Secrets Your IT Provider Probably Won’t Tell You

Technology is something that many people simply can’t comprehend for various reasons, which poses a problem.  Any good business relationship should be built upon trust and where a Client doesn’t understand what they’re signing or paying for that trust can be abused if dealing with the wrong provider.  The same unfortunately applies in any industry.

Our motto ‘Simplifying Business & Technology’ not only refers to the actual systems/design/configurations used, but the language we use with our clients.  We feel it’s important for our clients to understand exactly what we do for them and to talk their language so that we can better understand their ongoing needs.  Let’s face it, everyone likes to be acknowledged and have their work appreciated, and clients understanding what we do makes that all the more likely and genuine.


When Banging Our Head Against a Wall Might Be Preferred

Yes, the boring jobs are still an income and we absolutely always do them because they’re an inevitable part of the role, but we don’t have to like it.  We’re talking about Printer issues, Windows Update fixes and Virus removals.

Printers might just be the bane of any IT Tech’s existence.  They’re messy, irritating and often difficult to interpret.  Akin to understanding a young child.  Do we give them food (paper/toner)?  Do we put them to bed (turn them off and on again)?  Are they talking a foreign language (cable broken/disconnected)?  We look forward to a day where Printers are no longer used as they are today.

While necessary, Windows Updates can and do on occasion cause faults/errors/crashing, etc.  Similarly, Virus infections create havoc for obvious reasons, and I can assure you, we don’t enjoy repairing the damage caused by either.  For the most part, virus infections are easily preventable with a little care.  Simply reading a prompt or email before clicking to understand that it may not be legitimate is often all that can stand between keeping a happy computer (and Tech) and wasting hours of both our lives.  It doesn’t matter how good anti-virus software is or whether you’ve got the latest updates installed, it can take just hours for a brand-new virus to spread the world over.


Big Brother

The Software tools we use to manage and monitor our client’s systems are considered common in the IT Industry.  How we specifically configure these tools and what we monitor is the proprietary part.

The key tool we use is Naverisk.  Naverisk is a Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) tool combined with a Helpdesk/Ticketing System.  Naverisk is where every one of our (MSA) Client’s Servers and Computers report into 24/7.  It’s where your emails to Support are delivered to and is where all primary Alerts are generated.

Our monitoring includes core Windows services, Anti-Virus status, numerous Hard Drive events, CPU & RAM usage, Backup monitoring, 3rd Party Service monitoring, Reboot alerts and much more.  The extensive metrics enabled for our MSA Clients enable us to proactively respond to most issues that arise well before they become known to the Client at all.  Approximately 80% of issues are proactively resolved via either automated rules or manual intervention by a Tech.  As alerts and tickets are linked to their respective Device itself, we can further review the history of a Device over weeks or months to identify recurring issues or those increasing in severity.

We’ve on occasion had clients refer to our systems as Big Brother.  While accurate in that the systems are always watching, to be clear, the systems monitor events and actions.  I can assure you we’re not sitting here watching everything that happens on your screen.  We’ve got better things to do and well…it’s not that interesting.


Why We Keep Banging On About Security

Seriously though, if your Managed IT Provider has not dropped the word ‘security’ in conversation with you sometime in the last 3yrs, drop them…NOW.  Security is something any IT Provider should be managing with utmost importance, especially where the Clients involved are in Medical, Financial & Legal fields.  The challenge is ensuring our clients fully understand and appreciate the importance of it and that a single weak password is often all it takes for a client’s systems to be breached.

We have a published Policy Standard that we employ with all our MSA Clients that involves minimum requirements and various ‘restrictions’ enforced upon the network and all Users/Staff.  Importantly, these restrictions are not designed to hinder anyone’s work, but to enhance and protect it from both external and internal forces.  External being viruses and hackers/attackers, and internal being either disgruntled/malicious staff or those bringing their own unmanaged/unsecured devices and software into a business network.

We get that not being able to install a program easily when and where you want can be frustrating, though that privilege in the hands of someone not necessarily tech savvy can be dangerous.  Allowing just anyone to install software on their computers also means that an accidental click can also allow a virus to run wild and cause significant damage on all computers in a business.  Consider how much your business can lose if your computers systems were offline for an hour, a day, or even several days.  The impact on your own clients/patients, the loss of income combined with the expense of staff being unable to function.


Our Dream Client

Honestly…one we rarely hear from except to say hi and catch up.  The peak of our work is knowing that all the systems and technical ability we have in place are perfectly maintaining our Client’s systems.  Where any issues that may arise are dealt with quickly and our clients are able to continue working as if nothing had ever happened.  Where everything works together as they should – Users, Servers, Computers, Printers, Scanners, Internet & Wifi, Eftpos terminals and everything in between.

Most clients are often in this ‘phase’.  Interestingly, we often find issues come in waves…for reasons unknown.  There’s a period of time numerous issues suddenly arise for a client and it seems we’re working with them daily – then, ‘radio silence’.  So long as clients understand the important role IT Systems play in their Businesses and invest accordingly, issues are rare.  For the better part of the year, dealings with clients are typically more socially orientated or around growth/upgrades/expansions.

This…this is our sweet spot.  True proactive maintenance that almost eliminates major issues that cause downtime or even frustration.  And our time being spent primarily on talking to our clients and growing with them.  Clients that truly understand how we work with them, the knowledge and experience we’ve accumulated and appreciate the very work we do based on those years of investment.  That’s our Dream Client.


We’re blessed to have many clients that are just that – our ‘Dream Client’.  While our own growth is important, to work with our clients as they continue to grow is equally as exciting and fulfilling.