What is IT Support? (In jargon free words)

What is IT Support?  IT companies are notorious for making everything technical and difficult to understand.  This might seem like a bit of a long-winded way to describe what it is that ESP provides as it’s ‘bread and butter’ – in a blogpost, but I thought it would be an interesting way to describe it and it will hopefully dispel the myth that all IT Companies are the same.  Of course, we have different pages across the site that describe this in less detail, in different formats and even video. This blogpost however is aimed at being a long-hand version, but hopefully it will describe it in ways that you can understand.

What does ESP do?

OK, so fundamentally, we sell IT Support & IT Strategies.  But what the hell does that mean?  Is it some sort of highly unusual product or service that only a few businesses can offer? 

Well, no, it’s not, but not everyone is able to describe what it means, in simple terms, that EVERYONE can understand.  In essence, IT Support & IT Strategies are built up of time. 

We are selling our time. 

We are doing this based on an estimate of how much of our time your organisation will take up, during the course of a month’s contract, a year’s contract, or a multiple year contract both from a helpdesk (support) and consultancy (strategy) point of view.  Our estimates are based on over 20 years of experience of working with other organisations like yours, so we are usually quite accurate with what we are offering.  They are also based on our own expertise – we know we are efficient at resolving IT problems.

OK, it still sounds complicated, but read on for a simplified version and hopefully one that you can relate to.

IT Support – in simple terms

So we’re selling you our time, but why?  Well, let’s first of all try to relate it to a service that you might already have – Insurance.  When you buy an insurance policy (of any kind), you’re in essence buying money.  You’re doing it, just in case you need it.  In case you make a mistake or in case something unexpected goes wrong.  You’re also doing it, to ensure that you know exactly how much you’re going to have to pay out, whether or not something goes wrong (like an accident).  It gives you consistency of budgeting and peace of mind that you can call on the policy, in the event that something does happen.  Even if you’re struggling financially, your policy should cover the unexpected.

IT Support is exactly the same.  Instead of buying money, you are buying time, although both realistically boil down to the same thing.  You are agreeing to pay us an amount of money just in case something goes wrong.  And we are agreeing to provide you with our highly skilled and very experienced time, in the event that something goes wrong relating to your IT Systems.  If something goes wrong, you get in touch with us via whatever method you prefer and you hand the problem over to us.  In much the same way that you would hope to hand over a problem with a car, house or holiday, to an insurance company and they should take the reins until such time that the problem is resolved, and the monies are paid for whatever went wrong.

IT Strategy – in simple terms

OK, if we’ve got our IT Support in place, why do we need anything else?  Well, the answer is simple.

You don’t want to lose your time.

When you buy an insurance policy, you do so, hopefully, safe in the knowledge that if something does go wrong, it will be sorted.  However, you don’t just leave it at that.  You take measures to make sure that you don’t need to call upon that insurance policy.  You fit locks (to your house or car), you install alarms and trackers and all sorts of other security measures.  All of these items help you to rely less on your insurance policy – they are protection mechanisms.  Because if you have to claim on your insurance, there is a loss of your own time.  The more you have to claim, the more of your time is sucked up by dealing with the insurer.  From the insurer’s point of view, the more they have to deal with you, the less money they make.

The same is applicable with IT Support.  If you are working with a decent IT Partner, you should both be working together with your eyes wide open.  Neither they, nor you want tickets raised, because both sides lose out on time (and therefore money) when they are raised.

To reduce the number of tickets that you do raise, you need to implement some protection mechanisms that help you to reduce your reliance on the IT Support ‘Policy’.  These mechanisms are developed using an IT Strategy. 

The IT Strategy is a written set of “rules” or “guidelines” that you and your provider are working to, as a framework, together.  They set out the regularity of replacement hardware, the security products that you need to implement, the software solutions that your business is going to use to keep ahead of your competition and so on.  The strategy will take into account changes that you might make to your business such as relocation, increasing or decreasing your staffing levels and so on.  ESP refers to this as an IT Roadmap.

When followed continuously over the course of your IT Contract, the roadmap will result in less calls to the helpdesk and therefore less tickets raised.  This is good, from both perspectives, because it allows both parties to save time (and therefore money) and get on with doing the things that your business first set out to do.  The adage of “prevention being cheaper than the cure” is absolutely correct in this context.

IT Journey

Are there other methods of Providing IT Support?

Yes, there are.  Some IT Companies provide services on a per-call or per-callout basis.  Where you pay a small fee to ‘retain’ their services and then a fee each time you require their help or assistance.  We don’t believe this aligns the Provider’s and the Customer’s goals, because it’s always in the providers interests for there to be problems, whereas it’s in the customer’s best interests to NOT have problems.  Because of this, we don’t offer our services in this manner.  Our contracts are Managed Services, on an unlimited basis – you call us when you need our help and we’ll do our best to rectify your problem either remotely, at your site, or bringing equipment back to our workshop.

What does all of this mean?

Well, what we are trying to say over the course of this blogpost is that both Provider and Customer (together referred to as partners) need to have common goals.  If you work together with your provider, you should both want the same thing.  That thing is to NEVER be in touch from a Support point-of-view (Insurance Policy) but be regularly in touch from a Strategy point-of-view (reviewing protection mechanisms).  If you follow this logic, both parties will almost always be happy with what they are getting from the other.  If you don’t follow the logic, then it’s quite likely that one party of the other will feel hard done by at some point in your relationship. 

So, what does ESP do?

We supply Insurance Policies and Protection Mechanisms!

We’ll be continuing to work with our team over the coming weeks to bring these simpler messages to life on our website and on our other marketing materials.  If you like what we are about as a business, don’t hesitate to book an appointment using the Contact Page.