By : D'Andre Davis-Taylor | April 8, 2024 | 7 min read

T&M vs Unlimited Support – Which Plan Is Best for Me?

When businesses decide to opt for a managed services plan for their software, they are usually presented with two main engagement models to choose from. These are Time and Materials (T&M) managed services or the emerging trend of an unlimited support request model.  

In the unlimited support model, a managed services provider proactively manages the system to preempt any issues and reduce downtime. On the other hand, T&M primarily focuses on reactive support without necessarily including preventative measures. This blog will provide a comparative analysis of these two options to help businesses determine the most fitting solution for their needs. 

Overview of T&M Managed Services Offerings 

T&M (Time and Materials) Managed Services offer a flexible approach to managing your software investments. Unlike traditional fixed-price contracts, T&M services operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, where clients are billed for the actual time and resources consumed by the client. 

Here is what you can expect when choosing a T&M plan for your managed services: 

  • Flexibility in Service Delivery: While T&M Managed Services offer clients the flexibility to adjust services according to their changing needs, this flexibility may come at a price. Fluctuating demand or rapid growth can lead to unpredictable expenses, making it challenging for businesses to budget effectively. 
  • Customized Support: With T&M Managed Services, clients can customize support to meet their specific requirements. However, this customization may lead to unforeseen expenses, as clients are charged for each service request or consultation. Over time, these additional costs can add up, making it difficult to predict overall expenses. 
  • Ad Hoc Consulting and Training: While T&M Managed Services may include ad hoc consulting and training sessions, clients should be cautious of the impact on their budget. These additional services may be billed at an hourly rate, potentially resulting in higher costs than anticipated. Without a clear understanding of the total expenses, clients may find it challenging to manage their budget effectively. 
  • Transparent Billing Structure: T&M Managed Services operate on a transparent billing model, charging clients based on actual time and resources expended. While this model offers transparency, clients may find themselves paying for every minute of service, regardless of the value received. Without a cap on expenses, clients risk overspending on services that may not align with their strategic objectives. 

Overview of Unlimited Support Managed Services Offerings 

An unlimited support managed services model provides comprehensive and proactive assistance to clients without traditional pay-per-use or time-based billing constraints.  

This model offers several benefits, including: 

  • 24/7 Support Availability: Many unlimited support managed services models offer around-the-clock availability, ensuring that clients receive assistance whenever they need it, regardless of time zones or business hours. This constant support ensures rapid response times and minimizes disruptions to business operations. 
  • Dedicated Support Team: Clients typically have access to a dedicated team of support specialists who are familiar with their organization’s specific needs, software configurations, and business processes. This dedicated support team builds a deep understanding of the client’s environment, enabling them to provide more personalized and effective assistance. 
  • Predictable Pricing Structure: While unlimited support models may involve a higher upfront cost compared to T&M models, they offer a predictable pricing structure with fixed monthly or annual fees. This predictability allows clients to budget more effectively and eliminates the uncertainty associated with variable billing based on usage or incident counts. 
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Unlimited support models are designed to scale with the client’s business growth and evolving needs. Whether the client is expanding its operations, implementing new software modules, or integrating additional systems, this support model can adapt to accommodate these changes seamlessly. 

Which Managed Services Plan is Right for Me? 

If you want to manage your software investments with flexibility, customization, and transparency while maintaining control over your budget, a T&M Managed Services offering might be the best option for you. With T&M, you can scale services based on your changing needs, receive customized support, and access ad hoc consulting and training sessions to get the most out of your software. The transparent billing structure ensures accountability, as you only pay for the actual time and resources expended by the managed service provider (MSP), without any hidden fees or upfront costs. 

Alternatively, if you prefer comprehensive support, predictable pricing, and scalability to manage your software ecosystem, an unlimited support Managed Services model might be the way to go. With unlimited support, you can benefit from 24/7 availability, a dedicated support team that understands your organization’s needs, and a predictable pricing structure with fixed monthly or annual fees. This model ensures rapid response times, personalized assistance, and seamless scalability to accommodate your business growth and evolving needs without the uncertainty associated with variable billing based on usage or incident counts. 

We’re Here to Help 

Here at Faye, we provide a wide range of managed services plans under our Axia offerings. Axia elevates the concept of traditional managed services by bundling Faye’s capabilities and expertise into one annual or monthly subscription, empowering your organization with continuous improvements at a fixed flat rate fee. 

We understand that choosing the right Axia plan for your business can be a daunting task. Do you prioritize:  

  • quick response times  
  • hassle-free billing  
  • unlimited service requests and hours  
  • or access to our comprehensive suite of tools?   

To help you make the right decision, we have created an Axia package quiz that will guide you through a series of questions based on your needs. Once you’ve completed the quiz, we’ll recommend the perfect Axia package for you! 

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