Overview
Microsoft Small Business Specialists Most small businesses lack the budgets or confidence to commit to long-term service contracts available from traditional IT outsourcing firms accustomed to working with enterprise clients. For IT help, small companies often resort to freelance consultants or small local support companies and take their chances on inconsistent response and technical blind spots. A common complaint is that the outside expert is "learning on my dime." Major product vendors have addressed the long-underserved small business IT outsourcing market with Cloud solutions, but their by-the-numbers approach and restrictions on custom solutions require a degree of technological standardization rarely found in small businesses networks. In both cases, when tough problems crop up, support costs skyrocket while worker productivity plummets. Progent's approach to IT outsourcing and co-sourcing offers a solution that has proven to work effectively and affordably for both small business and enterprises.

Microsoft Gold PartnerCisco CCIE Network EngineersFor two decades, Progent has specialized in providing enterprise-class network support to customers with small-company IT budgets. Progent has developed a unique support delivery system that includes a low-overhead but tightly connected virtual office infrastructure, sophisticated remote troubleshooting technology, a large pool of engineers with professional industry certifications from the major technology vendors and security organizations, a Help Desk service model that maximizes responsiveness and ensures follow-through, a worldwide team of on-line support professionals, on-site service availability in major U.S. metropolitan areas, and a company culture focused on solving technical problems in the shortest time and at the least cost to customers. All this has helped make Progent one of the fastest growing independent network support firms in the United States (see Progent's customer testimonials).

BlackBerry ConsultingCISA-certified System AuditorsBy delivering professional know-how when you need it, providing in-depth expertise for critical business applications, offering innovative services such as virtual network hosting, and charging only for services you use with no sign-up or retainer fees for support services provided during regular business hours, Progent enables you to maximize the business value of your information system and minimize support costs. Progent recognizes that network security, dependability, and efficiency are just as important to small businesses as to large enterprises but that small organizations don't have the economy of scale to invest heavily in computer technology, large in-house support staffs, or super-sized IT outsourcing contracts. Progent's fundamental value proposition is that no IT consulting firm can match Progent's ability to deliver the network support services your business needs when you need them at prices you can afford.

Service Delivery Options Available for Small Businesses
Progent offers a variety of options for providing small businesses with cost-effective computer services for network troubleshooting, consulting, hosting, and IT management. Progent's model for delivering computer support services to small businesses is based on the familiar Help Desk paradigm. Progent's Help Desk support model ensures consistently fast response, thorough service documentation, reliable follow-up, and strict cost control across a range of IT service delivery modes that include onsite support, remote troubleshooting, high-end consulting, as well as application and network hosting.

Progent's Remote Support Services include:

Progent's On-site Support Services include:
Progent's Hosting Services include:
Progent's Automated Managed Services include:
For details about these service options, refer to Support Delivery Options for Small Businesses.

Why Progent Makes Sense for Small Businesses
Progent's staff size, breadth and depth of technical expertise, and familiarity with enterprise IT support allow small businesses to avoid the pitfalls associated with excessive reliance on smaller service organizations, independent freelance consultants, or mass-market computer support firms.

Working with Progent allows your small business to:

  • Avoid Dependence on Individual Freelance Consultants
    For IT support, small businesses often rely excessively on freelance consultants. Although freelance consultants carry less overhead than full-service support organizations and can afford to charge nominally smaller fees, they are often stretched too thin to respond quickly to urgent situations. If an independent consultant is busy with another client, sick, on vacation, or in training, the lack of backup may force your business to wait for help during an emergency. As your small business grows, network downtime or problems with critical applications become more costly. The money you thought you were saving on a freelancer can be eaten up quickly by lost productivity. In addition, when freelance consultants encounter unfamiliar problems, their lack of a large engineering team to fall back on for advice forces them to learn on the job while you end up footing the bill for their ongoing education.

  • Have Access to Expertise in Complex IT Solutions
    Many small service organizations or freelance consultants who cater to small businesses may excel at providing a limited set of solutions but lack the experience and depth to deal cost-effectively with complex IT infrastructures with multiple platforms and technology vendors. Progent's experience with global companies can be valuable to your small business because enterprise environments are inherently complex, integration issues require in-depth knowledge in many technical areas, and achieving a high level of stability, reliability, and security requires enterprise-proven best practices.

  • Build a Solid Foundation for Seamless Growth
    Small businesses often start with an IT system implemented on a shoestring budget. Lacking a proper foundation, an accumulation of band-aid fixes often gets piled on top of a weak foundation. As a business grows, stability and scalability issues can hinder the success of the organization. Such environments need proper assessment, intelligent strategic planning, and broad-based expertise to upgrade cost-effectively to an IT infrastructure that will provide the solid basis to meet critical business needs and facilitate future growth.

