You wouldn’t expect an HVAC business to repair a car. They hire that work out to a mechanic, who is trained to do that work.
The same thing goes when a business needs someone to manage its computer and phone systems. Advantage Technology offers managed services that allows that HVAC company to worry about heating units and air conditions rather than servers and laptops.
“In general terms, managed service is a way to – I hate to use the term, but – outsource operations in a strategic way to manage costs and to deliver a greater value of service than you can do yourself,” sales director Nina Shell said during a recent Facebook Live chat on Advantage Technology’s page with company marketing director Joe Justice.
Advantage Technology as your IT person
Justice said it essentially means a business hires Advantage Technology to be its IT person.
“Right,” Shell said. “We’re not trying to replace IT people. Oftentimes, you have a smaller business whose competitors have a full-staff IT department. What managed service does is provides that at scale to smaller businesses so they can compete with larger organizations.
“It can get overwhelming. That’s why I’ve always sat in the role of having any technical resources we have engage with the customer to explain it in terms they can understand. Communication is key.”
Justice said Advantage has about 70 such technicians who specialize in all sorts of fields such as networking, servers, security and application development.
“Our people are good,” Shell said. “They communicate well with the customer. We add some value there, for sure.”
Moving beyond break-fix
Shell said businesses have switched from a break-fix mentality regarding technology to more of the idea of having someone manage it regularly to prevent it from breaking.
“Or, if it does break, which still can happen, we can fix it right away,” she said. “And, if you’re business is impacted greatly by technology being down, then putting the efforts into maintaining that up front, monitoring it to know as soon as something is awry would be something to consider.”
Shell said Advantage Technology has a variety of managed services it can provide.
“Take IT, for example,” she said. “I break it down into a few different areas. You have proactive management, you have reactive management, and you have IT innovation.
“With proactive and reactive, you’re just maintaining the foundation of your IT or fixing it as it breaks. It keeps the wheels on the bus moving.”
That includes updating patches, antiviruses and firewalls.
“The innovation side is more about where the bus is headed,” Shell said. “Businesses will tell us, ‘I want you to point the direction of the technology.’ So, that’s what we do.”
Shell said Advantage Technology can create an individualized bundle of services based on a company’s needs.
“Backup is a great example,” she said. “You’re not only getting a backup appliance, you’re getting the management of that. You’re getting the assurance that it’s being watched on a daily basis. And, you don’t have to replace that in the four or five years.
“We’re taking care of all of that in the monthly fee. So it is a more comprehensive, turn-key solution.”
She said the customization of the services is one factor that sets Advantage Technology apart.
“We have a big discovery process that we go through to understand the customer, to understand the employees, what roles they serve, how they communicate with one another, the technologies they have, the dependencies on IT they have,” Shell said. “And we come up with this custom mix of services that’s right-sized for that business out of all of those 12 or 80 services that could be included.”
Justice also said businesses interested can contact Advantage Technology for more information about managed services the company provides. Get started with the Advantage IT Discovery or call 866-793-8232.