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Small Business IT Support

 

In today’s world, technology is a must to successfully run a business, no matter how big or small the operation. For many small to medium sized businesses, having an in-house IT department is cost-prohibitive, but that is an obstacle easily overcome by using Integral IT.

Experienced IT Support For Your Business

You need the skills and advice of accomplished IT professionals. They provide you with precise information needed to choose-

  • The hardware best suited for your needs.
  • Software to optimise your operations.
  • High-tech security products to protect you and your customers.
  • Provide your business with safeguards, ensuring it runs smoothly.

Installing your new hardware, software, and security correctly is of utmost importance, and must be done according to best practices. Many enterprises have the latest and greatest technology, but they make the mistake of not having it properly installed, or taking unnecessary shortcuts. Having hardware, software and security installed by one of our IT professionals will-

  • Last longer. Technology designed and installed correctly is cost efficient and lasts longer. Your IT support will teach you how to get the most out of the technology installed using easy to understand language.
  • Minimize downtime. Technology installed precisely runs smoother, reducing downtime and spurring productivity. Our customers have a low number of IT faults thanks to our training and because the equipment is installed correctly.
  • Reduce frustration. Nothing creates frayed nerves and chaos in the workplace than technology not working properly. Let our properly trained IT professionals maintain your IT, and seamlessly productive days are yours to enjoy.

Flexible Support For Your Budget

We support businesses of all sizes, boosting their potential and growth. Integral IT gives you flexible support options, optimized for your needs and budget.

There are a variety of contracts to choose from that will fit your needs. For those who do not wish to pay a fixed monthly fee, we can work with you too. Our flexible pay-as-you-go options are open and transparent, without any tie-ins.

Every support option comes with a quick response service level agreement, providing your business with peace of mind and minimal hassle. Additionally or separately, your firm can pay Integral IT to maintain equipment, security, hardware, and software, making sure your backups run smoothly, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Our Promise to You

We take pride in our work, and it is in our best interest that your business succeeds. Our commitment to your IT support is taken seriously, and we promise to-

  • Respond Quickly– We will respond to every IT issue within an hour. This will ensure that your business runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
  • Be Jargon Free– Not everyone speaks the techie dialect, so we always communicate in clear, concise, easy to understand language. It helps neither you or Integral IT if we can not communicate with ease.
  • Be Cost-Effective– We have price plans for every sized business, even small ones. All businesses start off small, and your success guarantees ours.
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Fast Response

We respond to every IT issue within 1 hour.

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Jargon-Free

We speak a language you understand.

Cost Effective

We have price plans to suit any business.

We Love Small Businesses

Most of our customers are small businesses like yours.

Integral are a highly professional outfit that has met every expectation with the IT project they have undertaken for Appeal. They react quickly and are flexible enough to adapt as our IT needs are changing, and the level of service we enjoy is exceptional.

Paul Snape

Director, Appeal PR

I have two new businesses and required some IT assistance quickly. Jonathan and his team at Integral were quick to understand and respond with a solution I understood. The team communicate incredibly well and for an external IT partner I felt very much part of what they were doing for my business and would recommend their efficient and professional service to anyone.

Michael Burton

Director, Well Medical Ltd

As a web-based business which relies on smooth-running technology, having an efficient and responsive IT service is absolutely essential. Integral IT have worked with us from before our launch in November 2007 to ensure our systems are working well. The service they provide in invaluable to the running of our business.

David Parkin

Director, The Business Desk

Common Questions & Answers

Does my business need IT support?

Yes. Even if you run a business with just a few computers, our recommendation is that you still have some IT support. You need a reliable IT company to recommend new hardware and software, keep your IT running smoothly and fix problems in a timely manner.

Do I need an IT support contract or can I pay a consultant when things go wrong?

Let’s look at an analogy. If you own a car, then you take it for regular servicing and maintenance. This keeps the car roadworthy and prevents problems from developing. Imagine if you never took the car to be serviced or maintained. Before long the tyres would wear thin, the oil would run out and you’d be in danger of a breakdown or even an accident.

The same is true for technology. Your business IT network needs regular servicing and maintenance to keep it running and prevent breakdowns. If you only call IT support when things go wrong then the chances are it could cost lots more money to fix the problem and the problem could have been prevented in the first place.

Prevention is often cheaper than the cure.

Is it OK to use a one-man band or do I need to look for a bigger company?

There is no right or wrong answer to this. I have known companies with 50 computers who use a one man band and wouldn’t change. Likewise, I’ve known companies with a small number of computers who opt for a bigger IT company and been disappointed with the service they receive. There is nothing wrong with using a small, customer-focussed, independent consultant. However, you need to be aware that they need to take holidays, have days when they’re ill or they just have too much work to deal with. What happens to your business support during these times?

What price is too low?

If you think a quotation for IT support sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! If an IT company is offering your 30 IT user business IT support for £300 per month then the math just doesn’t work.

If they have 10 customers just like yours, then they’d be supporting 300 IT users for £3000 per month. You can’t buy many experienced IT support staff for £3000 per month. This would mean that they’re cutting corners in some way which is a risk to your business.

Is it better to look for a local company or does it really matter?

