AZCOMP Technologies September 2018

(855) 455-5035


Empowering Small Practices to Deliver the Best Care

One of the most crucial decisions you can make for the long-term health and success of your business is choosing the right IT services provider. That may sound like an exaggeration, but the numbers prove it’s anything but. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60 percent of all small businesses that suffer a cyber attack are closed within six months. With small businesses being attacked every day — to the tune of roughly 4,000 attacks — how you respond to such threats could be the difference between a small hiccup and a company-ending catastrophe. Even companies that understand the importance of choosing an excellent provider don’t know how to go about it. Tech is, after all, a language all its own. It’s easy for your eyes to glaze over when presented with a list of services that only an expert would understand. Sometimes it can even feel like all the jargon is a smokescreen keeping you from understanding what you’re actually paying for. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. If you ask the right questions, you’ll gain a much clearer understanding of just what an IT company can do for your business. Here are three questions, written in the simplest terms possible, which will reveal a great deal about a company’s approach. WILL YOU PROACTIVELY MANAGE MY BUSINESS’S NETWORK? When it comes down to it, there are two types of IT companies. The first offers break-fix support, and they are the kind that you only call when something is wrong. They show up when you need them, charge by the hour, and (hopefully) fix your issue. These companies are pay-as-you-go services that offer the bare minimum of protection. In essence, they are a slight upgrade over calling customer support. The second type of IT company, known as a managed service provider (MSP), monitors your network constantly, looking for ways to optimize your system and noticing red flags before they become big problems. Instead of being a reactive company that fixes problems when you become aware of them, an MSP understands your network intimately and works proactively to always ensure that your system is running at peak performance levels. 3 SIMPLE QUESTIONS To Gauge the Quality of Your Support

Many companies opt for break-fix services at bargain-basement prices. Then, when something goes wrong, they end up regretting their choice. Don’t fall for this trap. When you actually crunch the numbers, it’s clear that an MSP offers a level of protection that justifies spending a little more. IN THE EVENT OF AN ISSUE, CAN YOU GIVE ME A GUARANTEED RESPONSE TIME? If something goes wrong, you want to know that your IT company is invested in fixing the problem as quickly as possible. The longer your system is down, the more it harms your business. A company that can’t promise it will be on the scenes in a timely manner isn’t one worth working with. Quicker response times are another reason to choose an MSP over the break-fix alternative. Break-fix companies have a nasty habit of leaving you hanging the second a crisis arises. All of a sudden, you can’t reach your provider, they won’t call you back, and you’re left wondering how you’ll pick up the pieces. That’s a fate you certainly want to avoid. Be on the lookout for evasive answers when you ask this question. Anything less than a definitive timeframe is cause for alarm. You might hear that the process “normally” takes a certain amount of time, or that services will arrive “as soon as possible.” The second you sense that somebody is hesitant to give you a real answer, it’s time to run for the hills. DO YOU UNDERSTAND MY INDUSTRY? Even awesome MSPs can’t serve every industry equally. You want to work with a company that understands the specific needs of your business. These companies will be familiar with software you rely on and offer advice for streamlining workflows. Don’t be afraid to ask for examples of a company’s work with businesses comparable to your own. With just three simple questions, you’ll be able to learn a lot about an IT company. If you can’t answer them already, it’s time to hop on the phone and find out if your network is as cared for as it should be. - Byron Adams

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(855) 455-5035 AZCOMP Technologies, Inc. • 1

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