Companies of all sizes in the IT space face many challenges including defining process, obtaining clients, providing service, staffing, and more, but smaller firms face even larger obstacles due to having all these needs, but not having the resources required to properly deliver IT services internally.
Understanding overall value and pricing of what service your business consumes internally as well as delivers to your clients is a key business concept for smaller businesses. I would recommend reading Value Pricing by Ronald Baker, but in the meantime, let me outline the main points below.
IT services should be of great value to clients. When starting work with a new client, they might be used to an online or local vendor selling them IT gear at low prices. While it’s a successful model and serves a need, the client doesn’t receive any real guidance on product selection. Most likely, the client got sold what was on special at the reseller that day. Our philosophy is about providing the truest value we can for the money and not simply throwing cash at a problem to create a quick fix today while ignoring longer term return on investment costs and benefits.
We do our best to put ourselves in the client’s shoes. How much would we spend, are the right assets being protected, is there a simpler cheaper way to accomplish our goals, what technology is already in place that might be underutilized and so on. This is the real value from an IT support firm who understands not only the cost elements, but the benefit analysis as well. One without the other easily results in a cheap, inferior setup or worse, an expensive, unused solution.
For example, a long term client of ours was told by their software developer they needed a new dedicated SQL server for an upgrade to their CRM system,this was to be the third major upgrade and they “knew the drill” for hardware. We were asked to provide a quote for a powerful new server with plenty of CPU and RAM. Our salesperson followed our process and got together with an engineer to discuss. After a fast but careful analysis, we suggested simply adding RAM and high speed disk to their existing virtualized environment would actually be better than a new server. There would be no major new server cost, no new backup system, and no major downtime. We presented to the software developer to make sure and they agreed the client would be much better off with our proposal. We extended the value of the client’s previous investment, saving time, money and effort. They were pleased to hear the right infrastructure was in place and all we needed to do was a minor upgrade to avoid a major new cost.
This is what it means to get value from IT support. Make sure your IT support staff or provider takes the time to review what you have, understand what you need, and provides answers you can rely on. If they don’t, contact us at 949-462-7001 ext 460 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will take care of your IT support needs.