TecLink Answers MSPs' Call For Help

TecLink has just fashioned its pricing to better accommodate the long-term recurring revenue streams MSPs balance their budgets against, said Eric Steinberg, president and CEO of the Denver-based company.

For as low as $25 per user, per month, MSPs—or any solution provider for that matter—can give customers a toll-free number that gets through to live, professional Level-1 technical support, said Steinberg. Support levels that span desktop support all the way up to network and application support are available, and a 24x7 support offering is available as well, he said.

Calls are answered using the name of the solution provider so the service doesn't appear to be outsourced, said Steinberg.

"The pricing model of TecLink worked best for what we were trying to do as an MSP," said Mike Strohl, president of Entisys Solutions, a 17-year-old VAR and two-year-old MSP in Concord, Calif. TecLink's impressive level of application support also drew Entisys in, said Strohl.

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Less expensive ways to route help-desk calls exist, such as using the services of Map Communications, a Chesapeake, Va., call center that can provide round-the-clock live forwarding of calls—with no technical assistance—to a solution provider for about 50 cents a call, according to a Map Communications representative.

In contrast, full Level-1 technical assistance is available through Ingram Micro's Help Desk service, which offers a year of unlimited 24x7 desktop support for $131 per user, or dynamic network support that can be bought in SKUs. For example, a 500-point SKU costing $1,427 can be used up at a rate of 25 points per call for server inquiries, 14 points per call for PC OS problems, and so on, according to distributor Ingram Micro, Santa Ana, Calif.

But having to pay up front for a year's worth of help-desk support using a service like Ingram Micro's can strain an MSP whose customers pay incrementally, said Steinberg.

Greg Still, managing partner at Xiologix, an MSP in Portland, Ore., has been able to massage TecLink's costs into the existing prices he charges customers. Xiologix continues to use the GoldMine product from FrontRange, Dublin, Calif., as an in-house help-desk solution for specialized support topics such as VoIP, which TecLink doesn't support, he said.

But given that IT talent can be hard to find at a discount, Still said, TecLink is "really augmenting what we can do."