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  • January 08, 2019 05:48:59 PM
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A Little About Us

Onestop IT Solutions provides IT services to your business. Established in 2003, OnestopIT has grown to a staff of 9 with 3 offices covering Edinburgh and Glasgow. The team offers IT support, IT strategy, IT security and IT compliance support. At Onestop IT we care about understanding the specific needs of your organisation and translating these needs into action plans to support and develop your business.

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  • Annual Regular Membership: 1 Year Term 2020-01-08 17:48:59 (349 days left)
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    Downtime Calculator: Why Your Business Needs One

    Here, we explore how IT system failures, however occasional, can affect businesses negatively – both operationally and financially. As well as these important considerations, we provide an overview of the benefits of using a downtime calculator to highlight potential issues. That way, an organisation can be proactive and make improvements, before any weak Discover more The post Downtime Calculator: Why Your Business Needs One appeared first on Onestop...

    doctor equipment on laptop

    Here, we explore how IT system failures, however occasional, can affect businesses negatively – both operationally and financially. As well as these important considerations, we provide an overview of the benefits of using a downtime calculator to highlight potential issues. That way, an organisation can be proactive and make improvements, before any weak areas or vulnerabilities become problematic.

    Analysing the Threat

    Quantifying the cost of failure in an organisation is often a requirement when justifying the expenditure necessary to pay for business continuity hardware, software and staff. Although the results of system downtime are obvious and the necessity for the contingencies required to mitigate them widely understood, the way to calculate the costs may not always be clear.

    Fortunately, there is now a straightforward and practical method to estimate the cost of system downtime with ease – and free of charge. Using this calculator, an enterprise can evaluate whether the protective and preventative measures that it is evaluating will be cost-effective when compared to the price of failure.

    Using the above calculator allows companies to evaluate the likely financial consequences of business IT stoppages, whether for a whole company or one of its departments. The calculation requires three main inputs: annual revenue, the number of employees and the average cost of each employee per hour. If required, the calculation can be proportional: computer outages would affect an IT worker almost totally, whereas the impact of downtime within marketing teams might typically be 80 per cent. Conversely, staff in sales roles might experience a 75 per cent reduction in output.

    Assessing the Financial Effect

    To quantify the potential outcome, there are four main areas to take into account:

    • Reductions in productivity.
    • Lost profits.
    • Fines or penalties.
    • Recovery costs.

    Imagine a bulk sales order processing environment where a hundred sales support, administration, accounts and customer support staff are keying in commercial data to take, confirm and amend orders. They could also be printing delivery schedules, invoices and reports. In this example, if the business IT system were not available, work would be impacted severely.

    In such examples, it is feasible to calculate the direct cost of employee idle time as a function of hourly pay or a proportion of monthly salary. Where staff can be re-deployed to perform other duties on a temporary basis, it is possible to mitigate the loss. Such activities might include updating manual records, off-line work, filing, tidying, office reorganisation or training. In cases like these, the same accounting principles and method of calculation apply, although pro-rata.

    Nonetheless, even if the failure reduces productivity only partially, the opportunity costs and lost potential income per hour can soon stack up team-wide. In the fast-moving world of business, computer databases and their supporting networks form a significant part of IT infrastructure. Apart from their level of specification, hardware, software and firmware components have to perform reliably and deliver an uptime bordering 100 per cent, especially in customer-facing roles. As well as good network speed, the availability of applications and uninterrupted 24/7 access to transactions and operational data are vital.

    Significantly, delays due to outages could result in organisations facing contractual penalty clauses for late or non-delivery. In particular, there might be a regulatory framework that imposes fines for not meeting deadlines or complying with set requirements.

    In contrast, recovery costs include reinstating backups and replacement hardware systems in the case of faults. Then there is the delivery time of any necessary equipment or parts and their subsequent installation, configuration and testing to add into the forecast. Software-based rectification or configuration and support may be possible remotely, though there will still be a delay in returning to full productivity.

    Planning Proactively – Proactive Planning?

