IT Support Woodland
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These days, it’s becoming increasingly common for SMBs to use a combination of managed services and IT support for their infrastructure and either just do without a formal IT team, or keep it for value-add tasks such as development. This can work well (and be very cost-effective), but everything depends on your ability to get the right partners. With that in mind, here are some tips on choosing your IT support partner in Woodland.
Define your needs and wants
There are two main reasons why you might need IT support. One is to manage ad hoc projects and the other is to fix problems. Currently, for a lot of companies, the former is much more important because a good managed services provider will do a lot to stop problems occurring in the first place, thus reducing the need for the “break/fix” services, which were once the bread and butter of IT support. That said, things do still break and need to be fixed, so it is often useful to incorporate this reality into your planning.
Be clear on your budget and how best to deploy it
This is a subpoint of defining your needs and wants, but it’s important enough to be worth mentioning on its own. Modern IT support companies tend to offer consultancy services either on subscription (a certain number of hours/credits per period, issued on a use-them-or-lose-them) basis or charged ad hoc, generally per hour. If you’re planning on implementing a lot of projects for which you think you’ll need IT support, then a subscription is usually (by far) the better option.
Break/fix support, by definition, is used as needed and hence can only be billed ad hoc. That said, some IT support companies are now moving into the area of managed services and offering to do routine work for a fixed fee. If they do, then it could be worth keeping the two services together, partly to make yourself a more valued customer and partly to avoid disputes about who has responsibility for resolving any given issue.
One last point you may want to check later on is what payment terms IT support companies in Woodland can offer for ad hoc billing. Usually, it’s 15 days or 30 days. Some offer 30 days but with a discount for early payment. Given that SMBs often have to manage their cash flow very carefully, it might be helpful to have the option of delaying payment slightly.
Be smart about creating your shortlist of potential candidates
Your shortlisted candidates will be sent a request for proposal. They will have to spend time putting it together and you will have to spend time analyzing it. This means it’s in everyone’s best interest that you put enough time and effort into the initial process that you will only be contacting companies that could be serious contenders.
Step one is just to gather as many names as you can. That’s probably going to mean internet searches, but you might also want to check and see if anyone you know can recommend a good IT support partner in Woodland.
Step two is to do some initial, very basic, checks on these companies so you can quickly filter out any which are clearly unsuitable. At this point, all you’re trying to find out is who they are, where they are and, at a fairly high level, what they do. In other words, you’re just verifying that the results of your initial internet search (and any recommendations) are essentially valid.
You particularly want to check where a potential IT support partner is actually located both legally and physically (staff and infrastructure). The legal location matters because service providers will generally insist that any contract is written under their local law and put under the jurisdiction of their local courts. The further away they are from you, the more challenging (and expensive) it could be to resolve any disputes.
The physical location of their staff matters because it will play a major role in their ability to provide on-site support. If you need on-site IT support in Woodland then you want an IT support partner in Woodland, or at least near Woodland. You will therefore need to filter out companies that only offer remote IT support in Woodland (or which can only go out to Woodland by prior arrangement and/or at extra cost).
The physical location of their infrastructure matters because most IT support is provided remotely (even if you have an IT support partner in Woodland). You therefore want to be comfortable that the infrastructure from and through which it is accessed is in a safe location in both the physical and legal sense of the phrase.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced IT support partner in Woodland, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
IT Support Davis