The best ticketing software helps tech support resolve issues faster and allows managed service providers to offer a better service! Here are seven excellent IT ticketing software solutions that will optimise your IT support:
ManageEngine’s ServiceDesk Plus is a solution that helps an IT managed service provider with advanced automation options of many processes.
The project management module supports tracking of any number of IT projects and helps with planning. Ticket routing, prioritisation, and escalation options make it a favorite of many IT teams. The IT ticketing software automatically informs users about any changes to the status of their tickets and reported issues.
The analytical capabilities help link recurring issues to the root cause and eliminate their occurrence permanently. The knowledge base keeps the ticket inbox decluttered through self-service for end users.
BMC’s Remedy Service Desk is the best option for an IT managed service provider who caters to enterprise users. It provides MSPs with a comprehensive service management suite that can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises.
Their incident management with service impact analysis is their best feature. It helps IT staff see how problems and incidents affect business systems.
Problem management detects recurring incidents and helps trace the cause.
Knowledge management delivers the required information directly to users and staff.
This service desk supports a multichannel report of incidents and issues via email, web service, self-service, social, or chat. Pricing is provided per request.
Freshdesk is a solution that can work for internal IT departments, but it’s actually an IT ticketing software that’s better tailored for an IT managed service provider. Customer tickets are processed in a swift manner thanks to ticket workflow optimisation, routing, ticket response automation options, and service level agreement (SLA) management. The IT team can collaborate on a single ticket and resolve complex issues faster.
There’s a free plan available, while other tiers span from $19 to $89 per agent per month.
Zendesk is one of the best-designed ITSM solutions out there. Asset, problem, and incident management are done via a ticketing system that includes all the tools an IT team needs: ticket priority, tracking, and resolving have powerful automation options.
Everything is available from a central interface: on-premise information and third party apps, as well as self-service options and workflows, which makes it one of the best ticketing software designs available.
There’s a free trial and five price tiers that span from $5 to $199 per agent per month.
Jira Service Desk is available as a cloud-based or on-premise solution that includes problem, change, and incident management, while the self-service feature helps users resolve tickets on their own by accessing a knowledge base.
The most notable feature includes the ability to link the Service Desk IT ticketing software to software issues, so the required IT experts will be notified about the issue faster.
There are two price tiers: $10 for up to three agents, and $20 for four to five agents, and discounts for larger groups.
This is a cloud-based IT ticketing software that offers a wide array of features: from help-desk automation and IT asset management, all the way to performance analysis and monitoring.
Their incident report and service request modules, as well as their remote control capabilities, are their strongest features. They help track and resolve issues quickly. Their ticketing system is extensive and includes incident management, knowledge base, and a self-service portal, and incidents can even be reported via email. The tickets can be assigned automatically to the most appropriate IT professional, while escalation rules ensure all tickets are addressed in a timely manner.
The pricing is available from the vendor per request.
The best ticketing software helps resolve IT issues quickly but also plays a proactive role: by analysing incident reports, problems can be eliminated before they cause large-scale issues by tracing the root cause.
If you need help managing your IT support, contact us to discuss a quote.
Before hiring an IT managed service provider you need to make sure they are GPDR compliant, and capable of making sure your business technology is compliant too. You can’t afford not to.
With the recent GDPR regulations that came into effect in May, no matter how big or small your business is, you still need to comply.
But, that’s not all.
Under the GDPR, any 3rd parties that handle sensitive information on your behalf are processors, and your duty is to make sure they know their responsibilities too. Your service provider falls into that category. Here are 10 signs that indicate they have taken the appropriate measures to be GDPR complaint as well.
1. They can answer your questions on GDPR and how it relates to technology.
Your GDPR compliant IT managed service provider (MSP) should be able to provide clear answers to any inquiries related to the GDPR. They should have details on the type of data they manage and how it’s being stored, processed, and protected.
They should be able to explain what steps they are taking to ensure that data is safe, and they will be able to provide you with proof of how they are doing that.
Then, they should be able to explain how they can help your specific business do the same.
