirm that you are comfortable with the location.

Develop a robust scoring system for analyzing proposals

Requesting proposals is easy, analyzing them can be more of a challenge. Even if you provide a template or a set of questions which must be answered, each potential IT support partner in Davis will still approach your request in a slightly different way because companies are as individual as people. This means you need a strategy for pulling the relevant details out of the responses and scoring them fairly, which is to say in a way that is consistent and which accurately reflects your needs and wants.

For completeness, if you do find you need to make a change to your scoring system, then you will need to apply it retroactively to any proposals you have already scored. This can be both time-consuming and tedious, so it’s usually very worthwhile to do anything you reasonably can to avoid the need.

If you’re looking for a reputable IT support partner in Davis, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.

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