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Blog  |  FAQ
  • Questions and answers.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

 

For Prospect Companies

WHAT IS A MANAGED SERVICES PROVIDER?

A managed service provider (MSP) is the IT department you would build yourself if you had the resources to do it. Simply put, an MSP is an IT department for hire. Reality is, very few businesses – and virtually no small- and medium-sized businesses – have the resources and expertise to create a world-class IT department. That’s why managed service providers exist. An MSP provides expertise, tools, and processes that most SMBs can’t match on their own. Whether the MSP does it all or works with an internal IT specialist, the MSP should deliver IT that is more stable and reliable than the client achieves by itself. Learn more on our Managed Services 101 page.

I’D PREFER TO HAVE AN IT PROFESSIONAL IN-HOUSE – WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER USING YOU AS A VENDOR?

There are advantages to having a technical resource in-house who has expertise with your line-of-business applications. At Apogee, our expertise is your infrastructure. And while we strive to understand your business, the fact is we can never know your business as well as you do.

We are effective because we have staffing breadth and depth, tools, processes, standards, and focus very few SMBs could match. IT competence is our wheelhouse. Whatever your business, your staff should be focused on making you more effective at that business. Our job is to deliver the stable, reliable IT that allows your entire organization – including your technical specialist(s) – to be more productive and effective.

WHY SHOULD WE CHOOSE YOU OVER ANOTHER IT SERVICES PROVIDER?

We provide the “table stakes” that everyone expects of a Managed Service Provider, and we provide them with a best-in-the-industry standard:

  1. Remote monitoring / alerting for all supported devices and infrastructure
  2. IT Security and Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
  3. Completely in-house Help Desk staffed with experienced technicians L1-L4
  4. IT strategy and customer care

But what sets us apart is what we do on top of this. Our differentiators include:

THE APOGEE ADVANTAGE

At Apogee, we start by getting to know your business, its needs, and how we can help it thrive, emphasizing customer success every step of the way. Our five-step proven process and our philosophy on service delivery with proactive, reactive, and strategic elements are the reasons we have a 97% retention rate (and many clients for 20+ years).

CUSTOMER SUCCESS TEAM

Apogee clients are scheduled to meet with their designated Customer Success Representative during the Quarterly Business Review (QBR). The QBR is a deep-dive evaluation into your network and infrastructure, to discuss internal projects to be planned & budgeted for the upcoming year. These health checks review equipment age, lifecycle replacement needs, evaluate annual renewals on contracts with third-party IT vendors, review IT strategy and discuss relevant emerging industry trends. Additionally, each client is assigned a vCIO for IT roadmap, strategic consultations and budgeting.

VENDOR COORDINATION PROGRAM

Apogee understands that our customers often get bogged down and lose productivity dealing with their vendors as it relates to technology. Apogee assumes the role of vendor liaison to keep our customers free from such distractions. We become the one point of accountability when it comes to resolving IT issues. Part of the Apogee solution means no more headaches with vendors.

FINANCIAL STABILITY

We pride ourselves on having a strong financial foundation with the backing of Brook Ventures, a private equity firm based in Boston, MA. What this means is that in an industry where businesses come and go, Apogee is not going anywhere.

DOCUMENTATION

In order to achieve the best results and deliver more efficient outcomes to IT challenges, Apogee takes great care in documenting every environment we support. Our documentation is industry best.

DEPTH AND BREADTH

Apogee has more than 60 Apogee-staffed technologists from Level One Help Desk resources to Senior Level Technologists. Most competitors have a few generalists who wear a variety of hats. This can create a reliance on one or two individuals. We have specialists in a variety of different technologies to help you solve IT issues.

PROJECT WORK

Project based engagements will be fully scoped and priced by Apogee’s vCIO. No work will be performed unless signed off by the client.

WHAT INDUSTRIES DO YOU SERVE?

We have more than 350 clients, mainly small- and medium-sized businesses in the legal, manufacturing, healthcare, non-profit, financial services (financial planning, CPA firms, etc.), and professional services industries. Typically our clients have anywhere from 20 to 400 end users (employees using a desktop, laptop, and/or device(s) on a regular basis), but we have many clients who are smaller and larger as well.

DO YOU HAVE CLIENT REFERENCES WE CAN CALL?

We do have a list of clients who you can call as references. They are available upon request and provided to you as we discuss the possibility of working together.

HOW MANY ENGINEERS AND IT PERSONNEL DO YOU HAVE ON STAFF?

Apogee IT Services has over 60 technical staff – network engineers, Help Desk technicians, system administrators, and other IT specialists across our Pittsburgh, Boston, and Toronto offices. Overall, we have 75+ employees.

CAN WE GET A TOUR OF YOUR CORPORATE OFFICES?

Of course! We prefer having prospective clients come onsite to see our staff in action. All you need to do is fill out the form to the right, or you can call 412.928.8670. We’re more than happy to answer your questions.

WHAT CERTIFICATIONS DO YOUR TECH STAFF MEMBERS HAVE?

Apogee technicians and engineers actively serve 375 clients across the Northeast and beyond. Our technicians and engineers hold the following industry certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
  • Cisco CCENT
  • Cisco CCNA
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Server+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Dell/Equallogic SAN
  • HDI CSR
  • Fortinet NSE
  • SonicWall CSP
  • VMware DCV
  • VMware TSP
  • VMWare VCP

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE ONBOARDING PROCESS?

