Today’s small to medium size business environment
In today’s business environment, most organizations understand that they need technology to enable efficient and faster delivery of services and products. Today, business is done at blinding speed; those organizations who falter will be left behind. This means that it is critical that a business has the right IT solutions to streamline operations, improve communication, and advance employee collaboration to better serve its customers. Simply put, small to medium size businesses (i.e. SMBs) need technology to level the playing field against larger firms. It is critical that businesses avoid disruptions to their operations due to malfunctioning servers, workstations, etc.
Another challenge to SMBs is the growing complexity of their technology environment. Even small businesses have to deal with a mix of hardware (i.e. desktops, laptops), operating systems (i.e. Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7) as well as special purpose servers (i.e. general files, SharePoint Servers, Virtual Servers, etc.). It is difficult for SMBs to maintain in-house expertise at the levels needed to ensure that the IT environment is properly maintained and running efficiently. All of these systems need backups, software patches to be applied regularly, security settings monitored, virus software updates, hard drive defragging at regular intervals, etc. This often puts a strain on even those businesses that have a dedicated IT staff. What about those SMBs who do not have anyone internally to rely on? Or what about those situations when your part-time in-house IT expert, who has other duties, needs to put those other responsibilities ahead of IT for the good of the business?
An SMB’s dilemma
Let’s take a hypothetical situation to illustrate our point: the server in a small but successful auto body shop suddenly goes down. The shop is unable to use any of its systems and cannot communicate with parts vendors, insurance companies, or industry online services. A few customers are waiting to get serviced and the auto body shop cannot provide estimates, order parts, etc. So now the shop’s admin aide is on the phone trying to call suppliers. Because customers are waiting, you as the shop owner or one of your estimators must also get on the phone contacting suppliers, adjusters, etc. In the meantime, more customers are coming in or calling for service. As if this wasn’t enough, you still need to get someone to fix your server — when you get time to make the call.
Does this scenario sound familiar? How much money in time, productivity, and perhaps unhappy customers have you lost? Let’s say the server is down for 4 hours, how much per hour did you pay your admin aide or your estimator to make unproductive phone calls? Your estimator probably gets paid a high hourly rate; while he is on the phone he is not producing estimates. How about yourself? How much is your time worth? Did any of your customers refuse to wait and go somewhere else for service? By the way, how much is it now going to cost you to actually fix this server?
Put all of these things together and now answer the question: how much did this one incident actually cost you? At today’s rates, probably about $600, assuming your admin aide makes $25 per hour; the estimator $45 per hour and 2 hours of emergency computer repair costs at $150 per hour. These costs don’t include employee benefits, your own time, possible loss of future business from unsatisfied customers as well as additional computer repair time if the issue cannot be resolved right away.
Now, what happens in situations where a server malfunctions affecting an office full of employees? Costs can quickly balloon to thousands of dollars in lost time, productivity, and customer dissatisfaction. Situations such as these can also affect individual workstations and employees. Depending on that particular employee’s responsibilities, costs due to downtime can be very high.
Wouldn’t it be great if you can take steps to minimize computer downtime and reduce costly interruptions? Now, you can!
Managed Services is the answer to the SMBs’ dilemma
With all of the challenges outlined above, what is an SMB to do? The answer is Managed Services. Managed Services allows an SMB to shift specific IT processes to a Managed Services Provider (i.e. MSP). An MSP will provide remote and on-site IT services that will either augment your existing IT staff or function as your sole IT provider while you maintain full visibility and control of your systems.
An MSP can have a real positive impact on your business operations and bottom line. A Managed Services Contract will help you to:
- Manage your IT assets more cost-effectively. You pay a monthly fee for the services you select.
- Perform regular monthly maintenance on your systems thereby avoiding many technology problems in the first place. This means less downtime.
- Reduce IT interruptions, allowing you to concentrate on your business.
- Swiftly resolve IT issues when they do occur getting your business up and running more quickly.
- Experience a more responsive and proactive service, making your systems the business asset they were always meant to be.
- Gain access to experienced, specialized IT resources. The MSP will be able to advise you on additional systems, upgrades, etc. when needed so you can make informed business decisions regarding future IT acquisitions and how they will integrate with your business model.
XSolutions has a plan to fit your needs
XSolutions has a comprehensive Managed Services plan structure that will allow you to match the right coverage for your business at a cost-effective price. Call us at (845) 362-9675 to discuss your company’s needs and how XSolutions can help you attain your business goals.