2. Their GDPR compliance is reflected in their contracts
To ensure that they are compliant, your managed service provider should have included GDPR principles into their contracts. Since they are exchanging data with you, the contract should reflect the GDPR regulations. If you have an ongoing contract with your MSP and it wasn’t updated yet, contact them ASAP and demand the update.
3. They are ICO registered
Most MSPs will need to register with the ICO, some will need to pay a fee while others won’t. Only data controllers have to pay the fee, and if that applies to them you should be able to find them on the ICO public register.
Note: It’s highly likely they will need to be registered with the ICO. However, this is not always the case with every business. If they aren’t registered they should be able to demonstrate why they are exempt.
4. They honor new personal data rights
GDPR clearly states that individuals are the owners of their data and have specific rights pertaining to their data:
They have the “right to be forgotten” and can request that all their data be erased. When such a request is received, it should be solved within a month.
They should be informed about any usage of their data.
They have the right to request copies of their data.
They also have the right to correct any data collected on them.
MSPs should have policies in place that honor every single one of these rights. Although this places an extra burden on how they are handling data, not adhering to it can jeopardise them and the data they are processing.
5. They understand GDPR compliant tools
Since your MSP regularly exchanges data with you and others, they should ensure that data can never be accessed by an unauthorised party. This can be done through encryption and other security policies that keep data safe wherever it is.
Now imagine your MSP is storing data outside of the EU – their data centres are located in the US. Because they are still handling data from EU citizens, it still falls under the GDPR jurisdiction and should be treated as such. This means that no matter the location, that data should be protected in a compliant way.
7. They have updated their own practices
It’s easy to say you’re compliant but often companies will still be using their original bad practices. For example, automatic opt-ins, ignoring erasure requests, or using old lists without the proper consent.
8. Understand their own processes that collect and store data
Your MSP should be able to tell you which stages of their process they collect data, how it’s stored and in what way it is used. That should be part of their road to compliance. If they can’t they may not have been as thorough as they first appear.
Signs Your IT Managed Service Provider is NOT GDPR Compliant
1. They say “GDPR doesn’t apply”
This can be a major red flag. Because in most circumstances it will apply to some degree or another. Those who aren’t compliant often use this as an excuse but ignorance won’t stop their fines (or yours) if you work with them.
2. They aren’t willing to sign data processing agreements
A data processing agreement is needed for data controllers to use a data processor under Article 28. If this applies and your MSP is unwilling to sign, AVOID!
3. They have a ‘GDPR certification’
At present (Dec, 2018) there is no form of official GDPR certification/qualification or body of official training that gives this any weight. Of course, there are many training programs which can be helpful in providing education, but you cannot be ‘GDPR certified’ or ‘GDPR qualified’ as a company (yet.) This ‘qualification’ or training does not equal compliance.
Hopefully this has made it easier for you to determine the fact from the fiction when it comes to finding a GDPR compliant IT managed service provider!
If you wish to make sure your data is safe and compliant, we can help. Contact us today and let us help you set up the highest security standards for all your data requirements.
The omnipresence of technology is bringing some exciting new hospitality tech trends that we can’t wait to see put into action in 2019. As one of the least innovative industries and yet highly customer-facing, the hospitality industry is slowly seeing the need (and customer want) for increasing technology.
In addition to improving customer experience, new technological solutions also contribute to the improvement of inner operations and management. From staff having their very own digital assistants to offering personalized hotel rooms, here are some of the coolest trends that await us in 2019.
1. Digital Assistants in a Business Use Capacity
Although voice processing and speech recognition became available in the 1990s, it still couldn’t process or deliver natural speech patterns which made usage difficult and affected user experience.
Since then, we’ve now got Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, Samsung’s Bixby and Microsoft’s Cortana as the main digital assistant contenders.
You can give out commands to schedule meetings, book travels, voice queries all the while preserving your natural speech pattern.
The hospitality industry has caught on to the rising trend of voice recognition technology and is incorporating them into their offering in three ways:
Booking & Ordering – On websites or booking pages, there’s no need for longer drop-down boxes or code, instead, users should soon be able to speak their needs and this be picked up by the location from their end. It saves time, energy and is much more user-friendly.
