Proactive IT Support is all about Priorities
You’re more than likely pretty far along in your evaluation of MSPs, and you’re trying to make sense of all the “rapid, zero-fail, speedy, heavy-duty, supersonic” tech support service claims you’ve been hearing.
I’d like to issue a blanket apology for our industry. We’re guilty of way too much empty boasting on this topic.
The goal of this article is to give warm prospects a candid, inside look at ProviDyn’s IT support process, complete with abridged examples from actual client tickets as well as a quick overview of the business model.
MSPs who offer fixed-fee services at reasonable prices must carefully manage and allocate staff capacity across five main areas:
- Strategic account management
- Proactive monitoring and maintenance of client IT systems
- Proactive monitoring and maintenance of the provider’s IT systems
- Project management and procurement
- Help desk
ProviDyn aims to have all client-serving resources at 70% utilization. This level is ideal for creating quiet systems that, by design, don’t require a lot of manual intervention and reactive support.
When this balance is maintained, clients are happy, the team is not overworked (or burned out), and ProviDyn maintains employee costs that align with client revenues.
The following support level examples are presented in order of priority to the business, determined by ProviDyn dispatch upon notification of a problem via phone, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.providyn.com/support, or a desktop client app known as ProviDyn Direct.
Learn More: ProviDyn Support
The spirit of ProviDyn’s response and escalation framework is based on the premise of managing client expectations. We would rather under-promise and over-deliver than promise miracles and disappoint you.
We take two extra steps to promote accountability and transparency.
Each client encounter is ranked in crewhu, our client satisfaction measurement system where engineers receive points for redeemable cash rewards. They also receive ongoing professional development coaching.
Learn More: crewhu
We also deliver monthly client reports to document adherence to our SLA, and we consistently exceed our goals.
1 - Priority One “Emergency Response”
The Service has a major fault that adversely affects a mission-critical client function and prevents the client from being able to conduct regular business, and there is no known workaround available.
Major faults include network/firewall failure, server crashes, power, Internet, and Wifi outages.
Response Time From Ticket Entry: Within 30 Minutes
Escalation Time: 180 Minutes
ProviDyn has your network covered 24/7 and will send engineers onsite (even in the middle of the night) to remediate.
Summary of an Onsite Client Ticket
- In the middle of the night, ProviDyn’s Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) system received an alert that a client’s server was offline.
- An engineer checked IT Glue and identified the asset as a virtual server.
- Tech evaluated their VMware hosts and noticed the server was not there.
- Next, the tech pinged the server from another server but was not able to RDP into it.
- After consulting with another ProviDyn engineer and verifying nothing else could be done remotely, the engineer was advised to update the client via email and go onsite.
- Tech arrived at the client site and did not discover any faults on the physical host server.
- The tech tried to reboot the virtual server manually, but it did not come back online.
- Tech suspected a virtual NIC issue was the culprit.
- Tech shutdown all remaining virtual machines.
- Tech waited thirty seconds, and restarted started the host server.
- Tech powered on virtual machines.
- All systems restored.
2 - Priority Two “Quick Response”
The Service has a serious fault that prevents an important Client business function from being performed or impedes the Client’s ability to conduct business efficiently.
Major faults include error messages and notifications signifying irregularities with data backup, network-attached storage, and Windows updates.
One of our clients has special requirements related to Desktop as a Service (DaaS). They need Windows updates and reboots on each of their machines every Wednesday by 3 AM. This requirement was set up as a recurring ticket/automated workflow rule years ago and gets tracked methodically.
Other events in this tech support tier are related to business planning initiatives where ProviDyn assists clients with flexible network adjustments to accommodate changing resource needs and budgetary constraints.
Response Time From Ticket Entry: Within 60 Minutes
Escalation Time: 240 Minutes
Summary of a Remote Client Ticket
- After completing an audit, the Client opened a ticket requesting ProviDyn move their Dynamics/GP server and an SQL database from a private cloud to local storage.
- They cited cost concerns. The application was seldom used, and they only need access to it until October of 2021.
- Their ProviDyn vCIO and a network engineer analyzed the existing on-prem environment to ensure the application and database servers could accommodate additional capacity.
- The primary host was migrated, but there wasn’t enough room for the SQL piece because it was being used by two other critical applications onsite.
- While SQL for Dynamics/GP will remain in the private cloud, for the time being, it will be decommissioned as soon as the two other applications using SQL onsite are scaled back.
- How much they are being scaled back will require input from other department heads and will be discussed in the client’s next Strategic Business Review.
3 - Priority Three “Elevated”
The Service has a fault that affects a limited number of users or functions; basic business functions can continue.
Faults include quirky user access issues (with older technology), new laptop requests, and a lot of automated system alerts for regularly scheduled backups and firmware updates.
Look through our ticketing system, and you’ll see an endless array of the Datto, Veeam Backup, and Replication screenshots we send our clients every day.
Response Time From Ticket Entry: Within 4 hours (Business hours)
Escalation Time: 8 hours (Business hours)
Summary of a Remote Client Ticket
- The client reported being unable to use the shortcut for their ERP system on their desktops.
- These shortcuts rely on file-sharing from the terminal server to function, and file-sharing was not working with these workstations.
- The file-sharing (and thus the links) were working as normal from the other servers.
- The RDP connection to the terminal server was working as expected, so Adam and Betsy were still able to work, though there was some inconvenience involved in switching to the RDP session to use the ERP.
- An audit of the file-sharing configuration revealed no abnormalities that would have caused a sudden failure.
- With client approval, ProviDyn’s overnight team performed a maintenance reboot.
- Our engineer checked back in the morning, and the client confirmed everybody was able to login with their shortcuts.
4 - Priority Four “Normal”
The Service has a fault that affects a single user, or that affects non-functional cosmetic attributes. Substantially all Client business functions are Unaffected.
Faults include dual monitors not rendering screen images when laptops are inserted into docking stations, users unable to locate files on OneDrive, machines not working correctly because they were added to the network without advance notice, and don’t have the correct Microsoft license.
Response Time From Ticket Entry: Within 8 hours (Business hours)
Escalation Time: 24 hours (Business hours)
Summary of a Remote Client Ticket
- Kendall called in reporting she could not print.
- Tech accessed her machine.
- Tech checked the device's IP Address, and it was configured correctly.
- Tech pinged the printer, and it was responding.
- However, the documents were not going through.
- Tech added the printer again, but the drivers were missing.
- Tech went to the Kyocera website and downloaded the drivers.
- Tech tested the printer; everything was working.
- The client was notified.
I hope you have a much better idea of how ProviDyn support is prioritized.
Simply put, by intentionally exercising conservatism regarding response and escalation times, we are contractually bound and able to address a Priority One client emergency - a network outage - before responding to a Priority Three user request for a new workstation.
And we manage to accomplish all of this, ahead of schedule, for every one of our sixty clients. For instance, we are contractually bound to respond to a Priority One client emergency within 30 minutes, but our average response time is within 6 minutes.
We have data going back to 2008 that is searchable by the service board category, status, incident, problem, maintenance, subtype, etc.
Are you interested in any more examples?