What Could You Do with a Block of Professional IT Services Hours?
January 22, 2017
Customer Service, IT Services, US Signal
There are always “those” projects — the ones you try to plan for but often find you really don’t have the time or in-house expertise to take on. Maybe it’s your initial foray into cloud computing, requiring the migration of a few workloads to a new cloud environment. Perhaps you’ve finally received budget approval for putting a DR plan in place. Or maybe you’ve been tasked with examining your entire IT environment to identify opportunities to improve operations.
Enlisting the assistance of a third-party company’s IT Services team is a great option in these situations. In fact, it was these kinds of situation faced by US Signal’s customers that inspired us to launch a Professional Services division in 2015. Its team acts as an extension of a customer’s IT staff on an as-needed basis, easing the burden of project and operational issues.
However, there’s still the financial factor that comes into play. Professional services aren’t free, and IT departments often must cover both day-to-day operations and those special projects that arise within tight budget parameters.
To help customers take advantage of professional services more cost effectively, US Signal now offers block hours. A block of professional services hours functions much like a retainer. Customers sign up for a pre-determined block of hours that they can draw from any time during the 12-month contract period.
Block hours provide greater flexibility in terms of budgeting, billing, and service usage. Because they purchase block hours upfront, customers get them at a discounted rate, making them more cost effective. The upfront purchase also enables many customers to incorporate them into their annual budget.
The hours then can be used for pre-planned projects, such as database migrations, with a statement of work (SOW) and estimates provided before work commences. They can also be used for IT support requests and general IT consulting. In the case of those special projects that arise that require more expertise or time than an in-house team has, companies can simply tap into their block of professional services hours to cover the outside assistance.
So, what could you do with a block of professional services hours? How about:
- Database services
- Server and application projects
- Data center and cloud migration and inboarding
- DR planning
- Networking needs analysis and planning
- Hybrid IT strategy planning
If you’re interested in learning more about US Signal’s professional services — whether on a project-basis or in terms of a block of hours — let us know. US Signal is here to help.