We are a small company that was founded in 1989 with the mission of
rendering services to a client base in the New England area after
spending time working in Education, Health Care, and Nuclear Security.
Through all these fields we found common threads leading to both
successes and failures. Many companies had the words right as they
talked about Total Quality Management, ISO certifications, and the
"importance of the need for a more holistic operational and financial view of IT".
Phrases like "increased IT complexity," "out-of-the-box thinking," "workforce optimization,"
"demand management and
infrastructure management adaptation" and others were poured out and
empty. We worked with both ends of the spectrum from dysfunctional
management teams to progressive well trained senior managers, but often
the end results were affected by the human interactions more than any other factor.
We all have been in an interview where people said the right thing
and appeared well polished, but after the first few minutes you feel this
is not someone that fits with your organization. On paper they have
every experience and skill needed, and
display the ability to impress
the Senior Management with all the latest the technology terms. Often
the best move is to hire the person that will fit well, and help
increase their skills in the needed areas. Situations like this made a
lasting impression on all of us and helped us plan how we would work
with other organizations.
Here is an example of the babble of terms people use to describe these area:
"Provide pro-active analysis and recommendations pertaining to the optimization and enhancements of
infrastructure systems in order to improve performance, increase efficiency, and reduce costs."
Due to this we have some central ideas we work within to help us stay on track:
Can we work together?
Each time we talk to a possible client we don't charge for the phone call or any time spent on the first site visit. We don't work on all Server OS's, or with all hardware and software available. We don't design websites, or work with companies that use software illegally or produce any products that we feel are not ethical. We do work with individuals and corporations that look at technology as a tool that can help them be more profitable or create a better product in less time. We enjoy working with non-profits that attempt to make positive changes for people and the environment that we share. We also break bread with our clients so we can understand what directions they are moving in and what tasks we can improve on. To put it simply, we want to work with people that think like we do.
Fairness for all parties involved!
We don't expect someone to pay us more for a product then they should. Companies should check prices and be aware of slight differences in products that make them operate differently. Our income comes from labor, not hardware and software. The only reason to purchase those items through us is to pay less, or ensure the correct product arrives at the right time. We don't expect to work for free and don't expect our clients to pay for labor they should not be responsible for. We track our time in 1 second increments from the time we walk in the door to the time we stop working. We also bill at rates as they relate to the type of labor -- we don't feel it's fair to bill for travel at the same cost per hour as a Server installs or a phone conference.
We don't know everything
We will never expand past a handful of staff because we always want a personal connection with our clients. Follow-up should always be with the same person, and no one wants to explain the same problem multiple times as can happen when you call a large organization for help. We help clients choose, install and configure new technology ranging from Palm-based cell phones to workstations and servers on LANs - MANs -WANs and for individuals. We also help clients interview and manage other firms that supply expertise with phone systems, VPNs, document management and other areas we don't cover to ensure stable integration. We also feel work should be scheduled during times that will not decrease production and with ample time in case a "roll back" is necessary. And yes, we do train your support personnel and end users as requested (sometimes as new products are installed or often during new employee orientation).
We all know systems will fail, we all make mistakes, and sometimes things happen. When we use cutting-edge technology it's in a non-production environment. We move to new desktop and server OS's after other's have paid the costs of downtime and lost data. We feel stability of systems and backups must be central to success. For most clients, a well-trained employee takes on the role of the "Go To" person managing the backup process and answering basic questions before requesting more help. Documentation on system setup is also a necessity and needs to be reviewed each quarter for updates and should be stored off-site with the backups. We also work with clients to create workable budgets for the short term and the long term. Although the direction may change as needs and environments change, goals are needed to keep moving ahead.
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© 2006 Burtt PC Consulting, Inc.