Wow! Just when I thought I'd seen it all, along comes another new client who had no idea how bad they had it. While I may be dating myself, I feel like a broken record. Every time we take on a new client, it seeems like the same old same old. To be sure, the most recent story is about a client who had some sort of "inkling" something wasn't right because they did call us in proactively to give their network a once-over.
However, what we found (yet again) continues to amaze me. Ultimately, we're righting the ship. But can you imagine - no backup for months? Anti-virus was all over the place. And no firewall! Because IT is a "black box" to most, these guys keep getting away with this.
I really feel for this client because they're really good people. They, like many of the new clients we're picking up these days, just don't know any different. It seems like they don't know that they can and should really expect more from their IT guys.
It's sad. Over and over and over again, we keep seeing such mediocre work. Just because someone calls themselves a "Managed Service Provider" or even an "IT Service Provider" doesn't mean they are. I've seen way too many "IT guys" or even companies who call themselves this who don't do anything to earn the right of working in IT other than they happen to work in IT. Seriously. It's that bad. And then as far as proactive activities goes, rarely is there anything meeting any sort of baseline. No monitoring. No alerting. No patching. Certainly no proactive management and no maintenance updates in any way.
It seems that most of our competitors are still lingering with the mindset that they're all about fixing stuff rather than preventing them from happening in the first place! And too many businesses out there have come to accept this level of mediocrity when it comes to their technology. While on the surface it may seem good for us (helping to acquire new clients), in the long run it's really bad for the industry as a whole.
On the one hand, it certainly fuels our growth. But, on the other hand, it actually makes things harder for us in many ways because IT services have become so devalued in the eyes of too many business owners (because of this level of mediocrity). Between this and the consumerization of IT, it's an uphill battle every day for firms like us who provide IT services in the way and at the level it should be run.
For businesses who get it, it's a no brainer. FPA provides the capabilities, experience, systems, processes, and methodologies that ensure we're meeting the highest level of service. While we're very cost effective for the value we provide, at the core - we don't cut corners on how we do what we do - ensuring that our clients are well taken care of. And for some, they thing this approach "costs" more.
Sometimes it takes a little coaxing to get new prospects to really understand the approach. But, most ultimately see the light. From our Helpdesk and NOC services to our technology management and planning to implementing virtualized servers and desktops to hosted (ie: cloud) solutions to recommending ways to reduce internet costs, it's all about the client and ensuring that their technology (and ultimately their business) is optimized and protected.
So, if you're not an FPA client yet, can you really say with a straight face that your IT is running the way it should be? Or is it time you called in a true professional? As we like to say, "IT the way it's supposed to be!". This is what FPA is all about.
Let me know what you think...