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).
A while back we were asked quite a bit about Macs in a PC world. Here’s that conversation…
How is it that Macs have gone from being the computer of choice only for graphic designers to becoming a popular choice for mainstream computer users in business?
A while back, one of our clients knew they wanted to improve their email and calendar system. At the time, they had a hybrid of hosted exchange and POP email, which made communication between their people a lot more complicated than it needed to be.
Sometimes IT is treated like a secondary concern by small business owners who’ve recently made it through the lean, DIY startup years. They might see IT as an option rather than a necessity. But when the first meltdown occurs, like a server crashing or email going offline, owners begin to realize they need some kind of support. But why go with a flat fee, fully managed IT service like Mytex? Why not just get the office manager to troubleshoot problems as they occur? Or maybe an hourly help desk service would do the trick.