    Once we know the estimated financial impact of downtime caused by unexpected computer, network or infrastructure failure, along with its direct effects on profitability and operations, we should also address the indirect damage. Nearly seven in ten IT decision makers acknowledge that downtime has a detrimental effect on reputation and consumer confidence, not only in a particular brand but also in the company behind it. The toll will depend on the duration of the outage, how widespread the problem is and the time of day, along with the industry type and annual turnover of the company concerned. In extreme cases, the lack of availability of an adequate main or standby computer system could lead to liquidity problems and bankruptcy.

    Similarly, interruptions and refocusing take their toll during typical working days, too. A telling study carried out by the eminent Department of Informatics in the University of California illustrated the negative effects that distractions have on business processes and productivity. According to researchers, office workers and staff typically took around twenty-three minutes to refocus after each interruption. Corrosive multitasking reduced quality thinking time and wasted up to 238 minutes per working day per person.

    Nowadays, with computerised business systems, there can be few applications and databases that are not mission critical. Protecting an organisation from the effects of system outage (and other interruptions) is, therefore, a shrewd investment in its future. When looking for a starting point, the 3-2-1 rule applies: keep three different backup copies on two different media formats and with one of them kept off-site.

    Notwithstanding the above precautions, there is more to it than regular, reliable backups. Replication and redundancy (i.e. a standby server or servers) are also necessary – or at least, a solution which can be brought online as quickly as possible to minimise system downtime. The aim should be to reduce service failures to seconds or minutes at the most, instead of hours. This objective is especially important when one reflects on the negative media coverage surrounding UK banking problems, inaccessible hospital records and the notorious PetNet incident in the USA that left animals unfed.

    Supporting Growing SMEs: Onestop IT

    Based in Scotland, Onestop IT is a leading information technology services supplier and consultancy that specialises in supporting SMEs by delivering enterprise technology solutions at an affordable price. As well as business customer care, Onestop’s focus is on process-driven IT solutions to help organisations grow.

    Onestop IT’s team of friendly, professional IT experts will be delighted to assist with any queries you may have, including the effects of computer outages and contingency planning. Finally, if you would like to obtain an individually calculated estimate of the possible impact of downtime on your business, visit our free downtime calculator page now.

    Contact us

    The post Downtime Calculator: Why Your Business Needs One appeared first on Onestop IT.


    Using Voice Over IP Solutions for Your Business

    In this post, we discuss what VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is. We also look at how modern SMEs can successfully deploy the latest intuitive and easy-to-use communications solutions to boost their competitive advantage. Staying Competitive Management teams in growing businesses understand how important it is to stay in contact with their Discover more The post Using Voice Over IP Solutions for Your Business appeared first on Onestop...

    Man with headphones facing computer

    In this post, we discuss what VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is. We also look at how modern SMEs can successfully deploy the latest intuitive and easy-to-use communications solutions to boost their competitive advantage.

    Staying Competitive

    Management teams in growing businesses understand how important it is to stay in contact with their client base. Despite the ubiquitous smartphone, packed with applications and features yet paradoxically underused for speaking, there is still little that beats the immediate feedback and interaction of direct verbal communication with customers. It is for all these reasons that marketing, sales and accounts payable departments make dozens if not hundreds of telephone calls every working week, in businesses across the country.

    Given that it is so important to promote dialogue with prospects and maintain contact with existing customers, how can companies minimise ongoing expenditure? Is it still possible to maintain the same level of outgoing calls while making the most of new, flexible communications packages? And what other benefits can the latest communications technologies offer an expanding business in today’s rivalrous and sometimes cutthroat marketplace?

    Making the Most of Existing Networks

    The answer is in Voice over IP calls, sometimes also known as computer audio. Internet telephony is another term used to describe the new way to make digital voice calls, instead of connecting via the long-serving public switched telephone network (or PSTN) that uses analogue electrical signals. Rather than the copper cored electrical wires of telephone lines, Voice over IP telephony uses computer networks – whether broadband ADSL or fibre-based – to transmit the call, video and other information. The latest protocols supersede ISDN (Integrated Services for Digital Networks), which was a bolt on to the older infrastructure and still limited by the typical capacity of conventional telephone cables.

