Support. It’s a word that enterprises fear across any organization. Your workforce hardware, software and networks are meant to support your tasks that revolve around something very simple; making money. Fixing the channels for making this happen can be frustrating.
If you are utilizing your own IT team to handle wireless network and device maintenance and support needs, there are shortfalls in their productivity towards mission critical tasks and in how quickly issues are resolved. The morale can also be affected of these resources; fixing things that aren’t meant to do anything but provide aid to completing goals weighs on the individuals. The other thought is to stay on top of the lifecycle and optimization of workforce tech with important updates and patches which could eliminate significant time spent troubleshooting problems and repairing any hardware breaks. Wouldn’t it be nice to proactively monitor everyday workforce technology, secure the network it operates on, and handle the company’s revenue-driving tasks? The problem is, IT teams are often overworked and cannot put their efforts into all of these areas.
What about another scenario – companies without an IT team that rely on manufacturers and IT support agents. How committed are these individuals to fixing your issues? How able are they to know exactly your situation without knowing the nuts and bolts to your business? Can they fix only one problem or can they understand the full scope of what you need? Do these folks even offer enough services to address your concerns fully? With all of these questions to ask, a few “nos” will mean the time taken to address these needs will only cost you more time without working technology and longer waits for support, which combined means less productivity.
The Value of Managed Services
Managed Services, such as ScanOnline’s Managed Services Group, are meant to be an IT extension, devoted to optimizing enterprise critical technology, while playing proactive and reactive support roles for maintenance. This may or may not include any needed repairs. Consider a managed services provider the IT arm for your workforce technology, mobile devices and wireless network, at your service when you need them. CompTIA’s 4th annual trends in managed services report finds that over 70% of the companies researched that use managed services met their expectations for cost savings, with an additional 24% exceeding their goals. Managed services, in that regard are the lifeline enterprises turn to, to prevent technology downtimes and disruptions in productivity. Close to 127 million work hours on average are lost worldwide due to outages and downtime from connectivity problems, which by the outage breaks down to a 34% drop in productivity for large businesses, 33% for emerging, medium businesses and up to 43% for small businesses per service outage. In the case of ScanOnline’s Managed Services Group, they offer services around mobile hardware, handle wireless network upkeep tasks, provide repair and maintenance for technology that needs TLC, and can even build from scratch WLAN infrastructure and more to get the most from your enterprise workforce with tech that complements their abilities. Your team likes to use their own devices, but do you worry about security? ScanOnline can even provide mobile device management options for companies that want to start a bring your own device (BYOD) strategy to allow staff to use hardware and software they are most comfortable using. Needless to say, managed services teams are workforce improvement agents committed to keeping your business moving as usual.
If you have an IT team that balances time between development that is revenue generating and internal technology support requests, you can in effect change priorities of those resources – you’ll never have to patch the leaks with your own team and get support needs fixed in half the time, still. Six in 10 surveyed in a CompTIA survey actually work hand in hand with their managed services provider and 72% of all companies researched in the study kept the same amount of IT related roles and were able to “reassign” them to new activities.
Now let’s talk repairs. Most organizations have to send their equipment off to their original manufacturers or a 3rd party service provider to be fixed if their resources cannot get the job done. In fact, most companies don’t hold the tools to even begin certain repairs. The user, ultimately loses while the situation is mitigated, going without his/her critical device and has to manage their jobs without. Between the intensive expert attention given to your technology’s lifecycle and a stock of spare pool technology to be utilized if needed to keep users connected, managed services is a much better option for repairs. Managed services effectively keep the organization running at all times, often at a far less cost than hiring new staff or tools.
So what about wireless networks? Let’s single those out. Think about it, WLAN is the lifeblood of companies that need to stay connected to data and each other, critical to running many tasks as a productive workplace with employees constantly on the move. Network downtime and poor network performance is a serious matter; where minutes can mean money, can you literally afford to wait on a substandard wireless infrastructure? How about security and stability, something on the top of every company’s minds given the massive data breach stories heard in news reports – is software enough to fight the capable that are able to work around systems that don’t have support teams committed to monitoring them? The Ponemon Institute Cost of Data Breach Report, found that the average total cost of a security breach or attack is roughly $3.5 million. It’s easy to see that your WLAN infrastructure is too critical to not have dedicated resources invested to its sustained, optimized state.
When networks go down, it could be a number of problems; re-cabling could be required, access point hardware may need servicing, or it could be completely server related. And that’s only scratching the surface of possibilities. Yet, without the right experts on task, the matter can stay unsettled for longer than is preferred, in the same vein as mentioned earlier by using substandard repair services for mobile devices. You maybe wondering what the best practices are however, above all else. For one thing, staying on top of networks through system integrity checks can be the difference between being a forward-thinking organization vs one that constantly struggles with connectivity issues. With the right tools and provider behind them, you can easily point out flaws in the network on a regular basis and schedule more detailed testing for annual/semi annual maintenance for better WLAN health. This is all possible, yet again with a managed services team.
Find the right provider
So what’s the lesson here? A managed services provider can be a value add to any tech savvy, highly mobile company, but finding the right provider matters just as much. Speaking on that, not all providers are equal either. Some managed services teams can handle repair requests, but truly aren’t at the front of your issues to stop them from happening at its source – they lack proactive monitoring services. Other providers may be strong in managing enterprise technology through monitoring, including security from miles away, but for support and repair needs, they may rely on other vendors that will need to be filled in on the details.
And then there’s your tech itself. What do you have that they are competent in… and do they have experience in all of it? Wireless networks could be a focus of the managed services provider, but not mobile handhelds. Some techs are only licensed, certified or educated in certain manufacturers and/or products too, thus sourcing out this kind of information needs to be done.
Of course there are lots of other situations where services can be segmented and not all in “one house”, but the right managed services provider for you is one that can make your business easier to run. You’ll even find some that will bundle multiple services to your advantage through service level agreements, or SLA’s, which act as a line item contract for both on-demand service needs and passive issues. ScanOnline is a great example of this. With a clear focus on optimizing workforce mobile devices and wireless networks and abilities to provide maintenance and support, ScanOnline has their clients covered from end-to-end.
As is the case with your competition, so much of your organization depends on its tech, simply put, working properly. What are you willing to do to make it so?
This blog, authored by Jeff Goldstein, Marketing Manager for ScanOnline. He can be reached at (704) 983-1495 ext. 219