The Direct Difference
There are a variety of ways to approach your business technology support needs. All are valid and have their various advantages and drawbacks. Which one is right for you depends on your business. It’s important to understand what support you’re getting to make sure it’s right for your needs and goals.
The main support models are in-house and outsourced. In-house technology support means that you have an internal technical employee(s) responsible for all support, maintenance, implementation, and procurement. For most small to midsized businesses (SMBs), relying solely on internal IT support is neither desirable nor doable. We’ll be focusing more on the outsourced model, exploring traditional break/fix support, managed services, and Daystar Direct.
The philosophy behind a break/fix IT support model is when it breaks, fix it. This outsourced approach consists of you hiring an IT guy or even an IT support company. When a problem occurs, you report it to your service provider. They will either come onsite or work remotely to address the problem. Once resolved, you are billed for the time the technician took to resolve your issue.
The main benefit of break/fix support is it’s pay-as-you-go model. Some small companies value the convenience of no ongoing costs and believe that it is more economical. The chief drawback to break/fix is inherent in its very philosophy, when it breaks, fix it. And if it breaks again, fix it again. And again. And again. You never know when something will break, and what impact that will have financially. This leads to an unstable environment and unpredictable costs. In the long run, break/fix will often cost your business more.
The philosophy behind a managed services support model is stop it from breaking in the first place. This outsourced process consists of hiring a managed services provider (MSP) who proactively monitors and maintains your technology infrastructure. When a problem arises, the provider receives a notification before or the instant at which an issue occurs. The provider will automatically address the issue either remotely or onsite. In addition, your MSP would use ongoing preventative support and maintenance to stop problems before they occur and keep your systems running smoothly. You pay a monthly flat fee for the service regardless of the number or severity of issues.
A managed services model aligns the interests of the service provider and your business. Both parties want network stability because they both lose money when anything goes wrong. While you experience lost productivity when problems occur, MSPs lose their biggest resources – technical support time. Therefore, MSPs work proactively to ensure that your network is stable, secure, and high performing.
In addition to this major philosophical advantage, there are additional benefits to working with an MSP:
- Predictable costs and consistent budgeting with a fixed monthly fee
- Unlimited service hours
- Proactive maintenance and monitoring
- Security and data backup tools
- High quality network management systems
- Faster response time with defined service level expectations
- A technical team of resources dedicated to keeping you up and running
Although there is an ongoing cost, the enhanced stability and security of your network results in less downtime and more productivity for you and your team. What’s more, it takes technology off your plate. You no longer worry about IT and can focus instead on running your business.
Daystar Direct builds upon the MSP model, incorporating all the benefits of proactive stability and security, and coupling it with more strategic and business-oriented tactics. The Direct philosophy extends the managed services philosophy from “stop it from breaking” to use it to grow your business, protect your business, and empower your team. It’s a business technology alignment philosophy that configures your environment in such a way that technology not only supports, but also promotes your business goals and security needs.
Direct employs the same proactive support for a flat monthly fee model as MSPs, and features the same advantages. However, it goes further by integrating a unique business technology alignment process. Direct provides quarterly technical reviews to analyze trends, update documentation, and evaluate alignment with best practices. Strategic reviews, budget planning, and goals alignment are performed biannually with the DCIO review. Intensive, ongoing account management is provided by a dedicated client relations manager who maintains client account data, supplies portal access, manages renewals and quoting, and serves as a go-to single point-of-contact for non-support related needs.
What’s more, Direct enhances the security platform of the traditional MSP model by including security training for your employees. The program performs email phishing tests on your team and offers expert, on-demand training to educate your users on how to protect your business data.
The combination of proactive technical support coupled with strategic business-focused technology alignment delivers powerful advantages and competitive differentiators for Direct clients. In addition to the stability, security, predictability, and responsive advantages of an MSP, Daystar Direct delivers more strategic business benefits, including:
- Comprehensive, regular technical reviews
- Technology budgeting
- End user security training
- Continuous strategic planning and goal alignment
The outsourced model allows SMBs to leverage expert technical support and employ systems they might not have access to on their own. And the proactive approach helps stop problems before they start.
For businesses interested in using technology to grow their business, taking a business-focused technology alignment approach will help ensure performance, enhance security, and empower your team.