Extreme Makeover: Technology Edition | Rethinking Outsourced Technology

Some things never change.  Girl Scout Cookies are only sold once a year.  My tree will drop enough acorns every two years to fill a swimming pool.  In the U.S. we drive on the right side of the road.  The remote control is never where you left it.  As soon as I buy a replacement tool, I find the old one that was missing.  Parents sneak the good candy out of their children’s Halloween bags.  I could go on.

On the other hand, some things seem to always change.  Cars are getting more powerful and more echo friendly every year.  Yesterday’s hot stock purchase is today’s bankrupt company.  Instead of going down the street and talking to a store employee about a product, we read reviews online and buy from Amazon.  You’re not even supposed to breathe for someone when administering CPR anymore.

Technology is certainly one of the areas where change occurs on almost a daily basis.  Computers are faster and smaller.  Phones are more powerful and full of features.  Cars are run entirely by computer.  Live TV is available over the Internet.  Laptops are smaller.  You can access the Internet almost anywhere.  And it seems to change every day.

Yet small business still purchases IT Service and Maintenance products the same way they always have…

Think about how a small business worked with technology 15 years ago.  It operated by mailing invoices, calling prospects, visiting the accountant, having meetings to discuss projects, talking to customers to find out satisfaction levels and mailing checks to pay bills.  Technology played a part by providing a means to do things like reconciling bank accounts, typing letters, calculating profitability in spreadsheets and having a central place to store documents for the office to share.  Depending on the business there are also specific “line of business” applications that help them operate their business and generate revenues.

To keep all the technology working the typical small business either utilized an internal employee (usually an office manager), or an outside person they would pay hourly to install new computers and fix problems.  When our systems only typed letters and ran spreadsheets, this was a great model!  However…

Now we’re being told by “industry experts” and manufacturers like Microsoft and Dell how we should approach technology.  Upgrade to get new features, new capabilities and additional tools to change the way we run our businesses!  Buy new hardware to make that new software run faster!  Social networking is the best way to market to customers and prospects!  Give sales presentations in real time over the Internet.  Use Internet based phones to save money and get more features.  Synchronize your desktop, laptop and phone with your calendar, contacts and email…

How does a small business owner prioritize all this?  How does he/she stay up to date and make good business decisions on the right way to do when there’s a fork in the Technology road?  How does the business keep computers safe from viruses and malware, keep data safe now that everything is stored electronically?

If we utilize the old business model then the small business pays someone hourly to handle all this.  They think of Technology like a TV, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  There’s one major problem with this today, Technology isn’t like a TV anymore, it’s more like a car.  Systems need to be maintained on regular intervals so that they will not only operate properly but also so that they will breakdown less.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pay your mechanic a monthly fee, and he would just take care of your car?  Change the oil, rotate the tires, change the transmission fluid…  And when something went wrong, he just fixes it…  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Technology for small business should now be treated the same way.  This is what Managed Services is all about.  Verus has worked for the past several years to develop a model that allows for a company to approach technology in a way that’s most beneficial to the company.  Pay one flat monthly fee, and get everything you need!  Tech support, software updates, protection from threats, regular system maintenance, data properly backed up, email and Internet communication systems setup for the most optimized use, accessibility to company resources when needed, monitoring of all systems for pre-failure signs… These are the things a typical company needs.  Budgeting exact technology costs, this is something small businesses have never before been able to do!  Focus 100% on the business at hand whether it’s Architecture, Manufacturing, Dentistry, Retail Sales or others.  This is why the business started in the first place and why they have the employees they have, to run their business, sell products or services, deliver to the customer and increase revenues!

Let a Technology company handle the rest so that the company can focus on their core product and not Technology.  Do it in a fashion that provides everything that’s needed yet keeps costs under control.  Provide the accounting department an easy way to budget for Technology Expenditures.

THIS…  is what Managed Services is all about.  It’s an Extreme Makeover of the way small business is used to handling it, and the only model that makes sense to both the customer, and the Technology company.

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