All businesses need adequate management of their IT hardware, network systems and various software applications and proper support for users. Business owners shopping for a Managed IT Services provider in Dallas should consider a number of important factors before agreeing to work with a new tech services company.
Choose a Dallas IT support provider with a thorough understanding of the particular needs of your business and a proven track record of delivering the best possible solutions to meet those needs.
Questions to Ask Dallas Tech Services Companies, Before Signing a Service Agreement
Here is a list of important questions to ask prospective IT services providers. Asking the right questions can make your selection process easier and help ensure that you choose the best IT support provider for your organization’s unique needs.
1. What geographical area does your service cover?
If you’re planning to expand into new markets, or move, you need to know that your IT support company can provide service in all regions in which you plan to operate.
2. What levels of IT support do you offer?
Various IT support providers offer differing options of service levels, to accommodate different levels of service needs and budgets. IT services programs may include:
3. What areas of IT expertise does your service include?
Make sure that the IT services provider specializes in the kind of enterprise you operate, the kinds of IT platforms and programs you use, the special security and other challenges confronting your business.
4. What IT services are included in the contract?
Most support companies will cover labor charges on any incident that relates to hardware repair or specified software issues. Find out if their fee includes travel time and mileage to and from your location. Make sure that they cover all hardware and software that your organization uses, including operating systems, platforms and applications. Ask if their service includes your networked hand-held devices, office machines, etc..” Also, ask what’s not included in the contract, to get a clearer view of the services package.
5. Does your service include remote management and monitoring?
Preventive services are the best possible way to avoid risk of prolonged down time due to emergency issues that are much more likely to occur when systems are left unmanaged. Monitoring can detect trouble spots on disk drives, in network systems, and throughout your systems, to capture and correct issues before they lead to major disruptions of your operations. Also, remote management can go a long way in reducing the amount of time spent fixing tech problems after they occur.
6. Are calls answered by a live operator, or by an answering machine?
It’s helpful to know what to expect when you call your IT services provider. If their phones are answered by an answering machine, at least get a commitment on how long you can expect it to take for someone to return your calls.
7. How many IT support professionals does your company have?
With a larger support team, an IT company has a broader knowledge base and expanded ability to provide a larger array of solutions. Alternatively, a lone IT guy typically struggles to deliver comparable service. When the single IT service person has more than one client to help at the same time, or is ill, on vacation, etc., service is compromised.
8. Will someone be assigned to manage our account?
Having just one or two points of contact allows your IT specialist to get to know you and your company, so that your tech expert can help ensure that your IT accommodates both your current needs and future plans.
9. Do you have a IT Help Desk ticketing system?
One essential that your provider must offer is a Help Desk at which you can expect to log service request calls 24/7. You should be provided with a direct contact phone number to reach the company’s IT services technicians in Dallas. A Help Desk ticketing system allows you to track communications and the progress of your service requests.
10. How long is your Help Desk response time?
You should expect a reasonable response time commitment. However, be careful about counting on guarantees of response timeframes, which is the amount of time within which a company may promise to start working on your reported problem. Keep in mind that response time is not the same as resolution time. The latter is the amount of time it takes to resolve the problem, and that timeframe varies between problems with quick, simple fixes and those involving greater complications.
11. Are we restricted to calling your company only when we have a tech problem?
Does the IT services team offer any additional support, beyond resolving strictly technological problems? For example, can we call with common questions from end-users, such as, “How do you perform this function in Access?” That kind of additional help can add a lot of value to the investment in your IT support.
12. Does your team keep updated on new IT industry knowledge?
Because IT is continually evolving, you should only agree to work with a services provider that you are confident is one whose team is diligent about continuing education in their field. Especially, ask if the team attends certification courses provided by the producers of the hardware and software your business uses.
13. Do you have affiliations with other IT services companies?
High-quality IT support providers go the extra distance to help ensure that you receive the best available support in the industry. They form relationships with other top-quality IT companies and providers that specialize in related services, like cabling, phone systems, and others. A good IT services provider works with your existing technology providers, freeing you from having to be personally involved in communicating with them about, for example, telecommunications equipment, broadband problems, etc..
14. How long are IT services contracts?
The majority of IT services providers offer service contracts for minimum time periods. That way, if you’re not satisfied with the services, you have the ability to replace your current support provider with a new one. Ask about the cancellation period. (It’s usually about a month.)
15. When and how will I be billed for services?
Though billing varies from one IT services company to another, it’s often around 15-30 days terms payment for one-time service calls to an IT support company. For Managed IT Services clients, service agreements commonly include advance payment arrangements for monthly, quarterly or annual service periods.
16. What kinds and amounts of insurance does your company have?
Before you sign a service agreement with an IT company, ask to see their certificate of liability insurance. Also ask to see their certificate of worker compensation insurance, if the company is of a size that is required to carry workers comp coverage. Liability insurance should be $1,000,000, or more.
17. Can you give me contact information for some of your references?
Strong evidence of a good service provider is one that is happy to provide multiple references. So, be sure to ask for some references. Even if you decide not to contact them, to have the IT company provide the references’ is a good indicator of their level of confidence in the reputation they’ve earned with their long-time clients.
18. What sets your IT service apart from others?
Some IT support providers may find this to be a difficult question to answer. But, it’s worth asking, to hear how they believe their company is adding value to their services. Don’t give much credit to ambiguous responses like, “It’s our service quality,” or, “It’s our sense of commitment.” Listen instead for an answer like, “We are the only IT team in the region that can…”
Data Magic, Dallas Computer Support
We are the leading computer support company in Dallas for large and small companies throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area. Our wide range of proficiencies has set us apart as the strongest team of IT experts in the region. We provide Computer Repair, Managed IT Services, Co-Managed Services, PC and Mac Support, Software Development and IT Consulting.
Major business platform brands supported by Data Magic specialists include the following, among others:
Sage 100 ERP
For more information on IT services for your business or other organization, contact Data Magic Computer Services, Dallas TX at (469) 635-5500. We’re here to answer your questions. Ask to schedule an appointment for a no-obligation IT systems assessment.