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There are four things to look for when selecting virtualization support: credentials, service level agreement, reputation and location. "Virtualization" refers to a the use of computer software that mimics the functions of a computer without using computer hardware. Virtualization support can be divided into two areas: operating system and program execution.
The operating system includes both the virtualization software and the actual operating system installed. A virtual computer can run all the same software programs as a standard computer. Support for these programs is slightly more complicated, because additional issues can arise because of the use of a virtual system.
Virtualization support services are offered by specialized computer system companies around the world. Physical proximity is not a determining factor, because of the virtual nature of the computer system. Although there are many business reasons to select a local business, the most qualified company should be the top priority.
Research the skills, academic qualifications and experience of the key staff members working in at least three different virtualization support companies. All team members must have a minimum post-secondary education in computer systems or information technology. Look for professional certification in computer hardware and technical support. Keep in mind that the industry is changing quickly, and so are the standards. Keep up to date on the latest credentials and make sure that the support company has a staff development and training policy that supports continuous learning.
The most important aspect of any virtualization support company is the service level agreement. This contract determine the speed of the response to any service calls, the escalation procedures and the quality assurance programs. The actual pricing model is included in this contract, and it can be based on either the number of service calls received or the length of contract time.
Ask for professional references from at least three or four customers and contact them to learn about the quality of service that the company provides. Ask specific, targeted questions to gain the most relevant information. Ideal questions are focused on response time, customer service and technical skill. Other questions include the value for the cost, sales support and confirmation of the level of software that the company can support.
The international center for visualization support is India. The level of technical skill is quite high, along with fluency in both written and spoken English. As virtualization use grows, more countries will dedicate resources and support to technology companies. These organizations are quite profitable, because there are no physical goods to be manufactured or transported. The only product is knowledge, which provides great flexibility for business operation locations.