The Value of an Outsourced IT Team
Witney Town Council came to us as they were having problems with their current provider. Their experience was very typical – they could not get hold of support and problems were not getting resolved permanently. Without a doubt, these are the two most common complaints we hear from new customers about their previous IT Support Services. Sadly, these two things are what customers most value in an IT partner! It’s why we spend a lot of our resources making sure we can fulfil these needs.
How we start the project
A new IT Support Services contract always starts with a face-to-face meeting. It’s important for both sides to make sure that they get on and share similar business values. IT supports an ongoing partnership, one that both parties need to be happy to enter into. The meeting involves discussing the customer’s business from a non-technical standpoint, allowing us to understand what’s important to them and how systems and technology can support this. This sort of discussion is often overlooked by IT teams.
Following on from this a brief discussion of the technology they are using – servers, client computers, main software, internet connection and mainly number of users. Our support contracts are based on the number of users or devices at a business. Once the high-level details have been discussed it’s time for us to put a proposal together.
Witney Town Council had about 20 computers and one server. Therefore, they had a small remote office with two additional workers. They had a poor internet connection and a few pieces of software that were important to them. Besides these details, they had a very standard network, making a proposal easy to put together.
Furthermore, we present our proposals in a very simple way. More often than not prospective customers do not want to know everything about us as a company, so it’s our job to only present the information that they need.
The approving council saw the value in the outsourced IT team and the project got signed off.
On the day of the installation, an engineer from Redsquid will be onsite for as long as necessary to make sure that the new phone system is installed to the customer’s satisfaction.
Usually, a large part of the installation is training the customer on how to use the new technology. For this reason, we always offer an additional (optional) day of training, where we will sit everyone down and teach them everything they need to know.
The phone system software also needed loading onto every computer and users being showed how to use it. This is one of the biggest benefits of a new phone system, being able to dial from your PC and transfer calls using the software.
At the end of the day, the engineer checked with the owner that everything was working as expected and the project is complete.
A typical IT survey would include:
- Creating a detailed floor plan of the office and various departments.
- Meeting key decision makers – this allows our engineers to know who can sign things off
- Taking specifications of all hardware
- Identifying third parties that are responsible for the support of their software
- Loading our remote access and monitoring software onto all devices
- A full security audit
Once the ‘take on’ is complete, a start date is agreed. We will email our contact with all the information that people need to raise support tickets, along with the process of doing this. That way everyone can get hold of us should if they need any IT help. We will also explain our internal structure so that they can escalate a call if they need to or purchase new equipment.
After the go-live date, we will make recommendations about how the IT can be improved through our Support Services. Some of these recommendations are procedural and may leverage systems that are currently in place. Other recommendations may include replacement of old kit or security improvements.
PROJECT SIGN OFF
During the early stages of a contract we are in regular contact with the customer. In some cases, every day! However, this diminishes over time as the IT settles down. We schedule in six monthly catch ups with all of our customers, as we believe good communication is important to a long term support relationship.
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