How to choose the right IT Support company for your business

Choosing the right IT support company is very important whether you are a small, medium or large business. A good IT support provider is a company which meets your business IT needs and with whom you are comfortable working. There are many IT firms to choose from which makes the selection process even more demanding, it is therefore crucial to make sure you consider several important factors including price and quality of service.

This decision should not be made lightly, the fact remains that your business will suffer should your IT infrastructure collapse. In many cases your business could be seriously damaged by choosing the wrong IT support company.

To aid you in your decision we’ve drawn up a list of points to help you make the right decision.

Credibility

The first and easiest place to check credibility is the website. The design and content should not be out of date. You don’t want to hire someone whose own website is out of date, do you?! Another important thing to look for is whether IT engineers are qualified for the job. Have a look at their website and search for any certificates, qualifications and/or industry accreditation that prove their IT knowledge and skills. Can you see any references from past or existing clients? Do not be afraid to ask for references from existing customers.

Experience

There’s nothing like the comfort of knowing your supplier is experienced at what they do. Checking out the length of time they’ve been in business, how many clients they have and who are the key individuals within their businesses, are all good ways to get an idea of their experience. But you might also want to consider what hardware, software, networking and security experience they have, and whether they have specialists in these areas. Ask lots of questions – the good ones will welcome them and the poor ones will run a mile.

At Sheridan Computers we can provide solid proof of experience, accreditation and partnerships with companies such as Cisco, Juniper and ZyXEL. Even at director level we have certified network engineers and software developers.

Testimonials

You can’t beat another satisfied customer as a way of measuring the performance of a prospective IT support company. But don’t just take the word of their website testimonials – of course they’ll say great things. Pick up the phone to some customers they already supply (good companies will offer this as a matter of course) or check them out on LinkedIn. Take a look at their Twitter feeds for satisfied customers.

We are able to provide access to clients who can verify testimonials, and are willing to provide recommendations. We have held relationships with some of our client’s for many years and engage socially as well as in a business regard.

Investment

Of course cost is a factor. But I’d argue that you’re better evaluating value for money. Nobody likes spending money on something they can’t see. But actually you can see what you’re paying for. Most good IT companies will offer levels of support to suit your requirements. Whether you’re a small, medium or large business it is advised to discuss your precise requirements with the IT company and, if they are a good provider, they will create a bespoke support plan to ensure you are getting value for money. Some might offer support contracts based on the number of users, or if you require 24 hour support, for example.

Availability

How available is your IT support provider? If they’re a one-man-band handling lots of clients you might have just cause to be concerned you’re not getting the level of service you require. It really depends on the needs of your business. But a good place to start is with their contact network: do they have an effective help-desk or ticket system for your queries? Do they have a single phone number you can contact? What are their response times?
If you are a company that functions out of ‘normal’ working hours, you also need to know how available your IT company would be should any instances occur on a Friday at 5am or a Saturday evening, for example.

It is widely thought that being “local” is a factor. However, while in some cases this may be true, after all, it is comforting to know your supplier is just around the corner. But by looking at your support company’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) response times, this should be enough of an indicator to ensure the company will meet your needs in the necessary time. In fact, many IT companies connect to support using remote means, lessening the requirement to be right around the corner. If you are still unsure, find out where the company’s engineers are based, they may in fact have technicians spread around the country ready to come to you if needed.

Sheridan Computers have IT Maintenance Contracts with companies all over the UK including Bolton, Manchester, Liverpool, County Durham, London and Wales.

A good IT company should offer you guaranteed response times to respond to any IT issue you may have; however this may vary depending on the level of support you pay for. Once you submit a support ticket with a message about your problem or send an email to your IT support provider you should always receive confirmation that the company has received your query.

Relationship

Are your IT support sponsors responsive? Are they proactive? In other words, do they anticipate challenges before they happen, not simply reacting to issues when they occur? In that case you have yourself a keeper. Moreover, do you like them? This may sound like a very soft metric for evaluating your IT support performance, but actually it’s hugely important. When the chips are down – which they will be from time to time – you want the process to be as pain-free as possible. A good relationship with your IT support team can deliver this.

As mentioned previously, at Sheridan Computers we believe in being socially involved with our clients; we’ve pretty much been involved in everything from Golf and Carting to pub visits, meals and even stag parties with our clients!

We provide director level access for our clients at all times, if you have any issues, you need something resolving, or if you would just prefer a director to handle your case.

Choose the right IT support company now!

Find out more about the benefits and main attributes of Computer Maintenance Contracts provided by Sheridan Computers. Alternatively if you would just like to give us a call to discuss things further – 016 1871 6820.

 

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