Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Network Support Services - What You Should Expect

Network Support Services - What You Should Expect Putting in a network for your business requires one of two routes for maintaining it: Hiring IT staff to manage it, or outsourcing the service and support. If you're hiring an outside service for support and maintenance, there are a number of requirements you'll need to mandate before signing any support contracts.

The first requirement is communications; your vendor should be informed about your business needs, and your requirements for hardware and software integration, and should be willing to put together a bespoke, customised solution that meets them. This isn't to say that they shouldn't offer their input - you are paying them for their expertise, after all. But they should be willing to adapt the technology to your needs, not try to cram your business' solution requirements into a fixed, rigid template.

A network outage can be a major, critical event for your business, but it should not be the 'end of the world'. No network is absolutely perfect, and when it goes out, you'll need to have fast responses from people who can bring it back up. Likewise, networks need routine maintenance, and that sometimes means scheduled downtimes. This puts a premium on having 24x7 network support that's available all year round.

Coverage areas are another aspect of network support that needs taking care of. It doesn't matter how good your network support is if they can't actually get you the replacement parts needed in a timely manner. Some network providers can have the replacement part packed and ready to ship within 30 minutes, and a few have strategic relationships with courier services that will let them get the parts moving within two hours of the call being placed in major metropolitan area, and within eight hours at remote locations. When evaluating your network support services contract, look closely at this aspect of the service offering, as it's the place where most network support vendors fall short.

The next major requirement is the qualifications of the service technicians and network engineers; this is a technical field, and there's a fair bit of competition for the best talent out there for trouble shooters and system planners. Look for certifications from Cisco and similar hardware vendors, and talk to your network providers about their qualifications, and their level of staff turnover. (Ones that have high staff turnover are likelier to have service outages, and horror stories about service disasters.) This also touches onto the first requirement - clarity of communications and the proactive nature of support issues. A network provider that communicates, and asks questions after the installation is one that might be able to identify needs down the road for you, and help you meet them before they become critical.

Choosing the right network provider means getting the most out of the existing infrastructure you have, being honest about what your needs are and what your budget is, and scheduling a proper rollout for your network. It's very much like hiring a good electrician: When the job is done, you should just use the services and take them for granted, and good network service providers understand this.

Network Support Services - What You Should Expect Putting in a network for your business requires one of two routes for maintaining it: Hiring IT staff to manage it, or outsourcing the service and support. If you're hiring an outside service for support and maintenance, there are a number of requirements you'll need to mandate before signing any support contracts.

The first requirement is communications; your vendor should be informed about your business needs, and your requirements for hardware and software integration, and should be willing to put together a bespoke, customised solution that meets them. This isn't to say that they shouldn't offer their input - you are paying them for their expertise, after all. But they should be willing to adapt the technology to your needs, not try to cram your business' solution requirements into a fixed, rigid template.

A network outage can be a major, critical event for your business, but it should not be the 'end of the world'. No network is absolutely perfect, and when it goes out, you'll need to have fast responses from people who can bring it back up. Likewise, networks need routine maintenance, and that sometimes means scheduled downtimes. This puts a premium on having 24x7 network support that's available all year round.

Coverage areas are another aspect of network support that needs taking care of. It doesn't matter how good your network support is if they can't actually get you the replacement parts needed in a timely manner. Some network providers can have the replacement part packed and ready to ship within 30 minutes, and a few have strategic relationships with courier services that will let them get the parts moving within two hours of the call being placed in major metropolitan area, and within eight hours at remote locations. When evaluating your network support services contract, look closely at this aspect of the service offering, as it's the place where most network support vendors fall short.

The next major requirement is the qualifications of the service technicians and network engineers; this is a technical field, and there's a fair bit of competition for the best talent out there for trouble shooters and system planners. Look for certifications from Cisco and similar hardware vendors, and talk to your network providers about their qualifications, and their level of staff turnover. (Ones that have high staff turnover are likelier to have service outages, and horror stories about service disasters.) This also touches onto the first requirement - clarity of communications and the proactive nature of support issues. A network provider that communicates, and asks questions after the installation is one that might be able to identify needs down the road for you, and help you meet them before they become critical.

Choosing the right network provider means getting the most out of the existing infrastructure you have, being honest about what your needs are and what your budget is, and scheduling a proper rollout for your network. It's very much like hiring a good electrician: When the job is done, you should just use the services and take them for granted, and good network service providers understand this.

1 comment:

  1. I think when you are looking for network support, online is great place for finding good network support company and network support professionals should be well qualified.
    IT support services Sydney
    http://itlocal.com.au/

    ReplyDelete