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Tag: Managed IT Services

09 Dec 2018

3 Must Haves from Your Chicago IT Support Partner

IT Solutions for Chicago
IT Support for your Chicago Business

Managed IT Services Company should help with Software, Hardware, Telecom Renewals and Tracking

As more Chicago based companies move to a managed IT Service for small business platform it’s important to consider these needs when choosing a managed IT Service partner. A good managed service provider must provide leadership when it comes to Software Asset Management and Hardware Maintenance Renewal Management. They also must have a handle on your telecom, bandwidth, and Internet costs.

Software Asset Management with your IT Support partner

Software Asset Management is the business practice of managing and optimizing the purchase, deployment, maintenance, and utilization of software applications within an organization. You may not want to outsource 100% of software asset management to your managed it services company, but they definitely need to have input and help bring value to your IT support needs by contributing time to this responsibility. A comprehensive Software Asset Management solution is crucial to your organization. It helps you know what software licenses you have in place, what renewal costs you maybe facing in the budget year, and it keeps your business in compliance. Managing your software assets impacts your bottom line. Therefore your IT support company or managed IT services firm should help with this responsibility.

Today’s software license models can be very complex and ambiguous. It can require hours and hours of time to make sure you are paying the proper amounts and you have the most up to date licenses. Since your IT Managed service partner deals with many of your software products on a regular basis they should have a platform you can leverage to track your license needs. Prior to purchasing any software your business should verify the compliance terms and requirements. However be ready for change. The cloud adds complexity to your license compliance challenge. Your IT Support firm should have a good handle on all the services your company is using in the cloud and provide a good framework to be able to track usage costs, compliance costs and on-going services costs.

Managed Internet and Telecom Costs

Since your IT Support firm deals with your network support and IT support service needs on a regular basis they should have an idea on what your circuit, Internet, and telecom costs are also. A good managed IT service firm for small business will be able to evaluate costs and services related to all your Internet Services. IT Risk Managers LLC for instance has a separate team to manage telecom and Internet costs and services. We will make you aware if there are contract renewals due for site to site services like Windstream, Verizon, CenturyLink, Comcast and others. We would also let you know if changes or efficiencies are available in circuit and Internet prices. Sometimes increased capacity and bandwidth is needed for improved network performance. We would go to the carrier get pricing, and contract terms, and verify what’s the best solution or deal available. Your IT managed service partner should have the relationships and tools to make sure you are getting the most cost effective solution for your Internet and telecom business needs.

Hardware Maintenance Renewals from your IT Support Partner

Equipment and hardware maintenance renewals are also an area where your IT support firm needs to be able support your business. A Managed IT services company should have a platform that keeps track and inventory of all your systems and network equipment. Our IT support desk portal tracks serial numbers, versions, CPU’s, disk space, operating systems, software versions and much much more. This is all data necessary to keep you informed of what hardware is due for retirement, what systems need a maintenance contract renewed, or how systems are doing performance wise. Our Managed IT services and IT Support model provides an annual budget of maintenance and software renewals required to keep your systems up to date and in compliance.

If you have further questions or or would like an IT Health Assessment please call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 or email info@itriskmgrs.com

09 Dec 2018

“Likeability” and Attitude, The keys to a Great Chicago IT Support Team!

Chicago IT Solutions
Managed IT Services for Small Business

IT Support Technicians Need a Great Attitude

As a business leader from time to time you need to make a decision about getting IT Support for your business. Do not make attitude and likeability an afterthought when it comes to selecting your IT Support team. As a matter of fact, these attributes can make or break the success of your technology investment. Time after time I have seen some great technologies and IT solution projects fail because of the poor attitude of the IT support technicians and IT consultants delivering the solution. I am seeing this happen less frequently as more younger IT support technicians become advanced and trained. The old guard “know it all” IT support engineer has gone from being irreplaceable to quickly replaced with someone with a great attitude. A good Managed IT Services firm will have people in place with great attitudes!

What’s a great Attitude for IT Support?

In my mind a great attitude means the ability to explain things in a language people can understand. It also means being able to document processes and train other people to fill their role in the event of an emergency. And most importantly to smile while they do it. If you sense that your current IT support team holds the keys to your kingdom, and you are unsure of what they do sometimes you are not alone. Your IT support team needs to empower you, and not make you feel they speak a language you don’t understand. They have to bridge that gap and help you understand technology in a way that empowers you to run your business more effectively. They have to have a great attitude!

