It can be quite a challenging job to select the correct service for getting IT support for your company.
Here are a few questions you should ask before hiring:
- Which geographical area does the company cover?
If your business is spread over different countries or cities, you need to look for a company competent to offer services in all those places.
- Levels of support the company offers
It is not unusual for companies offering IT support to offer different levels of service, as per the budget and requirements of the clients. These can be:
- Pay-as-you-go support: In this case, you are asked to pay on hourly basis, or a set amount. Generally, this arrangement works out more expensive.
- Break-fix support: This may be charged on hourly basis, and paid in advance or later after the job is done. This may also be paid periodically, like at the end of each quarter or half year, or once a year.
- Managed service support: In this case, the support company aggressively supervises your systems to minimize the likelihood of anything going bad. Usually, it amounts to the signing of an annual maintenance contract.
- Support Including Parts: This kind of support means the company would provide free replacement/repair of hardware component. It’s an expensive proposition for support companies, and very few may offer this kind of support.
- Does the company guarantee any response time?
On facing any difficulty, you would certainly like the company to provide support within a specified time, for which it should offer some guarantee. This would vary with the level of support for which you are prepared to pay. Moreover, at times, it may take longer than the estimated time for the company to locate the precise fault and rectify the same.
- Do you contract a dedicated account manger?
The company becomes aware of your business strategy and takes measures to ensure accommodating your IT requirements. It is not too much to expect dealing with one or two contacts permanently.
- Do you get a dedicated engineer?
It will bit too much to expect that you’ll be dealing with the same engineer at all times. Companies employ different engineers, specializing in different fields so that each problem is handled competently. Yet, it may be possible when a company is not employing the required number of experienced hands.
- How to get support in case of an emergency?
Though rarely, IT problems do arise. It is indeed a very frustrating experience when you are unable to contact the right person who can help you under such circumstances. Some companies have an exclusive telephone line, meant for this purpose only with somebody available at all times to receive your calls, others have an arrangement of providing online support, and there are others offering an email address going directly to support system.
- Discounts, if any
Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts. You should expect discount, especially on signing a long contract.
- Conditions for cancellation
Spend time going through the entire terms and conditions, particularly those pertaining to the cancellation of the contract, plus the notice period. A notice period of one month suffices; be cautious if it exceeds that. This helps you to cancel the contract speedily, should find the services below the expected level.