The very nature of working in the IT industry, means that lots of things we do to facilitate the smooth running of our customers’ IT are invisible. We like to think we’re making things run so smoothly our clients don’t even notice, but often that means people express surprise at some of the more behind the scenes things we do. We wanted to pull together some of these things into a post so you can see what we’ve been up to in 2019 – Prodigy past, Prodigy present, and Prodigy future.
We’ve been asking you for your opinions on our service, and making positive changes to see some of your suggestions carried out, as well as a few tweaks of our own, these are things we have already carried out.
Introduction to patching policy Our patching policy is an agreement which sets out how we deal with updates. Conducting updates at the same time each week at a time which suits our clients means we can minimise disruption and it’s clear to the client what we are doing and when giving them confidence and knowledge of what to expect.
One of our aims is to reduce the fear often associated with IT. One way we’ve decided to do this, is by running seminars. Our first one was earlier in the year with the topic of ‘making the most of your IT’ and the feedback from attendees was great. We’re looking to do more in the future, really focussing on the areas of IT that business owners struggle with. With that in mind, if you have any suggestions of topics you would like to see us cover in either seminar or webinar format, please do get in touch and let us know!
Upgrade of our Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tool This is the tool our engineers use for managed clients, in order to monitor client networks which often allows us to spot potential issues before it affects your work. Our upgrade means it’s much easier for us to monitor complex networks, so as our clients grow we’re able to continue our support with the same levels of customer service.
Internally introduced SIMS and FLOWS
As the team grows, we want to make sure that everyone is on the same page with how we do things. As a team we’ve identified key processes across the whole of the business, and Aden and Ryan have spent time mapping out flow diagrams for everyone to follow. Not only has this made it easier when someone is on holiday, for example, but having an accessible collection diagrams is really helpful for new team members learning how we do things.
Improved invoice layouts
Tracey has been working hard to improve invoices. It’s now really easy to see what each chargeable item is with improved descriptions, and the new layout means the invoices themselves are much shorter.
Added a chat facility to the website
We have added live chat to our website, which has been great for new client queries in particular.
Introduce advanced call recording features
With our VoIP system, we can now offer unlimited storage for a fixed price over a period of time, for example, 1 month of unlimited storage for £2 per extension. Users can pause and resume calls, and it allows browser playback eliminating the need to download files.
Overhaul of the project process When earlier in the year some of the project feedback we received was along the lines of ‘we’re really happy, but we felt the process was a little disjointed in places’, we wanted to make sure we examined our project work in detail and implement improvements so that going forward, it’s seamless. We now assign projects to dedicated engineers who book in the work themselves, to reduce the number of departments a client is dealing with regarding projects.
Introduction to MSA (Master Service Agreement) and SoW (Statement of works) This means we only have one agreement for all of our services and then typically single page SoW’s. This simplifies things as once the MSA is signed then we just have to issue short and easy to understand SoW’s depending on the services required.
Improvement of onsite audits There is now even more information we collect when we conduct our onsite audits, and more measures in place to ensure the IT is kept tidy.
Continuous improvement of monthly team meetings We continue to take feedback from the team, and ensure everyone is on the same page by covering areas such as our values, new technology, and service delivery.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we have a few things currently in progress.
Upgrade of Anti-virus software
One of our promises to clients, is that we ensure the software and programmes we use and recommend are highly regarded within the industry. When a new product comes to market and claims to be better than what we’re already using, we like to test it ourselves to see if the claims stand up. This is why we’ve decided to move away from ESET, and use BitDefender instead. We’re currently in the process of contacting clients on managed support agreements and swapping the AV programmes for them.
Focus on rolling out Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is essential for increasing security. It means when logging into your exchange, you and your team need to verify who you are. This can stop all kinds of attacks and malicious attempts to gather data.
Introduction of Helpdesk Manager in addition to the Technical Manager
Many of you will already know Chris, who is one of our Remote 2nd Line Engineers. He is going to be Helpdesk Manager, providing an extra point of escalation and looking after the team to make sure everyone’s happy that tickets are being dealt with.
Technical Microsoft certifications All of our engineers are currently working on Microsoft certifications which will allow them to gain an even deeper and up-to-date knowledge of Microsoft products, as well as being a required element for working towards our Gold Microsoft Partnership.
We’re not stopping there! We also have further plans going forward…
Overhaul of the client control panel
We want our clients to have the best experience possible, so we’re overhauling our client control panel which we’ll be able to give users access to. This will allow them to raise tickets, monitor progress, and see invoices. We’re also aiming to have conditional questions prompting users who are logging tickets for more information, and it will suggest things that they might be able to try themselves to minimise disruption to their work-day!
Formalise Backup policies
Similar to our patching policy, this will lay out what we are doing for clients in terms of backups. How often we’re taking them, how long they’re retained for and what exactly is being backed up.
Formalise Managed hosted exchange policies
We are also looking to revise our Hosted Exchange policy, so it covers things like retention period of deleted inboxes, as well as standardising user add and remove procedures.
Gold Microsoft partner
We’re already a silver partner, but we want to shout from the rooftops about the dedication of our team to delivering Microsoft products spectacularly well. What better way to display this and further earn the trust of our clients than with professional recognition from Microsoft themselves?
Cloud & Data Centre Investment
We are planning further investment into our Bournemouth-based data centre and cloud solutions technology. This will allow us to increase our cloud offering, improve performance, and continue to increase security.
So, there we have it, a behind the scenes glimpse at some of the things we do that you may never have even realised! If you would like to find out more about any of the things we’ve mentioned, or you have any suggestions of improvement of your own then please do let us know and a member of the team will be happy to have a chat to you and pass on your suggestions.
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