What are the general types of organizations your clients represent?
Our clients represent a wide spectrum of industries and interests including, but not limited to; accounting and financial services, legal and policy advisors, insurance organizations, medical and health-related services, scientific organizations, research and technology-related organizations, real estate, construction, mechanical, and electrical engineering, transportation and logistics, non-profit organizations and many more. The size of our clients in terms of actual computer users generally ranges from as small as 10 users to as many as 300 users.
Why do you believe that you are a good fit for our organization?
Zephyr has provided professional IT services to hundreds of clients and Zephyr's maintains a tremendously successful track record of managing and maintaining computer and network related systems for organizations of all sizes, types, and industries. Zephyr has a wealth of experience that we have gained over our 25 years helping clients achieve their business goals. Our average employee tenure is 8 years with several employees that have been with us for over 20 years. This depth of knowledge and experience directly contributes to our high organizational and service maturity level which far exceeds nearly every competitor in our industry both locally and nationwide. Zephyr is an extremely well-run organization with excellent management and leadership and Zephyr excels at providing a truly world-class service experience. We are the provider of choice when organizations look for a technology partner who can help take their business to the next level and help them grow.
Describe your onboarding/implementation process and approach if you were selected?
This information is covered in the proposal above and in even more detail on the attached document titled “Zephyr Onboarding Process”. We believe that the two most important things that we do in our business are Onboarding of our new clients and Quarterly Business Review (QBR) meetings. Ensuring a very smooth and efficient onboarding is critical to our success, and consistent quarterly executive level strategic reviews are critical.
Do you conduct QBRs and what is the nature of those meetings?
As mentioned above, Quarterly Business Review (QBRs) are one of the two most important events in our business as a company. These QBR meetings are performed by your dedicated vCIO and are designed to be executive level and strategic in nature to ensure our services and your technology are always aligned with the needs and goals of the organization. The QBR meetings recap previous quarters and set agenda items for next quarter and annually.
What do you feel are your overall strengths and differentiators?
Our strengths include superior technical skills, knowledge and expertise combined with a demonstrated commitment to providing the best service experience possible. Zephyr is not just an IT company, Zephyr is a “service business” first and foremost that happens to have a specialty in IT help desk, administration, and support. Our first priority is always our clients, their staff and end-users to ensure that we are meeting and exceeding their expectations. When issues arise, and they will at times, we will address the problem, document the issue, all while providing good communication and a great service experience.
Do you serve clients with employees in different time zones?
Yes, Zephyr has many clients with this requirement and Zephyr serves businesses and organizations nationwide and Zephyr is 24x7 organization.
What are your support hours/overall structure on weekdays and weekends?
Zephyr is a 24x7 organization with standard office hours of 8:00am to 6:00pm, Monday through Friday. On weekends and after-hours, the Zephyr service team is available anytime day or night. Zephyr understands that our primary mission is that of a service business and as such we much be readily available to our clients on a 24x7 basis. NOTE: More details can be found in the attached “Managed IT Service Agreement”, and this can be customized to your needs.
What type of training do you offer either during onboarding or ongoing?
Zephyr offers end user training to ensure your staff know how to best work with Zephyr as-well-as weekly security tips, monthly webinars on relevant IT related topics and more. In addition, Zephyr offers phishing training, end user security awareness training, and other customized training services for end users on either a project basis as needed, or as part of a Service Plan. Zephyr will work with your organization to address any training needs for your organization.
What do you feel are your biggest hurdles to a successful relationship?
The two biggest hurdles to any successful relationship are a lack of effective communication and at times, improper client engagement which could potentially lead to miscommunication or misalignment of goals. Communication and proper engagement are critical to our success to ensure that our entire team understands your business, your goals, and service expectations. Zephyr is passionately focused on providing excellent communication and a truly great service experience.
Do you use in-house or contracted resources for services?
All service and support discussed in this proposal is provided by our in-house technical staff and resources who are all based out of our offices located in Columbia, Maryland with possible exception to any onsite support request that are outside Zephyr’s primary service area.
Outline the methods by which clients are able to access you i.e., online, by phone, etc. Clients can reach Zephyr via phone, email, or via website.
Zephyr provides very clear points of contact for your organization and simple escalation procedures to ensure the best service experience possible for fastest response 24x7, clients are encouraged to call Zephyr's Help Desk for immediate assistance.
Describe the escalation and account management process.
Our escalation procedures are well documented, and the priority is kept on providing the fastest response and issue resolution possible and without internal bottlenecks. Attached is a document titled “Client Success Team” which includes a clear breakdown of your dedicated Client Success Team and the resources available to your organization and end-users for issue escalation and overall account management.
How involved is your team with creating project plans, testing, etc. during technical projects?
