IT Service Rates and answers to other questions
How much do you charge for IT Services?
Our Answer: The better question to ask is: What do you include for your service fee? You will find pricing and offerings vary, and price alone doesn’t determine value. To determine your fee we look at how many devices (PC's, Servers, smartphones, etc) and employees you have, how complex the network is, how much data exists, and what software you use. As you can imagine, every business is different. Call us and we will provide you with a table of services to use as a guide when speaking with IT service vendors.
Do I talk to a live person when I call?
Our Answer: We answer our phones live from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and give all clients an emergency after hours number they may call if a problem arises, including weekends. Why? Because many of the CEOs and executives we support work outside normal hours and find it to be the most productive time they have. If they cannot access their computer network AND can’t get hold of anyone to help them, it’s incredibly frustrating.
How fast will you respond to my IT emergency and is it guaranteed?
Our Answer: We guarantee to have a technician working on a problem within 60 minutes or less of your call. This is written into every service agreement we give to our clients.
Do you take the time to explain what you are doing and answer my questions in terms that I can understand (not geek-speak) even for simple questions?
Our Answer: Our technicians are trained to have the ‘heart of a teacher’ and will take time to answer your questions and explain everything in simple terms.
Do you offer new ways to improve my network’s performance and provide technology guidance and recommendations?
Our Answer: We conduct review meetings with our clients either quarterly or semi-annually to look for new ways to help improve their operations, lower costs, increase efficiencies and resolve any problems that may be arising. Our goal is help our clients be more profitable, efficient and competitive with these meetings.
Do you provide detailed invoices that clearly explain what I am paying for?
Our Answer: We provide detailed invoices that show what work was done, why and when so you never have to guess what you are paying for. We also double check our invoices for accuracy before they are sent to you.
Do you have adequate errors and omissions insurance as well as workers compensation insurance to protect us?
Our Answer: In this litigious society we live in, we have chosen to be adequately insured with both errors and omissions insurance AND workers compensation.
Do you guarantee to complete projects on time and on budget?
Our Answer: Projects are fixed priced and guaranteed to be completed on time, in writing. This is important because many computer guys will only quote “time and materials,” which gives them free reign to nickel and dime you as well as take as much time as needed on completing a project.
Maintenance Of Your Network
Why do you insist on remote monitoring?
Our Answer: Our remote network monitoring system watches over your network to constantly look for developing problems, security issues and other problems so we can address them BEFORE they turn into bigger problems.
Do you provide any reports that show what you did as far as all the updates, security patches, and status of every machine on our network so we know for SURE our systems have been secured and updated?
Our Answer: Our clients get a detailed report that shows an overall health score of their network and the updates to their antivirus, security settings, patches and other important network checks (like hard drive space, backups, etc.).
Do you document our technology?
Our Answer: Our standard procedure is to provide you with written, network documentation detailing what software licenses you own, critical passwords, user information, hardware inventory, etc. All clients receive a copy of their network documentation in written and electronic form at no additional cost. We also perform a quarterly update on this material and make sure certain key people within your organization have this information and know how to use it, giving you complete control over your network.
Side Note: You should NEVER allow an IT person to have that much control over you and your company. If you get the sneaking suspicion that your current IT person is keeping this under their control as a means of job security, get rid of them (and we can help to make sure you don’t suffer ANY ill effects). This is downright unethical and dangerous to your organization, so don’t tolerate it!
Do you have other technicians on staff who are familiar with our network in case your regular technician goes on vacation or gets sick?
Our Answer: Yes; and since we keep detailed network documentation (basically a blueprint of your computer network) and updates on every client’s account, any of our technicians can pick up where another one has left off.
When you offer an “all-inclusive” support plan, is it TRULY all-inclusive, or are their “gotchas” hidden in the fine print?
Our Answer: Our “all-inclusive” support plan is just that – all inclusive. One of the more popular service plans offered by consulting firms today is an “all-inclusive” or “all-you-can-eat” managed services plan. These are actually a good thing because they’ll save you a lot of money in the long run – HOWEVER, make sure you REALLY understand what is and isn’t included. Some things to consider are:
- Is phone/e-mail help desk included, or extra?
- What about network upgrades, moves, or adding/removing users?
- Is hardware and/or software included?
- What are the costs/consequences of early cancellation?
- What if you aren’t happy with their services? Do they offer a money-back guarantee?
- If the hardware and software is included, what happens if you cancel the contract?
- Is offsite backups included? To what degree?
- If you have a major disaster, is restoring your network included or extra?
- What about onsite support calls? Or support to remote offices?
- Are home PCs used to access the company’s network after hours included or extra?
Backups And Disaster Recovery
Do you check to see if our backup is working?INSIST on monitoring an offsite as well as an onsite backup?
Our Answer: We insist on monitoring your backup on a daily basis. We back up you data both onsite and to an offsite remote location. We do not recommend tape drives, flash drives, or external hard drives.
Do you do periodical test restores of your backups to make sure the data is not corrupt and could be restored in the event of a disaster?
Our Answer: Depending on the recovery time you require, we perform data recovery “fire drill” daily to monthly frequency. We perform a test restore from backup for our clients to make sure their data CAN be recovered in the event of an emergency. After all, the WORST time to “test” a backup is when you desperately need it.
Do you backup up our network BEFORE performing any type of project or upgrade?
Our Answer: We do; and that’s simply as a precaution in case a hardware failure or software glitch causes a major problem.
Technical Expertise And Support
Is your help-desk US based or outsourced to an overseas company or third party?
Our Answer: We provide our own in-house help desk and make sure the folks helping you are friendly and helpful. We consider this one of the most important aspects of customer service, plus we feel it’s important to keeping your data secure.
Do your technicians maintain current vendor certifications and participate in on-going training – or are they learning on our dime?
Our Answer: Out technicians are required to keep the most up-to-date vendor certifications in all the software we support. Plus, our hiring process is so stringent, 99% of the technicians who apply don’t make it through (guess who’s hiring them?)
Do your technicians arrive on time and dress professionally?
Our Answer: Our technicians are professionals that you would be proud to have in your office. They dress professionally, show up on time and if they cannot (for some odd, unforeseen reason) we always notify the client immediately. We believe these are minimum requirements for delivering a professional service.
Are you familiar with (and can they support) our unique line of business applications?
Our Answer: We own the problems with all line of business applications for our clients. That doesn’t mean we can fix faulty software – but we WILL be the liaison between you and your vendor to resolve problems you are having and make sure these applications work smoothly for you.
When something goes wrong with our Internet service, phone systems, printers or other IT services, do you own the problem or do you say “that’s not our problem to fix?”
Our Answer: We feel WE should own the problem for our clients so they don’t have to try and resolve any of these issues on their own – that’s just plain old good service and something many computer guys won’t do.