If you use technology, you need support. It is not a question of “if”, but “when” and “how often”. Depending on your environment, support can range from completely managed through a third-party with white-labeled email and phone numbers to 100% in-house with no outside assistance at all.

When choosing the right solution for your organization it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each. While the control and accessibility of in-house support can be strong factors they are typically outweighed by cost, lack of technical diversity, and gaps in systemized management systems. Managed Service Providers like Laughing Rock are design specifically to fill these gaps and provide a consistent, quality experience at an average of 40% less per month than in-house alone.

The chart below helps show some of the pros and cons:

There is no magic bullet to support so let’s also look at all the components that any good support structure should encompass.


PC and Server hardware is constantly evolving and it’s easy to get lost in each micro-improvement this month’s model provides. Knowing what’s right for you is more than just knowing what you want. Hardware is no longer just about matching specifications. All things need to be considered: Are you buying the right tool for the job? How will your network look in 5 years? Who will be the user? How do you protect that investment? How do you guarantee uptime? Hardware needs professional, expert support. Your partner needs to have the right knowledge, partnerships, and know-how so your PCs and Servers serve you.


It’s easy to find networking hardware. What isn’t easy is knowing which combination of networking hardware is right. Networks are intricate systems that require careful consideration and can be easily knocked out of balance. The right partner will help you find the equipment you need to keep business moving forward and aligns the technology that supports your future goals. Knowledge and expertise of the specific products on your network is crucial when resolving issues and maintaining uptime.


The cloud is the future and the future is now! Everything and everyone is moving to the cloud. As the cloud becomes increasingly prevalent and more technology moves online, the question becomes how and when should you move with it. Making a move to the cloud requires careful planning and consideration. What can move to the cloud and what should stay local? Which cloud should you choose? How should you handle training and integration? If done right, moving and living in the cloud can be a nearly seamless experience – having the right partner to support these systems ensures that.


Managed Services without support is like Kool without the aid…it just doesn’t work. The level of support offered by MSPs can vary greatly making this possibly the most important factor in choosing the right partner. What are their hours? Do they provide emergency service? Is phone, email, text, and chat included? Will they white-label and act as your internal IT department? There are a ton of questions worth asking that have major consequences in making sure you have the right relationship in place…not just the right tech.


While Managed Service Providers hate to admit it, there is still a need for break-fix support services. Whether that support is provided directly or through a team of partners doesn’t matter as much as the quality and timeliness of the support. A strong support partner will have the resources and tools to provide remote AND onsite support so you can maximize uptime and keep your employees doing what they do best.


Cabling is more than just “pulling cables”. Fiber optics, racking, certification, industry standards, interconnects, data room design, network planning and so much more. Proper cabling entails doing things correctly to ensure compatibility, longevity and expandability. On average, correcting a botched cabling job can cost more than double what the original cost would have been to do the job correctly from the start. Additionally, most problems that arise from bad cabling don’t affect your network immediately. We call these “time-bombs” and they can often be so expensive to correct that they impede future growth plans. Leverage a partner who specializes in network cables to ensure that things get done correctly, the first time.


Every network is different but networking is rarely described as simple. VoIP, QoS, VLANs, office interconnects, VPNs…the list goes on and on. And now, with organizations moving to the cloud, it’s more important then ever to take a long term look at the technologies that make up your network. Knowing where you’re at and where you’re going can help but it’s more than that. An out-of-balance network can create an out-of-balance digital ecosystem. Working with a partner who understands the network technologies, cloud technologies, and how they co-exist sets your network to grow as you grow and keeps the rest of your digital ecosystem in balance.