Does your typical Monday morning start off with a flurry of tech support calls from your remote locations? Great way to start out the week, right? The constant interruptions make it hard to get any real work done. "Our site is down!" or "We can't connect to the software app!" are messages that can't be ignored. Most of the issues can be fixed quickly, but they still add up. And when your remote locations can't meet their deadline or hit their numbers, they may start to blame IT. You don't want to hear that, plus you really do want to support them. What's the best method?
To be successful, remote sites will always need support, but can you afford to staff every site? Yes, you can always perform the duties in house, but your staffing will lose focus, as they will be pulled to other sites and other issues. One option to consider is outsourcing the monitoring and help desk support. This allows you to be prepared and proactive, rather than to always be reacting. Outsourcing this support can take the guess work out and offer front line support. That allows you and your team to focus on your bigger tasks. And your Monday less chaotic.
Here is what you need in a support plan for your remote locations:
Get a plan that is always working, even when you're not. The big advantage of outsourcing is handling issues before they are even noticed. You need a plan that can monitoring and solve the problems at anytime. Plus, that allows you to rest easy and even get some sleep.
Know before they know. Why wait until the Monday morning firestorm? 24X7 remote monitoring allows the issues to be addressed when they happen and eliminates the downtime of waiting for it to be reported. Monitoring the router ensures connectivity to the network and Internet. A simple heartbeat monitoring detects any interruption in service. Having a plan to detect these alerts is a no brainer. You can also monitor the servers in the same manner, assuming they are at the remote location. Monitoring the router and servers will tackle about 90% of the most common issues.
Some plans just offer monitoring and alert notification, but what about actually fixing the issue? This feature is the one that really makes a difference in your workload.
You can easily outsource your Level 1 support. Most calls can be handled within minutes. How many calls do you get about passwords and lost emails? Save your internal team for the hard stuff. Be sure to contract with a vendor that can integrate your service tickets with their system.
This one is optional, but can really streamline your operations. Consider outsourcing the provisioning and invoicing for Internet and connectivity for all your sites. Outsourcing the connectivity makes it easy to deal with the provider. This eliminates the finger pointing when there is an issue. It is really frustrating when it is an Internet issue, and you end calling the provider anyway. Not to mention paying all those fun monthly invoices. Consolidating it down to one easy invoice has some real advantages.
Outsourcing your remote IT management for remote location can save you hours every week, not to mention eliminate those Monday morning headaches!