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IT Outsourcing

Date: September 21, 2012 Author: Stephan Buys Category: News Technology Tags: Comments: 0

NSIS Systems take on IT Outsourcing

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Business might be slow, but you’ve still got a range of IT systems to keep running efficiently. And a major headache is working out what to get from where, what to keep in-house and what to IT outsource.
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Yet the cost of dealing with multiple suppliers across servers, desktops, devices, routers and phones is more than just the cash outlay. The real cost includes the extra time of finding, qualifying and dealing with all the different vendors.
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“… cushion your bottom line by consolidating around reliable, proven equipment and by leveraging supplier relationships.”
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A piecemeal approach may work in periods of growth, where you’re adding lots of new systems that lack a wide support base but are tolerated because it’s all about top line growth. But in a recession, it makes sense to cushion your bottom line by consolidating around reliable, proven equipment and by leveraging the supplier relationships already established by good IT support vendors.

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Qualifying an IT Support Vendor:

Review their comprehensiveness: A package should cover desktops and laptops, servers and peripherals, firewalls and routers, mobile devices like BlackBerry® and phone systems, as well as VPN, LAN and WAN support. Your IT support should also understand the Web as well as the IT environment.
Assess their flexibility: The provider should offer telephone, remote dial-up and on-site support, with 24/7/365 remote coverage and Web access for tools and reports they provide you.
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Determine their suitability for your needs: They should offer primary (taking full responsibility for IT infrastructure that you completely outsource to them) and secondary (providing backup to your existing, internal IT team) support levels and no penalty for up- or down-grading the level.
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Verify their ability to work with other solutions and vendors: If you have products procured from, or installed by third party vendors, your IT support will need to be able to work with problems not of their own making. Find out if they are willing (and able) to do this.
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Ask for a commitment level or Service Level Agreement (SLA): You’ll need some form of common understanding, either an informal memorandum or a legally binding contract describing services, priorities, responsibilities, guarantees and warranties. At the very least, insist on defining the level of service–uptime, availability, serviceability, performance, operation, etc.–either as a “target” or a “minimum” level.
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