Choosing an IT maintenance company is a complex thing and there are many issues to consider. The relative importance of these issues depends to some extent on the nature of your business but a quick response and problem turnaround time is critical for most businesses.
Most support companies will provide you with a service level agreement (SLA). This SLA sets out precisely what you can expect from your maintainer and will provide the details of the response times you will receive. A typical SLA will promise something like a four hour response time during business hours. If you needed a faster response over a longer period, for example a two hour response twenty four hours a day, you would need to provide this specification at the outset and ensure that your maintainer can reach such a high standard.
Once you’ve agreed a suitable SLA, it’s important to be sure that your support company has expertise in your chosen technology. If you have a room full of IBM servers, then you need to speak to a company who specialises in IBM maintenance, if you have a mixed environment then it’s sensible to partner with a company who can provide support for a range of platforms. With the right SLA and the right expertise you should have the basis of a successful relationship.
Something that many people overlook though (and which is hard to quantify) is the personal relationships that make these engagements work. Here at Com-Com, we pride ourselves on the personal relationships that we develop with our customers, we make sure that customers get to know their allocated engineer and try to provide a constant point of contact for as long as we can. It’s one of the reasons why we’ve not lost a customer to a support issue since we started in 1989.