Simplex-IT's Plan for Q1 2018
Usually for the January newsletter for my piece I talk a lot about what happened last year and then talk in broad terms about our plan for what will be happening in the next year. And the next year items are usually not terribly specific about what and when, with a few exceptions.
Boy, not this year. Q1 of 2018 is already moving full steam ahead for us here at Simplex-IT. So I thought it warranted an article all its own. The bottom line is we’re focused on improving. Both in terms of the existing services we’re giving to our customers, and adding additional services.
Oh, plus adding additional customers. Yup, there’s that too<g>.
Here’s what we’ll be busy implementing during the first 3 months of 2018:
Ø Dispatch. We’re looking to add an additional position here, who will be answering phones and dispatching calls to techs.
Ø Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR’s). Ok, technically this isn’t new. We’ve offered QBR’s for years. This is a great opportunity for us to connect with our clients and discuss how their IT plans align with their business plan, and vice versa. The problem is that nobody seemed interested (to be honest, we did a lousy job in promoting it). Starting in October of ’17 we made a stronger push to have them, and we’ll continue this into 2018.
Ø Server patching. We’re finally formalizing internally our server patching processes. We’ve becoming more aggressive in terms of keeping up with patching for both workstations and servers for our Gold and Platinum customers.
Ø SmileBack. We’re going to add a new feedback tool, which will allow (and encourage) customers to give quick and easy feedback on how satisfied they are with our services. We’ll be sharing that feedback with our customers and using it to evaluate our own performance.
Ø Tech KPI’s. We’re starting to track KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) of our techs, with feedback (and incentives) for closing tickets and responding most efficiently and effectively. After a few months, we’ll be looking to add some of the KPI’s back to customers in terms of reports.
Ø Workflow Rules. We’re making changes to automate much of our ticketing processing, helping communicate with our customers (and amongst ourselves) more effectively. An example will be automatically emailing customers reminders when we’re waiting for confirmation or additional information. All in all, the new workflows will help us to provide our customer with better response and resolution times on tickets, purchases and implementations.
Ø Workstation patching. Similar to Server Patching. We’ve been tweaking our workstation patching strategies over the past several months (making them more aggressive but also trackable).
Ø Cyber Insurance. 2017 saw the addition (for our services) of Dark Web Monitoring, IT Policies and Procedures, Cyber Security training and better malware protection. This year we’re going to be offering Cyber Insurance for our Gold, Platinum and CoMITs customers. It’ll be an additional cost, but extremely reasonable, and you’ll actually be working with an agent that understands Cyber Insurance options.
Ø Training Services. Face it, training your employees to use these computers is more important than ever. But the idea of sending them away for full day (or more) training? Pain. We’re introducing a combination of training that will let you be extremely flexible based on your employee needs. Over 90 online courses in topics such as “Email management,” “Word 2016 Advanced,” or “Mastering Quickbooks Online.” And we’ll be available to put together specific training programs based on your organization, or one on one training. All at an extremely reasonable rate.
Ø Book. Yup, it looks like it’s really going to happen. The “launch” date is Friday, January 26th. The title is “A CEO’s Survival Guide to Information Technology,” and it’ll be available on Amazon. Half of the proceeds will go to Blast Glioblastoma, non-profit set up by a family friend to raise funds for brain cancer research (http://blastgbm.com). The book will be around 220 or so pages, and sell for $15.95.
Ø Google AdWords. We’re finally dabbling with Google AdWords. That goes along with the LinkedIn marketing we started in 2017. We also played a little bit in Facebook.
Ø Virtual Reality. We’re changing our seminar tracks a bit this year. Instead my traditional “IT trends for <year>” we decided to change the topic to something a bit more about the future. So we’re bringing in Bill Myers, founder of New Territory (a local VR developer) to talk about Virtual and Augmented Reality On January 24th. You can RSVP for this at www.simplex-it.com/vrseminar.
Ø Partner Webinars. We’re partnering up with a couple of organizations like Wire-Net (a non-profit aimed at improving the manufacturing industry and jobs landscape in NE Ohio) and the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society to provide 6 free monthly educational webinars on Information Technology for their membership.
Ø Invoice reminders. If anyone had looked at our bookkeeping practices a couple of years ago, they’d laugh and wonder why I wasn’t crying. We’ve finally cleaned things up so that not only are we billing on time, but also automatically sending out timely reminders. Sounds like that should have been there for a long time, right? Um…yup.
Ø New Payment Portal. We implemented this in October, but we’ll be pushing it moving forward. We’ve got a new secure payment portal set up where customers can view and print invoices, pay by CC or ACH, schedule automatic payments and all sorts of fun stuff.
And the rest of 2018?
Well, we’ve already got some things lined up for Q2 and beyond. Like seminar topics including IoT (Internet of Things) and the role of AI in security. Another workshop dealing with IT Policy and Procedure development. Without going into details, by the end of the year if we hit our goals I think we’ll end up with as many as 3 additional full-time employees.
Interested in learning more about any of this? Let me know at Bob@Simplex-IT.com!
Sheesh. We’re going to be busy.