Customer Services – Digital assistants may become part of hotels the same way they do in our homes. They can integrate seamlessly in a hotel to offer guests a new innovative level of service. Controlling room temperature or light settings with their voice as well as order room service or choose from a list of additional purchases, all without having to call or click a button.
Daily Management – Digital assistants aren’t just to benefit customers, but staff too. Daily tasks, like taking food orders, scheduling room cleaning, staff rota organisations, or internal memos could be handled by digital assistants. This will leave the staff with much more time for relevant guest interactions and ensuring everything is up to highest standards.
2. Personalised Hotel Rooms
A personal touch is the most important one in the hospitality industry, and it’s good to see hospitality tech trends focused on it. Many resorts and hotels are incorporating high-tech solutions that enable guests a fully personalised experience during their stay, with the ultimate aim being that the room feels like home as soon as guests connect their devices. This means that guests will have access to their documents, music, and streaming services, and they will be able to control environmental settings such as room temperature or lights.
The Hilton hotel chain is at the forefront of integrating personalisation options with their Connected Room experience, which enables various room controls through their mobile Hilton Honors app. The guests will have the options to set their preferences even before they arrive at the hotel, so the room will be fully tuned to them once they enter.
3. Robotic Cleaners
Automation has taken the world by storm, and it’s currently sweeping (pun intended) through hospitality too.
It has even reached the kitchens, with automated orders being just the start, and the latest development being robotic cooks doing the brunt of the work. However, over 50% of consumers are not fond of this trend and would rather not be served by a robot. There is no replacing the human element when it comes to cuisine. On the other hand, more than 80% of them are sure that robots will be cleaning restaurants soon.
This trend is already present in hotels, who are seeing a surge in robotic help with cleaning operations. While many consumers already have a Roomba in their homes, the robots helping in hotels are a bit more advanced. Maidbot as an example – named “Rosie,” has LIDAR detection to efficiently avoid obstacles and is fully autonomous in operation.
The Radisson Blu Hotel in Delhi employs a fully automated pool cleaning robot that not only does its job exceptionally well, but also uses fewer chemicals. While it can do most work on its own, if there’s a spot that requires extra attention, it can be controlled remotely too.
4. Biometric Data Analysis to Suggest Travel Destinations
Biometric data has become a standard in many areas today, with many mobile phones and notebooks having face-recognition software and fingerprint scanners. Hotels have also embraced this technology to personalise experiences for their guests.
When a guest is recognised as soon as they enter the hotel or restaurant, their overall experience is improved, which will make them more likely to return. Oracle has conducted an extensive research on customer preferences toward new technology in hotels and restaurants and found out that:
“31% of restaurant guests and 41% of hotel guests will be more likely to visit an establishment with greater frequency if they are recognised by an employee without having to give their name or show a loyalty card.”
The truly revolutionary way to use biometrics in the hospitality industry goes toward knowing what the guests would enjoy most even before they are aware of it. Accor Hotels has introduced Seeker, an installation that suggests travel destination based on behavioural analysis. Seeker records and analyses heart rate, skin responses, brain waves, and behaviour to stimuli presented through its LED panels, waterfall, pillars, and a video board. The installation then suggests perfect destinations based on those responses.
5. Efficiency Wearables
According to Oracle’s research on hospitality tech trends “Hotel 2025,” smartwatches and fitness trackers have become as prevalent as mobile phones. While currently wearables are used to describe smartwatches and bands only, the term actually encompasses any type of accessories that can be fitted with computational capabilities.
One prediction states that wearable tech will be a disruptive change in hotel management. Staff schedules and training would be done through wearable tech, with other predicted uses being guest access to hotels, guest orders, payments, and staff access to workstations.
Some hotels are already implementing wearables, where guests can opt for a wearable device instead of a key card and access the hotel and their room with a simple wave of their wrist. Some hotels, like Westin, even offer sleep monitoring wristbands to ensure their guests get good sleep.
Hotel Alessandra in Houston, Texas, has adopted wearables for staff management and improved their hotel operations efficiency. Staff can be notified about tasks that need to be done much quicker, improving their response times.
