As you can appreciate, it’s hard to build a profitable and sustainable business offering “Unlimited Support” at a reasonable price for items that we didn’t recommend, sell and install, or which have a higher than normal maintenance and support requirement. As such, if the Hardware we are troubleshooting was not purchased from us and/or the device is not currently covered by the Manufacturer’s warranty, a care pack or a maintenance agreement, then it is in Our sole discretion as to whether We will cover this work under the Scope of Our Agreement or set it as Billable Out of Scope work.
We take a similar view with Software Applications. We make every endeavour to thoroughly use and test software that our clients may wish to use, with particular attention paid to the quality of support from the vendor, their update lifecycle and prompt remediation of security related bugs. If you request the installation of a Software Application which we feel does not adequately meet these three criteria (support, updates and security) then it is Our sole discretion as to whether We will cover support of the application under the Scope of Our Agreement or set it as Billable Out of Scope work.
In all cases we will always give you the option and try our best to steer you towards a solution which we believe meets these three criteria and provide you with the business outcome you are seeking.
Free software may be cheap, but it can sometimes be expensive to support. Where reasonable we will encourage you to use a Commercially supported application and pay for support and maintenance services for that application. Your business is too important to not be able to get support for a critical application when you most need it.
Minimum Technology Standards
Computing equipment is no different to any other machine. They have moving parts and parts which fail over time. As equipment ages, the risk of failure increases significantly and the level of support and updates from the manufacturer declines.
The latter is a significant problem in an era where cyber-attacks are occurring all the time, targeting older, unsupported and compromised technology.
Our goal is for you to have minimum unplanned disruption to your business, so you can work as optimally as possible.
There are several types of warranties, each with a different meaning.
RTB or RTD stand for Return To Base or Return To Depot, respectively. In both instances, this means that you must return the item to the manufacturer, the store you bought it from, or an approved
service centre at your cost. The faulty device will often need to be inspected before it will be repaired or replaced. The turnaround for this can vary.
On-Site warranties generally mean that the manufacturer will send their own technician (or agent) to your location to replace a faulty hardware device or part, within the boundaries of your warranty (business hours, after hours/24×7, etc).
NBD stands for Next Business Day and refers to response time. This is generally considered to be on, or before the same time the following day, or in some cases, before the end of the following business day. Some regional locations can add another day.
Generally speaking, a good quality Server purchased from one of the Tier 1 vendors like HP, Lenovo, Dell and Cisco should last between 5 and 7 years.
Our minimum requirement for Servers is that they absolutely MUST be covered by a hardware warranty (or equivalent) which includes on-site labour and replacement parts, with a Next Business Day response (preferably better).
We may at Our discretion choose not to include support of Servers over 5 years of age under Our Agreement.
Firewalls and Routers
As Internet speeds increase, the capabilities of your firewall or router may be insufficient to deliver the true performance of your internet service.
Our minimum standard for Firewalls is that they must be replaced at least every 5 years
Network Switches are the backbone of your technology. Old and under-performing equipment will impact your staff efficiency, delay backup and restoration times, and fail at the most inopportune times, causing loss of productivity for your staff and potential data corruption or lost work.
Our minimum standards for Network Switches is that they must be of 5 or fewer years, with Gigabit network ports.
The desktop or laptop computer that your staff use to perform their duties generally have a reliable life-span of 3 to 5 years, however as Software Applications and the Operating System itself are improved, the demand on computing resources stretches the limitation on older devices.
Our minimum standard for Computers are commercial grade desktops and laptops with at least an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of memory and a 256 GB Solid State Drive (SSD), which includes a 3 year warranty with on-site parts and labour, with a Next Business Day response. In some cases a 1 year warranty will be accepted.
We may at Our discretion choose not to include support of Computers over 3 years of age under Our Agreement.
Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS)
UPS (battery backup) devices range in quality from very cheap to very expensive. Cheaper devices run on mains power and when there is a drop or spike in mains power they flick over to the battery. This ‘flick’ can cause issues for power sensitive devices like servers, however they
are OK for less sensitive equipment.
Online UPS’s run from battery power all the time, topping up the charge from the mains. These are a minimum for servers to avoid problems.
The size of a UPS is based on the number of devices connected to it, their power usage, and how long the devices connected need to be able to run for without mains power. If the devices attached to a UPS change (upgraded, replaced, etc) or additional devices are attached, this will
affect the amount of time the UPS will run for in the event of a power outage.
The goal of a UPS is to run the devices for 10-15 minutes in the event of an outage to allow the device to be shutdown in a graceful fashion that avoids data loss or corruption. Whilst you can get larger UPS’s and extended battery packs, it is often more cost effective to have a backup generator ready which can be started in the event of an extended power outage.
Our minimum requirement is that network switches, firewalls, routers, wireless access points and phone systems are on at least a basic UPS, whilst Servers should be on an Online UPS.
UPS’s should be tested annually, and batteries replaced on a regular cycle (usually every 2-3 years).
UPS devices themselves should be replaced every 5-10 years depending on the type.
These days monitors are cheap. As monitors age, their pictures become blurry and they may begin to flicker or react to fluorescent light flicking. This puts a strain on your eyes and can result in headaches and other problems.
Additionally, it has been scientifically tested and proven that using two monitors can increase staff efficiency by at least 20%.
Our minimum standard with Monitors is that every staff member should have at least two (2x) and that they are replaced at least every 5 years.
As Printer manufacturers want to sell you their next great model, they may stop updating software for their devices over time. This can cause difficulty in trying to support a 15-year-old printer with modern
software. Additionally, the parts inside a printer will wear and tear over time – even if they regularly receive maintenance.
We require that all Printers are less than 10 years old, and are either covered by a Managed Print Agreement to provide hardware maintenance and repairs, or a Hardware maintenance agreement
with the manufacturer or equivalent.
We do not provide hardware support for printers, however we will work with either your Managed Print provider or a printer technician to resolve issues you may be having with your printer hardware.