    In contrast, computers, new IP telephones and smartphone handsets that use VOIP software now send audio and video signals in data packets. In effect, these signals are bursts of information that use a special sequence of network handshakes and validation to check the sound quality and general call performance. In technical terms, the way in which computer systems transmit these packets of data can follow various digital methodologies. Some leading examples include Skype, Cisco, PBX, SIP or open source protocols.

    Apart from numerous technical advantages and additional features that provide up-to-the-minute flexibility, Internet voice and video calls deliver significant cost benefits in comparison to traditional telephone systems. Each call is more economical, taking fixed line rental charges into account and given that many businesses already have Internet service provision in place. Ideal for free or low-cost calls to customers and suppliers in remote sites or distant offices, the latest high-speed services are reliable and offer businesses top quality service featuring life-like sound.

    With the latest digital offerings, there is no longer any need for a modern company to rely on consumer-grade Wi-Fi to power its communications. Simply upgrading the contract bandwidth to a professional-level business package is sufficient to ensure clear sound quality and excellent reliability of service. Moreover, larger SMEs may find it cost-effective to opt for individually hosted professional communications services, should they so wish.

    Working Together

    Available anywhere that has a reasonably good connection, Internet calls also tend to facilitate increased mobility and new ways of working. According to industry sources, the rapid deployment and extra flexibility are ideal for more than seven in ten home workers. Now, remote staff can take calls on their PC or their mobile with ease, with seamless call transfer that is often invisible to the customer. What is more, cloud-based management enables network monitoring from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection, whether by cable or satellite.

    Because calls made using VOIP software are significantly cheaper, the new communications method is currently experiencing an unprecedented CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of almost 10 percent a year. This impressive uptake looks set to continue at the same level until at least 2021, as businesses switch from old telephone and landline-based systems to save costs. Innovative companies are quick to appreciate the benefits of little or no up-front capital outlay, combined with the considerable savings to be had from the outset.

    Communicating More Easily

    Reassuringly, Voice over IP service providers advertise that call quality is of similar or superior quality to that experienced when speaking via standard telephone landlines. It is possible to make Voice over IP calls using computer headsets (for hands-free working) or from special telephones, similar to conventional equipment but boasting additional functionality yet still easy to use.

    Typically, VOIP calls use only a fraction of the connection’s available broadband capacity and the processor power of a modern PC or workstation. Some of the other advantages of VOIP calls include:

    • Instantly deployable – phone lines are virtual, so extra cabling is not necessary.
    • Convenient for office workers, using a computer headset or earpiece and microphone.
    • Only one network to manage, which now carries voice and data at once.
    • Reduced maintenance costs, as there are now no traditional phone system overheads.
    • Video calls and conferencing using web-based functionality help to reduce business travelling time and costs.
    • Three-way calls: ideal for post-sales support, technical questions and handovers.
    • Integration with mobile devices makes for more efficient and convenient communication.
    • Virtual meetings at short notice.
    • Website click to call services.
    • Possibility of integrating with CRM (customer relationship management) software systems.
    • Call monitoring and recording.
    • Instant messaging.
    • Presence information.
    • Voice call buttons on emails.
    • Feature-rich voicemail with that can be set for email delivery.
    • No need to buy or rent extra switchboard hardware or dedicated lines.
    • Works with existing standard office computer and network hardware.
    • Portable personal Voice over IP number, allocated to a person (wherever they are in the world) instead of a conventional landline number that is fixed to a desk.

    Supplying Leading IT Solutions in Scotland

    Edinburgh-based Onestop IT offers a fixed cost VOIP software service from only £10.00 per month. The company is a leading information technology and communications services supplier that specialises in helping growing SMEs to gain access to quality enterprise technologies at affordable prices. If you are an IT decision maker and would like to optimise your business communications with leading-edge Internet telephony to engage customers and empower employees, please click here for further information.

    Contact us

    The post Using Voice Over IP Solutions for Your Business appeared first on Onestop IT.