It’s amazing to see the extent of technology’s effect on the hospitality industry and we can’t wait to see more innovation developed for the industry in the future.
The hospitality industry is starting to embrace digital solutions, with hotels being in the forefront of the industry. Still, many hospitality businesses downplay their IT requirements. For instance, they are still reluctant to open their doors for IT managed service providers in hospitality.
Hotels, hostels, resorts, bars, and restaurants assume they will see no benefit from investing into IT. Their main argument being that they don’t have the time or money to hire and keep IT staff. This is where an IT managed service provider (MSP) can help.
So, here are some of the things, we deal with and take off the plate of our hospitality-based clients.
1. Be Your IT Supplier Liaison
Whether it’s an equipment failure that needs repairing or replacing, software and domain licenses that need renewing or simply negotiating the best deal for tech rentals (think printers etc.) we can help.
As a managed service provider, we act as the middleman when it comes to dealing with suppliers and 3rd parties to talk their lingo and get things sorted as quick as possible. It’s a time saver, and chances are we can save you money long-term with supplier agreements.
2. Provide 1st – 3rd Line Support
Many MSPs provide various stages of support, from 1st-3rd line. Whether you need on-site assistance or a dedicated number to call, your MSP should have it covered.
Unsure of the type of support you need?
In the case of minor IT issues, you can access 1st line support and talk to general help desk operators that will guide you through the troubleshooting process. Common 1st line issues are related to email passwords and account access.
For more complicated IT issues, 2nd line support takes over, for example, a non-critical issue with your equipment or tills.
3rd line is your specialists who are trained in your specific systems. They are often the most qualified and certified and deal with complex or emergency issues. For example, your POS system going offline during service.
3. IT Management
If you already have an IT team but are struggling to tie it together in your operations and strategy, an MSP can help here too. A hospitality IT managed service provider can deal with your entire IT infrastructure, or just part of it depending on what you need.
They will proactively monitor your IT operations, assess the current efficiency, and suggest improvements and integration options to ensure the highest uptime and optimal data flow between systems. So that you’re making the most sales and providing the best customer experience possible.
4. Backup Solutions
The hospitality sector handles vast amounts of data, and with the introduction of digitalisation and the internet of things (IoT), the amount of data will steadily increase. It includes everything from sensitive data and credit card information to info gathered from your guests and customers that helps you segment them. This allows you to follow the latest trends, and offer personalised experiences, all the way to complex automation operations.
IT managed service providers in hospitality will take proactive steps to ensure all your data is safe in case of system failure, power outage, or natural disaster by using a cloud-based backup and disaster recovery system. This system ensures you have access to your data at any time, no matter what circumstances. It’s a reliable solution that offers better safety and protection than you could set up in-house. Check with your MSP to see which backup vendors they partner with, for us, it’s Microsoft Azure.
5. Handle Wi-Fi Security
It is very common to find unsecured or badly secured networks in the hospitality sector. Many restaurants and bars have unsecured Wi-Fi or use the same Wi-Fi that they offer to their guests, which leaves them vulnerable to security threats, most notably hacking and data breaches. To ensure the highest security, your MSP will establish a secure Wi-Fi network throughout your entire establishment or chain that only your staff will have access to, with a fully separate POS network solution.
They can also ensure the protection of your customer data and improved experience by setting effective customer Wi-Fi.
6. Ensure Compliance
While compliance in hospitality is traditionally tied to things like food safety, IT systems bring about their own set of compliance regulations to be followed. Your MSP will ensure that your technology and software solutions are compliant with government regulations (like GDPR) by utilising secure systems like Microsoft’s Azure Information Protection. They can also help with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance for your POS systems.
7. Standardise Equipment
A very common practice for medium to large enterprises is to standardise equipment to reduce costs and make maintenance and upkeep easier. But, for smaller businesses, this isn’t often attempted, because people don’t know how.
Your IT managed service provider can standardise current systems as well as oversee purchases to make sure they really are necessary and compatible with your current systems. Having this in place will allow for better monitoring, applying updates and reducing response times.
