It can be tough being part of an in-house corporate IT team. User demands are often unrelenting. Everyone wants the latest software solutions and updates rolled out with the speed of a smartphone application.
If an application doesn’t work, it’s your job to fix it – now. If software isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, it’s your job to do something about it – now.
Meanwhile, management expects you to unlock the full functionality of new and existing software to improve ROI and value. Optimal application performance is a given. Of course, all this is in addition to everything else you are responsible for doing to solve business problems and keep your company productive and competitive. There’s also a good chance that you have to perform this juggling act amidst staff and budget cutbacks.
Things were supposed to get easier as more companies adopted Microsoft’s productivity tools such as Lync, SharePoint® and Exchange. To some extent, they have – at least in terms of business efficiencies, capabilities and the all-important exchange of information throughout enterprises. For IT staffs, however, these tools represent just more line items on a to-do list.
What to do? One solution is to outsource application support to complement and enhance in-house capabilities, fill in gaps or to provide primary administration and support. Don’t think of this option as a threat to anyone’s job. If anything, it can help your IT staff become more productive.
Handing off support for applications like Microsoft Lync, SharePoint and Exchange frees up in-house IT personnel. Rather than spending time installing new software, rolling out upgrades, putting out fires and doing any of the number of other tasks associated with application support, staff can focus on core business activities – the kind that build revenue and impact the bottom line.
Outsourced application support also provides you access to expertise that is difficult to maintain internally, especially when your staff is expected to support a wide range of technologies. It’s the job of third-party application support specialists to stay on top of the latest capabilities and the tricks and tips for maximizing performance.
Plus, with this outsourced expertise, there’s no need to hire hard-to-recruit, expensive-to-keep specialists to manage applications like Microsoft SQL Server® – applications that require high-level expertise but seldom require a 100% allocation of manpower.
Then there are the cost benefits. Application support services typically come with predictable service costs, enabling you to have certainty over support costs, which are typically less than for employing expensive resources in-house.
Happy internal customers represent yet another benefit. Users don’t like waiting for new software or functionality. Outsourced application support can help better manage upgrade cycles, reduce delivery bottlenecks, rollout new features and improve the way teams work together by maximizing the capabilities of new functionalities for applications such as Exchange, Lync and SharePoint.
So what should you look for from third-party application support services?
1. Expert support all the time.
Look for a company that offers technical support every minute of every day, and not just any technical support. You want access to experts who are at the forefront of the technologies they support, can keep you on top of all the latest developments and provide you with best practice recommendations.
You want support for all your Microsoft applications whether they are hosted on-premise, in the cloud or using a hybrid solution.
You want clearly defined processes and response times guaranteed in SLAs. If something does go wrong, you’ll feel better knowing your application support provider has the incentive to fix problems the first time and to eliminate recurring issues.
Your First Stop
Not sure where to start? You are already at the right place. Peak 10 has continued to ramp up its application support services. They’re worth checking out – along with a full spectrum of managed services to help relieve you and your staff of the burden of day-to-day management of IT operations and infrastructure.