Many IT Departments struggle with managing multiple locations nationally and internationally forming a demand for a multi-location IT service provider that acts as a single source point-of-contact (POC), offering a wide array of onsite computer, networking and data communications services in an ongoing day-to-day support capacity and as their IT infrastructure continues to develop over time.
Some of the ongoing operational onsite IT functions that need to be addressed are:
- Ad-hoc break-fix computer and networking services (this ranges from very simple computer repair, installation and maintenance services such as hard drive, tower and monitor swaps, and actual computer repair to printer repair and more complex networking issues such connectivity issues, switches/racks/patch panels/firewall/routers and access points that are offline or need to be installed, reconfigured, moved, maintained and cabling may need to be re-run or re-terminated)
- Server installation and maintenance
- Wireless networks, smart buildings – installation, maintenance and expansion
- Low-voltage data cabling services: Adding new cable runs within and office, upgrading cable (e.g. all types of Cat5 & Cat6 cable and Fiber Optics), new location hardware layer installation and maintenance
- Telecommunication services: Maintenance of existing (analog or VoIP) phone system. Programming of phone systems when there may be a glitch and installation of new/upgraded phone systems (e.g. when moving from analog to VoIP)
- A/V (audio visual) equipment such as TV’s, interactive whiteboards (e.g. Smartboards, Teamboards, etc.), video projectors, sound systems (including XM radio systems), surveillance systems, etc. installation and maintenance
- Project management for upgrades (e.g the recent Windows 7 upgrades that many companies have already done or in process), new site builds, office moves and relocations, company and new site acquisitions (e.g. site surveys and then conforming the new locations to company standards) and mergers
- IT staffing for longer engagements such as part or full-time help desk support, data center management, short or longer-term projects…
There are some multi-location IT service providers, however, one of the pain points we have recognized is the need for dedicated account managers and redundancy for the dedicated IT services account managers in case the primary account manager is unavailable (personal day, vacation, etc). At A+ Mobile Techs we have developed a system whereby we assign dedicated account managers from the beginning of a business relationship that truly get to know a client’s staff, general operations, and of course their IT infrastructure (hardware, software, service call workflow, operations, etc).
Another of the pain points we have recognized over time and addressed is the need for the dedicated and support account managers to actually be at least Level 2 to Level 3 technicians with years of proven field experience, excellent oral and written communications skills, be superbly organized, reliable, highly educated, excel in fast-paced environments and overall just easy to work and get along with (good people). These are qualities that we as a company look for when hiring account managers. When providing account managers to clients that are also technicians, we are able to minimize the amount of ticket escalation due to technical issues or other related technical problems that otherwise we may have to escalate within our clients’ organizations. This not only cuts down on the workload for our clients, but it speeds up resolution times increasing efficiency and ultimately saves money!
Additionally, when selecting a multi-location IT services provider with a dedicated account manager, there are many other benefits that speed up time to resolution such as ticket or work order routing and time until the technician is onsite. Lastly, when it comes to invoicing and payments, by receiving only one bill from one IT service provider, the time you spend to review the invoice (your IT department) and your accounts payable department will not have to spend nearly as much time processing payments – and if there are any questions they do not have to make multiple calls/emails, just one – which of course saves time and time is money!