We get lots of inquiries from people looking for break / fix IT support. That is, they want us on call when something goes wrong, but don’t want a monthly support plan. There are two main reasons we don’t provide this service.
Focus on the client (that’s you).
Managed service clients receive a Service Level Agreement, meaning they’re guaranteed a response within a certain timeframe. Break / Fix clients don’t receive this. If there’s a request from a managed client and one from a break / fix client, the managed client will always get first attention. This inevitably leads to the break / fix clients feeling like they’re not getting the attention they deserve. That’s not good for either party.
We’re also able to build relationships with managed clients. This means we can provide solutions and advice that are more relevant because we know their IT needs. We’re simply not able to do this with break / fix clients.
Not taking on break / fix work means our clients always get the attention they deserve.
Break / fix isn’t value (yes, really).
A managed service agreement starts at $49 per computer per month. Let’s look at what you’re getting for that monthly fee.
- Hardware monitoring,
- Operating system updates (Windows and Mac),
- Managed anti-virus, and
- Cloud backup, with unlimited data storage and 30 days of backups kept.
For $11 more you can get your first half-hour of remote support, and if you have 5 computers or more computer, $79 per computer per month gets you all that PLUS unlimited email & phone support PLUS included on-site labour every month, and for a little bit extra, we can even monitor your printers and can order supplies before they start beeping at you.
You may think “I don’t need any of that. I just need my computer fixed when it breaks”, but let’s look at that more closely.
Are your computers up to date?
For starters, any good IT provider (us included) will update your computer before working on it. That’s because a lot of small problems are caused by things like drivers and software not being up to date, and this causing incompatibilities. Furthermore, an up to date operating system is your best first defense against cyber attacks. You’ll pay for the time it takes to update, as well as the time it takes to solve the problem you called about. We recently visited a client who hadn’t updated their OS in 3 years. It took 8 hours just to update the computer! Why not simply have it managed all the time, so your computers are always up to date?
Not too long ago we presented to a group of small business owners. When we asked how many of them had experienced a crashed computer, all of them raised their hand in the air. When we asked how many backed up their computers, only 1 in 3 kept their hand up. 1 in 3!
Without a backup, you’ll either be paying for the time it takes to recover data from any broken hard drive, or you’ll be paying the cost of lost data. External hard drives fail, become corrupted and / or get lost. We back your entire hard drive up to the cloud and keep 30 days worth of backups – just in case.
Taking one step back from a failed hard drive though, hardware monitoring will tell us if a hard drive is about to fail before it actually happens. It also lets us diagnose problems remotely before we send someone out to site, and even if we need to send someone on-site. We recently had a client with a computer that was running slowly. Really slowly. Instead of sending someone on-site to diagnose the problem, then have them supply the part and fit it (that is, providing they had the part in the car), we were able to diagnose the problem using our monitoring software, and attend the site with the right part to fix it. All within the customer’s service level agreement.
We can all agree that downtime = money. So while $49 a month might seem a lot initially, when all factors are considered it’s probably the best investment you can make if your business relies on your computers (and whose doesn’t?).