How are we different?

How are we different?

 

Our approach is refreshingly unique

We provide an extremely high quality of service under exceptionally flexible terms. See below for how we compare to the industry standard.

There's a lot to take in. When we set out in 2006 our mission was to rewrite the rulebook when it came to how SMEs were supported - we've worked hard to set ourselves apart and work in a way that we would like our suppliers to work with us. That's why we are able to offer a risk free satisfaction guarantee on all of our work.

 

Service Levels and Services Offered

 

 EC2 IT Limited 

vs. The Industry norm

Service
Level

We only operate one Service Level. We provide the best service we can, all the time. We deal with support issues as they arise and don't differentiate between small and large clients in terms of how well we support you.

You never have to join a queue to speak to us, and we don't charge a premium for being on-site in minutes if needed.

 

Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper, Tin... Having different services levels available for different rates simply means that a company is willing to not work as hard if it's not worth as much to them. 

 Services
 Offered

EC2 IT offers a complete solution for your IT and communications needs, whether you want us to comprehensively manage your every IT requirement or just need on-tap IT support and consultancy.

We can manage all current IT systems and technologies and our helpdesk service caters for any request you can think of. There's little or nothing we can't be of assistance with. We take unusual or difficult requests in our stride.

We take the services usually offered by really big companies to other really big companies and offer them to SMEs at an incredibly high service level.

 

Most IT support companies strictly limit the type or amount or services and support they provide, ringfencing the services they offer in tightly worded agreements to minimise their workload and maximise their profit. Some don't even provide end-user support, preferring to just manage the servers and systems.

Others may not be able to offer the range of services that you need - they may be strong on web design, but poor on IT security, or particularly adept at engineering but not so hot at helping the end user.

       

Rates

 

 EC2 IT Limited 

vs. The Industry norm

Value

Our rates are among the most competitive in the industry. We review each package individually and as the scale and scope of the required works increases, our rate automatically decreases.

Our timecard rate is billed in sensible increments.

 

Competitors rates can go up to £250/hr billed in minimum one hour blocks or more, sometimes with minimum required bookings of 2-3 hours.

This very much discourages smaller requests which may take no time at all to help with, but could save you and your users hours of frustration.

Simple

We have one single basic rate which we apply to all of our work, modified for either bulk buying our time or working out of hours. We make it easy and cost-effective to use us as much as you need to and our fixed cost unlimited support agreements mean that you can control your IT costs to the penny.

 

Most IT support companies have a bewildering array of rates - one for support, then another for more difficult support, and then another for web development, and another for being on-site, and another for engineering etc...

Flexible

We bill more for out-of-hours work, though compared to industry standards only modestly more because we understand that wherever possible, for the most disruptive works, we need to work around your schedule.

  Not all companies will agree to perform works out-of-hours (which minimises disruption to your users) and most that do apply punitive rates to discourage using this facility.
Clear

Our rate decreases for fixed cost agreements and for large projects, and for regular on-site engineering/support time, or increases for out of hours work and support. That's all there is to it, there are no other factors to understand.

  Not all of our competitors are crystal clear about their charging practices.
       

Terms & Conditions

 

