Live Virtual Help Desk offers ‘dad-approved’ support for MSPs

Neil Jones

Neil Jones, president, Live Virtual Help Desk

Neil Jones, president of Victoria, B.C.-based Live Virtual Help Desk, has an odd target demographic in mind for his company’s outsourced help desk service – his nearly 80-year-old father.

That’s because he figures if his company’s technical support staff can help his technophobe father with his computer troubles, then “these guys are certainly geared up to talk to anyone on the face of the Earth that you can think of.”

The company started out as an MSP itself, but spun out its own help desk business when its fellow MSPs started asking about taking advantage of the service.

Jones said the company aims to employ all “level two” technicians, bypassing the first level support call people that “are better suited to talk to you about the weather,” but balancing that technical expertise with personality and understanding of their target markets.

“When you talk to someone on the phone with us, you’re talking to someone who is of server-level literacy but doesn’t think the desktop is a step below them,” he said of his company’s team.

That approach has paid off with a nearly 90 per cent fix rate from the first call, Jones said.

The company’s core value proposition to MSPs – it makes human engagements with customers as automated as it has systems through remote management and monitoring (RMM) and professional services automation (PSA) software. They present an option for MSPs who are running into a lot of PEBKAC errors but don’t have the time to manage those userss themselves.

For a fixed cost or around $15 per seat per month, MSPs can outsource help desk functionality for their end users. LiveVHD will also integrate with the MSP’s own ticketing system, be it Autotask, Tigerpaw, ConnectWise or Excel.

“We’ll deal with the one thing you can’t deal with from a piece of software – the end user,” Jones said. “We take that load away and for a fixed cost, take care of that user day in and day out.”

Jones described Canada as an overlooked market because of the lack of critical mass, but that’s changing and the company is looking to expand the base of MSPs with which it works in its homeland.

“We’re happy to hoover up all those Canadian MSPs who are banging their heads against the wall every day with these kinds of problems,” Jones said with a laugh.

He said the company’s best clients are the busiest MSPs – who have reached the point of automating through RMM and PSA tools and are looking for further options to automate and outsource.

“They’re frustrated because they’re fighting fires and not going out and growing their business, selling more RMM tools and seeing more clients,” he said. “We love those types of MSPs because they get it right away.”

The company’s goal is simple, Jones said: to become the biggest Canadian help desk provider out there, “and the biggest in North America if we can.”