1.Will you be running updates on all systems and hardware? How will I know this is done regularly? Can you provide me a monthly audit to show this?
Regular updates and patches on all systems and hardware are extremely important in ensuring your technology is up and running consistently, and these actions will also help protect your company from malware. Systems need regular maintenance to ensure they run properly and securely. Technology is constantly evolving with new obstacles/threats daily.
I.T.WORKS!’s team of experts proactively manages clients’ technology, installing upgrades, updates, and patches. Many Managed Service Providers (MSP) will say this is being completed, however we guarantee it is being done and show reporting to this fact. Our 5 Service Areas DELIVER Consistently Working Information Technology Through Proactive IT Management. This unique proactive approach resolves problems prior to them becoming an issue, increasing employee productivity and business profit margins.
Consistently working technology will also provide a safeguard against malware, as viruses penetrate old, out-of-date, unpatched software. We resolve issues at the root of the problem, know what products consistently work best together and provide insight and expertise around all aspects of technology.
2. Will important data be backed up? How will I KNOW this is done, and ready to be restored when we need it?
Backups are essential in retrieving lost files, rebuilding servers due to power outages, environmental issues, or ransomware. Backups schedules are set to happen dependent upon business need.
I.T.WORKS!’s dedicated TEAM physically monitors backups to ensure they are working, not taking it for granted. Secure Backups are confirmed completed (they are individually checked). Clients that follow I.T.WORKS! stringent protocols will have backed up data in three locations. Effective backup requires a person physically watching, checking, and chasing down errors. This is how we assure clients that we are always aware of backup status. Your backup plan is only as good as the strategy of your MSP and the integrity of their company. When you need it, our processes won’t let you down.
3. What steps are taken to prevent malware? What happens if we get hit with malware, and what steps are taken to recover?
This goes hand in hand with backup, proactive processes, and training. Proactive maintenance, updates and patches are among the many ways to avoid malware problems. Software that works seamlessly together and real-time monitoring are also essential. If a ransomware attack does occur, a pre-planned, well strategized plan will need to be immediately executed.
I.T.WORKS! team is prepared for the worst by taking proactive steps to safeguard technology, training team members (yours and ours), and preparing your business with a solid strategized Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) to help mitigate the damage. It’s not just technology, but the people and processes that increase safety. I.T.WORKS! has a unique process in the industry where their 5 Service Area teams provide proactive updates, patches and maintenance for all clients. This is the best protection effort against malware.
An MSP constantly battling large numbers of tickets reactively for clients will not be able to provide this same type of safety barrier. The tickets are indicative of bigger, out-of-date, unpatched technology issues (out of alignment) that lack the proper hygiene needed to keep business systems safe. This lack of alignment does not allow for information technology to run smoothly. In addition to being a security risk, technology is not in alignment with business needs. If businesses needs are not being met, business profits are down.
Proactive management is by far the best for keeping business technology safe with systems up and running. An MSP that can provide consistently working technology increases employee productivity and business profit margins. This also provides a safeguard against malware, as viruses penetrate old, out-of-date, unpatched software.
This is an issue that requires very candid conversation. Cybercriminals are going to steal from those who make it easier to steal, the path of least resistance. If you are an easier target, chances are, you will be hit at some point.
4. Does your MSP charge a flat rate, or do you pay per IT event such as New, Move, Add, Change, Project, or Issue?
The pay-per-request structure of most MSP’s charges per service or response issues and varies in price. This model makes it impossible to plan for yearly technology needs. Little problems arise all the time, and new, add, change and projects are constant, each resulting in payment. You and your technology partner need to be looking ahead five years, not five weeks.
I.T.WORKS! all-inclusive flat monthly fee encompasses costs for all needed technology services and allows businesses to plan for total yearly expenses. Within that all-inclusive flat fee, updates, patches, strategic planning, projects, new, add, change and issues are included. We unequivocally understand the true cost of keeping systems consistently up and running, and the expertise, technology and manpower required to make it happen. We also understand that downtime is enormously expensive for the client. Costs for our team members to proactively provide working technology and for all clients, are built into our business model.
5. Do you bill for onsite work? What rate do you bill for projects? Do service fees vary depend upon project?
Some MSPs will charge per onsite visit, as the pay-per-request model previously mentioned. Flat rate MSPs have a set monthly cost and do not bill for regular onsite visits. These visits would be included in their monthly fee. Proactive flat rate MSPs will solve the problem prior to it becoming an issue, eliminating in many cases the need for an onsite visit altogether.
I.T.WORKS! does not charge for regular on-site visits. Within that all-inclusive flat fee, updates, patches, strategic planning, projects, new, add, change and issues are included. We unequivocally understand the true cost of keeping systems consistently up and running, and the expertise, technology and manpower required to make it happen. I.T.WORKS! 5 service areas DELIVER consistently working information technology through proactive IT management, increasing employee productivity and business profit margins with consistently working information technology.
