A little balance with tech support?

In today’s market, you can choose from a plethora of services provided by the technological sector. Cox, Asurion, US Tech Support (not us!), and Geek Squad are all examples of consumer services. Then there are the Managed Service Providers, which vary greatly. Then you have us. The big question is, “What is the difference?” Just what do you get with each option?

First, we’ll look at services aimed at end users. Typically, these services cost between $10 and $20 per month, and sometimes even less. When you have a problem, you typically have access to a support line that you can call or email. From there, a technician is either scheduled for a session (remote or in-person) or you receive assistance over the phone or via email. You’ll usually get different technicians each time, and the processes will vary depending on the company, but you’ll usually have people checking knowledge articles and troubleshooting based on common fixes. Sometimes these services provide “cyber security” services in the form of basic antivirus that you don’t usually get anything out of. These services also do not focus on providing business support, and most low-cost plans do not cover commercial use. Of course, this will vary. That said, this is the basic concept. Help many people out for very little money each. They make an effort to resolve things when they break.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are Managed Service Providers, or MSPs for short. They are made to accommodate companies of varying sizes. Typical monthly rates range from $50 to $150 per device. They will be more proactive in addressing potential problems with the technology they support and maintain, as opposed to the consumer-oriented model. While MSPs and consumer support businesses both come in a wide range of sizes, you’re more likely to work with the same technician at an MSP. Many MSPs provide their own managed services to completely remove the burden from you, such as reselling and managing billing for services like Office 365, Adobe, and others. In addition, they typically provide Antivirus suites that are more aggressively configured than the consumer alternative and are better suited to a corporate setting. When a problem arises, you contact the MSP via phone or email, and from there, a technician is assigned to your ticket and will provide support in accordance with the SLA (service level agreement, or timeframe for how severe the issue is). A competent MSP can be a savior for businesses that require the services they offer.

When it comes to reaching out and obtaining assistance, the MSP and Consumer services have comparable offerings. How long it takes to get a response or to solve a problem can vary widely. While some offer limitless options, others only offer certain hours and prices. The hours they support are also a variable, depending on the service you select. Some are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week due to the use of call centers, while others charge for after-hours support. Each option comes with its own set of costs and benefits.

Now, onto the service we offer. What role do we play? I started developing what is now known as the Worry Free Plan after working for an internal helpdesk and seeing what we offered employees. I wanted to offer something similar to what we offered our employees, but with more finesse than those consumer plans that frequently dispatch level 1 technicians fresh out of high school. As the years passed and as I worked for an MSP myself, I have modified the plan to its current state. You can place it somewhere between MSP support and consumer plans. The goal is to offer expertise on par with that of an MSP at a more affordable rate. Due to the fact that our technicians hold full-time SysAdmin and similar positions, our services are affordable for both businesses and individuals. This enables us to maintain lower prices and personalized service, as you are essentially paying for a personal technician. In addition, it enables us to continuously offer you new skill sets! Incorporating elements of both the break/fix and management models, we take care of the essentials for you, like a managed antivirus solution set up for maximum security, while focusing on managing only what you need. In addition to what the competition offers, our support goes above and beyond and is not limited to technology. We also offer lifestyle services like travel booking, management, and daily purchase savings to help you get results you can see on top of the technology support. 

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