Selecting the right IT Support Team

Here are a few considerations to review when selecting an IT Support Firm. Again the most important thing when selecting an IT Support partner is the likeability factor. Information Technology experts are a different breed. Today’s IT Support technicians and IT Consultants need technical experience and business experience. They need to be able to solve business challenges with technology. Technology just for the sake of technology is not going to drive your business forward and meet your needs. On top of being able to understand the business pieces of technology your IT support team needs to have people you like to work with and trust. This may go without saying, but you can have the most brilliant technically savvy IT consultant, but if that person is not easy to work with, it’s going to cost you a lot of money and give you many headaches.

It’s about your Business not Technology

Remember it’s not about the technology it’s about your business. If you find your current IT Consultant or IT support person speaks in a technical language you can’t understand that is a red flag. Today’s IT Consultant has to be able to communicate in a business language you and your people can understand. Secondly they have to have patience. Today’s IT solutions move so fast, between the cloud, VOIP, Managed IT Services, and other IT technologies your tech support team needs to be able to slow it down, communicate and make sure your business is getting the most out of its technology spend. They also need to be able to explain the technology to your people and train them to use it. That takes teamwork, communications, patience, and compassion. I’ve often found IT Companies that have implemented some great technologies but the platforms have failed to deliver because of lack of training, communications, and follow through.

The roles of IT Consultants, IT Support Technicians

And of course another key consideration and factor when hiring is putting the IT support people in their correct roles. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the square peg in a round hole expression. This is an extremely important concept when it comes to IT Support. You wouldn’t have a plumber doing brain surgery would you? That’s why a help desk support person is different from a network engineer person. A help desk support person needs to have a great attitude, patience and communications skills. Why? Because these are the technicians that are responsible for customer support and satisfaction. Someone who works in a Network Operating Center will not make a good customer facing help desk support person, it’s two entirely different roles. Most Network Engineers don’t like to deal with end users, they want to be in the plumbing not handing out glasses of water. So don’t assume that because you’re hiring an IT Consultant they will be able to be all things to your organization. Hire a Network Engineer to do engineering not to do help desk. That’s why it’s also important to understand an IT consultant may not have the same skills as an IT Director. And expecting them to have the same skills will end up in disappointment. It’s about having round pegs in round holes!

If you would like information about IT Support Services please call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370. Or if you need an IT Health Assessment give me a call.

16 Oct 2018

Help Desk Outsourcing Services in Chicago

Watch our video to learn more about Help Desk Outsourcing Services!

 

Help Desk Outsourcing Services for your business needs

Have you ever asked your people how long they must wait for IT Support or help desk support for your company?

The answers may help you determine if a help desk outsourcing solution is right for your business. Imagine if you could receive courteous, professional customer service for IT issues by making a simple phone call, opening a chat session, or sending an email. With IT Risk Managers LLC’s  help desk outsourcing solution you can. Your employees can call our IT Support help desk and receive expert support from our certified technicians in a very reasonable time-frame. Our expert IT Support help desk technicians are specifically trained as help desk IT support technicians and can help. It may be a device, software issue or a problem with your network. Our help desk outsourcing experts are there to help. Put your frustrations on hold when you bring your help desk issues to our team.Our Managed IT Services help desk team can help.

IT Help Desk Outsourcing helps your Internal IT Team

Today’s internal IT Support people are swamped with other projects, and high value needs of the business. There is very little ROI in having a high level engineering team handle help desk tickets. Even though they may love providing help desk support, it’s not a valuable investment of their time. Consider a trained help desk technician and help desk outsourcing solution to help your internal IT team succeed, and drive a better ROI on your IT spend. Your IT leader can turn over Level 1 IT Support and help desk services to us while his internal team tackles more important projects and higher business value projects and leave the IT Support and help desk service needs to us. It will end up freeing up your team and will actually save money through increased productivity and efficiencies.

Our Help Desk outsourcing team supports:

Microsoft and Apple Desktop OS help desk support

Microsoft Office

Email Applications and Web Browsers

Hardware and Network Troubleshooting

Printer Installation and Support

Mobile Phones and Tablets

User Administration

File or Folder Permissions

Password Resets

Desktop Performance Problems

Virus and Malware Infections

…And More…Ask and we can probably help.

