I know, I know…it’s Christmas and no one (I mean no one) is thinking about shopping for IT services this time of year. And I don’t blame you. Why, with the myriad of choices, options and sheer volume of providers in the Washington DC IT services market, there’s a lot of information to wade through in order to arrive at a decision. In today’s blog post, I’m going to review some of the freely available service options out there in hopes of giving you a leg up when you shopping (after Christmas, that is 😉
Most Washington DC IT service providers include some form of server/network/desktop monitoring. Monitoring services are extremely beneficial for business owners/managers in that they assist the IT service provider in proactively responding to outages or preventing them altogether. They work like this: A software component is installed on your server or desktop and it periodically “pings” a monitoring server which can in-turn notify your support team if there is an issue. This service should be included at no charge for monthly support agreements (as it is here at Qualatech). A la cart monitoring services will generally cost about $50/month depending on the scope and number of systems you monitor.
Backing up to the “cloud” entails the installation of a software agent on your computer/server and configuring it to automatically backup your data offsite. This is a huge benefit to small businesses as it negates the need to rotate your backup drives/tapes offsite at regular intervals. Costs for cloud backups have decreased dramatically over the last few years. Qualatech includes FREE online backup storage for our monthly support subscribers. We offer if for $1/gb/month for non-SLA clients. When shopping for Washington DC IT support, be sure that you inquire about free cloud backups…you’ll save money and rest easy knowing that your data backups are reliably running in the background.
Your IT services company should be able to provide you with real-time service/support history and tracking. A ticketing system. Ticketing systems are utilized by nearly every support provider that’s worth their salt. They allow you, the customer, to have intelligence about what kinds of support are being provided, how much, how often and for whom. All of this information is valuable in learning how your precious overhead dollars are being spent. At Qualatech, we take service tracking a step further: We include the ticket #s on our invoices which can be easily cross-referenced on myQualatech.com, our client support portal. We also provide easy online payment options at qualatech.com/payments.
Cloud email, server and file hosting is an important add-on for small businesses to consider. Generally speaking, IT service providers can extend deep discounts on cloud services to small businesses. Whether your firm needs email hosting, virtual servers or cloud files, ask about your providers cloud relationships and see if you qualify for discounts or special promotions. At Qualatech, we partner with Rackspace to extend their cloud infrastructure to our clients. In doing so, we are able to provide discounts beyond what could be obtained by going to Rackspace directly AND we provide support for their cloud applications.
So there you have it. I hope the explanation of these add-on services is helpful in your post-Christmas IT services shopping. If you’re looking for a new IT service provider, be sure to reach out to me here at Qualatech. It would be my pleasure to give you a quick service overview and answer any questions you might have about our cost-saving services. Have a great Christmas!