In our recent blog explaining our pricing we talked about the difference between break/fix IT Support and Fully Managed.The analogy we used in that post was to do with cars. It’s the difference being waiting for the car to break down and then getting it repaired or having it serviced regularly. We still think that’s a decent analogy to give a broad understanding of the differences between fully managed IT support and the break/fix model. But it’s a little more nuanced than that – as we’ll try and explain.
What’s included in a Fully Managed Contract?
This will depend on the provider but, as a minimum, you’ll get helpdesk support (the break/fix bit!), proactive monitoring, and routine maintenance. We’d question whether this constitutes a ‘fully managed’ solution though.
What we believe Fully Managed means is that ALL of your IT worries are looked after by the Managed Service Provider, or MSP. So this would mean things such as patch management for your Operating System and business software, On-site support (without an additional charge), Cyber Security, standardised PC setup and installations, 3rd party supplier management and regular reporting.
In short, everything an in-house IT Department would do.
Why would you go for Fully Managed IT Support?
Control Your Costs – you pay a monthly fee so you can budget easily. If something goes wrong it gets fixed, simple as that! There are always going to be occasions when things need replacing. But with proactive monitoring and regular reporting on your infrastructure, there will be a lot fewer surprises (more on this later).
Less downtime – we are going to let you into an IT support industry secret. On a fully managed contract, we make more money if your IT systems don’t break down! The less time our staff are spending fixing issues the more businesses we can look after without compromising on service (which clients just won’t put up with!).
With this in mind, we make sure we are monitoring systems, optimising settings, tweaking things and generally heading off problems before they become issues for our clients. This means less ‘breakages’ and therefore reduced downtime for you. It’s difficult to measure but some providers estimate the reduction in downtime to be as high as 80%.
Increased Performance & Efficiency – again this comes down to regular monitoring and maintenance. Properly looked after PC’s, Servers and Laptops work better and last longer. Regular disk clean-ups and defrags keep PC’s running at their optimal level. Whilst ensuring you’re running the latest versions of software improves performance as well as increasing security. With a fully managed solution staff will spend less time waiting for slow computers and programs or trying to fix IT problems themselves.
Your IT systems will be more secure – you may already have antivirus and a firewall however, security within a fully managed IT service goes beyond this. There is the aforementioned patch management and your provider should also be using Active Directory and Group Policies to control permissions and account privileges so that nobody is installing anything they shouldn’t! There’s also email filtering, a backup solution (although you may have to pay for storage outside the contract) and management of your router, switches and firewall.
An extension of your business – a managed service provider should get to know your business. You should have an Account Manager who will look after you, with regular meetings to discuss how the service is working and, backed up by the technical team, make any suggestions as to improvements that can be made to the systems.
Reduced stress – IT becomes one thing less you need to worry about. This leaves you and your staff to get on with the important things that keep the business running smoothly.
Sounds great – how much does it cost?
Fully Managed IT Support is not right for every company and every budget. We’ve explained our pricing in detail in a previous post, whilst our minimum monthly price is set at £250.
The company needs to be a ‘fit’ for us too. Believe us when we say we don’t just take everyone. We view our relationship with our clients as a partnership and as such we’ve got to have confidence that we will work well together. We offer 90-day recurring contracts so that you’re not tied in, but our relationships with clients tend to be much, much longer. We’re in it for the long haul!
Companies that tend to be ideal for Fully Managed IT Support have 15 or more employees. They understand that the business needs its IT infrastructure and have a budget for IT. Growing businesses who are finding that they are spending far too much time sorting little issues in-house, or those that find that everyday their network seems to get that little bit slower are also good candidates.
Also, any business where there is an increasing spend on an existing break/fix provision or those experiencing reoccurring problems that get a metaphorical (or occasionally literal!) sticky plaster put on them on a regular basis!
What if it’s not for me?
If you’re not ready for Fully Managed Support we can still help. Our Block Hours contracts offer a flexible pay as you go support option with the high level of service you’d expect from a top MSP.
Fully Managed IT Support is the top level of available support. It offers everything an in-house IT department can provide but at a fraction of the cost. This offers business owners really peace of mind.
We are extremely confident in what we do and so we are happy to offer the first months of a fully managed support contract completely free of charge.
For a no-obligation meeting, which can include a free network audit where required, please complete the contact form on the website or call us on 0800 0306520.