Outsourcing technical support is a logical decision because it allows your company to stay focused on primary functions and save on the costs of in-house personnel and equipment. When searching for a reliable technical support provider, you should address common concerns to ensure due diligence. Aside from financial and technical evaluation, there are also other important questions you should be asking your prospective contractor. The following is a short list of questions that will help get you started:
1. Do you have experience in technical support for small to medium-sized businesses?
Some support companies only have experience with large installations because smaller contracts do not allow for economies of scale. You have to be sure that they have small-sized companies in their client portfolio, especially if you are relatively new to the business landscape.
2. Do you have experience with the system/equipment that we use?
If the original vendor cannot provide extended support, it may be necessary to take on a third-party vendor. They should have knowledge and experience in the particular platform or family of products that you have.
3. What level of service can we expect from the support team?
This can be laid down in a service level agreement, where the clauses in the agreement should be clear. It can include email, chat, and telephone support but should also include any remote management and access, as well as site visits for equipment maintenance and support calls.
4. How can we be sure that our data is secure?
The bottom line of any IT system is the data. The support contractor should have experience and a proven track record in safeguarding a client’s data. Because the data within systems can be sensitive, it is of the utmost importance to make sure that this data remains secure.
5. Can you commit to a long-term relationship?
Network equipment lasts for years. Initial support may only be for three years, but if needed, this can usually be extended up to five years, if the terms are favorable. A supplier who can commit to a long-term support agreement makes them a better fit for any organization.
6. Do you have spare parts or replacement parts?
If you have arranged for hardware support from your supplier, they should also have the spare parts or replacement parts. These details should be made clear especially for extended support, where the equipment might require maintainence past the normal end-of-life or end-of-support stage of the manufacturer.
7. Do you have remote management and support?
There will be times when it is necessary to remotely access the computer equipment. You should know if they have the capability, and under what conditions they will use it.
8. What are the terms for agreement cancellation?
There may be instances when you or the contractor might want to end the contract. The agreement cancellation clause is usually stated in the contract, but it is safer to have a short talk about it with your provider to clarify the details.
9. Will our on-site personnel also have training?
When buying equipment, some training may be necessary. It pays to ask, as sometimes this may not be explicitly stated or written down. Most suppliers also provide training for their clients.
10. Do you offer any discounts?
Although the financial negotiations may have already ended, it is still possible to get a discount with extended term agreements, or with the purchase of additional equipment. As a customer, you should try to leverage on all agreements to get the best possible deal.
Your tech team ensures that networks and servers are running 24/7. Sometimes however, you might need the expertise of someone who isn’t available locally.
Learn more about tech support outsourcing from transcosmos today to ensure effective IT support for your business.