With the recent, tectonic shift toward remote working, businesses have had an unforeseen challenge arise: providing IT support for those users. With the astronomical cost of headcount, training and infrastructure for in-house help desk centers, small and medium sized businesses often find that the smartest move is leveraging a turn key, third party solution.
Verizon, with its outstanding FIOS service, has taken steps to fulfill that need. Its Premium Technical Support plan gives any FIOS business (or residential) customer 24/7/365 tech support that includes:
• Configuration troubleshooting for your computer or device (including tablets) to address issues like slow performance, browser configuration, networking connections, data backup and more
• Evaluation of and attempts to correct software, operating systems and networking issues
• Virus, malware and spyware support
• Software and peripherals support for network, video and sound cards, memory, hard drives, CD and DVD readers and writers, printers, scanners and networking equipment
The company says it premium service “…is intended to address networking and other technical support issues outside the supported scope of Verizon’s standard technical support.” You can find the entire agreement here. Your employee must be a Verizon customer for HSI or FiOS, TV or Voice to purchase Premium Technical Support. It’s currently priced at $14.99 per month, cancelable at any time.
I tested the service when I spent time in New York and found the technicians friendly and competent. They’re all based here in the U.S., and they provide service for Apple, Android and Windows OS.
Once your employee signs up he or she will get a password to Verizon’s expert site at expert.verizon.com. Take note, though. This service is for residential customers. Don’t try to sign up your entire remote workforce under your company’s name because the program doesn’t extend to businesses. Each employee needs to enroll individually.
Is Outsourcing the Help Desk Your Best Choice?
For small and mid-sized businesses, Verizon’s $17.99 per month plan offers a lot of value.
However, if you have concerns about confidential or proprietary information stored on your employee’s device, take time to review the agreement to understand how the Verizon technician treats such material.
Also note that it’s sometimes necessary to change settings on the computer, some of which could cause custom software made for your business to stop working. If there are specific settings that must not be changed, you’ll need to make your remote employees aware of them. A short document spelling out any such issues would help your employee communicate those matters to Verizon before the technician begins making adjustments.
Too, when settings are changed, you may want to get a report on what was changed. Registry changes, for example, can fix problems as well as introduce new ones.
I hope you find this helpful. I feel it’s important to share information on IT issues; it’s part of what we do.
Finally, I am not suggesting that Verizon is the very best solution. You can find dozens of other “managed service providers” (MSP’s) that offer similar services via a simple web search. Many of them also handle break/fix problems with hardware. However, if you want to look further into details of the Verizon plan, you can reach their team at 866-785-8145, or on the online form here.