Contacting our IT Support Help Desk Team

We have several ways to contact our help desk services. You can get help desk services via Chat, Phone, or email. Your call goes directly into a help desk services queue. Most calls are answered in 30 seconds or less. Our IT Support and Managed IT Services team manage the help desk 24/7/365. Most issues can be resolved remotely. And if the issue cannot be resolved remotely, our Chicago IT Support team will be dispatched for a site visit to resolve the issue.

IT Help-desk Training and Knowledge Base

We also have a quality assurance program for our help desk outsourcing solution. All help desk calls and help desk ticket notations are recorded, to ensure all our help desk IT support people are delivering great IT Support services.We also have a great knowledge base for our Help desk outsourcing solutions team. Knowledge management enables us to share help desk solutions amongst our team, to make sure we have the latest answers and resolutions to your company’s IT Support and help desk needs.

Contact Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 for more information or email info@itriskmgrs.com

25 Aug 2018

Managed IT Services make sense for Non-Profits

IT Managed Services
Managed IT Services for Nonprofits

Managed IT Services make sense for Non-Profit Organizations

Successful Non-Profit organizations are dedicated to furthering their social mission. Advocating for the primary goal of their organization, growing supporters, growing donors are all primary to the success of the non-profit. Nonprofit organizations are accountable to the donors, funders, volunteers, program recipients, and the public community. A key component to enabling the goals of a non-profit is technology. And this technology can be delivered through a Managed IT Services relationship.

 

Technology is key for Nonprofits

Using technology to initiate actions, make connections and grow awareness in their community is key to a successful nonprofit. These actions and tasks must be tracked and measured. A key component to a successful nonprofit is their technology platform. But making every dollar count and stretching resources is a daily concern for non-profit executive leadership. That is why a Managed IT Service relationship is key to a successful nonprofit organization.

 

Save Money with Managed IT Services

Let’s start with the biggest driver for using Managed IT Services as a solution for non-profit organizations. Cost! Non-profits have a daily struggle with funding initiatives, maintaining employees, meeting budgets and managing costs. With a Managed IT services partner, non-profits can enjoy the technical benefits of a stable IT platform without carrying the overhead and costs.

 

Managed IT Support and SMB Help Desk

For example; the key to good IT Support or a successful IT solutions platform is the help desk. Making sure your nonprofit employees and managers have the tools necessary to do their jobs is access to a good SMB Help Desk solution. Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) are getting more options and access to SMB help desks without having to build out and finance their own help desk solution. A Managed Service IT Company will have a good SMB Help Desk to meet your needs.

 

NOC for Managed IT Solutions

Another platform necessary to maintain the technology of your Nonprofit organization is a NOC. A Network Operations Center or NOC is a part of a successful IT Support platform. A NOC provides the network monitoring and network security to make sure your nonprofit’s IT systems are available and doing what they are supposed to be doing. The NOC is 24/7 managed by IT engineers and IT support staff who make sure the systems are up to date and running. The NOC is something that all companies need, to manage their IT solutions properly. However, building a NOC for your own business especially a nonprofit organization is cost prohibitive.

 

It’s expensive to maintain Tier 3 engineers for non-profits

Another important piece to a successful IT Support and IT Solutions platform are network support, and network consulting people. These are the IT people that troubleshoot systems and fix things that can’t be resolved by the NOC or by the Help Desk. The issues are sometimes called Tier 3 support issues. Maintaining Tier 3 support is very expensive. A good Tier 3 support person may have a salary of $125k per year. All good managed IT services companies have several Tier 3 engineers. But as a nonprofit organization it doesn’t make sense to maintain a Tier 3 support team. It’s also very expensive!

 

Cybersecurity and the Nonprofit Organization

Nonprofit organizations have a lot of very important data. This data must be held in confidence. It may be donor data like tax info, social security numbers, addresses, and medical information. A good Managed IT Services firm will have a Cybersecurity team. The Cybersecurity team is responsible for making sure your company information and network doesn’t get breached. Hackers spend an enormous amount of time trying to hack systems. They especially attack vulnerable companies who can’t maintain full time cybersecurity teams to protect them. It would be very expensive to maintain a full-time cybersecurity expert to do what needs to be done to protect your non-profit organization’s’ data and systems. That’s why a good Managed IT Services firm can do this for you at a much less expensive cost.

Please call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 for more questions or email info@itriskmgrs.com