8. Offer Cost-Effective Solutions For Better Customer Service
Your MSP is more than just IT support. They are IT professionals with specific knowledge of your industry that follow the latest trends. Their goal is to align with your goals and help you offer an amazing service to your customers. In hospitality specifically, your IT managed service provider can advise on ways to improve customer experience through technology, whether that’s free Wi-Fi or even marketing beacons.
9. Facilitate Expansions
When opening a new venue or location, your MSP can help fit in the IT seamlessly with your design plans so you can future proof your venue. From simple tasks like outlets and power supplies to the larger, more intricate technological planning, expanding to meet the same IT standards you have currently has never been easier. For example, we liaise with contractors and project managers during construction to make sure IT specifications and planned equipment are tailored to.
10. On-Site Upgrades
Whether your equipment is due an overhaul or you’re in need of repairs, your IT managed service provider can implement them on-site with minimal effect to your customers. Often they can work out of hours to deal with upgrades at less busy times, but if not, they understand how best to proceed with the least impact. Luckily, when you hire an MSP they normally have notifications and analytics to check to deal with these upgrades ahead of time before anything goes wrong. But, even if issues occur, they are dealt with easily and swiftly.
11. IT Budget Management
All businesses out there have a limited budget, and it can be hard to determine just how big the IT budget of a business in the hospitality sector should be. The industry average suggests around 2.5% of your turnover should be spent on technology, but this will vary depending on the type of business you have.
IT managed service providers in hospitality will assess your current situation and offer a detailed overview of where you can save money and how. This will most commonly include software and hardware standardisation across all your devices and establishments. Additionally, hiring an MSP for your IT requirements means that you will pay them a fixed monthly fee, which is considerably lower than paying for specific IT services when something breaks down, when you need a major overhaul of all systems or emergency fees when you need something done quickly (that could have been prevented.)
12. Meeting and Function Room Setup
Do you make income from function or meeting room rentals? Improve your technological capabilities, become an innovative location for events and not only provide a better experience, but charge more!
Your MSP will inspect your meeting and function rooms in detail and suggest the needed technology and software to implement so they are fully equipped for social gatherings, ceremonies, or conferences. They will also offer their services to the party that booked your meeting/function rooms and help with the setup.
13. On-Site Repair and Maintenance
While traditional IT services offer maintenance and repairs only when you request it, managed service providers conduct proactive monitoring. This helps them spot an issue early on before it becomes a much bigger problem. They will repair and maintain equipment on-site as soon as they detect issues to give faster turnarounds before it breaks completely.
This also means you don’t have to sit on hold to a helpdesk who try to explain how to do the fixes yourself! It just gets done!
14. New Software & Hardware Audits
An MSP will continuously research new software and hardware options to see if they are viable and relevant to your business. An MSP has the required industry and IT knowledge to assess new software and hardware and determine whether they would benefit you. Often times, restaurants and other key players from the hospitality industry opt for solutions that might be a good fit for their needs but are not compatible with their current systems. An MSP will ensure that the tech solution you choose is compatible and won’t cause major disruptions during or after implementation.
15. IT Consultancy
Some IT managed service providers in hospitality won’t include consultancy, but we do. From consulting on IT equipment and device policies, to making innovative improvements to your security or processes that ultimately help you make money!
All of these tasks aim to improve your customer service and ability to sell to customers or maintain that relationship. Technology is overlooked in the IT indsutry, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.
With most industries actively embracing digitalisation, the need for having IT staff is more prevalent than ever before. Still, not everyone has the required means or knowledge to set up and manage their IT infrastructure in-house, or enough time to research the best options for their specific needs to keep up with innovation.
The hospitality industry is no exception. Many don’t realise the reliance on technology within the hospitality industry, but with booking and ordering systems, restaurant wi-fi and networks and cloud storage for venues with limited space (just to name a few) it’s more important than ever to stay on top of it.
Plus, hospitality means people. And with the GDPR regulations and the emphasis of increasing data protection from customers, you need to protect your business and technology.
Unfortunately, IT support often doesn’t follow suit here, with security threats and potential problems becoming more prevalent issues within the industry. While established players often have a dedicated in-house IT staff to manage all their needs, not all have the means to do so, and some don’t have the technical expertise to deal with this challenging industry. This is where managed service providers come in.