  • Work with Solution Providers, Not Product Resellers
    Small businesses require guidance and education to navigate through an increasingly complex maze of technology options available for accelerating business growth and improving productivity. They do not need an IT consultant or firm who is trying to sell them a product. Progent avoids conflicts of interest by selling only services, not hardware and software products. This allows Progent to align technical expertise with the best interests of clients. IT consulting combined with product selling can lead to a situation where the proposed solution may not be the optimal one because it is built around a predetermined technology rather than being based on the genuine needs of a small business.

  • Have the Freedom to Change Your IT Support Provider
    Busy freelance consultants are often inclined or forced to skimp on service documentation, making it difficult for clients to transfer IT support to a new service provider or to take over support responsibilities internally. Progent's comprehensive service documentation and commitment to knowledge transfer makes it easier for clients to move support to a different Progent engineer or to a new IT service firm. For application or data center hosting, Progent's approach stands out from conventional hosting models by having the client retain ownership of software licenses. This makes it dramatically faster and easier for customers to change hosting services or to manage applications in their own data centers.
Special Benefits of Working with Progent
As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a Microsoft Small Business Specialist, Progent is an acknowledged expert at the fundamental system software and office productivity applications used by most small and medium-size companies. As a Cisco-certified partner with one of the largest groups of CCIE accredited network technology engineers in the country, Progent also offers expertise for an increasingly complex array of network technologies including Cisco PIX and ASA firewalls, Catalyst switches, routers, VoIP options, and Aironet or Linksys wireless access points. Furthermore, Progent's CISSP-certified security experts, CISM-certified security professionals, CISA-authorized security audit specialists and GIAC-authorized security professionals offer a company-wide view of network security.
  • Value Pricing
    Progent's pricing policy is to charge for remote support and on-premises help by the minute. Consequently, you are charged only for services that are actually delivered. Progent does not ask a higher rate for emergency support, and does not charge for travel time except for emergency support where on-site work is less than four hours. In addition, Progent applies no sign-up fee and requires no monthly commitment or retainer for support services provided during regular business hours. Many support firms demand substantial minimum payments or charge in increments of a quarter hour or longer. This can result in customers essentially having to pay for nothing. Progent's small billing granularity does away with giant invoices for fast solutions so you will be less tempted to allow less critical problems to fester until they become big problems. Learn more about Progent's value pricing for IT outsourcing.

  • Best Practices
    Progentís team of Microsoft and Cisco qualified experts average more than a decade of real-world industry background, in the trenches of network support, executing a wide variety of IT projects for a broad mix of customers. Every Progent support professional shares a proven set of personal best practices which are combined into company-wide best practices standards that Progent teaches its support team. This means that you get not just IT expertise, but also a consultant with proven approaches for applying technical knowledge to resolve network issues efficiently. Learn more about Progent's best practices for network consulting.

  • Full Documentation of IT Services
    Progent has developed a comprehensive service reporting system that records and formats detailed documentation for all delivered services. Unlike some independent consultants or local service firms who provide scant documentation or details of services done, every service provided by Progent is extensively and usefully documented. Each Progent staff member has access to the service reports provided by every consultant to every client. The practice of detailing and archiving service activity results in more effective service and eliminates a variety of common problems such as when a support customer is virtually held hostage to a consultant who refuses to release vital service information. Learn more about Progent's documentation of IT outsourcing services.

  • Knowledge Transfer
    Progent is committed to information transfer from Progent's support experts to Progent's customers. By teaching customers to handle problems that are within their scope, Progent can focus on providing high-value skills where Progent has few competitors. Small businesses who utilize familiar independent service providers or who maintain internal support personnel benefit when Progent passes on knowledge about new technology and proven methodologies to make their IT environments more robust, secure, and efficient. Learn more about Progent's knowledge transfer services.

Support Services of Special Interest to Small Businesses
  • Desktop Support Services
    Progent's desktop support consultants can help you to set up individual workstations, notebooks, tablets, and smart phones or provide your business with Windows 7 support, Windows 8.1 maintenance, or Windows 10 evaluation and migration services. Progent's Windows specialists can configure programs from the Microsoft Office suite or from Microsoft Dynamics business accounting and management analytics applications on your client PCs so they integrate efficiently with all Microsoft products, software from other popular publishers, SQL databases, and specialized line-of-business programs. For example, Progent can configure Outlook email client on a desktop or notebook to support both the workflow of your employee and the security requirements of your business. Progent can in addition provide remote and on-site troubleshooting services for workstations.

