Managed IT Services After-Hours Support: Answers to 4 Common Questions

As a business, nothing raises your blood pressure like a problem in the middle of the night that brings your production or operations to a halt.

managed services after-hours response
A problem that brings your business to a halt needs to be addressed immediately. Your MSP can help.

However, if something goes awry with your IT, this is a real possibility.

If you don’t have a dedicated IT team, handling daytime IT problems can be taxing but doable. However, it’s the need for IT support at any time of the day that can be challenging.

When you’re calling your MSP at 2 a.m., that is not the time you want to stop and think if your MSP can handle your problem.

At The KR Group, we’ve been there with customers during these situations. We’ve seen the panic on your face as you calculate how much money you’re losing. 

And, we know that all you want is for us to resolve the problem so you can resume production.

So while you’re thinking ahead, we want to preemptively answer some of your questions:

  1. Is after-hours support included in my contract?
  2. What can after-hours support be used for?
  3. Will after-hour support be on-site or remote?
  4. What is the response time for after-hours emergencies? 

By answering these questions, we hope you see not only the value of a managed services contract, but it also gives you some peace of mind that with an MSP, you won’t be alone to handle your urgent IT needs.

Is after-hours support included in my contract?

The answer to this, of course, depends on your contract.

Different MSPs have different contract options, but all should have the option for after-hours support.

This is something you’ll want to review with your MSP when signing a contract.

If your MSP includes after-hours support in the contract you sign, then you can call for support at any time and it will be included in your monthly rate.

However, if after-hours support isn’t included in your contract, you can still call for assistance. You’ll just see a separate charge on your monthly invoice since your subscription doesn’t cover this service. 

If your subscription doesn’t include after-hours support, we recommend you annually set aside 5% of your monthly managed services cost to cover unforeseen after-hours issues.

What can after-hours support be used for?

Most MSPs ask that you reserve after-hours and holiday support for IT emergencies. This means the IT problem needs to stop production, affect the majority of your users, or have no workaround.

This allows the on-call engineer to remain available for other businesses that do have an issue that requires immediate attention.

A common example of an after-hours emergency is the failure of an imperative component of your IT infrastructure where there is no redundancy. 

If the issue doesn’t affect many of your users, doesn’t halt production, or has a simple workaround, you’ll be asked if the issue can wait until the next business day.

Will after-hours support be remote or on-site?

Many software issues can be solved remotely – saving you and the MSP engineer the time of driving on-site.

However, some problems, specifically ones related to hardware, require the MSP engineer to come on-site to address the issue.

Generally, the on-call engineer will try to work with you to resolve the problem remotely first, but, if your after-hours support includes on-site support, an engineer will come on-site to resolve your IT issue. 

What is the response time for after-hours emergencies?

The exact response time for your MSP engineer for an after-hours emergency is dependent on whether the issue requires on-site or remote assistance or where your business is located in comparison to your MSP.

While an exact response time is hard to predict, within 30 minutes of requesting IT support, your MSP should confirm they’ve received the service request.

On your MSP’s end, if the engineer has not called back the customer within the time frame, the manager then receives an alert.

Keep in mind that while your MSP staffs highly knowledgeable engineers, some more technical problems may still require the on-call engineer to escalate the request.

What does after-hours support look like?

A managed IT services contract comes with 24/7 availability — or at least the option for 24/7 availability.

managed services after-hours response
If needed, your MSP will send one on-site to address your after-hours issue and get your IT environment back up and running.

So, if you have an IT issue come up in the middle of the night or over a long weekend that stops production, affects the majority of your users, and has no workaround, you can get your IT environment back up and running.

Not only do MSPs always have an engineer on-call, but they have multiple engineers on staff as well. If the scheduled on-call engineer calls in sick, there is still someone who will be available if you need help.

Additionally, having multiple engineers allows for a path of escalation if needed. At The KR Group, we also have a technical leadership team, who can and has stepped in to help our customers with emergency IT needs.

You should know within approximately 30 minutes that your MSP is working on your service request, but how soon they address your issue depends on location and how they can resolve the issue.

The bottom line is with a managed services contract you can stop worrying about the what-ifs of your business’s IT.

For more information on contracting for managed IT services looks like, specifically with The KR Group, read our free guide.

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