When I visit clients and talk about IT, their perception is that I'm going to talk about new wizz-bang services, faster computers, tablets, phones and all the stuff you see in your office that's considered by many to be 'gadgets'. It makes sense because its the stuff you touch, interact with and see every day, but there is a hidden world of IT Infrastructure which is equally as important
IT Infrastructure is the heart of your computer system, not only linking internal PC's together, but then linking your office to the wider internet. These links are increasingly important as companies turn to Cloud computing and links to the outside world for file storage and VoIP telecoms increases, so its not always going to simply be DATA cables, but also VOICE cables mixed together
Traditionally the computer cables, routers, switches and other technical equipment are centred around a Comms Room where tall glass-fronted cabinets contain wires and flashing lights, but in most small businesses this is replaced with a poorly ventilated cupboard under the stairs with a tangle of wires where nobody ventures unless there is an emergency !
Its hard to put over how difficult it is to support a business client where there has been no consideration for this hidden IT world, where things have just been added over time, cables tangled around other cables and knowledge lost on what connects to what; however, in an emergency you'll turn to your IT specialist and they'll be expected to instantly understand this mess and resolve complex issues with minimal downtime to the client.
Abussi takes a pragmatic and practical view on this aspect of its IT support responsibilities for clients and we will often take time that's not invoiced back to customers to 'make good' any problems in the Comms Room. Just this week we completed some long overdue work at a new client who Abussi had taken onboard back in July 2015. The IT infrastructure we inherited was poor, the Comms Room in a terrible state and both IT + Telecom services had been mixed together over time - the result was an almost impossible to support IT infrastructure which needed attention
Early one morning Abussi staff visited to effectively rip out all of the old cable, the old telecoms system (it had been replaced with a hosted IP VoIP system from Abussi), re-wire mains cables so they were not tangled, add a new network switch for extra capacity and finally to bring in some cable management solutions tro ensure the cables remain tangle-free. The work took about 2hours in total and was not re-charged to the client
So what's the moral of this story? Well its simply that your IT partner or support company is making sure ALL aspects of your IT systems are in good order, both the visible 'sexy' bits and the less sexy hidden bits - because you'll need both for a reliable business
Craig Sharp is the owner of Abussi Ltd, a West Midlands based IT Support Service Provider. He can help you and your company gain maximum benefit from any IT investment while providing a professional support service to resolve any day-to-day issues