Posts Tagged 'software'

Another Hidden Cost of Technology

Here is what we are seeing over and over again.  We have clients that will purchase new PC’s when they’re on sale at Best Buy, or on the Dell website.  Most clients of ours run some sort of industry specific management application.  Examples might be practice management software for doctors and dentists, timekeeping software for lawyers, dealer management systems for auto dealers.  These applications come with their own requirements for operating systems, RAM, processor, video card, etc.  This does not mean that their software will absolutely not work with specs other these.  It simply means that the applications have been tested with these specs, and the software company will offer support for their software ONLY if these specs are used. 

At some point something will go wrong with the management application, or the network it is running on.  We will be called to provide support.  We make sure the network, server, and PC’s are running fine, then we call the software company for help with their software.  If the specs of the PC or the server do not match the requirements set forth by the software manufacturer, they are under no obligation to offer support.  Sometimes they will help out of courtesy, but since their software hasn’t been tested with the Best Buy sale computer, support might not be as swift as we would like.

In the meantime, our client is not able to perform all of their job at the very least.  At worst, the entire office is down because the management application is so vital.  How much money are they losing in the process?  If it is a doctor and the Electronic Medical records system is down, he isn’t seeing patients.  If it is a car dealer, they aren’t selling cars.  4-5 hours can mean thousands of dollars, in addition to mounting frustration. 

I am not berating those who are trying to save a few dollars.  I know as well as anyone that is key to running a successful business.  However, there are good places and bad places to save.  The technology requirements for vital management applications are there for a reason.  If you aren’t sure if the PC’s you are looking to buy meet the required specs, call an IT service firm.  We will always be happy to help.

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Importance of technology

It seems the importance someone places on their business’s technology is directly to related to the degree to which it is working.  When we are trying to place a value on our IT services, the prospect will inevitably tell us they shouldn’t have to pay monthly for us to monitor, manage and maintain their IT infrastructure.  “It works fine,” they’ll say, “we can handle waiting a couple hours, or even a day for someone to come fix it.” 

When something isn’t working and they can’t get email, then, “you better be here right now.  Every minute this is down is costing me money.”

Your technology infrastructure is important.  Email, computers, servers – it’s how we do business now.  The days of buying a few computers as needed, then waiting until they break to fix them, are over.  Too much business and goodwill is lost due to down networks, lost files, and misplaced email. 

Think about buying, or leasing, a car.  Everyone gets a warranty now to cover the costs of repairs.  The warranty, however, doesn’t cover the frustration of having to take the car in to the service shop…or worse, having to get a tow.  Luxury car companies now offer free tows, free loaners, free tune-ups, for the life of the extended warranty.  They even have a system in the car that alerts the dealership if there is a problem.  If they could find a way to service your car as you drive it, they would bundle that into the warranty also.  Luxury car buyers would buy that warranty, as they know their time is valuable. 

Why then wouldn’t you want that kind of service for your business?  Successful business owners know to protect their IT investment by routinely taking care of it, not waiting until it breaks down.  They are also protecting their business by ensuring the security and business continuity.