    Moving To A New IT Support Company

    If you are responsible for information technology in a small to medium-sized business with between ten and 150 employees, read on to discover why your company might want to consider changing its IT support arrangements. We also offer some advice about the points to check before making a decision, as well as useful Discover more The post Moving To A New IT Support Company appeared first on Onestop...

    shaking hands

    If you are responsible for information technology in a small to medium-sized business with between ten and 150 employees, read on to discover why your company might want to consider changing its IT support arrangements. We also offer some advice about the points to check before making a decision, as well as useful tips to ease the transition.

    Supporting Business Growth

    For some managers and decision makers, the idea of changing an IT support contract may seem daunting at first. Nonetheless, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) can often gain by keeping their requirements and current provision under review.

    By making the best decision for its future computing, a company can transition to a well-specified and finely tuned business information system that boosts efficiency and fosters organic growth. Additionally, the right IT outsourcing supplier will smooth the changeover, thanks to business awareness and expert technical skills.

    Identifying the Need For Change

    Businesses change their managed IT support for various reasons. Recently, the CompTIA (the Computing Technology Industry Association), a non-profit organisation based in Illinois, USA, surveyed leading companies to investigate why. It found that the main reasons for leaving IT providers were:

    • Cost. In today’s marketplace, companies seek competitive pricing and quality of service. In contrast, unjustifiable costs tend to sound alarm bells.
    • Lack of expertise. SMEs need to avoid recurrent downtime problems, problematic security glitches and the crippling effects of data loss.
    • Communication problems. Lengthy response times, failure to return calls and unanswered messages are unacceptable. Poor service or a perception of not being on the same wavelength are worrying signs, while other difficulties include a lack of clear, concise and timely information.
    • Proficiency. Problems include failure to deliver innovative solutions to meet business change (such as organic growth or expanding product ranges) or to resolve problems as quickly as possible.
    • Difficulty working with the supplier. Business relationships are seldom perfect, but if the red flags have been anything other than occasional, it is probably time to consider matters carefully. Problems should be an exception, not a rule.
    • Recurring downtime. Business variables beyond service providers’ control mean that 100 per cent availability may not be feasible. However, if the supplier cannot keep the business system up and running reliably or there are other regular serious issues, it might also be time for a change.
    • Innovation – or lack of it. An IT support company should be able to see the potential for business technology, especially within its area of expertise. Suppliers ought to know about the latest business solutions and recommend them when appropriate – especially if new developments will decrease your costs and increase your revenue. Moving to cloud computing instead of maintaining an onsite server farm might be one example.

    If you are dissatisfied with your IT support provider or recognise any of the above tell-tale signs, a review is probably worthwhile.

    Switching and Starting With Your New Supplier

    Businesses that move to new IT support companies should consider their previous experience(s) and take the opportunity to capitalise on the change. Firstly, check existing service level agreements and determine whether the previous provision was adequate. Did the service keep up with business change and were any extra features necessary? Alternatively, the reverse could be true: were any existing features redundant or in clear need of an update?

    Collect feedback from across your company and collate the information into a tender document. As well as hardware and software inventories, key details include network diagrams, usernames, login addresses and permissions or levels of access. A support log helps to identify recurrent issues and could assist in proposing and developing long-term solutions.

    It might prove useful to approach the existing supplier and ask whether they would be prepared to work with staff from the incoming support organisation. Agreeing an incentive or extra fees may be necessary. In any case, your new company should work hard to ensure a smooth handover, minimise short-term disruption and set the foundations for a brighter future.

    Maintaining Security

    When implementing a change of supplier, do check to what extent the support operation is enmeshed with your company’s business system. If your current provider also manages your network, some of your company data may be on servers that the supplier owns. In the interests of data security and to help achieve a smooth transition to the new supplier, the data needs to be moved to your own company’s resources – and backed up. A new support operation should review and monitor such arrangements to ensure a smooth migration and secure day-to-day operation of your business IT.

    Additionally, suppliers could well have a high level of access to systems, including administrator privileges. Although unlikely and unethical, unscrupulous individuals might be able to change vital network, data or program settings. Accordingly, to counter such threats to your business information security, it is advisable to review who can log on to your IT systems and what level of access each account has – whether a user, power user or an administrator. Well-known security measures and precautions apply; in particular, it is important to back up data, change passwords regularly and review special directory permissions when there are changes of personnel.

