Managed Services

What's wrong with the old Break-Fix model?

When Integrated Solutions started trading in 1998, much of the work we did was Break-Fix services.  This meant that when something was broken, we were called to fix the problem.  This approach meant we would only see the problems while the engineer was on-site but as soon as the engineer fixed the problem and left, there was little or no visibility or maintenance to prevent or be warned of the next fault happening.

Now there aren't many businesses that will happily run without computers for even a day while waiting for repairs, but the break-fix model is broken for reasons other than being poor at preventing downtime.

Have you heard stories of businesses that have attempted to restore their data after a computer crash, only to find their backup, which they thought had been working, had not worked for months or years?  Have you heard of individuals who have had their bank account hacked because their computer has been infected with a virus?  Waiting for something to break before taking action just isn't good enough anymore.

The old break-fix model is broken.

What is a Managed Services Program?

Put simply it is finding and fixing faults before they cause a problem in your business.

We use the latest software tools to find and report small problems before they become big problems.  If a hard drive is about to fill up or if a hardware fault is about to happen we usually know in advance.  If backups fail, the virus scanner is not working properly or if computers are running old software which can be easily hacked we will also find out before it's too late.

But a Managed Service Plan is much more than just the tools.

In the same way that your mechanic "changes the oil" we continually update the software on your computers so that it is more difficult to be hacked.

In the same way that your mechanic responds and fixes your car in a timely manner, we have service levels that we are contracted to make for the client.

In the same way that your mechanic gives you a report at your service interval, we give you a monthly report that's designed to be understood by a business owner.

Proactive Managed Service Plan

This is our most popular plan.  It is designed for businesses that want the management of their computer system taken to the next level.  This plan includes everything in the Essential plan such as Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam, but with new features which dramatically reduce the number of faults which cause lost productivity.  While you may invest more in this proactive maintenance, your spend on the faults will drop significantly.

The first feature is real-time monitoring of computers, servers, network devices, such as switches, firewalls, routers and services.  Here are some examples of problem items that we are alerted to:

  • Backup Failures
  • Hard Drives which are about to fail
  • Warranty status alert for equipment within 90 days of expiry
  • Excessive CPU, RAM, Network traffic or Disk utilization
  • Anti-Virus software that is out of date
  • Databases which are under high load
  • Services which are in a stopped state such as the Print Service and many others which are critical to your users getting network addresses and being able to login.

The second feature are the actions taken to remedy these faults.  The management agents have been carefully setup to automatically correct some of these faults.  An example is one where the Print Service stops on the server.  In this case the service will be automatically started and users will generally not be aware there was a printing fault at all.

Remaining faults that cannot be automatically corrected are logged and our team take action to rectify these.

The third feature is regular maintenance work performed on all computers and servers.  Some examples of tasks which are performed monthly are:

  • De-fragmenting disks to optimize performance
  • Synchronizing time to make sure clocks are accurate
  • Removing temporary files like Windows Update Cache
  • As in the Essential plan above, Windows and 3rd Party patches are installed daily for computers and weekly for servers

The fourth feature are Service Level Agreements.  These are our obligations to you, clearly stated in our agreement, to respond and remedy problems in an agreed time frame.

The fifth and final optional feature is for those clients who choose not to purchase server equipment but instead wish to run virtual servers in a secure cloud data-centre.  There are many advantages to this option, some of them being:

  • uptime during natural disasters
  • no requirement to purchase equipment and software up front, instead opting for a monthly rental
  • applications run at speeds close to running on a local system, even on mediocre ADSL connections
  • flexibility to grow with the business without expensive time consuming hardware upgrades
  • ability to run across multiple sites including home with exactly the same desktop environment at each location

To summarize, the Proactive Managed plan is about making an investment in uptime and reducing your spend on downtime.  However if you are the sort of client that wants certainty with your total monthly spend and wish all of the Proactive work, faults rectification and even changes to be covered in a single monthly bill, then read on to our "Fully Managed Service Plan".

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Fully Managed Service Plan

This plan is for those clients who want all of the features of the Essential and Proactive Managed Service Plans along with the assurance that their computer spend is predictable every month. All changes and faults remedies are included in a single monthly spend.

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