Can you Trust your Managed Service Provider?

posted on Jun 29, 2011 in Tips for Better Computing
by Wayne Kimes, MCSE, CNE, CCNA

Do you know the difference between “Insurance” and “Assurance”, and can you trust your Managed Service Provider?

Managed Services have increasingly earned a poor reputation, with many business owners and managers placing them in the same category as “used car salesmen.”  This was quoted to me by the owner of one of Austin’s largest Managed Service Providers, who is certainly qualified to have this opinion.

Before starting my own company, I thought long and hard about this reality. Though there are many reasons why service often falls below expectation with some Managed Service Providers, I believe that there is one primary reason.

The business model of Managed Services is to lock your business into a “fixed fee”, flat monthly rate, preferably with a long-term contract to ensure recurring revenue. There’s nothing wrong with that, except there is an implied conflict of interest; the less you call, the more they profit. The only other business with this revenue model is the insurance industry.  Though the reasoning behind the model may seem sound “We guarantee 99% uptime” and “You can call us as much as you need”– it’s still IT insurance and cannot replace the value of dedicated IT staff.

When I started Big Village IT, I wanted to provide IT Assurance. Assurance is when you know you’ve hired a qualified vendor that cares, is competent, and gives you the service you pay for; the service you should expect.  Generally speaking, this is called “value for your dollar” — something that is sorely lacking in today’s technology-related service industries.

Here is an excellent article at ZDNet with some points about choosing a service provider:

ZDNet – Can you trust your IT Provider?

Big Village IT will only provide a fixed-fee solution after several months of working with your company. We don’t have a “cookie cutter” fixed fee price structure. We work with your organization to develop a tailored service structure that provides ongoing productive service for your dollar. Yes, everything will be covered and you won’t have to worry about fluctuating IT costs but, we call that IT Assurance. We’ll work hard to fulfill the promise of “Being your IT Partner” and if you’re not getting service for your dollar, we’ll lower your fee. Every single one of our clients had an IT provider before coming to us and every single one of them pays less for their service now than they did before.

Don’t take my word for it — Call us and we’ll let you talk to them.

Wayne Kimes MCSE, CNE, CCNA
Big Village IT, Austin Texas
512 524-7641