IT Support Contracts

Posted on 2010-09-22
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hi, I was wondering if someone could help me.

we are a small IT company and are supporting our customers with support contracts, We used to do it by giving them so many hours per month for a fixed sum but now we are looking at doing this on a per pc, per server basis.  We know of a few companies that do this but manage to offer unlimited onsite support and remote support.  We are trying to gauge the write costs I just wondered how everybody else did it? do you include onsite support or charge when you have been onsite? does anybody have a sample IT support contract that they use for comparison, or some kind of template?

Question by:choy77
LVL 95

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 167 total points
ID: 33740751
This is called managed services and the formula varies for what's included and what's charged.  Some companies charge $400 per server and others $100.  but they can be wildly different in what they offer to support.

I'm a member of a NYC area Cosultant group (centered around SBS but that's really just one component that the group uses).  One of our members routinely scours news and magazines for interesting tidbits related to our industry and puts together a nice (long) power point for us to discuss.  Not too long ago, he had a slide about what people were charging and we even had a session on what people offer.  Some offer everything.  Some offer limited service.  My best advice is to come up with a plan of your own and partner with a company that provides monitoring - like Zenith or GFI (GFI Max).

Basically, you're going from a model where it benefits you if your client's systems fail to a model where it benefits you if your client systems never have problems.  The client can appreciate this because now you have incentive to ensure the systems are working at peak capability and without errors and they pay a fixed monthly rate.  To me, the trick is making sure you cover your bases.  If you say $50 per computer per month and I'll fix anything that goes wrong with that machine, you have to define HOW you'll fix it and provide troubleshooting time limits.  If I had that in a contract, I'd have to say something like "Consultant will spend no less than 30 minutes troubleshooting an issue, however, after 30 minutes it is at the discretion of the consultant to wipe and reload the system to resolve the issue.  If you have image based backups (consider implementing a Home Server backup solution for the workstations as well) then such a restore takes 30-60 minutes, typically.  Otherwise, it's conceivable that the client could demand you spend the entire day trying to fix a bug that you frankly have no control over.  (Your exact wording and offering can, of course differ). But these are the kinds of things you have to think of.  (I hate letting problems beat me, but every minute I'm at a client site, if the client is paying me a fixed monthly fee, is a minute I'm losing income.
LVL 33

Assisted Solution

digitap earned 167 total points
ID: 33740929
We don't have a support contract.  We set our clients up with monthly or weekly maintenance.  They pay for only the work we bill and they can end the relationship whenever they want.

Although, we do have a second option.  It requires they sign up for guaranteed billable hours a month.  This gives them an option to buy down their billable rate.  If they can guarantee more monthly hours then their per hour rate goes down.

I don't have samples of the actual contracts.  I don't work those negotiations so I don't have access to the templates.

Assisted Solution

ankur1234 earned 166 total points
ID: 33741522
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Expert Comment

ID: 33741547
One more which can help you, way too complicated but please do not rely on any of these contracts in this post or the previous post.  Kindly consult an attorney as you normally should.  This is my legal disclaimer.  I am not an attorney and this is not a legal advise.

Author Comment

ID: 33879565
Thanks for this, I will get back to you soon.

Author Comment

ID: 34832320
Hi I would like to assign points on this question


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