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Today’s technologies are evolving so fast, they can make your head spin — and so are the risks connected with them. Keeping ahead of threats by managing necessary updates and security tasks can tax a company’s dedicated IT staff. Trying to manage technology without a professional IT staff is next to impossible and ends up costing more money in the long run.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are realizing that they need to make IT a key focus within their companies, so they have begun to look critically at how they use their current in-house IT personnel or work with external IT partners. Many may even decide it’s time to outsource IT management. Outsourcing some IT tasks allows staff members to do their job better by concentrating on keeping the core business up and running smoothly and working on key initiatives.
Outfits without any dedicated IT role or that are outsourcing for the first time may be unsure how to secure the best IT partner or even how to start looking for one.
As you search for an IT partner, ask the following questions:
1) How long has the company been in business?
You want a provider with years or even decades of experience. Your technology partner should have a significant track record of providing technology and security services to companies like yours in your region.
Citynet has been delivering IT technology and security services to West Virginia businesses for more than two decades. With thousands of deployments and satisfied clients, we have the experience, knowledge, and expertise to serve your business as a trusted IT partner.
2) Where is the company located?
[checked checkbox]Be wary of any company without a local headquarters or offices in your region. A company located in your area will understand the local risk landscape. A local company will also have data centers in your area that can be used for backup and disaster recovery. When your company experiences an issue, a local partner is close at hand to solve the problem.
As a company with deep roots in West Virginia, Citynet is dedicated to helping other West Virginia businesses succeed. Our corporate office is in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and we also have offices in Morgantown, Wheeling, and Charleston. Our data centers are located in our Bridgeport, Morgantown, Charleston, Columbus, and Pittsburgh offices. Citynet employees are involved in local business and community organizations. We are proud of our local reputation and are committed to doing everything possible to maintain excellent outcomes and relationships with our clients.
3) How many full-time employees do they have?
Make sure to hire a company that is never short-handed. Your technology partner should be staffed with a deep bench of experts who are always monitoring your systems and available whenever you need support.
Citynet employs over 130 people who make up multiple teams that handle our managed IT services and security operations. We also have a 24/7/365 Technical Support Team available for all our clients. We are large enough to expertly serve your business and small enough to really know you and your business.
4) How well trained are their employees?
The company’s technicians and engineers should be maintaining current vendor certifications and undergoing regular training.
Citynet’s experts are required to keep the most up-to-date vendor certifications in all the hardware, software, and solutions we support. We have dozens of certifications in Cisco, Microsoft, Adobe, and VMware. See a complete list of certifications here.
With whom do they partner?
A quality IT company will partner with the best. Leading technology companies have high standards and requirements to certify IT companies as a business partner. When your technology partner is the certified business partner of a top technology vendor, you gain access to the latest solutions, as well as certified support for the technology. You can be sure that the technology will be implemented correctly and that it is being optimized.
At Citynet, we are business partners of the most respected names in technology: Cisco, Microsoft, Dell, Barracuda, VMware, and more. View our list of our strategic partners here.
6) How is the company organized?
Make sure the company has the human resources and training needed to offer dedicated, expert teams in different disciplines. You don’t want the same person who answers the support phones to also be managing the data center or monitoring the network.
At Citynet, we have robust, highly trained teams, trained in their areas of specialization and responsibility. These teams regularly communicate and coordinate regarding the client services that we manage. This level of organization ensures each technical discipline is delivering the highest level of service possible. Our clients benefit from having easy access to our top-level engineers to assist, consult, and review their services with Citynet.
7) Does the company take a proactive approach to security?
A technology partner should recommend and offer 24/7/356 remote monitoring for your network to keep critical security settings, virus definitions, and security patches up to date, preventing costly and damaging incidents. Many IT companies are only reactive, meaning they “fix” issues after they emerge. These companies might not have the staff or expertise to prevent problems or can’t make the investment required to perform preventative services.
At Citynet, we believe proactive monitoring is a great step in securing the health of your network, and we have been providing such services for many years as a core component in our services. Citynet’s remote network monitoring services NetPulse and CityCare monitor your systems, scanning for performance issues, security threats, and other problems so we can address them before they snowball. We can remotely patch and perform updates to our clients’ systems on a regular basis and schedule remote maintenance during off-hours, limiting interruptions to your operations.
8) How and when are the company’s support lines answered?
The partner should have a dedicated phone support team that is available after regular business hours. The phone should always be answered by employees of the company instead of an answering service.
Citynet is a company dedicated to providing outstanding support and communication around the clock. Our Technical Support Center is based right in the heart of our corporate office in Bridgeport, West Virginia. The center is staffed by Citynet employees who are trained in all our services and can easily escalate support when needed. These employees are knowledgeable, friendly, patient, and ready to talk with our clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Checking all the Boxes
Having a list of criteria to look for as you search for a technology partner should make it easier to navigate a crowded market.
For SMBs in the West Virginia area, Citynet checks all the boxes when it comes to a technology partner. We can provide local support and services while also delivering certified expertise in leading technologies. Our monitoring services are particularly important in today’s risk landscape.
We offer a full portfolio of network security services, including data loss prevention, VPN, mobile device security, and much more.
Assess your current IT security using our checklist. If it raises any red flags, just know we’re always here to help.