    Supporting SMEs throughout the UK

    Onestop IT is a leading information technology supplier. With a firm focus on caring for customers and delivering process-driven IT solutions to growing organisations, Onestop specialises in IT outsourcing, support, strategy and compliance. Based in Edinburgh, its friendly and professional team of experts helps SMEs across the UK gain access to enterprise technology solutions and best practices at an affordable price.

    If the issues raised in this article have resonated with you, or if you would like to discuss the IT support service that Onestop offers when working with companies, please click here for further details. We will be delighted to assist.

    Contact us

    The post Moving To A New IT Support Company appeared first on Onestop IT.


    How To Get Control Of Your IT And Understand It

    Today's competitive world of business means that IT is indispensable. Over recent years, the processing power of computers has transformed the workplace immensely, from streamlined back offices to high-speed customer care. Similarly, the widespread take-up and use of smartphones has changed how customers browse and shop. As a result, successful modern organisations need Discover more The post How To Get Control Of Your IT And Understand It appeared first on Onestop...

    Man smiling with book in office

    Today’s competitive world of business means that IT is indispensable. Over recent years, the processing power of computers has transformed the workplace immensely, from streamlined back offices to high-speed customer care. Similarly, the widespread take-up and use of smartphones has changed how customers browse and shop. As a result, successful modern organisations need to make sure their computing system is powerful enough to rival those of their competitors.

    Why Business IT Support and Services Matter

    Whether for bulk sales, timely support or developing innovative new products, the growth of computing has accelerated since the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Notable examples include online shopping, digital marketing, mobile devices, cloud computing and social networking for business. Even more important, then, that decision-makers have a good appreciation of IT support and systems. If your company is in the SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) category with between ten and 150 employees, read on for some top tips on understanding workplace IT and staying in control.

    Getting Started

    Nowadays, almost all information is computerised – from creative prototypes and promotional campaigns to sales invoices, staff training and customer records. Consequently, looking after the electronic hardware, software and data part of your business ensures that you will also be taking care of a large proportion of the company itself. However, what is the best way to achieve this and pave the way to success? In most cases, a valuable starting point is to engage with suppliers, initiating dialogue with the most important first.

    Speaking With Suppliers

    It is imperative to have a clear understanding of what your company’s suppliers do. Whatever the industry – from farming to manufacturing and sales – having the right suppliers leads to overall satisfaction and effective business systems. Your supplier contacts should be willing and able to converse and float ideas with you. Ask them about what they do best, how they have helped other business to grow and any suggestions they might have for projects you have in mind. Sometimes, excellent ideas can come up this way.

    Similarly, service contracts ought to remain under review – including renewal dates and terms. In particular, check to see if there are any unnecessary and obsolete services, renegotiating if necessary. Hidden expenses include finance, over-ambitious projects and office moves after restructuring or acquisitions, whereas obsolescence occurs gradually. All these areas should stay under control, with corrective action when necessary.

    Maintaining Internal Communication

    If the organisation has an IT manager, he or she needs to maintain communication with the chief financier. That way, senior members of the management team know what to expect and can plan accordingly. In particular, although a computing wish list may be desirable from a technical point of view, it also needs to be financially justifiable. Only when there is a good understanding between accountants and senior IT staff can the organisation reach the best decisions regarding approvals, priorities and postponements – or perhaps even cancellations.

    Managing IT Staff

    If your company has an IT team, have your IT manager meet each team member. Alternatively, you might opt to see them yourself. Ask what each person likes and dislikes about their job. Apart from gaining useful information, you will learn more about individual and overall organisational strengths and weaknesses.

    Ask every staff member for ideas to improve how the department works and take the opportunity to consider ways in which individuals can continue their professional development. Together, these measures will mean members of staff feel valued and appreciated for the contribution they make. Consequently, retention should benefit over the long term.

