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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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What IT Support Used to Look Like...

Posted August 27, 2015by Jaq Baldwin


If you ever saw the classic SNL sketch in which Jimmy Fallon portrays "Nick Burns, Your Company's Computer Guy" you're probably familiar with the pain and humiliation he causes the end users he is tasked with supporting. 

Condescending.

Impatient. 

Way smarter than everyone else. 

Unfortunately, this is how people used to perceive MSPs and IT solutions providers. It used to be guys like Nick were just what small-to-medium-sized business had to endure if they wanted to get their computers to work. Snide remarks and Cheeto breath aside (or maybe not), there was some truth to Fallon's character. IT support was inefficient and arduous.

But man oh man... That is SO '90's. 


Once Upon a Time...

When your clients had an issue, they'd call or email the inhouse "IT Guy." When he'd finally get around to making it to an employee's desk, the issue had eaten up most of their day. They'd then have to step aside while the IT Guy huffed and puffed, making users feel like idiots, and quickly pressed a few buttons to resolve the problem. He'd walk away, and the employee would have no idea what he did to troubleshoot and fix the issue or how to prevent it from happening again. 

This type of outdated support is strictly reactionary and completely incumbent upon one individual (usually stretched too thin) to go around from workstation to workstation, putting out fires. Of course the IT Guy was irritable. He hardly had time to take care of every workstation he was supporting, let alone train people on how to avoid problems to begin with or focus on high-level planning to get to the root cause of recurring issues. 

 

image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/317151998731517802/


The Better Way

It's 2015, and with the advent of managed IT services, we have developed better, more innovative tools that make IT support a no-brainer. Now, you're able to act as an extension to your clients' IT department, providing the extra coverage and bandwidth they need to maintain network health.

You may have also discovered that the better way to provide help desk support to end users, for instance, is to offload as much of the support requests that normally burden high level IT planners and managers by having a trained team available to respond very quickly to even the lowliest of tickets. 

What if, rather than an irritable, overworked, and Burns-like tech, you could have all the menial, mundane and easily-fixed recurring issues solved within minutes? 

This can be done with:

Proactive maintenance

Most issues can be solved by restarting, implementing patch updates (including Java and Adobe), and deploying service pack updates. This can be done at any time during the day or night remotely and without loss of productivity for the IT manager or the employee. That's 24x7x365 service delivery.

Managed Antivirus and Antimalware 

Not only can workstations remain protected, but definitions can be updated regularly to not just ward off known attacks but prepare for new attacks.

Remote Support 

By having a team of individuals with remote access and the ability to troubleshoot properly, issues can be quickly and patiently remediated. Users can even be educated during support calls to learn what they could do better next time and how to avoid future issues, since they never step away from their monitor. 


That's how support is done these days - far more efficiently and with way less Cheeto breath. 
 


IT-support-looks-different-today-MSP


See also:

Jaq Baldwin is a Sales Professional at Southern Data Solutions in Alpharetta, Georgia. He loves working with his customers to provide IT solutions that reduce risk, cost, and liability while increasing productivity and better use of technology in the business world. He loves running, blogging, and watching terrible Sci-Fi movies late at night. Follow him @JaqTech, visit his blog Marathon Sales, or his company Southern Data Solutions to stay in touch.

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