Outsourced Technical Support

A Guide to Outsourced Technical Support

Businesses require copious amounts of technical support to keep pace with the ever increasing impact of technology in the modern world. Choosing the best support provider to align with your needs whilst remaining cost-effective can be a critical challenge. Considerations such as company size are one of the most important factors influencing the choice of IT support services. Here is a review of the most popular types of IT support outsourcing that can help you make an informed and balanced decision.

Full Service Outsourcing

In this instance, the client company outsources the whole IT infrastructure to an outstaffed System Administrator. The service provider is 100% responsible for the client’s IT infrastructure support such as server maintenance and user support. Duties include matching the client with the right telephony and Internet providers, helping to maintain peripherals and performing regular equipment checks along with troubleshooting. An outsourced employee can solve up to 90% of total tasks remotely. Many executives prefer to employ an in-house IT specialist in order to physically see how the job is performed. Full-service IT outsourcing is an optimal choice for small companies with up to 30 employees.

The Major Advantages include:

  • More cost-effective than hiring an in-house System Administrator;
  • Covers all aspects of your IT infrastructure support;
  • Fixed rates;
  • Rapid and responsive customer service;
  • Support center operates 24/7.

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive than 2nd and 3rd Line Support;
  • Not a good fit for large organizations;
  • When the outstaffed System Administrator has to visit the office of the client company to fix an issue, the service delivery time depends on the office location.

Outsourced 2nd and 3rd Line Support

In this situation, the client company has an in-house IT specialist with basic technical skills, who represents 1st Line Support and manages routine tasks within the company. All complex tasks and sophisticated issues are redirected to an outsourced 2nd and 3rd Line Support supplier.

Advantages:

  • Significantly cheaper than in-house IT support team;
  • Cheaper than full-service IT outsourcing if your company has more than 30-40 employees;
  • High-quality service;
  • This way you do not keep all your eggs in one basket. The client company is always free to change its IT outsourcing contractor or in-house IT specialist.

Disadvantages:

  • We would dare say that this type of IT outsourcing has no significant disadvantages.

Partial Outsourcing

This option is suitable for companies that only need installation or support of certain IT components but not overall infrastructure coordination. For example, if your company requires a public or cloud solution for e-mailing, telephony or support of computer network, you can utilize partial outsourcing services.

Benefits and pitfalls of using partial IT outsourcing is dependent upon the individual needs of the customer.  A common disadvantage is the introduction of an additional contract with the supplier even for low-volume enquiries. This service often results in higher expenses than other types of IT outsourcing. The major advantage, however, is top quality which justifies the price.

If you would like to learn more about your options for outsourced IT support, feel free to contact us today and speak with one of our specialists.

More articles about it-outsourcing

safe internet connection

Safe and Easy Internet Access: The Hassle-Free Way to Protect your Network from Internet Threats

While I was listening to a recent interview with the respected Eugene Kaspersky, where he expressed the idea that most of the company’s employees will not have Internet access soon, I was reminded that many companies completely separate their internal networks from the Internet, providing Internet access only from separate machines, and I decided to express my thoughts about this aspect of information security.

The practice of completely isolating a corporate network from the Internet is good enough. According to many IT professionals, it is the best way to protect corporate data. However, in addition to its high cost of implementation, this method has another very significant drawback, namely increased hassle when using the Internet. A lack of easy access to the Internet entails not only direct losses due to reduced employee productivity but also indirect costs, such as reduced employee loyalty and diminished prestige in the work. The result is increased company expenses.

Such a network typically looks like this:

typically network

This scheme completely separates workstations from the Internet. And even if a Trojan is installed on an employee’s computer, it will not be able to transfer the stolen information to the Internet. Such a network also prevents employees from distributing the company’s confidential information without authorization.

However, with all its security this scheme has a significant drawback – inflexibility and inconvenience, because there are only two options: an employee has no Internet access, or he or she is on a separate machine.

There is an interesting Microsoft solution in form of application virtualization called App-V can solve these problems and allow employees to work effectively.

Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) technology makes programs available on users’ computers without having to install the programs directly on those computers. Application virtualization allows each application to run in its own stand-alone virtual environment on the client computer. Virtualized applications are isolated from each other. This avoids conflicts between applications, but still allows them to interact with the client computer.

This could be implemented as follows: set up a terminal server on the DMZ to permit incoming Internet traffic, set up an Internet browser as a virtual application, and prohibit the use of the buffer and local resources through RDP. Also, set up a Remote Desktop Gateway on the DMZ and allow access to it via HTTPS from the company network.

The approximate scheme:

As a result, we have internal network users isolated from the Internet, who use an internal RDG service web page available in the Internet browser, or run an RDP file.

If a user possesses sufficient rights after authenticating, he or she launches the browser, which runs just as if it were being executed on user’s local machine. In reality, the browser is run on a Terminal Server: it only displays information on the monitor, and receive commands from the keyboard and mouse. It has no access to other resources on the user’s computer or the local network. Thus, we have achieved easy Internet access while completely isolating the computer.

Links:

Application Virtualization

Remote Desktop Gateway

Sincerely, the Servilon Team