This is a long one to explain, my response times vary depending on the problem and how busy I am and what time of day it is!
Typically I am always available for work. Like 24/7/365!
If I am emailed with something minor I might not act immediately but if there was something critical I am sure my response times are much better than most IT Service companies can achieve.
So if one of your servers has gone offline and you are unable to work I will be immediately available. First of all remotely and then if needed I will head over on my motorcycle. If this happens and you call me and it goes to voicemail then it is helpful if you call a couple more times, text, email, hit me with everything and I will know something needs urgent attention and will get back to you straight away. For something that is stopping you from working I aim to give you that immediate support, other IT companies will offer 4 hour response but I can respond immediately and can usually get to you within an hour.
It really depends on the problem, if a computer fails but their is another computer in the office that can be used instead then we have time.
What about out of hours?
For my clients I often work out of hours, most of the time this is because it is less disruptive for me to work on things while people are not working. If I get a call from someone late at night I will know it is urgent and will help. I have at short noticed gone to offices and peoples houses to help with problems when they are travelling early the next morning ( wouldn’t want them to miss a flight or cancel a new business trip! ).
I have 24/7 access to 5 of my clients, they give me keys so in an emergency I can get it and fix things with minimal downtime. I usually setup monitors and will know if something has broken, on several occasions over the years I have despatched myself out of hours to fix a server so it is operational for when people need to work.
What about when I go on holiday?
I usually take at most one week off during the year. Laptop comes with me! I usually hold off making any big changes to critical systems for a couple of weeks before I take time off and usually things are fine. I admit I have been caught out a couple of times but as I learn your systems so well and everything is documented I am able to do a lot for you without physically being there. I can pretty much talk through with anyone on how to fix things for me, in the past this has included:
- Replacing a failed network. Took about 2 hours to talk through with someone to diagnose and then swap out a network switch. Not bad when you consider you might have had to wait 4 hours for an IT Service company to even diagnose the problem. Once they were operational I then from holiday found a replacement product and arranged for it to be ordered so I could fix properly when I got back.
- Replace graphics card in computer that had failed (and was urgent), managed to talk through with them to safely shut down their server to borrow the graphics card and then install into their own computer!
I have a lot of patients and with my notes can talk through pretty much anything, if it is really bad I can make a few calls to a few people I know to fill in for me but since 2005 when I started it has never happened (and actually, never while working in-house as sole IT since 1997!). I admit there is something wrong with my ability to shut off, I can’t not have my laptop fairly near me or be out of internet access. As soon as I arrive on holiday I make sure I know where I can get on the internet and will buy sim cards from different networks to make sure.
What about when I am sick?
Easy, don’t get sick. Even if I was sick, you have to be really sick to not be able to sit up to a laptop.