Client onboarding begins once we receive a Sales Agreement from the client. Every new client is onboarded via a tailored plan that includes:

  • Installation of Apogee management tools
  • Installation of security tools
  • Installation of backup tools and media
  • Setup and testing of backup
  • Cleanup of the physical environment
  • Labeling of all equipment, cabling, etc.
  • Network assessment
  • Configuration of client equipment to align with Apogee IT Services standards and best practices (addressing any concerns or recommendations from the network assessment)
  • Documentation of all aspects of the client environment in our documentation system (includes photos of the environment)
  • Implementation timeline of approximately 2 weeks, depending on client size and environment complexity
  • Follow-up approximately 3 weeks following onboarding to resolve any issues, check in with key contacts

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF APOGEE’S OMNISCAN NETWORK ASSESSMENT?

Conducting a network assessment enables us to gauge the current status of your network and infrastructure. We examine more than two dozen technical and operational aspects and capture risks, issues, and concerns with each aspect of your environment. Think of it like an x-ray. It will show all of your breaks, hairline fractures, bruises, and vulnerabilities. That gives you an understanding of the health of your IT setup and allows us to talk with you about where your IT is and where it should be to work for your business.

Once completed, you will receive three principal deliverables: a system overview, a risk report (bomb report), and detail data gathered from discovery and analysis tools during the evaluation. Click the following link to see if your business fits the criteria for an OmniScan Network Assessment.

DO YOU HAVE A SERVICE DEFINITION AVAILABLE?

Yes, our service definition is available upon request for companies interested in working with us. All clients receive a service definition as part of their onboarding.

Client Services

WHAT ARE YOUR HELP DESK HOURS?

Our normal Help Desk (Network Operations Center) hours are 6am-7pm. After-hours support is available, and we have techs available 24/7/365 for emergencies.

Every end user can contact the Apogee Help Desk via phone (412.928.8670) or email (support@apogeeITS.com).

We answer inbound calls in the order in which they are received. There is no charge for Help Desk and desktop support, and no limit to the number of Help Desk tickets that may be opened for any client.

Issues may be identified proactively by Apogee via our alerting systems or submitted to the Help Desk by any user. In either case, we open a ticket in our ticketing system, and all subsequent actions and client communication are captured in the ticket. The Help Desk has a two-tier structure to account for escalation of complex issues, with two more tiers available via our integration team. Most tickets are captured, worked, and resolved within the Help Desk, which currently consists of 15 dedicated technicians.

WHAT SECURITY METHODS WILL WE HAVE WITH YOU TO PROTECT OUR COMPANY?

Security is one of the most important topics in our industry and will continue to be as technology becomes increasingly integrated in day-to-day operations in the workplace. We take our clients’ security very seriously, which is why our approach is based on standards and best practices. Every client can rest assured knowing they have a multi-layer security profile with at least 5 layers, up to 9. You can learn more about IT security and what you should consider on our IT Security Suite page.

CAN YOU HELP US DEVELOP AN IT SECURITY POLICY?

Absolutely. We always tell our clients that having a strategy – an IT roadmap and an action plan – is the best way to battle the bad guys. Too many companies, especially smaller businesses that have the same security concerns as large ones but far fewer resources, make do with what they have. In this day and age, that’s just not good enough anymore. As a client, we can help you develop, implement, and improve your security year after year.

DO YOU HANDLE VENDOR COORDINATION SO WE’RE NOT STUCK IN THE MIDDLE?

Yes. Vendor coordination is one of the aspects clients love the most about working with us. We have staff who work with vendors to quote and order new PCs, firewalls, switches, and other equipment when you need it. We do it every day and know our industry and products well, and it will save you a lot of headache and frustration (and time lost) along the way. With Apogee as your vendor coordinator, we become the one point of accountability when it comes to resolving IT issues.

DO YOU SUPPORT PRINTERS?

End user Help Desk support includes connectivity support to local and network printers, as well as compatibility and driver issues. We can also configure, install, and set up new printers for clients upon request.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU COME ONSITE?

We come to your office for prescheduled onsite maintenance, projects, emergency response, strategic advisory meetings, and any other client meetings. If it is more convenient, you are welcome to come to our office for any meeting.

WHAT COMMUNICATION DO CLIENTS RECEIVE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR?

We communicate with our clients frequently via phone, email, and in person. The following are just a few ways:

  • Quarterly e-newsletters featuring helpful how-tos, links to recent blogs, and info on the IT industry and Apogee IT Services
  • Annual Client Loyalty Survey (sent to key client contacts)
  • E-alerts and emails for patching reminders, technical updates, industry news, company news, etc.
  • Strategic advisory meetings (in person)
  • Communication during projects and upgrades
  • And more

HOW DO YOU MONITOR CLIENT SATISFACTION?

We have two major survey initiatives that help us to monitor client satisfaction: our Point-in-Time survey and our Client Loyalty Survey. We send our Point-in-Time survey to every user after we’ve closed a Help Desk ticket, which gives them the opportunity to share more about their experience and provide feedback. We send our Client Loyalty Survey every quarter. It’s a quick survey that asks questions about the overall service we’ve provided to our clients and asks them to rate how likely they are to recommend Apogee IT Services to a friend or colleague (Net Promoter Score).

Training

WHAT KIND OF END-USER SECURITY TRAINING DO YOU PROVIDE TO CLIENTS?

Apogee IT Services provides clients with a solid, multi-layered security profile. When an organization has a thoughtful, well-designed, well-implemented, and well-managed security posture, the easiest way for hackers to attack is to get help from End Users.

Apogee provides free Internet Security Awareness Training (iSAT) to clients to prepare them for what to look for and what to do to mitigate their risk. The iSAT is a 30-40 minute online training course that can be paused and resumed at any time.

Throughout the year we also send our clients (via KnowBe4) tips and news on security.

Clients in the US & Canada

Apogee Client Cities Map

IT News