PCI Services Blog

IT Support for Small Business: Selecting a Managed Service Provider

Posted by Richard Common on 09-Dec-2016 11:00:00

One of the most important and necessary pieces of office equipment today is the computer. Businesses in the UK, whether large or small, in some way or another, require the use of computers, the internet, and a networking infrastructure to stay ahead of the competition.

In large organisations, the support service is taken care of by their own IT department, but in small organisations, this work is mostly outsourced as the scope is not large enough to support dedicated staff but is extremely important for the continual operation of the business.

In small organisations, the IT infrastructure normally consists of a few computers and a small network setup, maybe including a file server.  It would not be feasible economically, for them to have their own local IT Support team, but at the same time they need to ensure that business can continue without any downtime.

Selecting a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for your business IT Support and Services can be a tough task. Here are a few points to consider:

  1. Check the qualifications of the IT support service provider. You need to know that you are dealing with valid and authentic professionals.
  2. Ask about their experience.
    1. How many years have they provided this service to others?
    2. Which areas and environments do they have experience in?
  3. Discuss the service terms and conditions beforehand. Make your expectations clear and go through all the checkpoints. Be very careful at this stage because a small change in the agreement can lead to being stuck in a contract which may not be appropriate. Check to see that IT support services are inclusive of computer, network services and users.
  4. Check any membership or associations with any of the well known vendors. This will help you ascertain their competency level.
  5. Talking to existing customers will help you guage the level of services and the quality of services offered.

For a relatively small cost for services that support the entire business, SMB's that outsource IT services have a lot to gain. Here are two big benefits:

  1. Increases productivity: you won't have to worry about your IT and you can concentrate on your business. The services will help improve your systems and make them more efficient.
  2. Gives you an edge over your competition: strong IT support will help you deliver products/services to your customers quicker and more efficiently.

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Topics: IT Support, IT Services, IT Services Provider, Outsourcing

IT Support Edinburgh Services - Industrial Estates, Business Centres

Posted by Richard Common on 07-Oct-2016 15:24:14

PCI Services are now providing Business IT Support and IT Services to the following Industrial Estates, Business Parks and Business Centres in Edinburgh, Lothian and the surrounding regions:

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Topics: IT Support, IT Services, IT Services Provider, Outsourcing

4 items to check regarding Hardware Maintenance & IT Support Newcastle

Posted by Richard Common on 13-Aug-2016 19:00:00

Here are the 3 most common ways a Newcastle-based Business will get caught out when looking to outsource to a Managed Support Provider (MSP). These apply to businesses with an existing contract or to those who are looking to change IT Service provider.

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Topics: IT Support, IT Services, IT Services Provider, Outsourcing, Newcastle, IT Support Newcastle

Is this nasty clause in your Local IT Support contract in Newcastle?

Posted by Richard Common on 28-Jul-2016 14:43:15

Does your IT Support agreement in Newcastle contain this nasty clause?

These days when there is so much competition, it still amazes me to see this clause being included in Local IT Support Agreements for Newcastle-based businesses.

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Topics: IT Support, Best Practice, Outsourcing, Newcastle, IT Support Newcastle

2 IT Support Best Practice Tips

Posted by Richard Common on 13-Jul-2016 16:26:07

2 IT Support Best Practice tips to consider when choosing a Managed Services Provider

When choosing an IT Support Managed Services Provider, take note of these 2 best practice tips that you should look for as it could save you time, energy and money!

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Topics: IT Support, Best Practice, Outsourcing

3 things to check with your Sunderland IT Support Provider

Posted by Richard Common on 08-Jul-2016 09:30:00

Often, a Sunderland business will  sign  a contract for third-party IT Support Services, oblivious to the detail buried in the Terms and Conditions. Below are three contract items to look out for:

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Topics: IT Support, IT Services, IT Services Provider, Outsourcing, IT Support Sunderland, Sunderland

3 things to check with your Newcastle IT Support Provider

Posted by Richard Common on 07-Jul-2016 14:21:12

Often, a Newcastle business will just happily sign up to a contract for 3rd party IT Services oblivious to the T&C's. Don't get caught out! Here are 3 ways you could be stung:

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Topics: IT Support, IT Services, IT Services Provider, Outsourcing, Newcastle, IT Support Newcastle

Real example of added-value from an IT Support Provider

Posted by Richard Common on 05-Jul-2016 19:00:00

Put simply, your business is only as good as its suppliers. It is easy to fall into the trap of turning services into a commodity and not appreciating any added-value being shown by the IT Support provider.

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Topics: IT Support, IT Services, IT Services Provider, Outsourcing

3 SLA levels to consider when outsourcing IT Support

Posted by Richard Common on 04-Jul-2016 13:34:10

 

So you have decided to outsource IT Support for the business and need to know the type of help based on your business requirements and budget. OK, where to start?

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Topics: IT Support, IT Services, IT Services Provider, Outsourcing

6 Key Questions to ask an IT Support Provider

Posted by Richard Common on 28-Jun-2016 12:08:56

6 Key Questions to ask an IT Support provider

Business IT Support is the most critical service you will outsource but where do you start and what do you need to know ?

6 questions to ask the IT Services provider:

  1. How long have they been in business?
  2. Have the Directors got a history of boom-and-bust of multiple companies over the years (you can find this information on a service such as CreditSafe)
  3. Are they of good financial standing? (If you have paid upfront for a 1 or 3-year service, how safe will that money be?)
  4. How many staff do they have? And of these, how many are dedicated to technical service delivery? Top Tip: some will count two roles delivered by one person as two staff members to make themselves look bigger
  5. What are their opening hours for logging calls and triggering an SLA?
  6. What happens if you log a call at 4.59pm, triggering an SLA with a 4-hour response/fix?

The first place to start for most people is a search engine. You will ultimately want service provision from a company who can fulfil the SLA (e.g. you are based in Newcastle and decide to award your IT Support Contract to a company based in Sheffield. This would seriously hamper the service provided and the distance would most likely be reflected in the fees you are being charged.)

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Topics: IT Support, IT Services, IT Services Provider, Outsourcing

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