So let's talk about cost
With the cost of living crisis very much at the forefront of everyone’s minds, getting the best value for your money is more important than ever.
Kurt Vonnegut first coined the phrase “you get what you pay for”, suggesting that the lower the cost, the lower the quality. But is this always true?
When it comes to technology, you definitely need the right tools and security measures in place to facilitate productive work and mitigate risk, so it’s true that you can’t cut too many corners. However, when looking for your next IT partner, consider looking for a provider that adopts a “smart” approach to IT support.
“Working smarter” means finding ways to work more efficiently, thus saving time and cost. A smart IT provider will listen to your needs and provide you with exactly the service you need, as well as looking for ways to work more efficiently, benefitting both them and you. In doing so, they’ll ensure you have the tools to protect and grow your business, without inflating costs.
In this article, we cover:
How to get great IT support at a reduced cost
At Sereno, our business model is centred around the concept of working smarter. With a combined 30+ years experience in running successful MSPs, our leaders have had the opportunity to analyse the operational efficiency of a variety of IT companies to determine what does and doesn’t work.
We, therefore, have a wealth of knowledge about:
- The most common types of IT support requests
- The average length of time taken to solve these requests
- Which IT issues most commonly reoccur
- The weaknesses in the most SME’s IT infrastructure
- Where our clients need the most help (whether they realise it or not!)
This knowledge is invaluable and has been foundational to how we run Sereno. Our approach to IT support is catered wholly to reducing issues, saving time and improving efficiency. This is mutually beneficial, saving time for our IT engineers and your employees. As such, we’re able to offer you a reduced support fee in comparison to other, less efficient, competitors.
So how do we do that?
Minimising IT support requests
Our years of experience in the IT sector means we know the most common IT support issues. Our business model, therefore, works to reduce the number of IT support requests we receive. This saves time for both our team, and yours. In doing so, it enables us to offer you an IT support contract at a reduced fee, compared to other IT providers without the expertise to maximise efficiency.
Here are just some of the ways we minimise and the number of IT support requests, and streamline ones that are laborious for both our teams:
Automated and bespoke starter and leaver processes
Introducing new employees onto your systems and removing employees once they leave is a popular IT support request. These tasks can be laborious for your staff, prone to mistakes, and often become overlooked and undervalued. For example, if your new starter process isn’t seamless, your new employees will likely be unimpressed and frustrated. Likewise, if your team forgets to facilitate a flawless leaver process, ex-employees may still have access to your systems, leaving you vulnerable to a data breach, or even a cyber-attack.
So, at Sereno, we automate your starter and leaver process as much as possible. We also look to understand your specific process and build it into ours, making it even more efficient. To make your life easier we then create this process as bespoke forms with all options built in for you to simply select and send to us, capturing everything we need to do it right first time. We also encourage the use of Same Sign-On, so that when an employee leaves your company they will be securely locked out of all systems and applications without the need for manual intervention. In the same way, new starters can automatically be set up on new systems quickly and efficiently. As such, our starter and leaver processes are streamlined, meaning we receive fewer operational IT requests, saving time for both our teams, as well as enhancing your cyber security.
Automated device build process
As with the majority of IT providers, the cost of building and setting up new devices is not included in your monthly IT support fee. Instead, you’re billed based on the time taken to build a machine. We have also seen these requests cause a big disruption and time waste for both parties, with a lot of back and forth to ensure the setup includes everything needed. At Sereno, we automate this process, making it as efficient as possible, meaning there’s less time spent for our team, and less cost for you. Additionally, we also understand that your devices are foundational to how productive you are at work. As a result, device builds need to be perfect every time.
To ensure efficient, yet seamless, device builds, we recommend automating this process through readily available technology, like Microsoft and Google licences. Utilising this technology saves considerable time, for us and you, ultimately giving you a better experience at a reduced cost. Plus, we agree on a fixed reduced device build fee and offer reduced automation projects to help you adopt this.
If your employees have work phones or laptops that contain confidential information, you need to know that these devices are protected from cyber-attack or data loss. Malicious downloads are a popular way for cyber-criminals to gain access to these devices, and thus your company data. However, if a member of your team (or ours) needs to approve every app or file your employees try to download, it will cause a backlog of IT support requests. Instead, we give you the opportunity to create a pre-approved list of apps and files in advance. As such, when your employee tries to download something, the download will be automatically approved or declined based on your pre-approved list. By removing the need for manual intervention, mobile device management massively reduces the number of IT support requests your team needs to raise.
Needing to reset passwords is one of the most common IT support requests, with the average employee needing to reset their password at least once every three months. But it doesn’t need to be. At Sereno, we proactively provide your employees the power to reset their own passwords securely. So, rather than needing to request IT support, wait for an IT engineer to become available, and then wait for the password to be reset, your employees can reset their own passwords immediately in under 5 minutes. By ‘cutting out the middleman’ (us), this again saves time for both our team and yours. Plus, this means that each employee will then be the only person to know their password, enhancing security.
IT support you can schedule
We know that most IT requests are not emergencies and that most employees don’t want to stop what they’re doing immediately, or be interrupted mid-task, to get their issue resolved. In fact, in most cases, IT support hinders productivity rather than facilitates it. For example, if an employee is in the middle of working on an important and time-sensitive project, it’s likely they don’t want to be interrupted to solve a minor IT problem. To combat this problem, when your employees log a non-urgent IT support request with us, they can schedule a time that works for them for us to call and resolve their issue. Being able to book in your IT support prevents unnecessary back and forth, saving time for our team and yours.
IT support via instant chat
Because our IT support is bookable, it frees up time for our team, enabling us to provide you with an instant chat service in addition to day to day IT support. Our instant chat service is based on the premise that not all IT requests require a phone call. Some issues can be solved quickly and easily via online chat, i.e. “how do I convert a Word doc to a PDF?” or “how do I install a new printer?”. So, if your employees have a small one-off question, they can access support quickly and easily without having to log a formal request. This approach streamlines the process of receiving IT support, boosting efficiency for our team and yours.
Encouraging cloud adoptions
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of different services through the internet. This includes data storage, servers, networking, software and applications. Cloud computing is a popular option for most businesses, given its cost-efficiency, security and usability. It’s particularly useful for businesses who are adopting a hybrid working model, as it allows employees to access data securely from anywhere, at any time.
Those businesses who haven’t yet adopted a cloud-first approach are likely to experience more IT issues than those that have, especially those who are working remotely or hybrid working. As such, we encourage all clients to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, helping them enhance their own productivity, as well as saving us both time by preventing IT problems in the first instance. You can learn more about the power of cloud computing here.
All Sereno clients get quarterly IT consultancy as standard. We take the time to get to know your business and its unique goals and needs. This gives us the opportunity to anticipate weaknesses in your IT infrastructure and help you prevent potential IT issues by recommending the right systems and solutions. By mitigating against IT issues before they occur, we reduce the number of IT or security issues you experience later on, again saving time for our team and yours.
Before recommending that you implement any new technology, we look at how you can get the most value from the technology you already have in place, helping you get the best value possible. Our years of experience means we can show you how to utilise best-in-class technology to its fullest extent, without the need to buy add-ons or additional applications. Likewise, as a smart and proactive IT partner, we’re always looking for ways that we can reduce overheads for you, whether that’s by recommending a cloud-first approach with no need for on-premise IT equipment, or by demonstrating how a remote working model can cut costs without impacting performance. After all, we have already adopted this model ourselves, so it makes sense for us to show you how you can too! This also contributes towards our ability to offer you a reduced IT support fee, whilst providing you with a superior service.