What Is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
A managed service provider (MSP) is a company that specialises in the management of IT infrastructure and systems for their customers. This management can either be remote or done at the customer’s office. Most often, it is offered as a continuous service for a set monthly fee.
It is different from traditional IT support because it not only covers reactive maintenance, i.e. maintenance when something goes wrong, but also proactive services and system monitoring, as well as cybersecurity, IT consulting, and upgrades. It is a flexible service that adjusts to the needs of each client instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution.
For example, if a hotel already has good booking solution that can easily handle peak times during holiday season, they will not need infrastructure maintenance, but they might require additional services with their staffing software. A good MSP will adjust to meet these needs.
What Does a Managed Service Provider Do?
Managed Service Providers cover a broad range of IT support – from infrastructure maintenance to incorporating automation, handling security and compliance matters, or migrating to a new platform. The range of services differs between industries – and even in the same industry – and depends heavily on the needs of each client. An MSP will always provide a fully customisable solution and can do the following:
Automate routine tasks
Provide maintenance for your entire technological stack
Monitor IT infrastructure to ensure all systems perform optimally
Develop technological strategies to address current issues
Do preventative maintenance to detect loss of efficiency and catch issues early on
Implement new technological solutions that scale with your business
Future-proof IT systems by upgrading legacy software
Apply system and software upgrades and patches to ensure system and data safety
Deliver responsive support so that any major IT crisis is resolved quickly
Handle data storage and disaster recovery
A managed service provider helps you focus on your business while taking care of your IT systems. They are more than just IT professionals – they align with your goals and ensure your IT capabilities don’t hold you down on your journey to reach them.
Why You Should Work with an MSP
Employing a managed service provider helps businesses stay on top of the latest technologies and security requirements. MSPs help by identifying flaws in IT systems, operations, or infrastructure and working out the best solutions to improve overall business efficiency in a cost-effective way.
For example, a restaurant needs to sell more seats, not always have the latest fancy equipment, so an MSP will help identify the best option within budgets to suit the individual needs of the client.
They allow businesses to quickly implement new technological solutions and adapt to rapidly changing business environments (particularly when there is a change in legislation.)
They work with their clients to achieve the ultimate goal: ensure the best guest experiences and cultivate guest loyalty.
Here’s some of the ways they do this:
You Get Access to Fully Customisable Solutions – MSPs offer cloud-based infrastructure solutions meaning if you open (or close) a new location, your solutions can be upgraded or downgraded easily to match!
They Improve Your Efficiency and Give You a Competitive Advantage – MSPs have the resources to immediately begin working on specifically tailored solutions that are then deployed and integrated with your existing systems. This process is much faster than it would take to do the research, development, and implementation in-house from scratch. For example, if you wish to update your data storage and improve security systems to keep all guest and consumer data safe, an MSP will do that for you.
They Help You Plan Ahead and Predict Expenses – They help determine peaks in your traffic and help you prepare for it by adjusting your infrastructure to withstand the higher demand. For instance, if you have peak reservations and stays during holidays, your MSP will ensure that your network can carry the increased visitor load and handle billing efficiently.
They Lower Your Business Costs – Instead of using a one-size-fits-all solution that has elements you will never need, you will only pay for services you use and nothing more. In addition to this, they eliminate the costs of hiring, training, and retaining in-house IT staff or hiring emergency or temporary staff only to fix or update your systems. Plus, because they are often on a contract, you get a better rate than if you were to hire an ad hoc IT consultancy firm.
They Eliminate Issues Quickly – Because MSP resolve issues daily, there are a few unknowns left. When your business has an IT issue, they will be able to solve it quickly as opposed to an in-house IT employee who might have never had to deal with that specific issue.
They Help You Focus on Your Business – All businesses have limited resources and focus available, hiring an MSP helps you focus your attention to where it’s really needed – your core business. Leave the IT decisions to them.