    Analysing Business Processes

    Using a process-based flowchart, map out how your IT systems function and integrate. Used to good effect, this technique highlights whether things are working well – or if any improvements might be possible. The exercise could reveal opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce waste, improve operations and keep activity in alignment with organisational goals. If necessary, in larger and more complex business areas, it may be worth enlisting the help of a BPR (business process re-engineering) analyst or consultant.

    Planning and Documentation

    When there is more than one person responsible for your IT, it is advisable to have an operating manual. This document sets out the organisation’s computing function, as well as interactions with customers, suppliers and agencies. Additionally, it is a good idea to include a disaster recovery plan. Here, identify areas that are critical for continuity and ensure that solid backup arrangements are in place to enable continued working and reliable file recovery if problems occur.

    Looking to the future, develop a six-month master plan for change, improvement and upgrades in line with goals. Share this plan between senior staff, all of whom can help to avoid pitfalls. Notably, in the drive to reduce costs, some leading organisations use IT outsourcing to boost efficiency. Managed IT support raises the level of available expertise while reducing potential problems and staff issues such as holiday cover and sickness.

    In summary, companies that embrace innovation tend to benefit from increased sales, improved monitoring and better management. Timely customer support also leads to more repeat business and referrals. To achieve success, therefore, business managers and owners need to understand their IT systems and appreciate that proper IT support is vital.

    Managed IT Support in Scotland

    If you have any queries about your company’s business IT, help is at hand throughout the UK. Based in Scotland, Onestop IT is a leading computer services company that concentrates on helping small to medium‐sized organisations gain access to enterprise technology and best practices at an affordable price. As specialists in customer care and process-driven managed IT support and services for growing organisations, Onestop will be delighted to assist. Their expert team also offers strategy and compliance solutions.

    Contact us

    The post How To Get Control Of Your IT And Understand It appeared first on Onestop IT.


    How To Provide Excellent IT Support For SMEs

    Almost invariably, the standard of small business IT support received from helpdesks tends to leave a lasting impression on customers. At contract renewal time, exceptionally good or bad service affects repeat business and referrals, too. If your organisation provides IT support services to small and medium-sized enterprises, you will probably be well aware Discover more The post How To Provide Excellent IT Support For SMEs appeared first on Onestop...

    Almost invariably, the standard of small business IT support received from helpdesks tends to leave a lasting impression on customers. At contract renewal time, exceptionally good or bad service affects repeat business and referrals, too.

    If your organisation provides IT support services to small and medium-sized enterprises, you will probably be well aware that quality and customer satisfaction are paramount. Conversely, if you are a client who has called for assistance, you are likely to have experienced the difference that first-rate helpdesk technicians and analysts can make to your working day.

    Given that the quality of IT support is so important, how can companies excel in its provision? In this post, we offer some suggestions, based on experience. Whether you are a provider or an interested customer, read on for some helpful pointers.

    Managing Computer Infrastructure

    In the competitive modern marketplace, the peak performance and maximum availability of computer systems are crucial for the success of almost every business. However, in growing SMEs, managing IT can be technically demanding and require full-time attention. To ensure high reliability, normal productivity and proper return on investment, therefore, additional staff or professional support services usually become necessary.

    Focussing On Customer Care

    Nowadays, small business IT support should be seamless, efficient and include:

    • An innovative and proactive approach, based on building professional relationships
    • The ability to understand customers’ needs.
    • Transparent, timely communication.
    • Round-the-clock availability.
    • Helpdesk services.
    • Monitoring and maintenance.
    • Reporting and auditing.
    • System and data backup.
    • Effective disaster recovery and contingency plans.
    • Compliance with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
    • Vendor management.
    • Affordable rates.

    Building Client Relationships

    As well as fair pricing and a perception of value, it is important to build long-lasting business partnerships. Customer service needs to be high on the list of priorities and whenever situations require it, IT support services should be flexible and dynamic. As a result, client loyalty usually grows.

    Frequently, support teams are the first point of contact and, therefore, set the tone for the overall experience. Wherever possible, aim to make things simple and straightforward for the reader or listener. Additionally, new team members ought to receive company training to develop and foster their customer-facing skills. Empathy and the ability to perceive things from customers’ points of view are most important.