 EC2 IT Limited 

vs. The Industry norm

Billing We record & bill in sensible time increments, in arrears. No minimum charge per request.   Minimum 1-2 hours billing units especially when handling timecard requests. Often an additional minimum charge.
Payment
Terms
We bill monthly in arrears like any professional services firm.   Usually need to pay up front to top up "PAYG (Pay as you go) credits".
Fixed
Costs
We can fix the cost of any work item, no matter how small, immediately. And you can set a threshold at which we need to do this automatically.   Most companies are not interested in small fixed cost works, and tend to prefer one large very rigid fixed cost agreement with no cost transparency.
Invoice
Terms
Our invoice terms are the standard 30 days from receipt of the invoice.   Most require that you pay in advance, and use time credits to perform work.
Minimum
Spend
We have a required (but sensible) minimum spend per month for either timecard support or systems administration and management - which we count towards the work we carry out. This can be as low as one to two hours per month For small companies.   Usually there is a minimum per device and/or per user charge, with an annual fixed maintenance agreement, whether you request work or not.
Contract
Term
We have a standard 12 month minimum term of contract. Termination, if required, is straightforward however we pride ourselves on retaining clients through satisfaction, not red tape.   Up to a 24 or 36 month agreement which can be difficult to terminate.
Unclear
Charges
We don't have a specific call-out charge, charging only the time it takes a team member to get to your office. We have no hidden or unclear charges.   Call-out charges of 1-2 hours minimum are commonplace to discourage on-site support, usually with the time cost of dealing with the request added on top.
Rebates We don't accept commission or rebate from any supplier or service we recommend.   Commission and reseller schemes are commonplace, influencing supplier choice.
Materials
Sales
We charge a small markup on materials, supplying all equipment, software and materials at very competitive rates below RRP.   Often items are sold on at prices the same, or higher, than the client could find themselves.
Contracts 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.   Annual fixed cost service agreements are usually mandatory - most companies won't agree to manage your systems (or sometimes provide any help at all) unless you have a full fixed agreement in place.
Shrink-
wrapped
Costs
The terms of our agreement are driven by you - allowing you to completely manage your costs. Your EC2 IT account manager will work with you to ensure that you are satisfied and that you only pay for the service you use.   The terms of any working agreement are usually inflexible and driven by the supplier's needs and costs rather than your own. You often have little variable control over how much you spend once an agreement is in place.
       

Location & Making it easy

 

 EC2 IT Limited 

vs. The Industry norm

Location

All of our team are based in the City of London and can be on site in a matter of minutes.

We don't subcontract any of our work to anyone anywhere else. The same team that supports you during the day provides 24x7x365 support.

 

At best based in the City fringes or West end, with others claiming to support the City from the home counties, and beyond.

A common practice is to subcontract some of the support work abroad, especially those who claim full 24/7 support.

 Clarity

We don't baffle you with IT jargon and provide as much, and as clear, reporting and information as you need.

We document all of our planned and completed work thoroughly. 

 

Some companies are good at the IT part of the job, but not so good at communicating with the customer - both in their own language and understanding what the customer wants to know to understand their investment.

A common practice is to make things sound an awful lot more difficult or serious than they really are, sometimes for a quiet life, and sometimes to justify higher than expected costs.

Control

We make sure you are aware and in charge of all the work we carry out for you. We keep you informed of what we are doing and log and record all of our work.

You can request us to fix the cost of any work we are doing for you, and can report all the information you need on any issue instantly.

We don't lock you out of your own systems - we prefer clients don't tinker if they aren't sure of what they are doing (or qualified) but we respect the fact that it's your IT - we make sure you have all the credentials and documentation as appropriate.

 

After you sign up for a fixed cost annual agreement many IT companies operate a "black box" policy, such that you are never sure exactly what they are doing, providing little or no control or regular reporting.

Most companies won't work on a timecard or small fixed cost works basis at anything other than an exorbitant rate, and won't consider having their costs challenged (or fixed) for support requests. 

A common practice is to change the key credentials to your systems to lock you out of your own systems, in part to discourage you from changing suppliers.

Simplicity

We work hard to make things easy for you. We explain everything we do, and provide just the right amount of information for you to understand the work we carry out and the investment you are making in your staff and infrastructure.

Our terms are intuitive and clear. One of our main goals is to make the process of using us simple, so it doesn't get in the way of us providing you with great IT.

 

With a mix of complicated Service Level Agreements, Rate structures, service offerings, terms and conditions....a lot of IT suppliers make it tough to follow exactly what is going on, what you can use them for....and how much it is going to cost you.

Most IT Support companies have lengthy, jargon-filled and complicated terms and conditions, designed around protecting them and their commercial interests and not to enable you to get the most out of their services and your IT.