They Handle Risk and Compliance for You – Shifting markets and financial conditions make every business decision a risk. MSPs have the required expertise and industry knowledge to choose the best possible strategy. In addition to this, they can help you remain compliant under technological and data protection legislation. .
They Keep Your Systems and Data Secure – A good MSP will ensure your systems are fully secure and up to date on security patches. They will handle PCI compliance standards for online payments and reservations, ensure your firewall is active, and your guests’ data and sensitive information are safe.
Who A Managed Service Provider Would Suit Specifically
Managed services are used through a broad range of industries but are particularly effective in the following:
Hotels, resorts, restaurants, and bars have embraced digitalisation and are striving to offer the best online and in-house experience to their guests, from the initial landing page all the way to booking, reservations, and payment options on the day.
The key challenge to success in the hospitality industry is providing the perfect customer experience. And innovative technology helps you get there.
A growing number of hotels and other key players have migrated to cloud software to improve their business operations and get access to data analysis capabilities to detect trends and potential customers. On top of this, in restaurants or hotels where you can’t have large equipment or server racks, it’s an effective space saver too.
Because the hospitality industry handles vast amounts of sensitive guest and customer data, they require the right security solutions and must ensure they are compliant with government regulations (like GDPR.) Financial transactions play a big role, so having safe IT security is the prime objective.
Smaller hospitality establishments often don’t have fully equipped IT teams available, so complementing their existing team or relying on managed services for all their IT needs improves their IT security and quality, gives them access to newest software, and helps them compete with big players.
Small Business Owners and Start-Ups
Small and medium businesses, as well as start-ups, often struggle with keeping up to date on newest IT solutions. It takes a lot of time and money to keep their IT professionals on top of the newest trends and solutions which are often things that a startup doesn’t have.
Managed Service Providers help SMBs and start-ups with a full suite of IT services that are customised to their needs, goals, and preferences. This brings down overall costs and distributes them evenly throughout the year thanks to fixed monthly fees. Plus, business owners and start-ups get access to the latest tech and software solutions, as well as security options.
Companies With Unfavourable Opening Times
Any company working 24/7 knows that IT costs can run high because you have to hire a team to rotate so you have someone on site. Telephone support only goes so far and hiring emergency IT professionals when something goes wrong can be difficult and costly to fix if they don’t know your business or setup.
Employing an MSP gives them access to IT monitoring and support around the clock, which eliminates overtime pay or shift costs for internal IT staff. MSPs can complement and manage on-site IT staff as a standalone solution.
Things To Look For In A Managed Service Provider
A good managed service provider will have the required industry knowledge, qualifications, and certifications to back up their expertise. When choosing an MSP, look out for the following:
Qualifications and Certifications – The MSP of your choosing should be up to date on industry-specific knowledge and have experience working in your field. For example, those working in the hospitality industry should look for an MSP who provides cybersecurity solutions that are compliant with GDPR (if you or your customers are in Europe.) Ensure that the IT professionals who handle your infrastructure have the required certifications, but also experience working with your frameworks.
Partnerships – For example, an MSP who is a senior Microsoft partner will suggest they have the knowledge, expertise and vetting of Microsoft to work with their systems. Meaning you have peace of mind that they know what they’re doing.
Pricing, Range of Services, and Customisation – Depending on your needs, you will be able to choose what services you need and which ones you don’t. The right MSP will be flexible and understand your specific needs. They will listen to your goals and get to know your business before offering their services. The pricing options should reflect the services that you will use, and those that you won’t should be excluded from the price. Most commonly, you will be offered a monthly retainer based on the service and level of support that you need.
Service Level Agreements – A good MSP will offer a service level agreement (SLA) that determines all the details, such as quality and performance metrics that should be met, details about liability in case of performance issues or outages, a list of services and responsibilities offered by the MSP, and a framework to resolve service issues.
Availability – Always choose an MSP who provides flexible assistance that includes remote monitoring and emergency support. If possible, opt for one with a local presence so that their professionals can visit your office if needed.
You’ll learn: The main vulnerabilities of a home or small office – including what to look for and how to combat them. Understand cyber security threats and what they look like at home. How you can make sure you’re GDPR compliant at home! How to protect yourself in the event of a breach
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