Frequently asked questions about us and how we work
We'll try to answer in advance many of the questions we have encountered from new clients. If the information you need isn't here, just get in touch and we'll answer your queries quickly and directly.
General information about EC2 IT.
How do we provide support?
Your request, whether it be via email, by phone or in person is entered into our support systems immediately and we begin work as soon as possible. Many of the support requests we receive (more than 75%) are completed while you are still on the phone.
We manage all your requests, projects and jobs (or 'tickets') in our own customised systems so that all records, correspondence and data is kept available for our team to view. This means that all of our staff have up-to-date information about the ticket, and we can ensure that the most appropriate team member gets to work right away.
We can help your users by phone, email, in person and also with your user's knowledge and permission access their computers remotely to carry out any tasks as quickly as possible.
How are we different?
What we do and how we do it is different from the norm. As your managed services/outsourced IT partner we provide a bespoke package designed uniquely to your requirements, and our approach and terms & conditions are so client-centric and different from the traditional model that it can be difficult to make a like-for-like comparison with our peers.
To make it easier we present a comparison highlighting and explaining the key differences as reported to us by our clients as being the most important to them, and why it makes us unique.
How do we know that what we are doing is good enough?
We have documented the standards required to provide you with an outstanding IT Support service in our clear and straightforward Service Level Agreement (SLA) and Client engagement documentation. We can report on any support items on demand. We maintain metrics and reports for internal or external consumption on the responsiveness and effectiveness of our helpdesk. We have an excellent track record of keeping our users productive, and happy and the systems we support running and safe.
We have a multitude of reports to support this claim - but the most important thing is our clients remain with us not because of tables of percentages and numbers and green ticks on reports, but because we're part of their team, take responsibility for all the things they never think of (and don't need to) and we care about their IT and we respect their productivity.
How can we offer a lifetime risk free guarantee?
We can provide a risk free guarantee on our IT support services as it's simply the way our business model has evolved from when we first began. We do whatever needs to be done, produce the documentation for approval and don't invoice until you have reassured yourself that you are happy with the services provided. We review all of our records ourselves first and self-police our charges prior to you receiving them to ensure that you don't get billed for anything that you shouldn't.
We work intelligently and collaboratively and use the best tools available to us to ensure that any request is carried out as well and efficiently as possible.
What locations can we provide support to?
We primarily provide IT support to companies in the City of London and surrounding areas, though we have clients further afield. We are based off Bishopsgate near Liverpool Street Station, and serve the Moorgate, Bank, St Pauls, Holborn, Blackfriars, Barbican, Shoreditch and Tower Hill areas, among others, with ease.
With the technologies we use we can provide an excellent support service from our offices to clients in the EC1, EC2, EC3 and EC4 postcodes and fringes, and all over London.
We can support a client's organisation globally, and do support clients' branch offices in locations from Sidcup, England to Niger, West Africa.
Are we insured (and do we have Professional Indemnity insurance)?
Yes. We are insured through our insurance partners Hiscox who provide a specialist service to the IT Services industry, and have the following levels of cover:
- Professional Indemnity: £5,000,000
- Public and products liability: £5,000,000
- Employers’ liability: £10,000,000
We can provide copies of our insurance certification upon request.
Are our staff appropriately qualified?
Yes. All of our staff receive significant annual training packages and are trained and qualified in all the technologies that we support. Each staff member has an annual development plan to ensure their qualifications remain up to date and that they acquire industry-standard certifications.
We also run numerous internal knowledge sharing workshops, attend vendor specific training, encourage self-directed learning and provide at-desk Computer Based Training (CBT) and knowledge sharing systems for every employee to use at their discretion. We also encourage employee-led R&D projects and workshops to better our understanding of emerging technologies and to enhance our internal systems.
Terms and Billing
What are our terms and conditions and how billing works.
What are our terms?
Our terms are very straightforward. Our Service Level Agreement and Contract are very clear, avoiding unnecessary jargon. They detail our terms and conditions in plain English. A summary of the most discussed points:
- We usually put in place a comprehensive fixed cost support agreement to manage and support your IT, offering unlimited support across a range of agreed services and equipment that you would like us to manage and support
- Whether we have a fixed cost support agreement in place or not, we can work for you on a timecard basis:
- If we have a fixed cost, unlimited support agreement in place the timecard facility would cover additional projects, out of scope requests, or anything you can think of that you didn't want to include in the main contract
- If we are working on a purely timecard based arrangement we remain totally flexible, only charging a minimum monthly billing commitment which is set against time actually worked. The minimum billing requirement is not a 'retainer', and can be as low as 1-2 hours per month
- We can fix the cost of any individual item or project immediately, no matter how small, and bill when suits you (either immediately or month end)
- Our invoice terms are the standard 30 days from receipt of the invoice
- We have modest minimum billing requirements per month for either timecard end user support or systems administration which can be as low as 1-2 hours per month
- Our minimum term of contract is 12 months, after which it can roll over without fuss
- We charge a small mark-up on materials purchases, but still supply at very competitive rates below RRP as we pass savings from our supply channels on to our clients. We derive our profit from our time billing.
