Have you ever watched a NASCAR race in person or on television? It’s an interesting study in competitiveness.
Forty individual drivers get behind the wheel of a car that is constructed to an exact set of specifications, hence the “stock car” designation. Each of the pit crews will spend the entire race making modifications that tweak their performance based on a multitude of conditions that speak to the weather, track conditions and the automobile itself. Rarely will the driver standing in Victory Lane at the end proclaim that the car performed optimally from start to finish.
Obviously, when it comes to managed IT, there is no Victory Lane, no end game to celebrate. Platform updates are akin to pit stops, a time when flaws and inefficiencies are addressed, as well as potential performance threats. However, while it can be said that one cannot “win” with a managed IT platform, losing is another story altogether. And to borrow from another sports mantra is the oft-quoted notion “I hate to lose more than I love to win.”
This certainly applies to office technology dealers who offer managed IT programs. Maintaining the fidelity of a service platform is first and foremost. After all, a reputation can only be lost once.
“Based on the needs and landscape of our clients, our services platform will expand,” noted Kia Robinson, managed services sales manager for Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office, based in New York City. “Doing more with less while maintaining an efficient and productive environment is a goal many business owners share. As a strategic partner, we must share in that goal and uncover new opportunities to leverage technology within their organization.”
Underscoring the notion that managed IT is a journey and not a destination, Verticomm—the IT division of Denver-based All Copy Products—lets technology trends and the evolving needs of its clients, particularly in relation to security regulations, dictate its path, according to Calvin Wanner, Verticomm sales manager.
“The platform is never complete and forever advancing,” Wanner said. “Due to security policies changing and technology advancing, a managed service provider must continue to stay passionate about the industry. Providers must educate and train each team to develop an environment that encourages new ideas and solutions that provide our clients the great support experience they desire.”
Regardless of the evolution of managed IT needs and what the future will hold, Bob Maxwell—owner of South Charleston, WV-based KOMAX Business Systems—is confident in the internal support infrastructure of his own staff (backed by 10-plus years of experience) to provide remote and on-site service and support, further strengthened by the dealership’s relationship with All Covered. Maxwell loves that All Covered’s staff of 800-plus provides a sub-two minute response time to confer with a technician.
“It is important to note that KOMAX uses All Covered to supplement our own available support services,” he said. “There are many managed IT companies out there that provide remote support only. When a client needs onsite support, help to understand a problem or address a need for an IT project, having a knowledgeable and friendly person available is important. Working with all our potential and current clients’ needs and requests, we have not run into a situation where we have needed to say ‘we cannot do that’ for any request, thanks to the many specialized teams available to us through All Covered.”
Chris Falzett, president, Topp Business Solutions/Topp IT Services of Scranton, PA, feels his managed IT dealership has settled nicely into its portfolio of offerings for the time being. But it is a condition that remains fluid to the specialized needs of his customers.
“We don’t shy away from specialized projects, so if we need to partner with a software solution provider and see value in something we may have missed or that could benefit our clients, then we add to our portfolio,” Falzett added.