Competition is fierce and downtime is not an option for architecture, engineering, and construction firms. Projects are always in motion, and being offline means hold-ups and lost contracts. Whether supporting users who must access large CAD files, or providing employees with anywhere, anytime access, system stability is a must. Lenovo recommends three major considerations as you consider how to support your users and their varying needs:
Identify User Types and Needs
- Define your different user types and the jobs they perform; do some of your users have need for very fast problem resolution or other special requirements?
- What common issues can be solved by internal staff and do you have clear processes to determine when outside support services are needed?
- When did you last conduct a cost/benefit analysis of internal and external support resources?
Weigh the Pros and Cons
Time and Money: Downtime can impact customer dissatisfaction, sales quotas, profitability, employee morale and more.
Internal Support: An onsite team can provide instant support to resolve issues, reduce downtime and get employees back to work faster. However, if unique problems occur (or if issues arise during non-office hours) downtime can be significantly longer.
External Support: While an external support team (outsourced or direct) can often provide more in-depth experience with varied issues, there are still downfalls:
- While outsourced IT support agencies take on a breadth of hardware and software issues, they tend to be more expensive, and may still defer to vendors and manufacturers to really solve problems.
- Direct support from manufacturers often focuses only on their own products and will send your IT support staff through loops of scripted support before getting to the real issue.
Develop a Blended Support Strategy
Relying completely on internal support teams or outsourced IT agencies or direct support from manufacturers all have their limitations. In most cases, a blend of these resources is the optimal way to deliver great support while controlling costs. Outsourced IT agencies can be a valuable resource for your business, but we recommend minimizing use of such agencies for low-level and simple support needs.
Instead, look to augment your internal team by asking manufacturers if they offer prioritized support services. Typically low cost, these can free up your internal staff from administrative and low-level technical support tasks, and improve employee satisfaction, without going to outsourced IT support.
Questions to ask your IT equipment suppliers:
- Ask to have only advanced technicians serving your account; those who can provide professional, unscripted diagnosis without needing to go through basic FAQs or telephone queues
- Do they offer onsite diagnosis and repair services?
- Could they support your most commonly used software; answering employees' basic how-to questions or assisting with hot fixes and patches
- Demand a single point of contact for simplified end-to-end case management