White Paper – Business Technology
Using a Technology Firm Instead of a "Guy down the Street"
An Interview with Michael J Rule, CEO of CU Tech
It goes without saying that we live in the sometimes frightening age of technology. And while maintaining stable and viable business technology systems is critical for businesses performance and profitability, we sometimes fail to recognize the significance that a fully-trained and certified tech support team can contribute to our businesses...until it’s too late.
I recall when we were having issues with our systems and needed to get them up and working properly, as quickly as we could. I asked our administrative support team to find someone who could come out here and fix the system...inexpensively. This was my biggest mistake. Within 10 days of hiring this "independent contractor "our system seemed to have gone crazy and locked up so we couldn't get anything done. We were in a panic. If this has ever happened to your organization, you know what I mean. Pay very close attention to this interview.
I recently met with Mr. Mike Rule, CEO of CU Tech, a well respected hi-tech service organization in the mid Michigan region, and shared my horror story with him.
RM - Mike, we located the gentleman who seemed to have a lot of experience in the high-tech industry, who was also extremely reasonable in price. I guess you could say it was cheap…because he worked out of his home, holding his overhead quite low, and… well, passed the savings along to us. Unfortunately, that was the theory. It didn't work out that way. But, it seemed that for the price, it was a viable, temporary solution. Or so we thought, and until the system went crazy.
MR - Well, this is a common problem that we tackle every week. The utilization of the "one man shop "or " the kid down the street" is a growing concern in the small and medium business (SMB) world due to the rapid development and growth of new technology.
The amount of training and resources required to stay abreast of current technology and tech issues makes it impossible for the one man operation to keep up. Compound that with the time it takes to maintain necessary documentation and billing for services provided; it is too much for a solitary tech guy meet all these demands. While day to day operations may SEEM to be unaffected by substandard technology service, the impact on business efficiency and profitability can be staggering. Many businesses hire "the kid down the street", or have a "tech guy" that they think will meet their needs.
But most of these guys carry little, or no certifications or specializations. They have no legal protection, no insurance, and they lack the MACRO view of technology and security issues that are at the forefront of today's business environment.
Case in point - We took on a client last year who formerly used the "tech guy". He was there MANY times a week, and technology was always a frustration to this small business. It took us about 8 service calls over 6 weeks to resolve most of their issues. After several months we had only been called out a few times. I recently ran into the owner of the business and he thanked me for all we have done to help them progress. He said, "I had no idea technology didn't require constant attention. "
RM - I agree, and even though we couldn't get him over right away, because he seemed to be a bit stretched for time, he did fix the problem temporarily.
MR - It’s important to remember that just because something seems to work, does not mean it is working properly, securely, and efficiently. You get what you pay for. And the hidden costs can be staggering, but not realized until it’s too late. Bottom line: technical difficulties are inevitable, and unwarranted, extended down time will exponentially increase your net costs, both in lost income as well as downtime for system repair & data recovery.
RM - We learned that one the hard way. But it seems that there are so many of these contractors who seem to know a lot about technology...until a week later when systems go haywire. How can we know that we have the right one?
MR - Utilize a technology firm with a FULL range of staff. Be sure the firm has specialists, such as Network and Security Engineers, System Administrators and a wide variety of Technicians as well as Help Desk Services.
Utilize Custom Managed Services so that all your technology issues can be handled with one phone number. Tech firms are versed in multiple software platforms and can offer integration solutions for disparate systems, such as integrated communications and true customer relationship solutions.
A "Certified" Technology firm can offer competitive rates and package deals; they offer maintenance agreements, block hour agreements and service contracts. These firms have the resources to tailor their services to specifically meet your needs. You don't need the constant worry of wondering about your system integrity. When you let certified professionals manage your IT, you can concentrate on what you do best...running your business.
RM - So, what's the bottom-line, Mike? What are the guidelines an SMB or any size firm should follow?
MR - It's easier than you think, Randall. The use of a full service technology firm can streamline your processes and systems, increase profitability, and integrate multiple solutions to meet your business needs. Make certain that they provide your employees with quality tools and the outstanding support they need, so they can confidently do their jobs without technology distractions. A "Certified" technology firm has the expertise and resources to work seamlessly, helping your business to flourish and be more efficient.
About Randall W. Montalbano
A veteran of over (40) years in advertising, marketing, channel management and business development, Randall is a recognized leader in the development of successful B2B and B2C marketing, sales, advertising, branding and positioning strategies. having achieved the level of Third Highest Rated Marketing Professional in the world (out of 330,000) on the leading marketing website in the world - www.marketingprofs.com.