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Customer service

Why don’t we provide managed services?

or how not to get ripped off when you outsource your Mac support

Business owners who run Mac-based offices, take heed. This blog post contains information that can potentially save you thousands and possibly tens of thousands off of your annual IT budget.

There are hundreds of managed service providers serving small and medium-sized businesses in New York City. Typically for a per-user or per-device monthly fee, you will get all-you-can-eat IT support. This might sound good on the surface, but this business model goes squarely against MacMaven’s ethics. We strive to do what’s best for your business, and not what’s best for MacMaven’s income. In my opinion, an MSP model for a typical Mac-based office is a complete crock. If you’re paying a monthly fee to an Apple consultancy, chances are your managed service provider is making an enormous profit on not working for you. Allow me to explain.

Despite what an MSP salesman will scare you into, when a Mac is properly configured it tends to run itself. A decade or more ago, Mac maintenance was complicated. Mac techs were used to running DiskWarrior to fix hard drive disasters. Extension incompatibilities would cause random crashes. Bad fonts could wreak havoc on your system. These days are long over. Today, macOS is extremely reliable.

When something does go wrong, it’s usually a routine matter. Let’s take a simple example. MacBook Air drives frequently fill up. An MSP would typically charge $2000 to $3000 annually to support this hypothetical MacBook. That’s quite a lot to spend if storage space is the only problem a client faces all year. In fact, it’s more than the cost of buying a new MacBook Air. If this company had hired MacMaven, this type of job is usually handled in an hour or two. After we perform housekeeping, chances are this Mac will work beautifully for years to come. An MSP will continue to bring in fees, month after month.

MacMaven designs networks, servers, and information security solutions to be robust. We want everything to practically run itself, and in most cases, it does. No sales pitches after the work is done, no guilt trips. We’re happy to earn our income on the work that we did, not the work that we didn’t do, MSP-style.

We provide a helpdesk service that’s billed in 15-minute increments. If a client has a question that’s under five minutes, we typically bill nothing. We value our clients and consider ourselves a partner in their success.

I’ll end this blog post about a review that I read about one of our competitors, an Apple-focused MSP. The reviewer asked his MSP about upgrading his server and the MSP told him it couldn’t be done. When the reviewer questioned this, the MSP owner had a fit. After some heated discussion, the MSP owner proposed a $30k to $50k solution. What???

If the reviewer were a MacMaven client, this conversation would have gone very differently. First, we would have examined the server’s system resources to see precisely where the problems were. Next, we would have discussed various options to upgrade his server, such as additional memory or storage. (You can plug blazing-fast external storage into any modern Mac.) Lastly, we would propose reasonably-priced options if the server reached the end of its useful life. Most small businesses do great with a server solution costing under $5000, with labor. And sometimes much less than that. MacMaven doesn’t want its clients spending more than they need to.

I hope this blog post was informative. As Sy Syms used to say, an educated consumer is our best customer.

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