Thursday, April 7, 2011

What is the value of a flat-rate IT managed services contract?

We do get this question from our clients sometimes.  It typically happens after being with us for close to a year.  Their environment is stable, there are few if any problems, they never get involved with IT.  As part of a expense review (like all good business people should do), they ask themselves, so why am I paying this money every month?
That is like asking your dentist why come in for a cleaning and checkup if there is no problem?
If my car is running fine, why should I have the oil changed or pay to have someone “check” those things listed in the maintenance plan of the owner’s manual.
Why do you get vaccinated for a disease that hasn’t shown up in your part of the world for tens of years?  Why get a flu shot?
Why have someone else manage your technology?

Because prevention and monitoring saves you money and creates stability.  Plain and simple.

CMIT is committed to providing a flat-rate service contract that applies the tried and true proactive maintenance and monitoring to keep your technology working hard for you and not sucking up your time.  Added to that you now are engaged with a knowledgeable team of technology people that do the work of keeping up with change to make sure your technology doesn’t turn into a dinosaur. Have a technology question? heard about something? wondering if something is appropriate for small technology?  You have someone to call on and you WILL get the right answer in language you can understand.
Our plans are not calculated on a per hour basis, but rather based on:
- Number of PCs
- Number of servers
- Number network devices
- Number of end users
- # GB of data in the data backups
- Response time commitment
- After hours support
- software & subscriptions we maintain enterprise pools for
- Complexity of your environment (medium-low)
If you were to pay for all the services that you are receiving on a per-hour basis, it would far exceed the price of our plans (we even can walk you through it as proof)
To move to an “as needed” or hourly basis the following would be required:
- Purchase and installation of your own anti-virus software (we include it in our flat-rate plan)
- Patch Management solution (a WSUS server would need to be installed and the someone would need to come weekly to review and approve the updates) (we actually test ours in a lab but you won’t be able to do that unless you have a “lab”)
- Design, purchase and install a onsite- offsite data backup solution. Someone would need to review it at the frequency you select for error (they all fall-down at least once a year).
- You would forego server and network monitoring as the cost is prohibitively high for small businesses.  You would undoubtly come to work one day and your server or network wouldn’t be working and no one would be able to be productive until it was fixed (what kind of response time commitment can you get if you not on a plan? ours is next day best case
- You would be forging continuous performance maintenance; a on-request service call for this; typically takes 45-75 minutes of work at our hourly rates
- Response time would be next day anytime you call with something.
- no discount on our hourly rate
- There would be no reporting, annual assessment, technology planning, purchase assistance, vendor management; if these were requested the hourly rate would prevail.
Are you getting the picture?

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