Why 24-7 Support Matters and why most Winnipeg support companies don’t offer it

by Michael Anderson

September 9, 2013

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365 Technologies Inc. - Worry Free IT™ - Winnipeg Computer Network Support

Looking back, very few of our 365Care+ clients, when they first started working with us, thought they would need 24/7 around-the-clock support. “We’ll never use that” and “We only need support during office hours” were common responses when we highlighted the service.

And yet, nearly every one of those clients has had some requirement for after-hours support.

Where’s the disconnect?

Partly, it’s the expectations that have been set, and what Winnipeg clients have become accustomed to. Working with a support company that only responds during regular business hours means that issues wait until the next business day, and problems that arise overnight are discovered and addressed in the morning. Many companies, however, are finding this level of support is no longer sufficient – for a few reasons:

In the past, for most employees, work stayed at work. Today, nearly every employee is connected (at a minimum) to their work Email on their smartphone (either company-provided or BYOD). Couple this with improved methods for connecting remotely, and it’s clear that access to corporate resources has extended well beyond office walls and regular business hours. Outsourced technical support needs to change to mirror these demands.

Secondly, companies can no longer afford to have technical issues interrupt their work day. Technical support needs to capitalize on available off-hours to prevent productivity losses during the work day. Consider a server interruption detected at 2AM, requiring 4 hours to troubleshoot and resolve. The difference between a 24/7 support company and another offering only business hours support is a full half day of productivity lost.

Third, companies are experiencing increased demands from their own clients – demands for real-time access to information, ordering, and improved overall responsiveness. Demands that only increase the impact of technical disruptions, and underscore the need for 24/7 support.

So, if 24/7 support is so important, why do so few Winnipeg companies offer it?

  1. It’s expensive to deliver. Technician overtime isn’t cheap, and it means that support companies offering 24/7 coverage need to charge more for their services. A support company looking to compete on price alone can’t incur those additional costs and hope to stay competitive.
  2. It increases the service provider’s accountability. Being available Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm is much, much easier.
  3. It requires the development of processes. Offering 24/7 support isn’t as simple as flicking a switch. Doing it well means establishing on-call rotations, documented after-hours protocols with clients, and hiring the right technicians.

A final thought on this – installing a monitoring tool is NOT the same as offering 24/7 support.

Any reputable network support company is going to install remote monitoring and management software on a client’s servers and workstations. This software will generate alerts based on critical events in the environment (server offline, site offline, disk errors, etc.) – that same company, however, is NOT delivering 24/7 support unless they have a documented procedure for responding to critical alerts around the clock.

At 365, we know that technology and technical support issues don’t keep regular business hours. That’s why since our first day in business we have included 24/7 support as part of our standard offering. If you’d like to learn more about what 365 can do for your business, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

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