Guest Column | September 11, 2013

Managed Service Myths Break-Fix VARs Believe

By Douglas R. Grabowski, Jr., managing partner of Grabowski Group Inc., ASCII Group member since 2010

In the last few years, technology has matured to the point where its utilization has become truly ubiquitous; smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other computing devices have effectively transformed us into an “always-on” mentality. With this change in thinking, so too must our technology management solutions. Gone are the days where a client can endure days or even hours of downtime; the expectation, especially with the consumerization of technology, is that everything will work, all of the time. Clients are smarter, too, they don’t want to pay anything more than they have to. Hard to have it both ways; however, transitioning your business from a break-fix model to a managed services one is easier than you might think. Let’s look at some common misconceptions, and how to affect change with your business and your clients.

Myth One: Managed Services Cost More Than Break-Fix For The Client

The most common myth is that clients will pay more than they currently do for break-fix services. Sure, a break-fix invoice is only given when there’s an issue, but that’s inherently aligning your interests away from the best interests of the client. “Emergency” rates that are double or triple the normal hourly rate tend to off-put the client, and penalize them even further for their outage: they can’t perform their business, and they pay extra. Not a good idea!

Surprisingly, managed services costs are always less costly than break-fix, especially when you factor in the true cost of downtime and outages. Remote tools (monitoring, administration) and proactive prevention of major issues actually makes the client more productive. The perceived (and real) value to the client is that you’ll fix their issues once, the first time, before they become issues to the client.

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