The purpose of any business is to create new things and make progress. Among the huge number of daily tasks and challenges, there is at least one that is recommended to be delegated to a partner—technical support of the existing IT systems. Vladimir Turlachev, Head of Technical Support and IT Outsourcing Group, Softline, names several points convincing why it is reasonable to outsource this service instead of doing it in-house.
Join the majority of large companies and adopt a mature approach to the use of IT resources. In the areas where it is possible and necessary to use in-house specialists, they should carry out qualified labor, fruitfully cooperating with experts from specialized IT companies and leading vendors; however, routine tasks can be outsourced. This model will allow you to focus on the development of your core business, which is your main task; the basic IT infrastructure services can be outsourced to a third party.
Everything can be under your control
From the inside, the IT infrastructure of some medium and large companies may seem so sophisticated that it becomes difficult to believe that third-party employees could understand it—even in-house specialists struggle to do it! CIOs are often concerned about this issue. Enterprise mobility and decentralization are two realities of the present time and the main trends in the development of corporate IT infrastructure all over the world; if the IT systems change, their technical support should change as well.
But practice shows that not every organization can process correctly, adequately, and timely all internal requirements of employees, related to, say, mobile technologies. Urgent Internet access or application problems need to be resolved immediately; otherwise, the very idea of enterprise mobility is lost.
For service provider specialists, keeping numerous IT systems running has become a routine task long ago. They can use their expert knowledge and best practices to optimize any system and satisfy all business needs. When the processes are streamlined, it turns out that providing technical support to the IT infrastructure of 100–200 affiliates of a global company is hardly more complicated than providing technical support to three Russian offices, with continuous quality monitoring and guaranteed SLA. As a large international company with uniform service standards not only in Russia and the CIS but also all over the world, Softline provides centralized technical support service and offers a unified support policy for its clients.
By concluding a technical support agreement with a reliable system integrator, you can be sure that your problems will be resolved within a limited period of time clearly specified in the contract. The technical support engineer is always on the phone and can solve any problem. Several dozens of our call center operators process calls in 24/7 mode; at the present time, our technical support service has more than one hundred technical specialists. Issues related to standard services are resolved by a pool of multi-purpose computer engineers. Clients with special requests are usually assigned personal engineers—in such cases, IT support of the customer is performed by dedicated professionals.
Don’t make IT break
The basic idea of IT technical support is no longer about "fixing the things that have been broken." Today, it is vital to stay ahead of the events, anticipate possible incidents, and respond before an emergency occurs. Does your IT staff know how to do that? If not, we can help. Thanks to request processing and monitoring systems, Softline specialists can quickly detect “weak points” of the IT infrastructure and predict the probability of some technical failures. We use efficient reporting systems to build any schedules in real-time mode and to monitor all the trends that are interesting to the customers.
New hardware will come to you on its own
For the most part, we avoid emergency situations when the customer's IT systems go offline. Thanks to the incident monitoring and forecasting system, we proactively replace hardware components to ensure uninterrupted service and adjust the control software settings to ensure fault tolerance. However, if an unexpected hardware failure occurs, we deliver new hardware following the established procedure. The speed of hardware delivery depends on the service level stipulated in the agreement: from a few hours to a couple of days. The goal of our technical support specialists is to ensure our customers' business against downtime and technical problems to a maximum possible extent.
Outsourcing: the safety question
Statistics show that data safety guarantees are No.1 priority for Russian customers. The cost of services goes only fourth in this list. It turns out that Russian companies are ready to pay more, but they are very concerned about IT security, especially when they consider the possibility of outsourcing some tasks.
An interesting fact: in Western countries, the situation is quite the opposite. With the right approach, the majority of constructive issues concerning IT safety are resolved by hardware, software, and a set of organizational and technical measures.
Outsourcing companies continuously control IT resource safety and staff reliability because this is their field of expertise. We are very attentive to our resources, and we have streamlined the internal business processes in such a way that they work as a special "expert conveyor"—it means that we have a strong professional team, the knowledge and expertise of which are confirmed by international certificates, and transparent procedures for employee collaboration.
“But I can do it myself!”
Of course, you can! In theory, a customer can implement almost any software product, but it will incur significant financial, time, and labor costs. As a rule, it is quite expensive and challenging for an organization to implement a comprehensive approach in its own technical support of large IT systems. Although, some large companies for different reasons (mainly internal policy features) still prefer in-house support if it specializes in a particular task.
System integrators have competencies, resources, and experts with many years’ experience in supporting such systems, so the product implementation and technical support will be much faster, more profitable, and have higher service quality. The figures speak for themselves: for example, infrastructure service administration outsourcing (when we actually perform the technical support service role) may cost 2-3 times cheaper in comparison with the client’s own IT technical support service.
The system integrator company should have uniform rules of work with the clients speaking different languages and living even in distant regions. Not every support service can boast of such skills—but Softline can. The best proof is our own IT technical support service (our offices are located in 23 countries and 66 cities). We do not use our clients to gain experience, we have already tested the technical support service on ourselves, and we are delighted with the results!
Reasons why the customers choose Softline
- Russian-speaking support in 24/7 mode is needed
- The customer has high requirements for the quality of service
- Guarantees of service solution availability are required
- Valuable/unique employees have left the company
- There is no place on the staff for technical support specialists in some areas
- It is not possible to find an expert to support a specific technology
- There are integration problems at the conjunction of architectures and technologies
- Continuous support is required at the customer's site
- A dedicated team of technical engineers is required
- It is important to back up the agreement observance with financial guarantees
- It is necessary to conclude an agreement in accordance with the client's form