A Helpdesk is only 50% effective without an engineer dedicated to bringing your IT in line with standards.
Since the move away from break fix IT, the industry has worked to reduce reactive IT support through consistent technology alignment and standards. A root-cause fix or preventative measure does more for business continuity than the same IT support conversations.
The expectations placed on IT companies have greatly increased in recent years, with pressures on time, budgets and system uptime to name just a few factors. As a result, IT companies have had to create new models and ways of delivering not only outstanding IT support, but also all other elements of a Managed IT Service.
We believe the only way to increase the predictability of IT systems is through regular proactive improvements which follow a proven system, including scheduled visits and engagement beyond IT support or helpdesk tasks.
Every Microbyte client is assigned their own NetAdmin (or Technology Alignment Engineer) who’s responsible for continuously keeping their technology and systems inline with our exacting standards. This doesn’t just cover physical technology, but also basic business processes, such as on-boarding and off-boarding users, data storage locations, compliance around user permissions, and many more elements besides.
Regular scheduled site visits to perform health checks
Standards alignment visits with 100+ point checks
Analysis of recurring issues with permanent corrective action
Identification of improvement areas to ensure development
We'll assign you your own dedicated NetAdmin engineer
You'll get an engineer who understands your sector and learns about your specific business requirements
Without a NetAdmin, a growing business will struggle to stay on top of their IT requirements. You need a proven system and high level involvement that goes beyond an IT support team or Helpdesk. A NetAdmin helps you control the direction of your IT and predict your business needs, rather than reacting to support tickets and system changes.
If your business has taken the important step of signing up to a managed service agreement, you might have heard the term ‘NetAdmin’ or Network Administrator.
In this video animation explainer video, we refer to NetAdmins as ‘human clipboards’ and while it’s not my favourite way to introduce myself at parties, it does give you a pretty good idea of how many checks are involved in my role.
Microbyte’s NetAdmin process covers a range of questions that we’ve developed and built up over years to make sure we’re always on top of what customers need, and what they should have on their radar. This is why NetAdmins need to be experienced and embedded not only in IT but in their clients’ industries too. Not only do you have to have years of experience and training, but at Microbyte, new NetAdmins only do solo site visits after three months.
I’ve been in IT for about six or seven years – five of them with Microbyte – and even in that time the industry and clients’ needs, have changed a lot. However, some fundamentals will always apply, and the first one is to understand the value beneath the checks.
Tom Kenney joined Microbyte five years ago as a support engineer. He’s now a NetAdmin and works closely with clients to ensure their systems are running smoothly, while addressing amber flags before they cause problems. He explains what a NetAdmin does, and why it’s vital to your business processes.
When you think about IT from a managed services perspective, you’re not just delivering IT support or building knowledge around codes, commands and firewalls; you’re in fact working hard to understand (and help your client understand) what that technology can deliver and how it benefits clients and their customers. As a NetAdmin, I always have to dig deeper with each line of questioning:
If you can see the amount of damage even a simple thing like a phishing email can do to a business, that is why the deep questioning is important. Business impact is always at the forefront of my mind. Sure, seemingly non-urgent items on a checklist might seem like ‘nice-to-haves’ but what’s the impact if they’re left for too long?
What’s the impact of two small issues together, and how might those problems present themselves in real terms? Yes, there are lots of boxes to tick, but it’s not a tick-box exercise.
Microbyte’s aim is to stamp out support for our customers, and that means ensuring your business has strong foundations which we continue to strengthen and plug as your business and technology evolves. Everything we do and implement isn’t, believe it or not, to make money; it’s to reduce support, and to make sure people are safe and secure. A basic network check might cover the firewall being up to Microbyte standards in terms of open ports?
But, what is a Microbyte standard in terms of open ports and has it changed since the last check? IT security standards are ever-moving targets, and that’s why it’s important that everyone understand what it is they’re trying to protect.
The NetAdmin process is very much geared to supporting non-stop improvement, and a non-stop push to meet standards. The only way to achieve this is with constant customer and team engagement. I need to not only make sure I’m communicating with the client’s decision makers, but also with Microbyte’s support team, so that they’ve got all the information and tools they need to be able to deliver that support.
Being onsite is vital to the role, because that’s where seemingly insignificant details and conversations reveal themselves to be vital to longer term projects or might hint at underlying issues or best practices that aren’t being followed.
Of course, there’s no point in making checks if we don’t build solutions, which is where Microbyte’s internal collaboration comes in. If I can’t work something out onsite with the client, I go back to team, often having a discussion with the VITDs, and we come up with a solution, and that’s how things improve and progress.
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