Looking for an IT support company for your business can be a challenging task. There are so many companies out there offering a whole host of different packages and services, that it can be difficult and very time consuming trying to differentiate the good from the bad. Even a good IT support company can be the wrong one for your business, so how do you decide?
The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. The IT support company that you choose really needs to understand your business and what you are trying to achieve. Of course this takes time to do, but if after the first couple of meetings or discussions you sense a lack of real interest, or that they are not really listening to your requirements, alarm bells should be going off. Likewise if you are feeling bamboozled by all the jargon or are feeling talked down to, they may not be the best company to go with. IT is quite a specialised subject and a lot of the terminology and technology is new to many people. A good company should be able to explain IT solutions and how they can help your business, in simple terms to someone with even very limited technical knowledge. A poor attitude at this early stage will not bode well for future communications when working together.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better. If your business is very large it is likely that you will need the resources and expertise that only a large IT Support company can offer. However, if you have a smaller business, a smaller IT support company can often offer a much greater level of personal support. They will usually spend more time learning about your company, how it operates and what you hope to achieve. Your company will also be of more value to them and they will have more of a vested interest in keeping you happy so that your business stays on their books. The main thing to be clear about is that they are big enough to have the resources to deal with your particular needs, even if you decide to expand in the future.
On Site Support
A lot of IT support can now be carried out remotely, so the physical distance to your IT support company is not as important as it once was. However many hardware problems still need someone on site to carry out repairs or install replacement pieces of equipment. It is important to establish how long you would have to wait for someone to make a site visit and also if this is included in the price of your contract. Some companies charge a low monthly fee but then charge an additional on site fee. Some even charge for mileage to and from your business. Always make sure that you understand the terms of your support contract.
In the same way that you might read reviews before buying something new, you should always check reviews and testimonials before choosing a new IT Support Company. You can easily determine how satisfied current or previous clients are with the support provided by the company and it also allows you to gauge if the kind of support provided is similar to what you are looking for. If possible focus on testimonials/reviews from businesses that are similar to your own
Types of Support Packages
A good IT support company will offer a choice of support packages to suit different requirements and budgets such as:
- Ad hoc (no contract – hourly rate)
- Pay as you go (contract – hourly rate)
- Unlimited (full support with contract)
If you decide on a support contract, make sure that you read the small print and understand fully what you are signing up for. Don’t ever be shy about asking for more information about something you are unsure of. Also find out what types of things are not covered by the support package. It will be much easier to deal with at this stage than later, if you are faced with a bill that you weren’t expecting.
A good IT support company will respond to important issues quickly. Most will offer a ‘guaranteed response time’ for serious problems with your network or website as well as other service level agreements (SLAs). However it is important to remember that responding to an issue is not the same as resolving an issue. IT can sometimes throw up tricky situations that can take much longer to fix than first expected. When problems are not sorted quickly, it is easy to think that nothing is being done. This is why it is so important that you choose a support company that you trust to work hard for your business, both on site when you can see them and behind the scenes when you can’t.
DATA Computer Services are a company providing IT support for businesses throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. If you would like to find out more about how we can help your business, please get in touch or call us on 0131 657 1666