  • Hybrid Cloud Solutions
    Progent can help you integrate your small business network with leading public clouds including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Progent can help you create and manage hybrid cloud solutions that incorporate Windows and Linux servers and applications in hybrid network models that combine on-premises and cloud-based resources. Progent's cloud integration services include Office 365 integration with on-premises Exchange, Microsoft Azure planning and deployment, Amazon AWS migration and support, and Amazon Web Marketing Service (WMS) development and debugging. Progent has years of experience providing online consulting support and network architecture expertise and can help you complete your cloud integration projects and resolve your troubleshooting issues quickly and affordably.

  • Windows Server Essentials
    Windows Server Essentials, which replaces Windows Small Business Server Essentials, is a value-priced, entry-level server for organizations with up to 25 users and 50 devices. Windows Server Essentials is intended to be installed locally and is capable of hosting in-house servers and applications, but can also connect seamlessly with Microsoft Azure cloud-based applications and services such as Office 365, Dynamics CRM and Windows Azure Backup, which are available on a subscription basis. Progent's Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials consultants can help you set up an affordable hybrid cloud solution based on Windows Server Essentials that protects your sensitive data stored on premises and supports your specialized applications running locally, while at the same time offering easy access to cloud-based resources.

  • Security Inventory Scanning Packages
    Progent has put together two low-cost network security scanning packages designed to enable small companies to obtain a professional network security assessment from a CISM and CISSP-qualified security consultant. With Progent's External Security Inventory Scanning Package, a security expert runs an extensive examination of your IT infrastructure from beyond your company firewall to determine potential weaknesses in the security posture you present to the public. With Progent's Internal Security Inventory Scanning Package, a certified security professional executes a system scan from a secure computer inside your firewall to assess the risk to inside assaults. Both security inventory services are set up and run from a secured remote location. The project is implemented by a consultant who has earned high-level security credentials and who produces a document that summarizes and interprets the data collected by the scan and suggests cost-effective improvements where appropriate.

  • Virtual Webinar Training for Desktop Applications
    Progent provides online webinar training for popular desktop applications and operating systems including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, Crystal Reports, Microsoft Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. Webinar-based education provides all the advantages of conventional classroom seminars, including instant communication between students and teachers, but avoids the costs of transportation and the hassle of attempting to synchronize the availability of many workers. Offered to individuals or classes of any size, live online training allows the trainer to conduct the seminar from a remote site while the clients can be dispersed throughout an office or all over the country. Progent's webinar instructors utilize proven teaching tools such as broadcast white boards, electronic hand-raising, and desktop screen sharing. Classes can be brief and targeted to specific topics or extended in time and broad in scope. Instructors and students can work through problems one-on-one or as a group. Teachers are available for after-seminar clarification through email.

  • Consulting Help for Migrating to 64-bit Computing
    64-bit computing offers unprecedented performance, capacity, and system stability. Virtually all popular business applications and operating systems are now available in 64-bit versions for the same price as their 32-bit equivalents. Almost all server, workstation, and laptop computers shipped within the last few years have 64-bit capability. Still, most small businesses have not made the move to 64-bits. Part of the reason for this is that major technical obstacles can make it difficult to migrate from 32-bit solutions. Operating systems and applications have to be re-installed from scratch, and 64-bit drivers have to be found and tested. Overcoming these obstacles efficiently can be tricky, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Progent's 64-bit migration consultants have the experience to help small businesses save time and money and avoid business disruption during their move to 64-bit computing.
Network Support Outsourcing Packages Based on Microsoft System Center Operations Manager
As a result of years of experience supporting small business computer networks, Progent has developed a variety of IT Outsourcing and Network Monitoring Packages designed to provide an affordable way for small businesses to manage networks so as to maximize uptime, performance, and security. Progentís IT Outsourcing and Network Monitoring Packages are based on the proactive problem solving capabilities of Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, a next-generation network management software platform that scans activity logs in order to monitor network health and detect problems at an early stage before they can disrupt your productivity.

Progent's IT Outsourcing and Network Monitoring Packages also feature network assessment, security audits, Help Desk Call Center support, and the establishment of safe remote connections between your network and Progentís support experts. Learn more about Progent's IT Outsourcing and Network Monitoring Packages for cost-effective IT support outsourcing.

For additional information about Progent's network support outsourcing, see Progent's IT Support Outsourcing and Network Monitoring Datasheets, downloadable in Acrobat format for convenient printing.

For an overview of how Progent's IT outsourcing and co-sourcing services can benefit businesses of any size, see Progent's IT Outsourcing white paper.

To see how Operations Manager helped a Northern California company achieve enterprise-class system management, refer to Microsoft Operations Manager Case Study.

Contact Progent for Help with Your Small Business Network
If you are looking for technical help for your small business network, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
















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