Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Choosing Outside Tech Support

Even the most exceptional IT staff doesn't alone possess all the skills required to manage an entire technology infrastructure—-from hardware to networking to operating systems, software applications and Internet connections. The truth is that most companies will, at some point, need to hire a third-party service provider. Brad Cooper and Mark Locheed, owners of the tech firm Kyvon, offer the following suggestions of what to consider when seeking an external IT services provider:
* Choose a service provider that possesses good knowledge and experience with companies like yours. It is essential that they understand your business, the operational pressures that you face, and what you want to achieve.
* Decide which services you require—telephone support, remote diagnostic, or on-site service. Many third-party support services offer these options in “bundles,” determined by your company’s needs.
* Evaluate providers that guarantee security, confidentiality and high availability.
* Don’t necessarily lean towards the low bidder. You get what you pay for. Review which services are included in the contract and which will require additional cost before you sign.

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