Outsourcing IT- A Business Partnership- Win-Win Methods

by Jeff Brodie and Rob Metras

Your vendors are your partner. Together everyone must be successful in an outsourced model. This means that the service provider must provide a committed level of service and that you as the business partner must train your employees how to best utilize an outsourced IT Support system.

Here is what you should expect from an Outsourced IT Partner:

* Firewall Management
* Network Device Management
* Server Management (Security Patching,Vulnerability Scanning,Spyware/AntiVirus Scanning,Drive Defragmentation)
* Desktop Management (Security Patching,Vulnerability Scanning,Spyware/AntiVirus Scanning,Drive Defragmentation)
* Anti-Spam Filtering, AV Border Services
* Onsite or Remote Backup Management
* Remote Network Access and Management
* Disaster Recovery Planning

Vendors will offer services in what is known as an All You Can Eat or Managed offering. This is where they will charge you one flat fee per network device, server, desktop and firewall. That fee will be multiplied by the number of devices to arrive at a monthly fee. The vendor will provide a highly responsive help desk where they should be resolving 90% of your support issues remotely and 10% of the issues on site. The All You Can Eat model, will be like an employee salary something that you can budget for annually. There will be the occasional issue that falls out of the normal and will need to be worked out but this would be similar to paying your employee overtime if you will. The Service provider will focus is on keeping your network running optimally and trouble free. This way your organization is more productive and your service provider is more productive as well. A good deal will work well for both parties if you have a full breakdown of the menu going in.

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