Zephyr understands the importance of performing projects well. Zephyr will create technology plans and roadmaps in addition to detailed and clear project plans. Zephyr will ensure proper project management and ensure project goals and client satisfaction are achieved throughout the project process. From initial project design, project SOW (Scope of Work) creation, through successful implementation, testing, training, and documentation, we work with Clients, third party vendors and/or service providers to ensure your IT-related projects are a success.
Do you follow ITIL or other philosophical processes aligned with industry standard practices?
Yes, Zephyr strives to use ITIL-based philosophy and a “best practices” approach to technology services, systems management, and the delivery of IT services to Clients.
Do you participate in drills or tests? i.e., DR, IRP, etc.?
Zephyr performs yearly Disaster Recovery (DR) test, Internal Phishing and Security Awareness Trainings as well as on-going vulnerability testing on our environment. We also recommend that all clients invest in internal vulnerability scans, security awareness training and annual disaster recovery tests as a part of our standards in line with “best practices”.
How do you notify users of maintenance windows or system outages?
As part of our onboarding process and throughout your relationship with Zephyr, we ensure that we have a clear contacts and escalation document maintained for your organization. Maintenance windows are clearly defined and communicated and coordinated with our clients and any system and/or service outages are always clearly communicated with our clients to ensure the best service experience possible, at all times.
What types of diagrams would you typically create/maintain?
As part of our onboarding process and throughout your relationship with Zephyr, we ensure that we have current and up-to-date network diagrams, and that network documentation is properly managed and maintained. We will review network documentation and create a strategic QBR report for discussion. Proper network diagrams and network documentation is critical to our success for effective strategic reviews and all information is available online via “Zephyr Client Portal”.
Do you offer knowledge bases for common issues and how are they utilized?
Zephyr’s internal practice management system includes a knowledge base to ensure that all knowledge of systems and issue resolutions are well documented. Additionally, Zephyr has trained staff in place whose duties are to ensure network documentation, network diagrams and knowledge bases are properly updated, managed, and maintained. Zephyr offers clients an online tool called the “Zephyr Boost” client portal where this information is accessible by staff.
What is your willingness or ability to support security systems, phone systems, audio/visual systems?
Zephyr provides a single-source and point of contact for resolution of IT- related issues. Zephyr offers vendor management assistance whenever necessary, and Zephyr will work with your 3rd party vendors to ensure the smooth and efficient resolution to any service and support required on these systems. Zephyr will work with all your organization’s IT vendors for troubleshooting and management oversight of any issues that may arise and Zephyr has tremendous experience helping, troubleshooting, and assisting clients with phone, camera, video systems and more.
What types of monitoring agents would you use for end user devices?
Zephyr uses ConnectWise® Automate (LabTech) for monitoring as well-as SentinelOne® and Blackpoint® for advanced endpoint protection and “Zephyr Uptime” for detailed network monitoring, network mapping and issue resolution.
What is the backend help desk system you use?
We use the full ConnectWise® suite for all aspects of business operations. ConnectWise® is generally considered to the one of the finest software application suites in the market today for MSPs.
Do you offer managed firewalls or other managed technology?
Yes, Managed Firewall Solutions, Managed EDR/XDR, Managed Detection & Response (MDR), Managed SOC-as- a-Service w/ SIEM, Managed Networking Services, Managed Security Services, Managed Backup & Disaster Recovery Services, Managed Cloud Services, and more.
Do you offer MDM or other mobile management technology?
Zephyr maintains advanced knowledge and proficiency with Microsoft® Intune and a variety of industry-leading Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms.
Do you offer a SIEM or other security-based technology?
Yes, we offer MDR, EDR, XDR & SEIM solutions. We’ve adopted a SOC as a Service model for our Managed Security Operations Center (SOC) in partnership with Blackpoint® Cybersecurity for advanced whole-network managed detection and response (MDR) services. Zephyr uses Blackpoint® cybersecurity for true 24/7 Managed Detection and Response (MDR). Blackpoint’s technology helps prevent breaches by detecting threats at the earliest possible moment. Blackpoint® MDR moves faster than your adversaries and provides immediate response. In addition, Zephyr utilizes Azure Sentinel® (Microsoft’s Azure-based SIEM) platform and both Azure Sentinel® and Blackpoint® correlate Microsoft 365®, email activity and all available network and system log data with advanced machine learning (A.I.) and heuristics for next-generation cybersecurity threat detection and response.
Do you have tools to provide system uptime metrics?
Yes, Zephyr provides customized online dashboards with BrightGuage® for all Clients as-well as “Zephyr Uptime” and “Zephyr Boost” for customized reporting.
What tools do you use for network monitoring?
Zephyr uses ConnectWise Automate® for monitoring as-well as “Zephyr Uptime” and Blackpoint® for more detailed network monitoring and detailed network mapping and issue resolution.
If hosting/co-location is an option please describe details of option i.e., services, vendor partners, etc.
Zephyr has partners that we work with directly and maintain proficiency with, including Azure®, AWS®, Google®, and more.