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Why no middle ground?

Updated: Apr 21

Image of fork in the road with only two directions

Unlike many IT providers, Northrock continues to offer support to clients where the Managed model is not an appropriate option. We call this "Casual Support", where clients can pick and choose what service they want and when. While it's not ideal, it fits the most important criteria for small and emerging businesses: budget.

But we don't offer a hybrid model, that includes managed service tools, but none of the labour. Some services that fall under this category include:

  • Managed antivirus

  • Managed backups

  • Remote monitoring and management

While we did offer these tools at one point (we called it our "Monitored Plan"), we found the lines between what was included, and was not, were far too blurry and difficult to standardize.

Just one example

Is the failing backup due to the software and thus included in the managed backup service?

Or is it due to an operating system issue which requires billable work to fix?

Then communicating why those charges are on the invoice and sometimes having to justify the time spent in remediating it. Sometimes clients request that we seek approval before commencing work

Not an indictment of the client

And we totally get it. When you are working with a vendor and a set of services are included, you expect those services to covered completely. We work the same way and have similar expectations of our vendors!

Where the issue lies is that these services are not standalone and are embedded as part of the I.T. environment. Without an "everything included" approach, Northrock does not have enough control over the infrastructure and environment, nor the freedom to choose what labour options to perform.

Lowest Value Solution

Another reason we don't like the hybrid model is it's the lowest value for our clients. They are paying for the tools to have a proactive environment, but the labour to make it so is not included.

When everything is included (the Managed Support plan), and the client is free from having to think about approving labour spend, we are able to spread the costs of troublesome issues across all of our clients.

All or Nothing is Best

While it took us some time to become comfortable with the concept (we really wanted to offer a hybrid solution), it is clear this is the best way for us to support our clients.

  • Clear boundaries

  • No confusion

  • Simplicity


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