Witney Town Council came to us as they were having problems with their current provider. Their experience was very typical – they could not get hold of support and problems were not getting resolved permanently.
These are the two most common complaints we hear from new customers about their previous IT support. Sadly, these two things are what customers most value in an IT partner! It’s why we spend a lot of our resources making sure we can fulfil these needs.
A new IT support contract always starts with a face-to-face meeting. It’s important for both sides to make sure that they get on and share similar business values. IT support is an ongoing partnership, one that both parties need to be happy to enter into. The meeting involves discussing the customer’s business from a non-technical standpoint, allowing us to understand what’s important to them and how systems and technology can support this. This sort of discussion is often overlooked by IT teams.
Following on from this a brief discussion of the technology they are using – servers, client computers, main software, internet connection and mainly number of users. Our support contracts are based on the number of users or devices at a business.
Once the high-level details have been discussed it’s time for us to put a proposal together.
Witney Town Council had about 20 computers and one server. They also had a small remote office with two additional workers. They had a poor internet connection and a few pieces of software that were important to them. Other than these details, they had a very standard network, making a proposal easy to put together.
We present our proposals in a very simple way. Often prospective customers do not want to know everything about us as a company, so it’s our job to only present the information that they need.
The approving council saw the value in an outsourced IT team and the project got signed off.
The first thing we do when we get a new support customer is book a “take on”. This is where we send an engineer to site for the day to do a detailed audit of their systems. This audit allows the engineers to provide excellent, knowledgeable support to the customer. We use an application called IT Glue that allows our engineers to quickly find out everything they need to know about a customer. It saves us so much time, which in turn allows us to provide a more efficient service to our customers.
A typical IT survey would include:
- Creating a detailed floor plan of the office and various departments.
- Meeting key decision makers – this allows our engineers to know who can sign things off
- Taking specifications of all hardware
- Identifying third parties that are responsible for the support of their software
- Loading our remote access and monitoring software onto all devices
- A full security audit
Once the ‘take on’ is complete, a start date is agreed. We will email our contact with all the information that people need to raise support tickets, along with the process of doing this. That way everyone can get hold of us should they need any IT help. We will also explain our internal structure so that they can escalate a call if they need to or purchase new equipment.
After the go-live date, we will make recommendations about how the IT can be improved. Some of these recommendations are procedural and may leverage systems that are currently in place. Other recommendations may include replacement of old kit or security improvements.
Project Sign Off
During the early stages of a contract we are in regular contact with the customer. In some cases, every day! However, this diminishes over time as the IT settles down. We schedule in six monthly catch ups with all of our customers, as we believe good communication is important to a long term support relationship.
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