Typically in the IT support industry you will be offered support in 4 different varieties.

1. Pay as you go support.

This is as it says you call up and then you pay for what you use. Typically you will have a lower priority than contract support clients of the IT Company. The service you get will be just as high however and with modern remote support technology you will get immediate support once you reach the top of the queue. Some IT support companies do not offer this level of service and they will only engage support clients.

You don’t have to pay if you don’t use the service; you are in control of your expenditure.
You will have to wait until you reach the top of the queue. You will not review any proactive
monitoring unless you request it. Your costs can be very variable and if you have a major problem
the costs can become high as you are often left with no choice if your business is suffering. Typically
you will not get any business development advice again unless you ask for it or if you pay for it.

2. Unlimited Telephone and Remote support

This is where you enter into a contract and you can call your support company as many times as you
want and they will provide support typically by taking control of your PC or MAC or even you
blackberry!

You will typically get priority over pay as you go clients. Some of your costs will be fixed. You
will get support in the first instance at no extra cost which means you can call in without worry
before you get yourself in a big mess by trying a “self fix”. Some level of preventative monitoring will
often be included.
You will have to pay for onsite time as an extra. Your costs can be very variable and if you
have a major problem the costs can become high as you are often left with no choice if your
business is suffering. Typically preventative maintenance is not included.

3. Unlimited Support with on-site and preventative maintenance

This is where you enter into a contract and you can call your support company as many times as you
want and they will provide support typically by taking control of your PC or MAC or even you
blackberry! They will also come on site on a regular basis to perform trouble shooting and
preventative maintenance

You will typically get priority over all other clients. Most of your costs will be fixed and in any case evened out over the year. You will get support at no extra cost which means you can call in without worry before you get yourself in a big mess by trying a “self fix”. Active preventative monitoring will often be included. You will typically get review meetings and IT advice included. 7 steps to choosing the right IT support company Page 7 of 9
You may find that you are paying too much when you don’t need much support, but this is often mitigated when you experience a serious problem or have a major upgrade and your support requirements are high again for a period it evens itself out over time.

4. Pay for then draw down support

Most companies will allow you to buy blocks of hours that you can draw down when you need them.
Typically you will have a lower priority than contract support clients of the IT Company. The service
you get will be just as high however and with modern remote support technology you will get
immediate support once you reach the top of the queue. Some IT support companies do not offer
this level of service and they will only engage support clients.

You don’t have to pay if you don’t use the service; you are in control of your expenditure.
You will have to pay upfront so it’s not great for cashflow but you do protect yourself against rate rises. You will have to wait until you reach the top of the queue. You will not review any proactive monitoring unless you request it. Your costs can be very variable and if you have a major problem the costs can become high as you are often left with no choice if your business is suffering. Typically you will not get any business development advice again unless you ask for it or if you pay for it. Some schemes of this type have a time limit on you using the hours so you may lose them making it a false economy.