It’s a term commonly misconstrued throughout the IT channel, so is it any wonder customers don’t know what to expect from their suppliers? That’s why in this blog – as we continue our myth-busting mission in the world of tech – our head of ops and compliance Carol McGrotty explores exactly what ‘managed support’ means to Vapour.
If you work in the tech sector, the definition of managed support will differ from one person to the next. To a data engineer, for example, anything relating to ‘managed’ typically has private network connotations, whereas to the employee of an IT services provider, every component of their entire proposition could fall under the ‘managed support’ umbrella.
The picture becomes even more muddied when you step into the mind of a customer, whereby the term could arguably define anything from a little ‘hand-holding’ to a fully outsourced provision.
There isn’t necessarily a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ with any of this of course, providing there’s clarity between the supplier and customer concerned.
We’ve recently taken a step back to ensure that we avoid any confusion from the off. This isn’t about suddenly offering only a ‘one size fits all’ approach to our service levels. But it IS about giving our customers options to choose from and managing expectations from that point forward.
If we take our voice contracts, for example, there are three key ways we can continue to assist our customers as their use of our UC solutions evolve over time.
1. Client controlled IT support
With this approach, we deliver customer training that empowers key users to make ongoing changes themselves, without the need for Vapour’s input. We ensure we pitch the training at the right level, to suit individuals’ skill sets and the organisations’ likely requirements, and we work with our customers to explore who – if anyone – can assume these responsibilities as part of their job.
This means we can show customers anything from how to make simple DDI updates in the event of a new recruit or leaver, through to more comprehensive changes to rules and scripts if they have more advanced technical expertise. Either way, the idea behind this support system is to enable customers to make their own changes, immediately, themselves.
2. Monthly subscription IT support
If there’s little appetite, limited capacity or a lack of internal expertise that would otherwise enable a customer to administer ongoing changes in-house, we can provide a support contract inclusive of a pre-defined number of updates per month.
Bringing with it a slight cost-saving – not to mention ease of upfront budgeting – this ‘always there’ approach means customers can request our support quickly and easily, without having to wait for PO approval. They simply raise a ticket knowing we’ll be there to help.
3. Pay as you go IT support
This ‘here if you need us’ approach allows customers to get in touch on a purely ad hoc basis and pay for support only if the need arises. While this naturally makes any such support harder to budget for, in the eyes of many businesses, this represents the ultimate in flexibility.
Which approach a customer opts for, depends very much on their individual requirements, budgets and preferences – there’s no ‘one size fits all’ method of working with Vapour.
What about our approach to faults and fixes?
With all of this we’re talking simplistic operational changes of course, as it goes without saying that, if a fault arises, we deal with this completely differently. On this note, we’re actually known for pulling out all the stops.
This unswerving commitment to keeping our customers comms in perfect working order might be something other providers would raise their eyebrows at, but it’s simply in Vapour’s DNA.
This staunch approach also empowers our voice engineers to do their jobs without having to worry that the relevant commercial agreement is in place. If they didn’t have this autonomy – this confidence to proceed quickly – the ‘fix’ could encounter unnecessary delays that would stall the customer’s ability to get back up and running. And aggravating a client when they need support the most, would do nothing for the relationship.
To discuss the content of this blog with the Vapour team, to map out your evolving voice requirements, or to explore a communication automation project however complex, please don’t hesitate to contact us – it costs nothing to pick our brains!