Remote hands services are IT support services that allow customers to delegate tasks that need to be performed on-site. They are provided by third-party vendors such as data centers and managed IT service providers. Remote hands services are now widely used by businesses of all sizes. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know about them.
Remote hands services are mostly associated with data centers. They can, however, also be used at other remote locations such as edge computing installations. Either way, the main objective of remote hands services is to manage hardware infrastructure. Common remote hands services include the following.
Equipment installations: This includes setting up new servers, switches, and other hardware components in the data center.
Server reboots: Technical support personnel can perform a reboot of servers or other equipment remotely when required.
Cable management: Technicians can organize and manage cables in the data center to ensure proper functioning and prevent potential damage.
Power cycling: Remote hands can cycle power to equipment, such as servers, in the event of a power outage.
Equipment replacements: In case of equipment failure, technicians can replace failed components quickly to minimize downtime.
Inventory management: Remote hands can keep track of hardware inventory, ensuring that all components are accounted for and properly maintained.
Maintenance tasks: Technicians can perform routine maintenance tasks such as firmware upgrades and hardware inspections.
Data center security: Remote hands can provide security for data centers, including access control and surveillance.
The process of remote hands services is very similar to the process of most IT helpdesks. In fact, the only real difference is that remote hands services only perform hardware-related tasks.
When clients need assistance, they submit a request or “ticket” to the service provider. It is common for clients to submit tickets online, but other methods such as live chat and phone support may also be available, depending on the service package.
As with regular IT helpdesks, each ticket will generally be assigned a priority level. This will determine how long the remote hands service provider has to complete it. The level of priority given to a ticket will typically be determined by the service package and the nature of the task.
Remote hands services providers usually offer both inclusive contracts and pay-as-you-go services. Clients can mix and match these options to fit their specific needs. For example, they can use an inclusive contract for their core requirements. They can then supplement this with pay-as-you-go services if they need or want additional support.
Using remote hands services has many benefits for businesses. Here are the three main ones.
Using remote hands support is often the most effective way of managing data center hardware. The fact that the technicians are on-site anyway means that they only need to factor in the time to perform the task. They do not need to factor in the time to travel as well. As a bonus, this means they can deliver faster response times in the event of an incident.
Software and hardware are two different branches of IT. Most software experts have some knowledge of hardware (and vice versa). Software experts are, however, very unlikely to have the same level of hardware-related skills are hardware specialists (or vice versa). Given that hardware infrastructure is usually vital to a business, the safest option by far is to have it managed by specialists.
With remote hands services, all staff-related issues are the provider’s responsibility. This frees clients from the need to recruit, retain and manage in-house staff. It also avoids the need to ensure staff cover during absences (especially unplanned ones).
Using remote hands services also tends to make it easier to manage costs. Businesses can negotiate ongoing contracts with vendors for core services. These can be supplemented by ad-hoc services with pre-agreed prices.
There are three common challenges to using remote hands services. These are as follows.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of maintaining effective security in anything related to IT. This means that the client and the vendor need to work effectively together to ensure that security is maintained. In particular, both parties must be clear on their individual areas of responsibility. There also need to be protocols for managing joint responsibilities.
It is the client’s responsibility to communicate their needs and wants to the vendor. This includes providing them with all the information they need to perform a task correctly. It is the vendor’s responsibility to make sure they understand this information.
The client and the vendor must agree on an objective method for monitoring and enforcing the quality of service provided by the vendor.
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