When new clients sign on with us, they are sometimes surprised at the detail we go into when invoicing them. This is because their previous technology service company never invoiced them. They were just charged for their service without knowing what was done.
Are You Paying For IT Services You Didn’t Know About?
We hear about this all the time. A business owner knew what services he was supposed to be getting from his tech service company – and that his network and computers were up and running, but he was charged for products and services that he never authorized.
Plus, these clients never knew if their data was being successfully backed up because their tech company never provided written reports. If you run a law firm or healthcare business in Northern Virginia, you know how important it is to back up your data.
What Kind Of Things Might You Be Paying For Without Knowing?
We’re talking about things like RD1000 backup devices, RFID reader-writers and more. Plus, once these people did learn about the backups, they were told to take them home to keep them offsite in case of an emergency.
Why was this a problem?… Because it violates HIPAA policies for dental and other healthcare businesses. If they had lost these devices or someone accessed them, they would have been listed on the HHS Wall of Shame, been penalized and possibly have been sued by patients whose ePHI was breached.
Are You Being Billed Too Much For IT Services?
It’s unfortunate when an IT company charges you for legitimate services that you don’t know about. But even worse, there are unethical IT support providers who will try to confuse you with technical jargon and then overcharge for services that you didn’t need.
And, if you’re using break/fix services rather than managed IT services, it’s easier for them to do this. That’s because you’re being billed by the hour rather than a fixed monthly fee like you pay with managed services.
What Can We Do To Keep From Being Charged For IT Services We Don’t Know About?
The easiest way is to sign up for Managed IT Services. You’ll be charged the same monthly fee for everything that you need.
Managed IT Services is a business model where companies hire professional IT businesses to monitor, manage and maintain their entire IT infrastructure. Instead of calling a break/fix IT company that only visits when something goes wrong or needs attention, you have a full team of IT specialists working for you around the clock. This benefits your business because your technology will receive regular proactive maintenance.
Break/Fix services are reactive. This means that your IT isn’t monitored for reliability and security. It sets you up for downtime. Just a few days of downtime can set you back in productivity. And, when you can’t work, you aren’t making money.
The goal of Managed IT Services it to lower your IT costs and prevent problems in the first place. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) can remotely monitor the health of your IT system proactively and on a 24/7 basis. This Remote Monitoring & Management sends alerts when errors appear allowing your MSP to correct issues before they become real problems. Plus, they can typically fix problems remotely and quickly before you even notice that anything is wrong.
How Will Using Managed Services Help Us Contain Costs?
Managed IT Services promote uptime. Managed Services can lower your IT costs by keeping your technology running at peak performance.
- Because your IT system is monitored proactively, your IT professional is familiar with it. If there’s a problem, they can usually get you back up and running quickly.
- You have a Service Level Agreement with guarantees from your MSP that include all the services and support needed to keep your technology running reliably and securely.
- You can easily budget for IT services because your costs are predictable.
- With Remote Monitoring & Management, IT interruptions, downtime and breaches are minimized.
- You’ll have 24/7 service and access to a help desk that’s staffed by experienced IT professionals. This means you’ll always have immediate, expert-level support.
- With IT solutions that run as they should, your staff will remain productive. Plus, they won’t have to worry about IT problems and can focus on their work.
- Servers, routers, computers, etc., actually last longer and perform better when they receive regular maintenance. If you wait until something breaks, then you’re basically shortening the life of your technology. And computing equipment can be expensive. In the long run, you’ll save money and experience fewer technology headaches.
With a wide range of experienced technicians, a managed IT provider can address just about any type of problem you might experience. They don’t just fix broken computers—They can help you develop a new design for your Wi-Fi or install new cabling to accommodate video surveillance cameras, provide IT consulting services and even regulatory compliance support.
How Else Will Managed Services Keep Us Informed About IT Costs?
You Only Pay For What You Require. Managed Service Providers typically offer various service packages that can be customized, so you get only what you need at a price that fits your budget. Your Service Level Agreement (SLA) will outline your services, prices and guarantees.
Many businesses prefer this type of agreement because it covers anything and everything that could go wrong with their IT equipment for the same price each month. This alleviates any worries about your network, plus it typically provides worry-free maintenance that will keep your technology in the best working condition.
Managed IT Helps Avoid Unanticipated Costs. The break/fix model of IT service forces companies to pay high incident fees. Undetected IT issues typically turn into expensive break/fix fee incidents. This happens when a system isn’t monitored correctly. When server and network outages reoccur, this is a sign there may be deeper problems that could be expensive to repair.
When mission-critical technology fails, this can cost your company in several ways. First of all, your operations are disrupted, and your employees can’t work. During any downtime, employees still get paid (often overtime to catch up). If you have in-house tech support, this usually means paying them overtime to resolve issues. In the meantime, you’re losing business and revenue. Managed IT Services prevent these unanticipated costs.
Managed IT Services use Remote Management and Monitoring (RMM) solutions on a 24/7 basis to detect and correct these hidden issues automatically. It can also help identify cybersecurity threats and assist you with blocking them before they can lock down or steal your data. This avoids penalties and litigation from lost or stolen patient or client data.
Plus, Using Managed IT Services Can Make You Money. Day-to-day computer issues often don’t get noticed right away. Managed IT Providers use RMM identify these hidden defects around the clock. They will report their findings when a potential problem gets discovered. This way, the problem gets fixed before it causes costly downtime and frustration for your employees.
When your IT works as it should, it will significantly increase your employees’ productivity and efficiency. They can get more done in less time. And, your Managed IT Provider serves the role of a consultant to ensure you’re using the right technology to help you meet your goals. From new solutions to better internal practices, your goals can be achieved more cost-effectively.
Make Sure You Get Detailed Invoices That You Can Understand
Finally, always ask your technology service company to provide written invoices that are detailed and include prices for everything that they are charging. If you don’t understand technical terms or if you believe you’ve been charged for something you didn’t need, contact the company and ask them to explain. Just like you bill for your services in a way that your patients or clients can understand, so should your IT company.
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As a consultant to dental practices, I help my clients maximize what can be done with their technology to maximize production and profit.