FPA has always been focused on delivering high quality IT services. Throughout the years, this has presented various challenges - from different network configurations, to different useability requirements, to differing expectations of our various clients. At the end of the day, one of the best ways for us to help ensure we're able to deliver high quality service across the board is to make our clients' network environments as consistent as possible across the board.
This is all well and good for FPA, but does consistency really matter for our clients?
At the heart of it all, our job is all about the quality of service we provide to our clients. And everything we can do on an ongoing basis to improve this is simply a win for our clients.
Internally, we start by looking at our clients and their base IT infrastructure around these 5 core areas:
- the way ongoing support services are provided
- the way backup and business continuity is ensured
- the way the network is protected from external vulnerability
- the way machines are protected from viruses and malware
- the way the network is protected from ransomware
These 5 areas provide the foundation for how a network should be managed, maintained, and secured. We address this for our clients with our very own "FPA Stack" made up of:
- FPA's Managed IT Services
- FPA's Backup & Disaster Recovery Solution
- Dell SonicWALL (including Unified Threat Management and VPN)
- Managed ESET Antivirus
- Cisco Umbrella Internet Threat Protection
That said, you can learn more about "The FPA Stack" here.
Throughout they years, we're constantly looking at the solutions we provide our clients and consistently reevaluate them to ensure we're providing the best solution available in each area. There certainly have been times where it made sense for our clients (and it would follow, us) to make a change. This happened a while back when we moved from Symantec Endpoint Protection to ESET. It also happened when we moved from Veritas Backup Exec to our BDR solution.
We recently reviewed our clients and found the following stats when it comes to the consistency across our clients' core foundational areas:
- 88% of our clients are on a Managed Services plan
- 94% of our clients have a BDR
- 92% of our clients have a SonicWALL firewall
- 93% of our clients have Managed ESET Antivirus
- 19% of our clients utilize Cisco Umbrella for Internet Threat Protection
- 79% of our clients have either 4 out of 5 (or all 5) of these core components
These are some great numbers. But, the second to last number is certainly a sore thumb that sticks out. So a quick explanation... Cisco Umbrella is a fairly new product (in technology years that is). The other 4 components have had years to mature and penetrate. Cisco Umbrella provides protection against ransomware, malware, and other internet threats (you can learn more about it here). This component of "The FPA Stack" is required for all new clients going forward and is a focus to get our remaining existing clients onto. Note: if you're currently an FPA client and you haven't had the discussion yet during one of your more recent IT Status Meetings - have no fear - you will soon!
That said, and more importantly, why should any of this matter to our clients?
Well, consistency delivers a number of advantages - better knowledge of the product, which leads to better outcomes and reduced support time. Bigger volume results in lower costs that we can pass along to our clients. More consistency reduces training time or ramp up speed for our technical staff so they can move from one client to another faster and easier. A larger footprint with our vendors provides us better training and support - which trickles down to improved service for our clients.
I could go on and on, but these are just a few of the advantages. Simply put, the more consistent the footprint is we're supporting, the better we are. And the better we are, the better service our clients get.
At the end of the day, our clients just want their IT to do what it's supposed to do - work. And after all, all we want is happy clients. And we've found that consistency across our client base for these fundamental aspects of their IT is one of the most impactful ways to bring this.
What do you think? Does your IT Service Provider provide a consistent approach to how they run your IT? Let us know in the Comment box below or shoot me an email if you’d like to chat about this.