Integrators’ top five service plan snafus
There’s no question that, if executed properly, business models that include service plans and incur recurring revenue can be profitable, adding to the technology integrator’s bottom line. Most modern service plans will have the ability to remotely troubleshoot equipment over the client’s IP network. However, many technology integrators don’t know how to get started and, if they do launch a service plan program, encounter snafus along the way. In this month’s IPIQ, we’ll talk about technology integrators’ top obstacles in getting started with an efficient, profitable, and streamlined IP-based service plan program.
1. Billing Woes
When it comes to creating a service plan for your clients, one of the more resource-intensive chores is quite often just sending out the monthly invoices. It’s not a particularly difficult task, but if your business is running on systems geared to bill for time-and-materials projects, you may have no available options for fixed fee, monthly billing, etc.
2. Where Are the Docs?
How often do you take a technical support call from a client and find that important site documentation for that client’s site is simply nonexistent? Your designer may have uploaded some CAD diagrams, but the actual installation notes and other important configuration details are likely still attached to your technician’s clipboard. Many integrators tell us at Ihiji that they have a hard time setting up remote network management at all because of poor, missing or disparate site and project documentation. Finding that missing documentation is like finding that missing sock in the laundry.
3. Lack of Information for Support Calls
Support calls are a challenge for all technology integrators. Quite often, you are paying for a support tech on the phone, who must first determine whether the client calling is even covered to receive support. Are they still under your annual warranty? Have they purchased a client care plan, remote managed services or other remote monitoring package? If so, which level of service do they qualify for?