What IT support should you consider?
Support for your IT infrastructure: hardware, firewall, Office 365 is not mandatory unless your supply chain insists upon it as part of your contracts with them.
Increasingly, support for your accounting, MRP or ERP solution is becoming unavoidable with the global trend for software as a service (SaaS) where your single monthly cost will include support.
Businesses do however have a choice as to who provides that support.
Sage 50C accounts support is a great example.
The RRP on Sage 50C is controlled by Sage UK. The price is the price across the Business Partner channel.
If you subscribe to Sage 50C Accounts with Sage, the price will be the same as when you subscribe through Qi or another Sage Business Partner. The difference is that you call Qi for support and not Sage UK. Business partners will provide you with a more ‘joined up’ holistic approach to Sage 50C Accounts support as we have a closer relationship with our customers than Sage UK. We know if you are using other Sage applications and we will ask intelligent questions about third party software and your hardware & network infrastructure and the implications they have for Sage 50C performance.
So, how do you assess whether the support you opt to pay for and the support you can’t avoid paying for is value for money?
Most households will have household insurance but unless we are very unlucky, we don’t claim on it. But do we ever risk not having household insurance? Not often!
Any business who relies on software solutions and the hardware infrastructure that runs them, to support their operation will at some point during a year encounter problems that will hinder the way they process or stop them processing altogether.
The severity of problems will vary from business to business and from year to year. The costs of system ‘blips’ and ‘downtimes’ are very real.
Even short intervals of system downtime can cause significant dips in productivity. Numerous studies into the impact of workplace interruptions have found that it takes much longer for people to refocus after a disruption than might be imagined, 23 minutes to quote a report by UC Irvine and with a potential decrease in cognitive function of 20 per cent according to Carnegie Melon University. By adding up the lost time and efficiency this could equate to for every blip in system performance, it’s clear how detrimental this could be.
The key then must be to minimise the length of ‘blips’ and ‘downtimes’ and strive to avoid them altogether! Take a Qi support contract!
How much ‘blips’ and downtime events actually cost your business will vary case by case.
The cost considerations to factor in for every business are the same regardless of size:
- How many employees will you pay to sit idle while IT issues are resolved?
- Will you have to pay employees overtime to make up for lost productivity?
- Will you have to develop marketing efforts to explain to customers and apologize for the disruption in service?
- How much revenue could have been generated during the period of downtime?
Downtime affects all areas of your business. Consequences can be direct and indirect, tangible and intangible, immediate and long lasting.
What is the best support contract type for me?
Many IT support companies will offer an annual contract that includes on site consultancy and services. This consultancy and inclusion of services is paid for as part of the contract whether you use them or not. If you know you are going to use them, then this type of contract is value for money but if you don’t KNOW that you will use them the value for money decreases.
The set up of new PC’s is included in your contract.
If you NEED new PC’s this is great value.
If your PC’s are up to spec and fit for purpose, then you still must purchase the PC to be able to access the value from your hardware contract to set it up.
So, do you just purchase a new PC because the set up of it is already paid for? Probably not.
Why Qi Cover for Sage 50c, Sage Manufacturing, Microsoft and Hardware & Network support?
Qi offers well priced support contracts that maintain the status quo. Maintaining the status quo means that we deal with ‘blips’ and ‘downtimes’ for our covered customers as a priority. You are paying for support, not support and on-site services you may not use or need.
If our covered customers DO need consultancy and services such as:
- Installing Sage 50 to a new server
- Setting up a new PC
then our covered customers benefit from a 20% discount on the hourly charge.
A Qi customer will pay for the support they know they will need and then pay for services when they need them. Qi will always suggest the most cost-effective approach for services.
A safe prediction would be that ‘blips’ and ‘downtimes’ are unavoidable but how can a business predict whether they need on site services? If a coming year is known to require changes to the IT infrastructure Qi will always plan with their customers to ensure service required outside of a support contract return the best value for money.
Our customer must replace multiple Windows 7 machines for Windows 10 machines as they are end of life and a risk to the network.
Qi suggests that these PC’s are set up remotely in a gradual replacement programme over an agreed period to reduce the cost of each PC set up by 40%.
Thought for the Day
Qi’s support is like booking a holiday with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included. You need to eat right? If you need a mid-afternoon snack one day – just pay for a sandwich.
Other contracts that include on-site services are like the ‘All Inclusive’ holiday. You are paying for food and drink you can consume until you explode. If you don’t consume it – you have STILL paid for it.
Call Qi to understand how our fairly and keenly priced support contracts will support your business cost effectively.