In today’s fast-paced technology world, providers pushing Managed Service plans have become all too commonplace. Everybody has one; the term no longer holds the same gravitas it once did. At this point, I’m surprised we can’t just go to Costco and buy one. I’m joking of course, but in some ways I’m not. The commoditization of everything in the technology world is inevitable. Someone has a good idea, and everybody wants in on a piece of the action. So as a potential PEI customer, how do we differentiate our service offerings, so you can tell us apart?
Perhaps the best way to begin is to identify the various types of Managed Service plans that are commonly offered. Below you’ll find a brief description to help you figure out where you might fit.
The All You Can Eat Plan
This is the most typical offering. It is a service plan that encompasses PEI becoming your IT Dept, offering everything from Virtual CIO services to Help Desk Tier 1 support and all things in between. The idea here is that PEI will take care of your entire technology ecosystem from the cabling that goes into the building to the phones that make and receive calls throughout the day. The pricing is usually per user or per device. This creates a manageable, fixed-cost IT plan that you can budget for as you grow.
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This offering combines the power of an RMM (Remote Monitoring & Management) tool with pre-purchased block hours. This allows a customer to have a semi-fixed-cost IT plan for handling the monitoring of servers, workstations, networks, and other technology. The RMM tool identifies work that needs to be performed, and then PEI works with you to determine who will perform the remediation. If a customer decides they want PEI to provide the solution, then hours are deducted from a paid-in-advance block of hours.
Application Service Agreement
This offering is an excellent choice for companies that have internal IT Departments but need a little “Subject Matter” expertise for a specific application. Perhaps the company wants to get to the cloud, but doesn’t have Microsoft Azure or Office365 experience with the many flavors that those products can come in.
PEI can help you get there by performing the steps in a project to make it happen and then following up on that with an Application Service Agreement whereby we are providing the ongoing support on that application and all of the nuances that go with it. This saves companies from having to spend thousands of dollars on training and then having to worry about those resources walking out the door with all that knowledge.
Break/Fix plans are the the least desirable offering for service providers but is often the one that customers start with. It works just like it sounds. Your business has a widget and when that widget breaks, you pick up the phone to call a company to come and fix it. You pay for this at an agreed upon hourly rate—usually somewhere between $125-$220 per hour depending on if it’s networking, desktop, or server work being performed.
This is an unpredictable way for a business to handle their IT. If you have one bad month, you’ve got a huge bill, probably tons of down-time costing your business additional money, and that uneasy feeling that the other shoe could come crashing down at any moment. Yet often, this is where businesses must start because they can’t afford to hire a staff person or pay for any of the plans listed above.
What Should You Choose?
There are plenty of other variations out there offered by service providers. The question is, “Who do you trust to be your partner?”. Ultimately, a business is looking for that Goldilocks Service Plan to be “just right” for their business. At PEI, we’re flexible enough to tailor a plan to fit your business’s needs. So, whether it’s one of the above or a hybrid combination, PEI is poised to step in and assist you in connecting with technology. Remember, we’re here to help. All you must do is reach out to us at 303-786-7474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Darrin LeBlanc, PEI
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