IT support refers to various services that external entities offer to clients of certain technology-related products or services, usually on a cost-reimbursement basis. In the broader context, IT support also offers help regarding particular issues with a particular product or service, and not necessarily offering customized support, provision, or programming of the said product, or any other support services. Support services can be extended to include product testing (for hardware and/or software), repair, upgrading, and other related processes. Support services can be offered in many forms. They can be custom-tailored according to the specific needs of the customer. Some of these include e-augmentation of the client’s existing managed IT support offerings, creation of a completely new IT support offering from scratch, and provisioning of a hosted image of IT support software and infrastructure.
As per the business requirements of the client and the resources of the IT support group,
there are different levels of IT support offerings. There are two primary tiers in most companies – the first is the basic contract level, which provides basic IT support services such as guidance on upgrades and new installations. The second is the extended warranty or recovery/remedy support, which extends warranties on products to a number of years. This is often used in business and industrial environments that require very long-term IT support. Under this tier, there are additional services and benefits that may be available to the client.
One of the most common IT support companies today is Microsoft. Their technologies encompass many aspects of information technology, including server management, desktop management, networking, operating systems, networking solutions, security, information technology infrastructure and many more. Microsoft’s website provides complete details on their IT support services and their offerings. At the time of going through their website, you will come across sections on Information Technology Management and Information Technology Services. It is one of the simplest ways to know if the IT support company you are hiring specializes in managed services for Microsoft.
A managed service provider, on the other hand, provides IT support on Microsoft technologies only. As an example, a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCE) would be the person who would provide technical support for Microsoft technologies on site. A Microsoft Information Technology Product specialist (ITSP) on the other hand, would be the person who provides IT support services only. The specialist may provide software, hardware, virtualization, networks and so on. Both types of IT support professionals are experienced with Microsoft technologies and have specialized training in deploying and managing servers, networks, workstations and other software and hardware solutions for Microsoft technologies. They are professional technical support professionals who are specialized in technical matters such as information technology policies, security, compliance, and other related matters.
Microsoft licensed technology, especially Windows, is very expensive. In most instances, on-demand support is provided by Microsoft licensed professionals to help customers with their computers and other software. Many organizations today are looking for managed services, IT support professionals who are able to provide technical assistance and advice in accordance with the requirements. These professionals are experienced with information technology policies, security, procedures and other related matters. Most companies hire such on-demand support professionals who are able to provide assistance within budget.
Organizations that require IT support are also in need of technical assistance
such as solving network problems, fixing software applications, troubleshooting hardware issues, detecting and correcting system errors, obtaining references needed for software and hardware purchases and assisting the end user with problems using the products. The first type of support which is off-site support is provided by IT support professionals who can be located at the customer’s location. This type of IT support service can be provided via telephone, e-mail or a combination of both. Technical documentation that needs to be supplied by the customer in order to resolve issues is the first type of documentation that needs to be provided.
- It is also important for the organization to keep in mind that all the services provided are for specific purposes
- and can only be fulfilled by certified technicians who have been licensed by the relevant industry associations.
- This helps to ensure the high level of customer satisfaction and keeps the organization safe from any illegal, technical support activities.
For example, it can be assumed that an off-site technician has provided support and advice when resolving a hardware or software problem; however, if the same technician is unable to solve the issue when it is because the user has provided incorrect information or provided incorrect specifications, then the end user will have to obtain a second opinion or referral from another source.
A typical IT support team consists of a team of desktop and data recovery technicians along with one or two IT support experts who are proficient in Microsoft Windows platform. These technicians are usually located in a remote office, where they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The IT support experts have the option of performing a single task or performing a set of tasks to resolve various problems for end users. There is also a tier one technician who is skilled in troubleshooting hardware problems and can perform tasks that require specialized knowledge. However, this skilled technician is not called upon to provide solutions for software issues.