Red Star Consulting | Why Choose Red Star for your Small Business?
IT Support Firms Revealed
What makes Red Star Consulting different from the rest of the IT Support firms in the area?
First, let me give you a breakdown and explain to you how a majority of IT Support firms operate, and what kind of services you can expect to receive. Then, let me explain how we offer our computer network support services. There are lot’s of different kinds of tech support firms, choosing the type that is right for your small business is solely up to you.
Break-Fix IT Support
In the IT industry, this is the pay by the hour type of model when providing IT Support to businesses. When a customer calls with a support issue, whether it’s a software or hardware install or upgrade, a pc or server fix, the support company provides a solution or resolves the problem, and then bills the customer for the time it took to complete the work, plus any parts used. This support model can be expensive and there is almost always a minimum.
Whether it took the tech an hour or fifteen minutes to complete the work, you are going to be billed for at least an hour. As soon as the tech is finished with the work order, the tech is out of there and on to the next support call. The tech won’t hang around to fix any other issues unless there is a work order for them, those other issues are billable hours, plus the tech may not want to bump the next support call. A lot of these techs are paid per call, so the more calls they can take in a day, the more money they make. A lot of small businesses like using this model. They don’t have to keep an IT Support tech on staff, their issues get resolved when they pop up, the tech support company and the tech get paid, and everyone is happy.
This is the traditional model that has been around a very long time, when something breaks, you call out a service tech to fix it, and pay the tech for parts and labor. This model isn’t IT specific, you can apply it across lot’s of service industries. The HVAC tech, the plumber, roofer, the emergency room, are all service industry examples that utilize the Break-Fix type of model.
Preventative Maintenance IT Services
IT support services that revolve around a contract or agreement, for blocks of time to perform regular maintenance like system patching, security updates, and antivirus updates, on servers and workstations for a flat rate per month are Preventative Maintenance IT Services.
With IT Support firms using this model, the techs will try to visit as many clients as possible to fill up their schedules, or they schedule out your preventative maintenance on specific days and times. When the tech visits your office, that block of time is used on regularly scheduled maintenance to ensure your computer network is running well according to your agreement or contract. While this model works well for the regular maintenance that is needed on workstations and servers, it doesn’t include anything beyond those specific services. The Tech won’t be inclined to work on any other issues, as the tech most likely will have other client networks to visit to maintain and stick to the client schedule.
This model isn’t IT specific either, and has been around for a longtime. Having the oil changed in your vehicle by a quick lube type place would be an example using this model. They can change your oil, but transmission repair would have to be done somewhere else.
Managed IT Services
Managed It Services is a fairly new model emerging on the market. What makes managed services different from the traditional models is that risk, liability, and responsibility is transferred to the Managed Solution Provider. With managed services, at the most basic level, the support firm makes use of network management software to monitor your servers and workstations for security updates, patches and antivirus updates for a flat monthly rate.
Some managed IT service firms boast unlimited hours. Wow that sounds great! But, how much does that cost…? Well, on top of a huge expense, those unlimited hours may only be able to be used for security updates, patches and antivirus updates. Anything beyond those specific services mentioned would be an additional cost. Your contract will state that in fine print.
Some Managed IT Services sounds great on paper, but once you get into it, it’s not what you thought it was. On top of that, the IT firm might want to install a management server on-site that will control those services on all of your workstations and servers, that will cost a few dollars too. Red Star Consulting doesn’t do that.
There is a lot more to managed services than just system patching and updating. There are backup solutions, e-mail solutions, storage solutions, and some firms even build small data centers that can host offsite backup solutions, offsite storage, and provide virtual servers. But all of that infrastructure costs money. It costs money to built, maintain, support, upgrade, expand and so on. Who do you think is paying for all of that infrastructure? Just like any other business, the cost gets passed on to you, the client. Managed IT Services can be very expensive and almost cost prohibitive for small businesses to use. At Red Star Consulting, we like to leverage affordable solutions.
If you do find an affordable solution with managed IT services for your small business, make sure the schedule of work in your contract or agreement is exactly what you want. Just like any other business selling products, they are sales people, and will try to sell you services you may not necessarily need. You don’t need to be able to launch the space shuttle if you are only selling cupcakes!
The Difference – How we like to Operate – Red Star Consulting
At Red Star Consulting, we want to provide a personal service to our clients. We don’t strive to collect as many clients as possible, that doesn’t help us, or you. We don’t have those huge brick and mortar overhead costs that get passed on to the clients, nor do we want them. That’s how we at Red Star Consulting can keep our service costs down and provide affordable computer network support and IT solutions.
There are plenty of hosting companies out there that provide offsite storage and backup solutions, why not leverage those much larger data centers and IT providers that offer scalable solutions for people just like us? At Red Star Consulting, we see no reason in attempting to re-create the wheel so to speak and build our own data center. That completely takes away from the purpose of what we see this company doing, which is provide an outstanding, dedicated, reliable level of support for your small business. How can Red Star Consulting effectively provide that level of service if we are off building the latest addition to our data center that our clients payed for, or if we are so busy with maintenance clients and schedules? We just don’t operate like that.
At Red Star Consulting, we like to combine the two traditional models of IT Support. With Break-Fix type response services, and preventative maintenance services to keep things healthy, an all in one package for an affordable flat rate is what you get. If you have an issue, we are not just going to fix the issue, we will make sure everything else is running smoothly while we are there. This is a personal service we offer, you are our valued client, not just a stop on our daily maintenance route. Red Star Consulting will never take on more clients that we can handle and we will always answer questions and tend to other issues when on a client’s site.
Providing your small business with the best level of computer network support and web design is what Red Star Consulting does, and it’s what you deserve. Red Star Consulting does still offer break-fix IT support a la carte style at very reasonable rates for those interested in using that support model. For a consultation about a monthly package for your small business and what we can do for you, contact us today!