5 Questions to Ask When Choosing an IT Support Provider

Choosing the right, IT support provider is challenging; it is like picking up the right partner for your business. Choosing the right IT support provider will increase your productivity, boost your performance, save you time, and make your business successful. Yet many companies do not interrogate potential suppliers as carefully as they might.

1) What is your company culture?

How well will the IT partner work with you and your team? Will they meet with all members of your staff? So, make sure you know who’s responsible for your account and talk to that person. Knowing what the company does is beneficial because it can help you understand its corporate philosophy. Often the service provider for large businesses that cater to the oil and gas industry will be very different to one that caters to small Atlanta businesses.

2) Who will you be working with?

You want to understand an IT provider’s team members’ competencies to know what they can bring to the table. When they do the sales presentation, you might only meet their top team, but will you be working with their ‘B” team when the contract starts?

It would be best if you satisfied yourself on several critical points.

a) What is their experience with the type of network you have and the size of your organization?

b) Request examples and references of previous clients and the duration of each engagement. If the engagement ended, inquire as to the reason why.

3) What is and what is not included in the service contract?

Most IT support companies will cover any problems with hardware or software. Some will even cover travel costs and lodging. Some companies will cover the cost of driving to and from your location to fix or send someone to repair a problem.

But paying for software another company makes is unlikely to be covered by the contract. Be very careful if the support company says that we support it all.

Also, some companies charge extra for equipment that doesn’t work with the main computers, such as printers, scanners, or other devices that have to talk with the main computers.

If you can get your emails, but it doesn’t let you use your phone to receive them, will IT support help you do that? If your computer crashes and you need to order a new one, will the support company pay to replace the computer? If it does, is it included in the support contract, or is it an extra cost?

You might only get some of the items that are included in the service contract, but you need to know some of the extra things.

4) Do you offer 24/7 support & monitoring?

IT systems must be accessible 24/7, even if it means having IT people available only during certain hours. You must be sure that your selected Atlanta technology support and services firm provides this assurance.

24/7 monitoring helps you avoid expensive IT downtime by ensuring that your IT systems are monitored 24/7, 365 days a year, even on holidays. It also lets you quickly avoid data loss by providing you with reliable information.

You want remote and automated monitoring from any of the IT service providers you consider. This monitoring capability is essential. IT service providers should offer customers full-time remote tracking. Providers spend much time trying to diagnose issues and figure out what caused the problem – even if there’s no automated way to monitor it. Downtime is costly, and if providers don’t use RMM, you may not be able to recover information from your system.

RMMs are used to monitor IT infrastructure to detect problems that might be costly. It’s hazardous to work with any service provider who doesn’t use an RMM.

5) Can you terminate the SLA (service level agreement)if support isn’t at the promised level?

This question is very significant for businesses. Knowing what kind of support you can expect from your IT support provider is crucial. Most small businesses are stuck with the same IT support provider for a long time. They can’t change it. Your managed IT services provider should be reliable. They should be able to work with you effectively and efficiently. IT service providers should be trusted and should be able to establish a good relationship with your business. If your IT provider wants you to sign a long-term contract, you should ask them to explain the benefits. You should get out of a contract if your Managed IT services provider needs to perform better. This is why you must not overlook the importance of a due diligence report.

In fact, the best question to ask yourself is what your business instinct tells you about the IT provider. Do you find them trustworthy? Because that is the rock on which the partnership is based.

Alex