- We charge for travel time to site (capped)
- Your rate can flex upwards as out-of-hours project or engineering work is charged at a higher rate, and by the hour, and downwards if you ask us to do a large project or have us attend your offices on regularly scheduled on-site support visits
- Adding access to 24x7 Support to your agreement is easy. A small extra charge is applied to subscribe to the facility and you are then charged on a per-incident basis for out-of-hours support. This makes it affordable to include and fair for those that don't need it
- We do recommend (however it isn't mandatory) a fixed cost annual agreement to carry out routine systems management works to maximise uptime and longevity of your equipment. The cost of our fixed cost recommendations are based on an individual assessment of your requirements and is costed on the basis of the time it will take us to meet the obligations, not on a high per-user or per-device charge
- We tailor the Service Level Agreement to your exact requirements. All or none of the equipment, services (or users) can be covered to whatever degree is appropriate to your needs.
Further details are available on request - please contact us to find out more or to discuss your requirements.
How can our terms be so fair?
We are able to offer such fair and transparent terms as our team remains productive and fully utilised at all times.
When we aren't on the front line providing end user support, all of our team are at some point involved in various client focussed projects, or are carrying out systems administration tasks. Our team is highly, and diversely, trained meaning we don't have people with limited skills 'on the bench' when they are not working.
Do you need to pay in advance?
No. We don't operate a pre-paid 'Pay As You Go' scheme - they tend to work only in the IT supplier's favour. If you don't have a fixed cost working arrangement with us, we work on a standard professional services basis where we bill monthly in arrears for the work we do though we do have a monthly minimum billing commitment based on the size of your company.
We keep you informed at all times of your IT spend when working on a timecard basis, and provide a detailed breakdown at month's end (including all timesheet records and supporting information if required) for your approval prior to invoicing on our standard terms.
We can also fix the cost of any single support request on asking, no matter how small, giving you total control.
Do we have a call-out charge?
No. We don't have a call out charge.
We do charge for the time it takes to get to you as part of the support request.
If we're already on-site with you and we are asked to do more work after we have completed the original request, then you won't be charged for travel time again. Once we're there, we'll complete any work you request.
We don't charge a premium for getting there fast - we treat on-site requests the same as any work we do remotely i.e. we have Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that we work to, but most of the time we exceed them by simply getting the work done there and then when the user contacts us. No one likes to have work hanging around or queued up for later.
Do we require a fixed contract term?
Yes. Our standard contract terms are for 12 months.
We can operate under a fixed-fee agreement, or on a timecard basis with a minimum monthly billing commitment.
We work at all times to be as flexible and accommodating as possible.
What we do and what you can expect from us.
What services do we provide?
We provide a comprehensive range of IT Support services:
- 24x7x365 IT Support, systems monitoring and server/network management
- Open ended end user helpdesk
- Comprehensive Cloud computing solutions
- Backups, IT Security and resilient systems
- Managed services and IT management
- IT Projects and network upgrades
- IT equipment purchasing and software licencing
- Service integration and IT Department support
Do we offer 24x7 support?
Yes. Our end-user helpdesk hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, however we provide IT systems monitoring and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to subscribed clients. You don't have to have 24x7 support as part of your package if you don't need it, meaning you don't pay for or subsidise a service you aren't using.
We carry out a significant proportion of our systems administration and server maintenance work out of hours (either after 5-6pm or at weekends) by prior agreement so as to minimise disruption to users. We can also schedule potentially disruptive projects, at a slight premium, to minimise business interruptions, either in the evenings or at weekends.
Can we work alongside existing IT staff?
Yes. We can work well as the sole supplier of all your IT requirements, as part of a team of suppliers or just as an extra pair of hands when you need them.
If you have an IT resource in place already then we can support them in supporting others; either by providing extra knowledge in areas where they may not have much experience, or just extra manpower when things are busy. We provide best practice advice and guidance when required.
We also provide services and support to other IT related companies, and act as the local support team for foreign IT support companies with London based clients.
Can we support Macs?
Yes. All of our staff receive extensive Mac training. We can support Macs in a Mac environment, or Macs in a Windows environment. We have a lot of expertise in integrating the two systems and the support issues commonly faced by Mac users.
Can we work on-site if required?
Yes. We can work on-site anywhere within London and the City and we can also travel to most locations. We can carry out most, if not all, IT support and technical administration work remotely using the wide arsenal of tools at our disposal, but when we need to be there in person we can be on-site usually within 20-30 minutes, at no premium.
We charge for travel time to site, and on-site visits within our normal office hours are billed as normal at the prevailing timecard rate if on a timecard basis (or out of any fixed cost agreement's scope) and carry no extra charge if within the scope of our fixed cost working arrangement.
We travel to clients' sites regularly, daily if required, and make no distinction between remote or in-person support presence or costs. We provide the best support we can, however it needs to be provided.
Can we provide regular scheduled support visits to clients' offices?
Yes. We can organise to be on-site on whatever days suit you, and for as long you need.
We can work through regular task and housekeeping lists, deal with support queries as they arise or work through a stored-up agreed issue list - we'll remain as flexible as you need.
Block-booking engineering/support time gives your users visibility and peace of mind that your team and systems are being regularly attended to, and can represent a cost saving with a discounted rate.