Why is IT Support So Erratic?

Introducing DEFCON

A system to address a problem that every IT support company encounters … but few solve

No matter what size your organization is, you need IT and technology to be handled and fixed forever.  And every IT support company and Managed Service Provider is honestly trying to do just that.

But some fail; WHY?

In one word: Chaos

All IT support companies and Managed Services Providers never know how many issues or service tickets they will face on any given day, including us, Imagine IT.   So, it is very difficult and challenging to have “just the right” number of techs available to assist client partners every hour of every day.

If you have a service business or have a help desk connected to anything you do, you wil understand. And actually, as a consumer, how many of you have had questionable service when you call a phone company, health provider, or cable company?  Why is it so frustrating? Because they are going through their own type of “chaos” and have not figured out a way to fix the problem

IT support providers refer to IT service issues as “tickets”

Right now, the average number of tickets that our Imagine IT team sees in a day is around 110.  We are fully staffed every day to quickly and efficiently handle this ticket load.  In fact, we have the capacity to handle surges of additional tickets of about 11-22 tickets (a 10-20% surge).

The chaos days

But there are some days when true Chaos hits, and the ticket load actually DOUBLES to 200+ tickets.

This number of tickets buries our service desk engineers staffed for a typical day, which are not ready for this crazy flood of tickets. But, unfortunately, we, along with all of the other IT support and Managed Service Providers, rarely know when these days are going to happen.

In the world of IT support, you will find that very few providers have a system to deal with this Chaos. Of course, they all have great intentions of dealing with it but are most often unsuccessful. As you probably have experienced yourself as an SMB in the Twin Cities.


Introducing DEFCON:

To deal with this Chaos, Imagine IT developed an internal DEFCON system that helps us flex on crazy days where the ticket load is abnormal.



Our DEFCON system starts at DEFCON 5 – meaning that our team is fully prepared to handle a normal number of tickets … which is typically 100-125.


But, when Chaos hits, and we see that the ticket load will be abnormally high, our Operations Manager moves the team to DEFCON 4.  At DEFCON 4, the onsite managers pause their management responsibilities, and they become service desk engineers to help with the added ticket load.

Our client partners do not know that the Imagine IT team is doing this in real-time and flexing our service capabilities to handle this flood of extra tickets. As a result, their issues are resolved quickly, and they can get back to doing their jobs.


On days where we experience even greater Chaos, the Operations Manager will move the team to DEFCON 3, which signals that others across the company need to shift their focus to incoming tickets.  This shift happens in real-time, and in most cases, the partner doesn’t even know that this is happening.

No support system will handle everything that Chaos throws at it, but our DEFCON system allows our support team to flex in real-time to address these challenges. The result is happier and much more productive client partners.


On days when ticket levels are totally out of control, and one or two of our partners have a major problem or outage, we go to DEFCON 2.  All support personnel is called in to assist, and all of our flex techs, NOC, DEPOT, and AT teams are called in to help.


Even though this is a rare occasion, it does happen, and any IT support provider you talk to must have a contingency for this.  Usually, what causes a DEFCON 1 level is a major outage that affects many of our partners simultaneously.  In this scenario, every Imagine iT team member steps in to solve issues.  This includes owners, management, and anyone that can help.

Empathy, listening, and techs that don’t speak geek!

If you have ever dealt with an IT or technology company’s service desk, you totally get it.  So many times, when you call, you get a high-level tech person who talks so far above your head that you can’t understand them. And even more frustrating is the fact, they have little patience when you don’t know what they know. Therefore, it is critical that the IT support provider you choose has techs that are good listeners, empathic to your problem, and are easy to communicate with. And their desire to solve your problem is clearly their main objective.


The truth is, no support system is ever going to be able to handle every chaotic situation that is thrown at them. For example, major power or internet outages will happen; this is inevitable … but a system like DEFCON allows the support team to flex in real-time to address these challenges.

When checking out any IT support or Managed Service Provider, ask them how they handle this “Chaos” and request that they give you specific instances when they did.

If you need additional insights, check these out …

The 14 Key Questions To Ask When Vetting Any Managed Service Provider

Introducing The Security Shield

If you are further along in your search for a Managed Service Provider, and have questions, or wish to learn more about our services, click on the link below.

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