A mid-sized organization with a relatively large and complex network distributed across several locations recently approached Cerium looking for break-fix IT maintenance services to address network problems as they crop up. We evaluated their needs and proposed a proactive managed services solution with predictable monthly costs for monitoring and maintenance; eliminating the inevitable reductions in network performance when a problem occurs. With their reliance on technology growing while their IT budget is shrinking, we believed it was their best option for keeping their mission-critical systems operating optimally with the resources they have available. Their response was, “We are only looking at on-demand services, and we do not have the budget for managed services.”
Many organizations feel the same way. They believe that managed services are just too expensive. They would rather wait and pay for repairs, consulting, and hourly labor when disaster strikes rather than incurring the monthly expenses of monitoring and preventative maintenance. We understand and appreciate that our clients know more about what their budget can handle than we do; however, they are often surprised by the fact that managed services can be more cost-effective than traditional break-fix services, especially when the true cost of down-time is included. In the long run, the cost of resolving a problem caused by lack of foresight, combined with lost revenue while your systems are down, has the potential to far outweigh the costs of managed services. The constant monitoring and maintenance offered by managed services reduce the probability of experiencing outages. By detecting and solving issues as they occur and taking preventative measures to ensure problems don’t materialize, you are likely to spend far less on repairs than you would on managed services.
Managed services can help organizations reduce operational overhead and minimize risk. Typically, managed services include alerts, security, backup and recovery, and patch management. Falling behind with backups, patches, and security updates dramatically increase the odds of your systems going down and causing a substantial loss in productivity and revenue. Proactively monitoring, maintaining, and servicing your network, along with patch management, and routine backups enable you to prevent fires, rather than fighting them.
In many cases, the cost of managed services is less than the fully loaded cost of hiring a full-time employee. Managed services can also provide stability and continuity if you are experiencing employee turnover in your IT department. However, because managed services models generally define fixed standardized services, they may offer less flexibility than purchasing a block of hours of break-fix services. If your IT environment is constantly in flux, frequently changing the terms of your managed service contract to accommodate system changes may require additional work and eliminate one of the key features of managed services, predictable costs.
Are Managed IT Services Right for Your Organization?
Break-fix might be the right support model for your organization if:
- You rarely face difficult IT challenges
- You have onsite IT staff capable of maintaining and upgrading while responding to issues
- Your environment is volatile and change in your processes and systems is inevitable
- You can handle downtime when issues do arise
Managed services are more appropriate for organizations that:
- Require a top-notch IT staff but can’t afford their salary
- Prefer predictable fixed monthly expenses
- Can’t afford any of their mission-critical systems experiencing downtime
- Want to free up their IT staff to focus on key business initiatives and promote innovation
The Cerium Networks Advantage
Cerium offers both break-fix support and managed services. Our support services are second to none. Cerium’s Support Center (CSC) is fully-staffed by certified technology experts with a long history of delivering superior customer support for a wide range of products and solutions from Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft, and many other leading technology manufacturers. CSC support staff are available via phone, email, webchat, or our secure self-service web portal, 24x7x356 with the resources and expertise to get your mission-critical systems up and running quickly if the unexpected happens.
Cerium also provides reasonably priced managed services that empower organizations to focus on their business, not on their network. You can rest easy knowing that Cerium’s experienced staff is proactively monitoring your network and responding to alerts 24/7/365. We use the latest tools and techniques to discover and fix problems before they can negatively affect your business. Cerium’s manages services team uses the latest tools and techniques to manage, monitor, and troubleshoot highly complex, integrated multi-vendor and multi-platform environments; providing network monitoring, patch management, and optimization on a regular basis. Cerium managed services can save you money, help you maintain business continuity, and avoid headaches.
We also offer a mix of break-fix services wrapped around essential managed services designed to meet your organization’s support objectives now and in the future. From remote and on-site support to staff augmentation to a complete line of managed services, Cerium can create a package designed to keep your mission-critical services up and running, at an affordable price, from a reliable partner you can trust.