What is a Grassroots IT Support Agreement?
A Grassroots IT Support Agreement is a fixed price agreement between Grassroots IT and your business for IT support services. This method of engagement is a far better alternative to the traditional time-based billing model, as it aligns the best interests of both you, the client, and Grassroots IT. It means that you can expect outcomes rather than hours billed. We will work to provide the agreed solution every month no matter how long it takes.
Who is a support agreement for?
Think about Grassroots IT as you would your own IT department, but one that you don’t have to house in your office. We’re here for businesses of all shapes and sizes however we are best suited to those that have a heavy reliance on people using computers. So if you have an office of people getting things done, then chances are we’re for you. We’re passionate about the transformative impact that mindful, compassionate, successful businesses can have on their communities. We believe technology can help or hinder your progress in doing the work you really want to do. With Grassroots IT we will work with you and for you to ensure your technology is no longer a source of annoyance, pain or time wasting, and instead helps drive your business forward.
I need more than just IT support and helpdesk. I need advice and guidance on how best to use technology in my business. Can you help with that?
Absolutely yes. In fact, the whole point of engaging a Grassroots IT Support Agreement is so that you can have confidence that the day to day support and management of your systems is under control, letting us spend more time focussing on how best to leverage technology to benefit your business.
How much does a support agreement cost?
Every client we work with is unique, and as such the scope and cost of our support agreements also vary substantially. Factors that influence the cost of a support agreement can include:
- The number of staff in your business.
- The size and complexity of your IT systems.
- The inclusions you would like in your agreement, such as more frequent onsite visits.
Although the scope and cost of our support agreements can vary, our clients regularly find that:
- Annual IT spend is either similar or reduced compared to before they engaged a Grassroots IT Support Agreement.
- IT support costs are substantially less than with an in-house IT team.
- Unexpected financial surprises are reduced with predictable IT support costs, combined with proactive IT planning and budgeting assistance.
- Staff productivity and satisfaction is increased with less IT problems, and ready access to helpful friendly experts when required.
How big is Grassroots IT? What areas do you service? Where are you located?
Grassroots IT was formed in 2005 and we currently have 17 people in the team. We are a Brisbane based company, with the bulk of our staff working from our Wilston office, and we also have a presence in Auckland, New Zealand, and Clark, in the Philippines. We primarily work with other Brisbane-based businesses, although we do service numerous offices and people all around Australia.
What hours does a support agreement cover?
Our standard helpdesk hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm. The main team is based in Brisbane; however, we do operate in shifts as required to provide technical coverage for these hours across most Australian time zones. For this reason, we do usually have technical staff available from at least 7.30am to 6.30pm AEST (GMT+10).
What is the process for when I have an IT support issue?
For urgent issues the best method of contact is to phone us. Your call will be answered by a technical engineer familiar with your environment and we can get straight to work on the problem for you.
For less urgent issues most clients prefer to either log a support request via our web portal, or email us. Once your ticket has been logged, it will be assessed by our technical team, prioritised and dispatched to the most appropriate team member.
Do you provide 24×7 support?
Yes, but not as part of a standard Support Agreement. If you do require 24×7 support, we can definitely add that as an upgrade to your agreement.
What if I have an after-hours emergency?
We do provide after-hours emergency support for our managed service clients on a best-efforts-only basis. After hours rates will apply.
Is scheduled after-hours support available?
Yes. A common request is for project work to be performed outside of usual business hours so as not to disrupt normal business operations. After hours is defined as any time between 5.30pm and 8.30am, Monday to Friday and all day Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays. All after-hours work is billable at after-hours rates.
Some/all of my systems are cloud based. Is that ok?
Yes. The cloud these days is an accepted part of business technology that we are very comfortable and familiar with. Whether your systems are on premise, cloud or a hybrid combination we will happily support it all.
Inclusions & Exclusions
How do I know that all of my IT systems are working properly?
Under a Support Agreement we provide full proactive monitoring and management of your IT systems. If there are any issues emerging, such as backup failures, we will be alerted and will resolve the issue before it becomes a problem for your business. If we become aware of any larger issues emerging that may pose a risk to your business, we will bring these to your attention along with options on how best to address the situation.
What type of work is included/excluded in my Support Agreement?
Your Support Agreement is in place to support and manage your IT systems in their current form. This includes support of hardware, software, the people in your team and third party vendors such as your ISP or photocopier provider.
To keep things simple, we identify all work as one of four different types – Remote, Onsite, Workshop and Out-of-Scope/Project.
- Remote Support is work that we deliver remotely, either over the phone, or by remote controlling your systems via the internet. The vast majority of our technical work is delivered remotely, as it is the fastest and most efficient way of dealing with your issues. Remote support is included within your support agreement.
- Onsite Support is when we physically come to your office to deliver a technical service of some sort, usually because it is not possible to conduct the work remotely. Common examples include the physical setup of a new computer, or fixing a computer that has crashed in such a way that we are unable to remotely control it. We recommend including at least a regularly scheduled onsite visit in your support agreement, although this is optional. Some clients prefer not to include any onsite support in their agreement, but simply to pay an hourly rate for any onsite work required.
- Workshop Support is technical work delivered in our workshop. Common examples include hardware upgrades to computers and complex virus or malware removal. Workshop work is included in your support agreement.
- Out-of-Scope/Project is all work that falls outside of the agreed scope of your support agreement. Most commonly this is work that constitutes a material change to your IT systems, such as the installation of a new computer or server, or the deployment of a new software package. Once the Out-of-Scope/Project work has been completed the changes will then be considered an accepted part of your IT systems and thus generally fall in-scope for all future support. Out-of-Scope/Project work is not included within your support agreement. In some situations, we may be able to offer a fixed-price quote for the work required, otherwise all such work will be billed at an hourly rate.
We have a very important piece of software that we use. Will you support it too?
Yes, but we are only able to provide level one support for third-party applications. If the issue is more complicated, we will happily escalate the matter to the software vendor and work with them on your behalf to resolve the issue.
We already work with another company for our internet/printers/copiers/etc. Will that be a problem?
Not at all. In fact, we will work with these other companies on your behalf if there are ever any issues to be addressed. We call this Vendor Management, and it’s a core part of what we do for our clients.
If I hire an additional staff member does the support agreement cover the setup of their new computer?
No. This is a new device being introduced to your network, and therefore work required would be billed separately. Once this computer has been setup and configured it would then be considered a “covered device” and future support would be covered by the agreement.
What about if we replace an existing computer with a new one? Would this be covered by the support agreement?
No. As with adding an additional computer to your network, this too would constitute a new device being added to your network, and therefore work required would be billed separately. The only difference is that we would also be retiring the old computer at the same time.
What if we already have a computer in place, and we just need new user accounts setup and configured? Is this covered by my Support Agreement?
Yes. As there is no material change being made to your IT systems, the setup of new user accounts, and the configuration of an existing computer for the new user is included in your Support Agreement.