Years ago, Microsoft Office was the one-stop shop for your work and personal needs. From productivity software to chat and storage, Microsoft owned the marketplace. There were a few competitors but none as highly intertwined than Microsoft. Fast forward two plus decades later and a new competitor is really making a splash: Google Apps.
When I (not me in the picture) started Mytex, it was in no small part because of the way IT people were acting. Busy, smug, and secretive. So I set out to build an IT company with a culture of being nice, friendly, and approachable. Pretty regularly people will say to me “well, that’s neat, but does it really matter?” Yes, and it’s a meaningful IT skill. Here’s how I know:
Keeping your technology (workstations, servers, software, etc.) up-to-date is important, but it’s often seen as something that can be shelved. Unfortunately, putting technology updates on hold has more than a few negative effects:
1. You can’t get support for outdated technology. Eventually, hardware and software companies stop offering support and updates for older products. That’s when things start getting buggy and crashes occur.
One of the questions we get asked by potential clients is, “Why don’t you offer a dedicated on-site IT person, or a block-time level of service?” Well, we believe that offering a flat-fee, upfront and all-inclusive IT service is the best solution for small-to-midsize companies who want to give their people the right support and tools needed to get their jobs done. These companies can leverage IT to stay productive, keep employees happy and ultimately grow the business. Here’s just a few of the reasons why our service works for small and midsize businesses, and why other models fall short.
Mytex uses some pretty cool software to remotely manage, monitor, and support your computers and network. The Mytex agent installs on your computer and allows us to remotely service, update and protect it. You can use the agent to initiate a remote control session when you need help, but otherwise it just sits there and alerts us to any potential problems looming, like low disk space.
A couple of months ago I had a phone conversation with our partner rep at an Internet Service Provider (ISP) with whom we have had a long and happy relationship. Jack (not his real name) was trying to convince me of the value of cloud servers for our SMB clients, something this ISP now offers to bundle with bandwidth, voice services, and everything else they do. I started in, “What do you suggest they do with their very own cloud server, Jack? Host their own website? Run a QuickBooks terminal server?” “Sure any of those,” he said.
When we talk to people about managed IT services we frequently hear something like this: “So we pay a little each month to ensure that we’re covered when something bad happens, rather than paying a lot when it happens. That’s basically insurance, right?” Sort of. We don’t think of it as insurance because we proactively invest in processes, monitoring, and tools to prevent bad things from happening. I started to write that insurance doesn’t proactively try to prevent problems, but that’s not exactly true.
Managed IT is a term familiar to those companies who have it, and those which supply it. Outside of those groups, it might be a little vague as to what the whole “managed” part really means. I’ve come to relate it to staying at a great hotel (an experience I’ve had only a handful of times).