I’m investigating all of my potential sources of information especially those specific to my local area.
Since alsmost everyone on this list runs their own business and there would be a large number of restaurants in my service area that use computers in some fashion I thought this would be a good group to get some feedback from.
My background is in IT. I’m investigating starting a IT consulting business. i’ll be targeting small businesses and non-profits mainly for a IT outsourcing service as well as other offerings. This outsourcing service will be an all you can eat style of tech support for a fixed monthly price. The pricing sturcture will likely be a tiered approach with breaks either given for number of computers or signing up for more than one month, ie quarterly, 6 month, and yearly. I might try to work both breaks in somehow. I would anticipate the monthly charge to be between $100 - 170 per month per computer that is covered.
Items the service would likely include are below.
Help Desk Call Center to recieve immediate help with most computer problems and a software apps. This would have several options for covered times. Also, if a tech needs to be dispatched to resolve the issue the tech will be there within 24 hours.
Consulting services as long as you are on the service you would recieved free IT consulting. (Normally $80+/hour)
No Labor charges for servicing covered computers. Includes setup, moving, software installs, warranty claims, etc
Flexible plans for adding or removing computers from service. ie you replace yoru old computers with new ones. You can transfer the
remaining time to the new computers and have them setup free of charge.
Free Anitvirus and spyware protection if required or needed.
Free routine maintenance on a monthly schedule.
Discount on hardware and software purchased through the firm.
Discount on other services offered by the firm such as web developement, hosting services, etc. these types of service could probably be worked in to the monthly charge and be included as part of the all you can eat service.
Value to the business on service: Having a fixed known cost of supporting the IT that is in use and some control of those costs, concentrate on your business not the IT aspect, savings not needing a full time IT staff (payroll, taxes, insurance, benefits, training costs, etc)
I estimate based on just the above that a company with 10 computers on service at $125 per machine (15,000/year) would save about $5800 - 16,200 by not needing a full time IT person not including the savings on payroll taxes, insurance, training, and benefits.
Savings by hiring out to a by the hour tech company would vary but you wouldn’t be recieving any service other than exactly what you paid for and everything would become chargable. Many techs and tech company’s charge $30 - 120 hour, which $50 -70 per hour being the most common price point I’ve seen in my area.
My thoughts are still at the 50,000 foot level and really need to be vetted out completely. I would appreciate any feedback especailly why you would or would not consider such a service plan.