It’s true that most IT problems can be solved by your IT company from their own offices. They simply connect to your computer over the internet and are able to control it as if they were sat in front of it. So in theory, the IT company could be based anywhere. However, there are occasions when you might have an emergency, like an internet problem or a virus on the network where remote support alone isn’t enough. In these situations, the IT company needs to be local enough that they can send an engineer to your office within a timely manner. Also, we believe it’s much better to build a long lasting business relationship with your IT supplier. This is difficult to achieve over the phone or through a remote internet connection.

How do I know the IT company are competent?

Like other industries, there are lots of IT companies who don’t do things right.

There are two main problems with IT people. The first thing is that some people are ‘tinkerers’. They set up their home network and think they can run an IT business without any qualifications. They are self-taught. Using IT support companies like this is a real danger to your business. I shiver when I speak with business owners who say things like “Oh, my son-in-law is good with computers, so he looks after our IT”

The second type of IT company are those that were once qualified, but have lost touch. Technology changes so much that if you fail to renew your qualifications you get left behind. Would you use an electrician who didn’t have a up to date corgi registration? The same with your IT support company. You should ask to see recent Microsoft qualifications to prove that they’re competent.

IT is such an important part of any business. It’s important that it’s well supported.

How much should it cost for good IT support?

This obviously depends on lots of factors like the size of your business, complexity of your IT requirements and how many offices you have etc. I would use a guide price of between £40.00 – £80.00 per IT user you have.

For example, if you have a business with 25 members of staff a good and comprehensive IT support contract would cost roughly between £1000 – £2000 per month.

If you pay more than this, then you could probably shop around and save some money on your IT support. If you’re paying less than this amount, then you do need to wonder why. Good IT companies need good staff, good technology and good processes. All this does cost money.

Does an IT contract cover everything?

No, not usually. It really does depend on the IT company and the contract you have. Below is a list of the some common items that might not be included in your contract:

New hardware and software
If you need a new computer or new software then this would have to be purchased separately.

Engineer office visits
Sometimes you might have a problem that an engineer can’t solve from their own office and he needs to visit your office to fix the problem. Often engineer visits might be excluded from the support contract and you would be invoiced separately. As a tip, be sure to check this prior to taking out a support agreement and ask for the cost of an engineer visit.

Projects/Installs/Changes
As a rule of thumb your contract will include support for the hardware and software that is already installed. Things like moving office, installing a new computer for a new starter or getting a new email system could all be charged extra.

Again, my advice is to check with your provider beforehand and ensure there are no ‘fuzzy edges’ to your support agreements. ‘Fuzzy edges’ are what most IT companies get wrong. There is a miscommunication between IT and you, the customer.

How do we know we're actually getting good IT support?

The measure of a good IT support company is the amount of time you spend talking to them! Great IT companies spend lots of time behind the scenes ensuring you don’t have issues. If you find you’re spending each day on the phone speaking to your IT company, chances are something isn’t right with the IT setup or the support they’re giving you.

You should get a report each month from your IT company detailing what support calls they have dealt with in the previous month. If you have a great IT company, you should be logging around 0.5 problems per IT user/per month.

For example, if you have 30 IT users – anything over 15 issues in that month is too much.

How long does it take to fix our IT problems?

Most IT companies have what are called ‘Service Level Agreements’ (SLAs) which are written into the contracts. These are the timeframes which the IT company has to respond and resolve your problems. For example, an example SLA might be to resolve all critical IT problems within 4 hours.

SLA’s are an important part of an IT support contract, but it is also important for an IT company to set your expectations and communicate well. SLA’s alone don’t guarantee good IT support. Let’s take a look at some examples of why SLAs can be frustrating:

You arrive at your office on a Monday morning at 09:00 and nothing works. It seems like there has been a problem with your server over the weekend. It’s turned off and refuses to turn back on. You have a 4-hour response SLA with your IT provider. How would you feel at 12:50 when your IT provider still hadn’t shown up? That’s not great service, but the IT provider hasn’t really done anything wrong. They have 4 hours to respond.

The best service in this scenario would be that you call your IT provider at 09:00. The IT provider knew just how important this IT issue was and they started work on trying to fix the problem at 09:01. That isn’t anything to do with SLAs, it’s to do with customer expectations and communication.

If we’re unhappy with our IT support company, is it easy to change supplier?

There is no reason why it should be difficult to change your IT support provider, subject to your contract term. I know lots of small business owners who are wary of changing suppliers. We hear things like: “They know our system….” or “We’ve been with them years, I don’t think another company would understand how we’re set up”.

It’s a fact that lots of small businesses stick with an IT provider who they know doesn’t provide them great IT support for these very reasons – better the devil you know. Any good IT provider will be able to seamlessly take control of your IT systems with minimal fuss. If you’re not happy with your provider, move. It’s as simple as that.

Tip: Some IT providers closely guard the documentation for your network. Things like key passwords for servers etc. As the business owner, make sure you always have access to up to date documentation. It’s your IT network, so you’re entitled to the setup information.

We’ve spoken to a couple of local providers but I’m still not sure which to use. Can we get IT support on a trial basis?

Yes, you should be able to and I would recommend that you do. Always ask the provider if they’re willing to give you full IT support with a 3-month get out clause in their contract. This will give you more than enough time to assess their skills.

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