The digital age has come bearing gifts. On one hand, automation has replaced some manual jobs, reducing labor costs and error rates. On the other hand, this new technology is understood by few, creating new jobs that come with a hefty price tag.
For you, the small business owner, though, regardless of the value of the service offered by these tech professionals, your books just don’t know how to accommodate these specialists.
That’s why you have made the wise choice to outsource the support function. But how do you know which MSP to partner with?
Let’s take a look at some of the qualities to look out for when hiring your tech support.
What’s Their Track Record?
Fayetteville is a town with its sights set firmly on innovation. Although it’s big enough to be metropolitan, it’s not so big that people don’t know each other. This makes it possible for you to do your homework.
Firms are happy to brag about the clients they’ve worked with and provide blurbs from the clients telling the world how amazing they are. You should go a step further and interview some of these businesses. It will probably just take a phone call or an email. In fact, since there’s that rule that there are only about six people between you and the stranger on the street, you’re bound to know someone on their client list, so buy them a coffee or a beer and have a tell-all session.
Not only is it vital that you get the service you’re paying for, but you will also need to put your sensitive information in the hands of competent partners who know the value of integrity. Your I.T. support will have access to very confidential information—and in the wrong hands, this can break you.
What Other Services Are Included in Their Package?
Compliance drives us. We would like to get to a place where we are the frontrunners in our respective industries; but if it’s not related to our core business, the only reason we run to vendors is to keep the regulators happy. That’s probably what caused you to look through your contacts to find the right tech support for your business.
Now that you’re there, what else do they offer? If tech isn’t your bread and butter, then there’s a whole world of information that may be vital but you don’t know it exists, so you wouldn’t think to look for it. Do they offer policy advisory services? Are they willing to look at your existing infrastructure and advice on how to make it better? Once they’ve installed the software and hardware you need, are they willing to run periodic tests to ensure that everything is working as expected?
Your contact with your tech support should be a long-term relationship, not a one-off transaction. With technology evolving every day, you need a partner who is willing to stay atop of these advancements and is willing to help you adapt to the environment while keeping within your budget lines.
Are They Always Available?
We are the generation of the 2:00 A.M. purchase. Business hours are only important to us when we think of delivery or visiting the office. Everything else takes place after hours.
You, in turn, have to ensure that your system is up and running 24/7. If your system is down, your tech support needs to be up working on it. They don’t need to have someone on your premises permanently, but they should be on call in case of an emergency. As an important partner, a good vendor should assign a specific contact person to you. That becomes your first call when things start to go wrong.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
When your worst-case scenario becomes a reality, you need to focus on recovery. This involves getting your core activities up and running in the shortest time possible.
If a natural disaster caused the problem, then you need to start thinking of setting up a temporary base of operations elsewhere. If you manage to find a place to work, access to your network is the next big worry. You have vital data needed to ensure that at least some of the services you offer can continue to be available within hours of the disaster.
If your system has been brought down by cyber goons, then things get a little more complicated. You have to worry about the security of your data and, if the malware used has shut down your systems, access to the network. You also need to do damage control, preventing further loss. If your business is in the financial sector, you may have to reveal what has happened to your customers.
Your ability to recover from such incidences stems from a strong business continuity plan that has been tested, amended, and staffed to ensure that the business does not go under.
Your tech support is at the center of the entire plan. If they are not in the business of disaster recovery, you shouldn’t be in business with them.
There are few things on the planet more infuriating than being on hold. If you thought that era was over just because we got email, then think again.
How many times have you sent in a request, got an immediate confirmation that the message has been received, and then heard nothing for weeks? That hope you get when you see that confirmation receipt in your inbox is the same as hearing that voice on the switchboard. For a few seconds you do believe that they value you as a client, and then reality hits when your issue remains unresolved.When making this hiring decision, your vendor should have an SLA outlining how long it will take to attend to you. You then decide whether the time they have specified is acceptable, and you can hold them to that.
This is the era of the cloud architects, DevOps (Development and Operations) engineers, and IoT (Internet of Things) specialists, just to name a few. Trying to hire this caliber of professionals would render you bankrupt. Fortunately, you can still tap into that talent by partnering with JMARK.
Having worked with various business enterprises from banks to manufacturers, we have the clout to take care of you. We are also conveniently located in Fayetteville. Contact us by visiting our website, email us at JMARKIT@JMARK.com or call us on 844-44-JMARK. We’d love to hear from you.