Simply Better IT believe the best solution for small businesses without their own full-time IT professional is to have an IT consultant providing consultancy and support on a retainer contract. Unless a business with less than 50 staff is developing IT based solutions, it is not usually feasible for them to employ a trained and seasoned IT professional on a full-time basis.
If you don’t have a full-time IT professional working in your business there is a tendency to try and sort things out with an existing staff member who is technically savvy and get them to setup the network infrastructure. This often results in some aspects of the setup being ignored because of a lack of experience or knowledge, with an office based network resembling an extended version of a home network. Classic examples of problems this approach introduces are having a domestic grade internet connections, anti-virus solutions being based on price rather than quality, backups being ignored or low quality single-drive devices being used and not having good quality hardware firewalls to protect your networks.
Retaining the services of an IT professional on a part-time basis can help a business develop and maintain a more robust network infrastructure, reaching out into the blurred areas of home worker connections, use of mobile and tablet devices, helping develop the skill set and technical understanding of one or two key people within the business, developing wider resilience and disaster recovery strategies. Being familiar with the quirks of both the technology setup and ways in which some staff use the IT resources is beneficial when responding to IT related issues.
|£6.50 + vat p/m per device for:
|£8.50 per + vat p/m per device for:
|£10.00 + vat p/m per device for:
|Monthly report of Windows Update status across the network
|Monthly report of Windows Update status and 3rd Party update status
|Monthly report of Windows and 3rd Party Updates status across the network, hardware audit analysis
|Retained hours, minimum 5 hours per month @ £75 + Vat p/hour
Additional hours: £50 + Vat p/hour
|Retained hours, minimum 10 hours per month @ £50 + Vat p/hour
Additional hours: £40 + Vat p/hour
|Retained hours, minimum 15 hours per month @ £40 p/hour
Additional hours: £35 + Vat p/hour
Perhaps the most important reason to engage an IT professional on a retainer basis is to consciously integrate them into the strategic plans for the business, which will allow a smoother dovetailing with IT delivery.
Although I can provide ad-hoc support, the preferred way of working at Simply Better IT is regular ongoing support through a retainer contract – it helps Simply Better IT stabilise things, and helps your business know it has an IT department for all intents and purpose. I charge £75 + Vat per hour for a minimum guaranteed number of hours, then £50 + Vat for any hours within that month over the minimum hours. This gives both parties stability in the support relationship.
Time to develop some good documentation, backup and disaster recovery planning and testing.
Simply Better IT prefers to provide ongoing support via a retainer contract – ad-hoc support is available, however, it’s very rare that offers are followed through on those terms. Small businesses excel in situations where they have access to someone with intimate knowledge of the quirks in their network; retainer contracts, in stark contrast to ad-hoc support, creates a stable and secure relationship within a previously established agreement. Time isn’t wasted, and your business develops with a familiar company involved directly in the organisation of your network.
Retainer fees are £75 + Vat per hour for a number of guaranteed hours (this includes travel time), with £50 + Vat being the cost for any additional hours. These prices offer you consistent, personalised support and helps you use technology better; Domain Name Registration and Website Hosting services, eMarketing, managing your IT infrastructure and the addition of Web Design – the latter possibly involving a cheaper price, depending on the circumstance.
Backup and disaster recovery is also assured – through NetJapan’s backup software ‘ActiveImage Protector 3.5’, off-site replication is guaranteed, vital in the event of a natural disaster, system failure or a security breach. This backup solution is the first to offer software based in-line data duplication or IDDC. This improves compression considerably by leaving redundant blocks of data, creating significant reductions in both backup file sizes and in storage space requirements. Incremental backup only includes areas which have changed since the last backup was performed, and the ActiveImage Protector also incorporates easy-to-use wizards which make automated backup and recovery management simple. The backup process happens automatically, and as part of the retainer contract, checks could be performed once a month to make sure the software is running as planned, with the additional education of the business . If no such agreement is in place, often small businesses will be vulnerable, aimlessly hoping their software is running smoothly. The added benefit of education is also a considerable factor – the access to a great deal of IT knowledge means that vulnerability will be replaced with confidence in managing your own IT Network.