The following guest post is from dmi Networking, Inc.
Over the past few years, IT delivery has begun to go through a fundamental change. The old days of the "break/fix" model, where a client calls to remediate an issue with their PC, are coming to an end. PCs are becoming cheaper, and the cost of labor is going up - this equation puts the break/fix model of IT delivery in serious jeopardy, as it's often cheaper to buy a brand new PC than it is to simply fix it. In short, the break/fix model of IT delivery is becoming unsustainable very quickly.
Managed Services Gives IT Companies a New Option
Many companies have sprung up over the past few years, offering something called Managed Services. Managed Services replaces the break/fix model of IT support, and provides regular maintenance and monitoring of managed systems. The power of introducing Managed Services introduces recurring revenue to your IT company, and reduces the need for labor hours; and here’s how.
Depending on which Managed Service Provider you use (Kaseya, N-Able, and Autotask to name just a few), each managed machine comes at a standard cost. Depending on how many devices you are managing, you may find that managing a device only costs you $1.50/mo per device or less! That’s extremely cheap for your overhead, and since you are reducing your need for labor, you’ll make it back on the back-end.
These licenses can be applied not only to PCs and Servers, but also to Routers, Switches, Printers, and more. Now, let’s move onto what these licenses will do for you, and how they reduce labor needs.
24x7 Monitoring of All Devices
Each Managed Service license is built with an alert system in place, to notify you if there is a problem with your managed devices. Included in most initial deployments is monitoring of CPU, Memory, Processes, Temperatures, Fanspeeds, Virus Activity, and Event Logs Entries. You can further customize these alerts so that any single alert in any of the computer’s logs, or any high traffic on a port on a switch, can be sent to your call queue automatically. You can designate which alerts would be considered “High Level”, and have those text the tech on-call. You know immediately what the problem is while the client is clicking things trying to get something to work.
This means that you’ve already found the issue at fault before the client even has a chance to explain the behavior that they are experiencing, and it puts a lot of power into your hands. What kind of power? I’m glad you asked. This brings us to what you can do from your centralized dashboard.
Automatic and Scheduled Task Mediation
From your centralized console on your Managed Services hosting device, whether cloud based or on your internal server, you not only see any active alerts, but you have the ability to fix many of the issues that occur with just a couple of clicks.
For example – any batch file you can create, or any vbs script you can write, you can push out to multiple devices just by checking a box and scheduling your deployment – and ta-da, there you go. There are a million different scenarios that this is useful for, but let’s think up one right now for an example.
Let’s say that you have a client with 20 PCs that needs to have Antivirus installed. Under the old, break/fix method of delivery, you would spent many labor hours (increasing cost for the client and your overhead on labor) getting the old software off and the new software on. With Managed Services, you simply look at the list, check the boxes of the PCs you want, and select your script which will put the new antivirus in place and institute monitoring for virus activity. This took you about 10 seconds. Thus, the need for less labor.
How about this one? A client gets a new piece of software which relies on mapped drives. You can log into each PC (possibly on each profile of each PC on a domain), and manually map all of the drives everywhere. Or, you can check all your boxes on your dashboard, and schedule your script to run each time a user logs in. Ta-da: 10 seconds of work and you’re done, and the client’s mapped drives are configured throughout their office.
The selling point for a client in buying into the monthly fees for managed services is not only the 24x7 monitoring and alert system, but it is also the maintenance. Your Managed Service software will perform updates for Java, Flash, OS and more. It will run full virus scans on a schedule. It can defrag drives, it can reboot servers on the last day of each month, or anything else you could imagine.
Include Remote Support in Your Offerings
The power of this tool, along with a full remote support package, will greatly reduce your labor needs and supply you with recurring revenue that you can count on from month to month. Calculate your individual needs for what pricing you would offer this service at – generally, you want to account for possibly 2 hours of labor per average client per month.