Simpliyfying IT Support

Simplifying IT Support

What to Look for in a Great IT Support Service

Simplifying IT Support (02) - What to Look for in a Great IT Support Service

Today’s business environment is heavily supported by a diverse set of software solutions that often need to work closely with each other. While some of these solutions may originate from the same companies, many organizations rely on a mixture of vendors – such as Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, and VMWare – to work in tandem.

Unfortunately, despite being business-critical, these solutions don’t always work as smoothly as they should. One vendor could issue a software update that negatively impacts compatibility with another vendor solution, damaging productivity across your entire organization. Before you know it, your IT team is scrambling to diagnose the cause of the issue while technical support agents from both vendors try to minimize their role in this disruption.

That’s why it’s important to have an IT support team that is competent in a range of vendors and are able to get to the bottom of technical issues as soon as they occur. If you need to look outside of your organization to support your increasingly complex multivendor IT landscape, make sure your solution can bring you the following five benefits.

1. Reduce Complexity

It can be difficult to manage support incidents when your IT landscape consists of multiple service providers. When two solutions have a problem interacting with each other, how do you determine which vendor to call first? If you have to call both of the vendors, what do you do if they give you conflicting advice?

If your IT environment is complex, it can be difficult to make heads or tail of exactly what is going wrong, causing your team to waste time and money. A dedicated IT support provider should listen to all of your concerns, and then examine the issue holistically with an unbiased approach towards vendors.

Furthermore, they should provide a single, knowledgeable point of contact that will avoid unnecessary escalations and transfers. Having a dedicated, unbiased expert available will help you break down your complex IT environment into simple, easy-to-understand terms.

2. Control Operational Costs

When your IT team can’t solve a technical issue because vendor support won’t provide straightforward help, it doesn’t only cost your business time and labor – it costs you opportunities. If you could get help maintaining and optimizing your multivendor environment, your IT team could invest their time in finding creative, innovative solutions to problems that are more specific to your organization.

Additionally, a good IT support solution should help you find instances of overspending and cut costs whenever possible. Since multivendor support experts understand the offerings of multiple software vendors, they can point out if you’re using two software solutions that provide the same functionality. For example, maybe you’re paying for certain virtualization services through VMWare when Citrix would offer a similar solution for less.

Furthermore, a great IT support team would understand the importance of saving money and only charge when you need support. As you have taken care to craft your IT infrastructure in the recommended practices, everything should run smoothly most of the time. It’s hard to justify paying ongoing support costs to upper management when significant technical issues are relatively rare. However, when you need help, you need help. A good support team should understand this and won’t demand payment when no services have been rendered.

3. Ensure 24/7 Availability

IT problems can happen at any time. This is especially true for organizations that have remote workers that may not subscribe to a typical workday. If you have employees in multiple countries, but your vendor support only runs 10 hours a day, five days a week, this limited support will damage the productivity of employees that work outside of that time frame.

It’s important to have a knowledgeable point of contact available at any time to help employees, regardless of their location. Ideally, your support solution should offer on-site assistance, too. If an extremely complex technical issue occurs, it may be more efficient to have service success personnel visit your office and take a hands-on approach to solving the issue.

On the same note, you need to ensure that your support solution offers guidance in a range of languages. Even if your international team can speak the same language as vendor support, they may want to describe a complex technical issue in their preferred language. Having an expert available that can understand them perfectly will cut down on potential confusion and help them have a much more straightforward conversation with the support expert.

4. Improve Productivity

When your IT team and other employees can do their jobs without running into technical snags, it makes them far more efficient. Your IT team should be able to rely on an expert that will help them integrate their multivendor solutions to reduce further technical issues, and even provide new functionalities.

But when something does go wrong, a good IT support solution should offer a single point of contact that will help you resolve your problem as quickly as possible. They must understand that time is money, and work with all your vendors to find the best solution as quickly as possible.

5. Mitigate Risk

In today’s technology-driven environment, software problems and the subsequent downtime can leave your entire business frozen. This can have far reaching effects on your business’s ability to generate revenue and provide the service to your customers which your brand deserves. Even worse, certain types of software issues can result in permanent data loss that could cause lasting damage to your business.

Poor quality support leaves businesses at risk of more than just downtime and data loss. If employees find that a certain solution is integrated in a way that renders it ineffective or inefficient, they could find unsafe third-party workarounds that could compromise your business’s security and leave your network open to breaches.

Additionally, using multiple vendors can make it extremely difficult to ensure that all your software contracts are in compliance, leaving you at a risk of large fines. A good IT support solution should make sure that you’re using the correct number of licenses in a way that’s approved by the vendors.

Final Thoughts

Software is crucial to supporting your business – and when your business-critical solutions go down, so does your productivity. For that reason, it is important that your business invests in the ongoing safety, functionality, and effectiveness of your technological solutions. This will not only reduce the stress placed on your IT team, reduce downtime, and improve ROI, but it will allow your business to focus on delivering continuous value to your customers.

Uncover More Savings Potential

With SoftwareONE’s Unified Support Services, you can receive expert guidance for your multi-vendor environment.

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Sean Nicholson

Global Director - Technology Services

SoftwareONE Unified Support for Microsoft / Multivendor

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