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Getting the support you need for your complex hybrid IT infrastructure

In my last post, I described the challenges of providing support for the sort of complex hybrid IT infrastructures that have become critical for business success.

Effective support for these IT infrastructures requires both human expertise and sophisticated automated tools that can be beyond your reach. Enter enterprise IT support services providers with the resources to integrate diverse IT infrastructure support functions such as monitoring and alerting, software patching, and help desk operations.

But how do you go about choosing the enterprise IT support services provider that’s best for your business?

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Here’s my advice:

1  Distinguish between your need for IT infrastructure support and IT infrastructure improvement
Many enterprise IT support services providers will both support your IT infrastructure and make improvements to overcome performance issues. But not all enterprise IT support services providers will separate these efforts in ways that minimize costs and maximize efficiencies.

A better bet is an enterprise IT support services provider offering a set initial period of IT infrastructure support (Quest’s Umbrella Support Plan puts this at six months).

During this period, the provider conducts an infrastructure assessment and delivers prioritized infrastructure improvement recommendations. You then decide what needs doing, and these efforts proceed independently of your operational IT support services.

2  Look for an enterprise IT support services provider able to deliver …

  • IT infrastructure supportthat includes…
    • Monitoring of supported devices;
    • Security alert monitoring;
    • Hardware support (as defined by your current OEM maintenance agreements);
    • Best-effort support to patch servers and operating systems under valid maintenance agreements;
    • Server diagnostics and troubleshooting;
    • Firewall, switch, and wireless access point troubleshooting;
    • Opening tickets to address telecom circuit outages;
    • Performing (on request) adds/moves/changes, user mappings, and server reboots.
  • 24 x 7 x 365 user help desk services that include…
    • Remote hands support;
    • Best-effort support for Windows-based desktops and applications;
    • Answering basic “how to” questions;
    • Server-based password resets;
    • Workstation and server troubleshooting and triage;
    • Addressing network/internet connectivity issues;
    • User administration of MS Exchange or hosted email applications;
    • Active Directory adds/moves/changes.
  • A single point of contact and an established escalation process for all contracted support needs;
  • Customizable service levels, so you pay only for the support you want; and
  • The ability to expand support coverage to additional infrastructure components as needed in a single customizable service level agreement

Unlike many other enterprise IT infrastructure support services offerings, Quest’s Umbrella Support Plan maximizes your flexibility and your budget because you can dynamically adjust it to your evolving needs and priorities.

Meet the Author
Tim Burke is the President and CEO of Quest. He has been at the helm for over 30 years.
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