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The Utility Company has announced the addition of a new
live, pay-per-minute helpdesk service aimed at attracting SMB customers away
from traditional break/fix IT services to the company’s IT-as-utility business

The new 1-866-MY-UTILITY Live Helpdesk Service is the entry level of The
Utility Company’s technology-as-a-service program, said Mark Scott, president
and founder of the company.

The Utility Company is based on a franchise model, whereby franchisees deliver
business services to customers across five areas: IT, including networking,
desktops, security and storage; business applications, telecommunications,
including hosted VoiP; copier/printer; and Web site/Internet, Scott said.

Scott said the
new service, launched March 17, is geared to SMB (small to midsize business)
customers who may already be in a traditional "break/fix" contract
with an IT services provider. He said new customer acquisition is an area where
many MSPs (managed service providers) struggle, and the goal for The Utility
Company’s franchisees is to convert those new SMB customers from a reactive,
break/fix model into an entry-level, more proactive, technology-as-a-service

 "The service is a great entry-level tool to help MSPs show their
customers how they are using technology, and to eventually upsell them into a
managed technology services package," Scott said.

Migrating to
The Utility Company’s 1-866-MY-UTILITY Live Helpdesk can give those SMB
customers up to 90 percent of the IT services they need through one service
provider at a much lower cost, he said, and can introduce them to the concept
of technology-as-a-service. Customers receive a comprehensive basic level of IT
services that often saves them 50 percent to 80 percent off the cost of a
traditional break/fix contract, Scott said.

 "This is a break from that traditional model into a usage-based
helpdesk," said Scott. As SMB customers grow, Scott said, they will
increase their need for The Utility Company’s managed technology services.

"As customers become more reliant on technology as a profit driver for
their business and look at technology more strategically, they will consider
more of our services down the line," he said, providing growth
opportunities for the company’s MSP franchisees.

"Our MSPs
really get behind the idea of ‘market-seeding;’ of having an entry level and
then moving [customers] up the ladder towards more complete managed services
offerings," he said.

Customers aren’t required to sign long-term contracts, said Scott. The
1-866-MY-UTILITY Live Helpdesk service allows MSPs to monitor and manage a
customer’s infrastructure and deliver usage reports in much shorter time
frames, he said.

service allows customers to see how much they used, on average, over 30, 60, 90
days," he said.

Scott said the
1-866-MY-UTILITY Live Helpdesk Service is available through all The Utility
Company franchisees for $2 per minute. The program has been in a pilot-testing
phase for about eight months, and The Utility Company

MSPs have seen
great success in driving SMB customers to the service, Scott said.