6. What downtime should we plan for if we lose a server?
The time is dependent upon your backup currently in place. There are many backup options and costs, and capabilities are a major factor. MSP’s will provide insight to backup options and restore times. This should all be clearly defined and documented BEFORE an issue in your Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP), not debated during a crisis.
The time factor associated with recovery is dependent upon the client back up plan. We are available 24/7 with team members answering the phone to respond to potential client needs. We are confident in client’s data backup, as we monitor and check it daily. This does simplify the recovery process (and make it much more reliable), information needs to be available to clients, when and how they need it.
Clients that back up more often will have a longer recovery time than those that back up once a day. Data exists in 3 locations (at your location, and in two other geographically distant data centers) and is available to be accessed separately, in case of security breach.
7. What are your helpdesk hours? What happens if we need service after hours?
The best option is obviously a U.S. based call center available 24/7 with a team member picking up the phone, however not all MSPs cater to weekend or evening business calls. This is very important in choosing your MSP, especially if you require weekend hours, or possibly have emergencies on the weekend or evenings.
We have team members answering client’s emergency calls 24/7. We are available to help our clients as often and as long as needed.
While we have team members available to respond to support calls, we are always aiming at ZERO “tickets”. I.T.WORKS! proactive approach keeps clients more productive and profitable, instead of losing efficiency due to unavailable IT. They spend time working, instead of hours wasted on the frustrations of technology problems. In fact, we are a managed IT service provider receiving .4% support calls a month, this includes projects. Industry average support call volume is typically 1.5-2% per month, without projects included.
8. What are your term contracts? How long have you had your average customer?
Relationships are incredibly important in choosing an MSP. Understanding the length of contract required and what process is in place if an MSP is not delivering on promises. Too many times an MSP will sign new customers to lose them the next year, that is not something any business should want to be a part of. Also, the average client duration will speak volumes of an MSPs ethics and performance.
I.T.WORKS! client contracts are month to month, with NO long-term commitments, but clients stay year after year because we successfully build long-term relationships. This relationship is so important, that we will evaluate a client to ensure that we are the best solution for them and if it will be a relationship that will work. Clients are like family; we treat them well and deliver superior results. We have been in business for over 23 years, with an average customer duration of 11 years.
9. Is there such a thing as technology consistently working reliably and productively?
The benefits of consistently working technology offers fewer tickets, less reactive time, and increased work time and efficiency for your team. It is significantly more expensive for clients to be down and not working. Honestly, no matter how you get services, keeping it running is always less expensive than being down.
We genuinely want to help clients and we know we can, removing reactive responses (i.e. tickets) increases value for both parties. We focus on process, delivering standards and alignments that remove reactive service issues.
We speak with so many prospective clients that cannot imagine their technology consistently working, whenever they need it, how they need it. Our goal is to change this perception of technology. The first step to getting the result that your business needs, is accepting that IT CAN WORK THE WAY YOU WANT IT TO!
When customers are new with us, they can’t comprehend technology consistently working. Our current customers will ONLY accept technology that is ALWAYS working. We love this change in perception of what is acceptable. We are always aiming at zero downtime. You can’t always get to zero, but our whole company is setup to aim at zero, and we get darn close every day.
10. How do your services support our growth and future technologies?
Business plans should be part of technology conversations. Technology drives business and having a process in place for growth, ensures it is regulated and controlled.
I.T.WORKS! will identify where and how you want to grow, this strategy allows your technology to grow with your company. You are also able to budget for technology expenses, anticipating and maintaining real expenses of growth. It is a great benefit to grow your business with technology and business plans aligned.
11. Do you provide trainings?
I.T.WORKS! provides regular trainings for customers to ensure they are well versed in using their software products effectively and also in educating about
On a regular basis, Technology Administrators train client’s on-site regarding software updates, user vulnerabilities and best practices regarding cybersecurity. These monthly visits are imperative to keeping systems and employees operational.
We want our clients to understand how to use their technology, this vital training keeps employees operational and optimizing business productivity. I.T.WORKS! mitigates clients cybersecurity risk by staying ahead of it, and training team members on best practices to avoid issues. With education and awareness, risk is dramatically reduced.
We offer PEACE OF MIND & BETTER RESULTS! Technology is an investment and when it consistently operates for you and you can depend on it, because technology drives business. Your business is more productive and can be more profitable. We remove reactive responses and increase value for both parties. We focus on process, delivering standards and alignments that remove reactive service issues. Changing the focus toward proactive growth that impacts business profitability; employees are up and running, clients meet deadlines, bid for jobs, deliver information to end users, collect funds, receive calls from prospective client and so on. Choose results that benefit your company. Choose results that make your business more profitable. Choose the results that lower overall technology cost and stress. Choose BETTER RESULTS!