    Retaining Customers

    By providing first class service, solving problems and maintaining ongoing communication, IT support providers should see positive results through up-selling and referrals. According to business experts, customers who decide to change companies are around four times more likely to do so because of poor service than for price or product-related issues. Additionally, a survey by American Express* showed that people are more likely to spend money with companies that are known for providing the best customer care.

    When considering how to differentiate themselves from competitors in today’s market conditions, it is not usually possible for support providers to compete significantly on technical features or pricing. Instead, excellent customer service is what sets the best companies apart. Tellingly, customers often remember how a dialogue with support staff felt much more than they recall the details of the original hardware, software or configuration problem that prompted the exchange.

    Understanding What Customers Want

    When choosing whether to maintain support in-house or to outsource it to a professional provider, business customers typically look for fast response times, technical expertise, good communication, high security and a comprehensive service provision.

    Communication should be easy. In addition to telephone and email contact, live chat is also increasing in popularity. In email signatures from the support desk, it is helpful to include a link to the chat page, if there is one. Notably, teams that use live chat or social networks as a support channel should ensure sufficient monitoring to ensure timely responses, through having sufficient staff resources.

    Today’s support roles often include extra tasks such as updating company knowledge bases and compiling or extending FAQs (frequently asked questions). Similarly, it is often useful to provide a self-service option for tech-savvy customers so that they can find answers in customer or technical forums, as well as in FAQs. However, it is vital that technicians and consultants are also available when needed.

    As well as addressing routine situations, high-quality support becomes a lifebuoy when there are serious system snags. In such cases, as part of a company’s backbone, providers will adhere to established industry standards such as ISO/IEC 20000 while taking responsibility for delivering timely solutions and minimising any downtime.

    For clients, efficient technical backup means that employees can concentrate on core business issues and marketing the company product or service. Consequently, benefits include improved revenue, boosted reputation, enhanced brand presence and, hopefully, an expanding community of loyal customers.

    Managing Expectations

    Over recent years, customers have come to expect more from IT and, as a result, from support helplines and service providers. Thus, for helpdesk staff, dealing with people and possible complaints is a valuable skill.

    In difficult situations, it is best to remain professional and avoid becoming aggressive or angry. Avoid jargon and complicated language. Where possible, set boundaries and seek a compromise. In the end, if these approaches are unsuccessful, it may be worth asking a colleague or a manager to take the call in an attempt to end the deadlocked conversation.

    Some of the best support organisations encourage, enable and empower their technicians and engineers, while also making them responsible for customer loyalty.

    By following the above principles, IT service providers can assure small to medium-sized businesses of excellent levels of support.

    At Onestop IT, customer service and first-class support are foremost. Based in Edinburgh, Onestop is a leading supplier with clients throughout Scotland. Innovative, focused and highly trained, the experienced team of specialists offers access to enterprise technology solutions and best practices at affordable prices.

    Contact us

    The post How To Provide Excellent IT Support For SMEs appeared first on Onestop IT.


    Why Does My Business Need IT Support?

    If you own a small or medium sized business, typically with between 10 and 150 employees, you may have wondered how to get the best from information technology. If so, read on for some essential tips on how your company can get the most from its investment in computers, given proper IT support. Discover more The post Why Does My Business Need IT Support? appeared first on Onestop...

    Man and woman having discussion

    If you own a small or medium sized business, typically with between 10 and 150 employees, you may have wondered how to get the best from information technology. If so, read on for some essential tips on how your company can get the most from its investment in computers, given proper IT support. We also offer an insight into how to organise your IT to achieve growth, even in a competitive marketplace.

    Reaping Rewards

    Although one might associate IT support services with large organisations, it is a mistake (and, probably, a false economy) to suppose that proper computer support is not necessary for smaller organisations. Quite the opposite; there are numerous reasons why business IT support is at least as important in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    With the right expertise, these SMEs stand to benefit and reap the potential rewards surprisingly quickly, thanks to their smaller, often highly responsive ethos. In the modern marketplace where efficiency counts, a well-configured in-house computing operation that is reliable and fit for purpose really can make all the difference.

