How to choose the right IT support partner in Sacramento
IT support isn’t what it used to be. In the old days, your “IT support partner in Sacramento” was the nearest “IT guy”, who would come out and fix whatever was broken. These days your “IT support partner in Sacramento” really is a partner who supports you and your business. Their main aim isn’t to fix what’s broken (although they will if they have to). It’s to stop things from breaking in the first place. Finding the right IT support partner in Sacramento can really be a huge boost to your business. Here’s how to go about doing it.
Draw up a list of potential IT support partners and double-check that they are in Sacramento
Even if you search on “IT support partner in Sacramento”, the results you get may include companies which are not actually in Sacramento but do offer services in the Sacramento area. You may be prepared to look at potential IT support companies which are near Sacramento, even if they’re not technically in Sacramento. You will, however, probably want to draw the line at companies which are nowhere near Sacramento but are still looking for business in the area.
Check that they offer both on-site and remote support
These days, a lot of IT issues can be resolved through remote assistance and that is often the most convenient approach for both the client and the IT support partner. Sometimes, however, it can be useful to have someone on site and you want to make sure that any potential IT support partner can actually offer this service. After all, it’s likely to be a key factor in your decision to look for an IT support partner in Sacramento.
Check that they can both maintain and repair any products or services they support
A good IT support partner in Sacramento will focus on maintenance (and prevention, which is often one and the same thing), but they will also be able to implement fixes as needed. You may want to be wary of IT support companies which only do one or the other unless they have an arrangement with a partner company who can deal with the other side of the work.
Check their procedures for dealing with reported issues
Will you be able to contact them by phone if you need to or will you have to go through a chat- or online-ticketing system? Does this depend on the time of day and if so when is the telephone helpdesk in operation? What happens if you need out-of-hours help from senior technicians? Talk through some of the common issues faced by your organization, map out the process for dealing with them and decide how you feel about it.
Above all, check the actual service-level agreements, not “guide times” or “aims” or anything of that sort, the level of service to which the potential IT support partner will legally commit. Similarly, check what options you have should they fail to do so.
Check if you will have an account manager
Effective partnerships depend on effective communication and that is easiest when there is regular dialogue between a limited number of people. Having a dedicated account manager often makes this process massively easier. In an ideal world, you’ll speak on a regular basis not just to discuss anything which went wrong or which could be/needs to be improved, but to recognize what went well and see what you can do to replicate it and/or build upon it.
See if you can chat to their helpdesk staff
You may be able to skip this step if your plan is to have all queries channelled through an in-house contact in the first instance (such as your IT team) and have them then liaise with your IT support partner. If, however, you want your staff to be able to deal directly with the IT support partner’s staff, then you’ll need to be sure that your IT support partner’s staff know how to deal with non-technical personnelle.
Even if you are planning on channelling all queries through an in-house contact, it’s still a good idea to check this, in case your plans change in the future (or just to increase your options if you need to provide cover for staff absences).
Chatting to helpdesk staff can also give you a very good idea of how good a job the IT support vendor does. In short, if helpdesk staff seem happy and tend to stick around for a while, then the chances are they are spending most of their time dealing with happy customers, which is a good sign for you.
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