What is Managed IT?
Managed IT means looking outside your staff for IT expertise. With a Managed IT services agreement, an organization contracts with an IT consulting firm to take care of their computer network and cloud platforms. The relationship is typically a close one, requiring trust and cooperation from both sides. For the customer, it provides access to extensive IT resources at a fraction of their cost. For the IT consultant, it allows them to gather a team of specialists and provide a high-value service efficiently. By using automated diagnostic tools and remote maintenance procedures, a Managed IT provider like Alternative Technologies can prevent network issues and keep your organization performing at a high level both in the office and when working from home.
A little help from your friends – that’s what you get from Alternative Technologies. With a Managed IT agreement, everyone on your team can use our helpdesk for support on a full range of issues, from password recovery to lost files to more complex functions or beguiling connectivity challenges.
We have been supporting pioneering nonprofits and progressive businesses for over 30 years now. We are proud of our customer base and the way we contribute to their effectiveness.
With a Managed IT agreement, the focus is not on the bill. It’s on the IT. In fact, simple flat rate billing is an underappreciated aspect of a Managed IT agreement. It helps the leaders of an organization who have responsibility for managing an annual budget. It helps the CFO and bookkeeper in managing cash flow and accounts payable. But perhaps the most important benefits flow through to the staff member who needs help. With a Managed IT agreement, no one on your team needs to worry about how much it will cost to get their specific issue resolved. Staff can be encouraged to tackle IT issues, not search for time-wasting workarounds. In this way, the culture of IT at your organization becomes one of identifying and solving problems quickly, so the focus can remain on the vital work at hand.
Prevention is the key to the success of Managed IT services. A disproportionate number of IT hours are spent remediating mistakes. Almost all IT issues are caused by poor maintenance, training and security, and can be avoided with proper prevention.
Our intelligent monitoring and alert system can identify overheating hardware components, saturated circuits, out of date antivirus definitions, obsolete software and failed backups. By implementing systematic and automatic issue detection on your network, we can follow up with specific updates, patches and solutions – usually in the background before you even become aware of a potential problem.
Finger-pointing is a good thing – but only at the bakery counter! When it comes to your IT network, you won’t get finger pointing from us. If there’s technology issue, we want to be your first call. If it involves a vendor or service provider, you should know we are 100% allies in getting the problem solved. If it’s hardware or software, our comprehensive notes and historical service data can quickly get us to the source of the problem. As we resolve issues, we will always explain the cause to you and set in motion a permanent solution.
When it comes to computer networks and IT, many problems arise from inattention to basic maintenance and failures to forecast needs. Our account manager structure sets out regular schedules for reviewing service histories, technical details, and the strategic goals for organizations. In meetings with customers, we can provide recommendations for migrations to the cloud, replacing essential network hardware and security training.
Our job is to keep a focus on your IT capabilities and how they match up with your programs and your mission. You can count on us to provide budget guidance for projects required to update your workstation hardware or server needs, or migrate servers or data to the cloud. Your organization’s IT investment needs will not go away. However, the investment needs will be predictable. Decisions can be made responsibly, and implemented with competence and professionalism. A Managed IT agreement will safeguard the operations of your organization, gain the confidence of your staff and garner the trust of your constituents.
The Logic Behind Managed IT
Managed IT agreements are common at organizations of all sizes. There are economic efficiencies and performance benefits from working with a team like Alternative Technologies to take care of IT needs, so that your organization can focus on its mission.
- A fraction of 1: Not everyone needs or can afford a fulltime IT staffperson. A Managed IT agreement provides exceptional IT expertise at a fraction of the cost of hiring a staff person.
- Greater than 1: Sometimes you need MORE than one IT person to cover all the bases. With a Managed IT agreement from Alternative, anyone from your team can get help from anyone on our team. Multiple issues going on? Not a problem for our helpdesk, using our ticketing software that helps us keep track of everything.
- Always on duty: Many organizations are well-served by gracious volunteers or multitasking “accidental techies”. What happens when that person is at lunch, in a meeting, or out of the office and unreachable? With Managed IT from Alternative, organizations are assured comprehensive technical support every day, all year round.
- 150+ years: No single person has yet lived long enough to gain as much on-the-job experience as our Alternative Techs team – 150 years in the industry! We have experts in all areas of IT, and multiple tiers of support. If the first Alternative Tech doesn’t know the answer, he or she knows another tech who will.
- Hiring for IT is hard: It can be extremely difficult to find an IT person who knows his or her stuff, cares about your mission, fits with your culture, and is willing to accept the salary you offer. Our Alternative Techs are experienced, tested and trained, and have shown themselves to be a good fit for the nonprofits and progressive small businesses we serve. Yes, hiring for IT is hard. It’s central to our success and we do it well.
- Records and documentation: In-house staff and part time IT consultants may take shortcuts on records and documentation. They think they can remember the passwords, know where they filed the warranty document for that hardware purchase, or . But that’s not adequate for a high-performing organization. At Alternative Technologies, our workflow requires relevant records be properly and securely stored in our account database. We need to know. To serve our agreement customers we need to make sure that our colleagues can MAC addresses, licensing terms and warranty dates. YOU can depend on us to keep records of what you have and what we do.
- Institutional Memory: Many organization are heroically served by dedicated staff. But, eventually, an organization can be at risk of over-dependency on a superstar individual who may one day retire or switch jobs. An agreement with Alternative creates institutional memory for IT resources that can steady an organization going through staff transition and turmoil.
How to Get Started: Technology Assessment
Your scenario is our starting point. To determine if a Managed IT agreement makes sense for your organization, we send our skilled technicians to your office to take a deep dive into your current situation. The result: a Technology Assessment.
Technology's #1 Crime: E-Waste
As technology gets better, society’s e-waste problem gets bigger.
We handle tons of obsolete electronics every year. With our e-waste partners, you can be sure that your old electronics will be responsibly repurposed or recycled.