HonIsT Solutions - A Trusted Friend
Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Andrew, owner of HonIsT Solutions. The name HonIsT Solutions (pronounced Honest Solutions) came to mind during my last consulting job. My employer was a break-fix company, which means we were paid only when a client had an issue. Though we made serious attempts to be proactive in dealing with client IT environments, the business was built for project-based work—installing new solutions. Servicing those solutions only when the client called with an issue, or when it was sensible to make an upgrade. This method is the break-fix model of many IT consulting companies, and it leads to many disappointments in the long run. Two prime examples of such disappointments are:
1. When a major problem would arise, the client would react this way: “You are my IT company, so you should be watching closely to anticipate such problems and let us know the potential impact.” Because of the contract arrangement, a break-fix company typically responds with “Since we have not been charging you to monitor anything, we have not had any resources monitoring your environment.”
2. When the client receives the invoice for fixing an issue, they react with “We were not expecting this bill and did not budget for this unexpected cost”. Moreover, “We don’t think this work should’ve required so much effort to fix, so we do not agree with the amount charged.” Also, “We lost productivity in our business and face financial loss for that downtime, and now I have to pay this bill?!”
This all leads to friction and the business relationship goes sour.
When I set out to form HonIsT Solutions, I wanted my client relationships to be pleasant, mutually beneficial, and trustworthy. My goal is to be proactive in furthering the best interests of my clients. I know that it is important to be well-engaged—with frequent communication. As I was cultivating these ideas and principles, I could see that the IT consulting industry was also moving in this direction. Companies that were making the transition to this business philosophy were identifying as Managed Service Providers (MSP). The business model here is this: An IT expert knows what it takes to have a well-running IT environment. S/he knows that it’s important to monitor, manage, and watch the client environment carefully—every month. The billing arrangement is a predetermined monthly fee to manage a specific environment.
The MSP model is vastly superior to break-fix. Many issues are never a concern to the client, because the problem never arises. Or, it is dealt with before the client is even aware of a potential problem. Avoiding serious problems also gives IT techs considerably more freedom to do what is necessary and what is best for the environment. There is no longer any need to beg the client to make unplanned expenditures. Fewer emergencies occur, and the client’s business runs much more smoothly—on top of a well-running IT environment.
I know with certainty now that the basic requirements of a GREAT Managed Service Provider are honesty and transparency. It’s also important to frequently educate the client on the best IT practices and also explain why we take a specific approach to managing an environment. A simple analogy for being proactive and performing preventative maintenance is much more like “Smokey The Bear”—not a firefighter!
“I know the importance of full engagement and conveying the bare facts of IT management. This led me to give the name of HonIsT Solutions to my Managed Service Provider business.” - Andrew Sonon
How, you may ask, does HonIsT Solutions execute on being honest and transparent? First, it’s important to maintain modern, detail plans that cover all of the services necessary to perform on a monthly and yearly schedule. This is the heart of HonIsT Care for us. For each service or installation event, we document the effort—and provide status reports for all client environments. We also conduct regular assessments with each client. This is an important opportunity to review their current business goals and requirement for the future. We fully prepare and present the advantages and disadvantages of various options from which they make the choice that is best for their company. To ensure success, it’s critical that we put in the time to understand the client and their goals. Then we provide complete information and let them choose the best pathway forward.
Being honest and transparent means that you are caring for client needs in the same way that A Trusted Friend would do. That is the very heart, nature, and vision of HonIsT Solutions. And, while we use many technical tools to help us monitor and manage the IT environments, it is the staff—the Systems Engineers—that execute on this vision every day.
What is Systems Engineering?
Systems engineering is a methodical, disciplined approach for the design, realization, technical management, operations, and retirement of a system. In information technology, a system is a collection of interdependent components that together produce greater results than would be possible with individual components. These components and elements include people, hardware, software, facilities, policies, and documents.
The HonIsT approach to systems engineering
1. Design – An effective systems engineer listens to the client to understand business goals, then designs a technology solution that aligns with and executes on those goals. S/he provides the client with options, cost estimates, and the lifetime expectancy for any hardware or proposed solution.
2. Implementation – This phase includes the procurement of all hardware, software, and services, together with the implementation and cut-over to the new solution.
3. Technical Management – This is the detail planning and performance of the necessary maintenance to keep the system healthy and functioning optimally—over its entire lifespan.
4. Operations – Assisting and helping the people in the organization become trained on the new solution and how best to use it to meet their required goals.
5. Retirement of a System – Understanding that all hardware/software have lifespans and detailing the requirements of migrating to a new system or solution while causing minimal impact to the ongoing operations of the business.
System Components and Elements
1. People – We serve people—our clients and each other. This is the primary motivation for our work. We strive to enable higher productivity by listening, supporting, and seeking their complete satisfaction with our services. We always take care to respond with a helping hand, responding accordingly to requests and empathizing with our clients.
2. Hardware – The physical computing and networking equipment that your people use. Striking a fine balance between performance and capabilities of the hardware with budget constraints. Finding the best of breed vendors in each aspect of the environment.
3. Software – Selecting the right software for the job, with keeping in mind the cost constraints of the environment. The software and the hardware selection process go hand in hand. Finding the best of breed vendors in each aspect of the environment.
4. Facilities – Designing the physical facilities while keeping in mind the requirements for necessary power, data, security, and equipment installation locations. Providing a facility that the client and their customers will enjoy coming to.
5. Policies – Not all things can be taken care of by technology, policies are required as well to provide instruction to people on how to handle and maintain their corporate hardware/software/data. Setting the ground rules and expectations moving forward.
6. Documents – Detailed documents on all components of the IT infrastructure, including serial numbers, warranty information, support contracts, connectivity, and passwords.
An HonIsT systems engineer understands all of the components/elements necessary to make a system work well. S/he applies the practice of the HonIsT approach to create a well-functioning IT system. This, we have found, is the best way to view the “big picture” when making technical decisions.
HonIsT Care – The Support Plans
Our vision is also evident in the HonIsT Care support plans. These are the vehicles by which our Systems Engineers do their best work: taking care of you and your people.
HonIsT Care three tiers
Silver - Server Support — Silver keeps your critical business servers up-to-date, operating smoothly, and running securely. Gain peace of mind when you let us monitor and manage your most important IT asset: your company data.
Gold – Remote User Support — In addition to what we include in Silver, our Gold tier adds network management and end-user device support—which includes desktops and laptops. With this plan, you can rest easy knowing that HonIsT will cover most of your employee IT needs.
Platinum – Dedicated On-Site Support — Platinum is the most comprehensive plan. It includes dedicated days each month with your own systems engineer, and one hour of emergency off-peak support. With Platinum, you get full engagement from our staff—and more predictability in your technology support costs.
We’re here to help you identify what plan will provide the most value to your business.
About HonIsT Solutions
HonIsT Solutions is a managed IT, network, security, and systems infrastructure consulting services specialist firm for small and medium businesses. We are your best local, outsourced IT department—offering personalized technology solutions for you: IT support services, strategic analysis, technical support solutions, network maintenance & monitoring, desktop/laptop/PC/Mac computer help desk, tech administrator assistance, user support, online digital remote or on-site IT services, documentation & inventory, mobile configuration, hardware device replacement & upgrades, software application installations, dedicated systems engineering, client/server setup/updates/recovery, secure VPN & remote access, firewall help, business cloud services, Office 365 support, email migration, enterprise compliance, video conferencing & VoIP phone setup, and more.
Serving Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Berks, Philadelphia, and surrounding Pennsylvania (PA) areas.
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