    Saving Money

    Over time, successful startups and growing, established companies alike usually find that IT support services increase uptime and reliability. Good IT support also reduces costs and while minimises inconvenience. Conversely, an absence of readily available expert help on tap often leads to hurried searches for suppliers, emergency callouts and inflated rates for isolated repairs in the case of major failures. Unfortunately, even in-house patches and haphazard fixes are typically only on a best endeavours basis.

    In contrast, professionally deployed and properly configured computer systems ensure quick computer response, efficient working and high productivity. With the consistent approach that is possible with expert, knowledgeable round-the-clock support, businesses get a greater return on investment from their computing assets. A manageable flat rate for monthly fees provide budgeting certainty and fixed outgoings while staving off unpleasant surprises and unscheduled costs. Most importantly, the business itself should grow as a result. Even the thriftiest of accountants should thoroughly approve of all that!

    Progressing Towards Goals

    Investigating new technologies to enable the company to compete on a day-to-day basis can be almost a full-time job in itself. Then there are the hours necessary to research, compare and locate the optimal solution(s) to meet changing workplace or office requirements. In other words, finding the most suitable computer technology takes considerable time. With an experienced support team behind your IT, providing focused assistance, company operations and productivity should go from strength to strength and propel the business towards its long-term goals.

    Focusing on Core Activities

    Thanks to the assistance of their IT support providers behind the scenes, companies usually have more working time available to manage essential activities, set policy and make progress. Thankfully, there is a lower risk of stressful computer failure(s). Service providers work proactively to prevent or minimise the damaging effects of interruptions to workflow, so that staff benefit from excellent network availability and continuity of service. Consequently, the quality of output and its consistency remain high.

    At the same time, in the background, the best service providers keep an eye on the latest technical innovations and market developments as well as hardware and software offers. This attention to detail and familiarity with industry conditions means you have up-to-date information about innovative solutions to maximise your company’s potential.

    Delivering Peace Of Mind

    As well as controlling costs and freeing up managerial time, your company’s IT operations will be secure and compliant with data regulations. Computer users who have been unfortunate enough to suffer a data loss will be familiar with the exasperation and frustration caused. Inconvenience and missed opportunity result, whether due to file corruption, hardware malfunction, disk failure, accidental deletion or even ransomware. Fortunately, however, with well-implemented IT systems, a speedy resolution is usually possible to minimise the damage.

    Also, business systems should be capable of dealing with power outages and natural disasters. With experts to ensure that your essential hardware technology, firmware drivers, software programs and data files are correctly configured and backed up, your essential information will be safe and secure.

    Supporting You On The Move

    As organisations grow and evolve, business IT support can be delivered on-site or remotely via a data connection. With a monthly plan and fixed cost contract, there are no hidden overheads such as staff training costs. Instead, IT support experts deliver solutions from day one, wherever you are: at work, in your home office, attending a conference or in a hotel room.

    Creating Good Impressions

    Implemented to best effect, a well-oiled back office IT system boosts output and helps you maintain a competitive edge. Above all, your business will enjoy the best possible chances of success. It is also possible to tailor computer-based communications systems such as VoIP telephony and messaging to suit your way of working and present a professional image to customers.

    Nowadays, streamlined business communication features cutting-edge products and deliver considerable advantages when compared to some types of outdated, clunky telephone switchboards. New and potential customers can communicate and interact through popular channels, benefiting your brand image and reputation. Consequently, the client base should expand – along with turnover and profit.

    In closing, then, we have seen that regardless of its size, your company stands to gain from having quality IT support. Your business system(s) will be more efficient and less costly in the long term, while you also have extra time to concentrate on key activities.

    Edinburgh-based Onestop IT specialises in serving SMEs throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK. If you have any questions about how Onestop business IT support can work for you, please click here to get started today. Onestop’s professional and approachable team of experts will be delighted to hear from you and help.

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    The post Why Does My Business Need IT Support? appeared first on Onestop IT.


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