News Categories
Announcement (9) Amy Babinchak (64) Tips (1) SBS 2011 (6) Windows Essentials 2012 (4) Edwin Sarmiento (28) SQL Server (22) SQL Server 2012 (6) SQL Server Clustering (3) SQL Server Disaster Recovery (6) Windows Server 2008 Clustering (1) log shipping (1) Brian Higgins (3) Uncategorized (42) Hyper-V (67) Virtualization (13) Windows 8 (13) Cisco VPN Client (1) Windows Server 2012 (24) Friend of TT (4) Hangout (2) Office365 (4) DNS (8) Jeremy (7) Cliff Galiher (3) Active Directory (12) ClearOS (4) Linux (4) presentations (2) SQL PASS (6) Chris Matthews (4) Printers (2) SharePoint (8) SQL Server Administration (7) Windows PowerShell (3) recovery model (1) sql server databases (1) Dave Shackelford (7) SMB Nation (1) Steve (1) Boon Tee (5) Kevin Royalty (3) Lee Wilbur (2) Philip Elder (10) SMBKitchen Crew (31) Susan Bradley (15) AlwaysOn (1) AlwaysOn Availability Groups (4) readable secondaries (1) row versioning (1) undocumented (1) The Project (2) Webinar (3) Enterprise for SMB Project (9) Security (25) Remote Desktop Connection for Mac (1) Remote Desktop Services (8) Windows Server 2008 (1) Exchange (15) Powershell (6) Microsoft (15) Performance (7) data types (1) Server 2012 (1) monitoring (1) DevTeach (1) SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery (5) Clusters (44) Hyper-V Server 2012 (2) Business Principles (26) Cost of Doing Business (13) DHCP (7) sbs (15) Windows Server (30) SMBKitchen (26) Windows Server 2008 R2 (4) StorageCraft (1) P2V (1) ShadowProtect (6) StorageCraft ShadowProtect (1) VHDs (1) Intel RAID (2) Intel Server System R2208GZ (1) Intel Server Systems (17) RAID (2) SAS (2) SATA (2) Server Hardware (12) Microsoft Licensing (2) OEM (2) System Builder Tips (4) Intel (5) Intel Channel Partner Program (4) Intel Product Support (10) Intel Server Boards (2) Intel Server Manager (2) Cloud (26) IT Solutions (2) On-Premises (20) SMB (9) WIndows Azure (2) StorageSpaces (1) Error (47) Error Fix (35) Intel Desktop Boards (2) Intel SSDs (2) SSD (2) Business Opportunity (17) Data Security (11) Identity Security (7) Information Security (14) Privacy (2) Intel Modular Server (6) Promise (2) Storage Systems (9) Live ID (2) Microsoft ID (4) User Profiles (2) Articles (2) Building Client Relationships (6) DBCC IND (2) DBCC PAGE (2) filtered indexes (2) SQL Server Index Internals (2) training (11) Adobe (3) Internet Street Smart (8) Intel Storage Systems (2) LSI Corp (2) LSI SAS6160 Switch (2) Storage Spaces (7) Firmware Update (2) Product Support (7) Hybrid Cloud Solutions (3) Server Core (2) MAXDOP (1) SharePoint 2013 (1) SharePoint best practices (1) SQL Server Authentication (1) Family (5) Alternatives (1) SBS 2011 Standard (4) Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community (2) Microsoft Surface (2) SBSC (2) Networking (4) Availability Groups (3) CANITPro (1) HA/DR (1) Step-By-Step: Creating a SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Group (1) webcast (1) VMWare (2) Conferences (2) Client Focus (2) Disaster Recovery (6) Error Workaround (8) Troubleshooting (4) Logitech (2) Product Review (7) Windows Features (4) XBox Music (2) SBS 2008 All Editions (4) MDOP (2) Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (2) Software Assurance (2) W2012E (6) Windows Server 2012 Essentials (6) Internet Explorer (3) USB 3.0 (2) USB Hard Drive (2) Bug Report (2) Microsoft Office 365 (5) sharepoint online (2) BitLocker (2) Windows (2) Microsoft Update (3) Swing Migration (2) Windows Update (4) Outlook (2) Group Policy (9) WS2012e (2) WSUS (3) Office (3) Microsoft Downloads (5) Microsoft Office (3) DRP (3) Virtual Machines (2) Virtual Server Hardware (2) online course (1) SQL Server learning (7) 2 Factor Authentication (2) 2FA (2) PASS Summit 2013 (4) SQLPASS (5) Contest (1) e-learning (1) Udemy (1) smbtechfest (1) backups (2) PASS Summit First Timers (3) IIS (2) RD Gateway (4) RD RemoteApp (2) RDWeb (4) Remote Desktop Connection (2) Remote Web Access (2) Remote Web Workplace (2) Cryptolocker (6) Backup (4) Restore (2) CryptoLocker (1) AuthAnvil (1) SBS 2003 (1) SBS Migration (1) Windows Server 2012 R2 (9) Documentation (1) IE 11 (4) testimonials (11) SQL Server 2008 (1) Best Practices (1) Support (1) Intel Xeon Processor (1) RemoteApp (1) Android (1) iOS (1) Hyper-V Replica (2) PowerShell (2) SBS (3) Break (1) Business Intelligence (1) Excel 2013 (1) Power Map (1) Power Query (1) PowerBI (1) MultiPoint (2) Surface (1) Net Neutrality (1) Opinion (2) ASP (9) HP (2) Scale-Out File Server (8) SOFS (10) Windows Phone (1) Updates (1) Intel NUC (1) Intuit (1) QuickBooks (1) Office364 (1) Intel Server Systems;Hyper-V (1) Firewall (1) Patching (1) Mobile (1) Mobility (1) sharepoint (1) Microsoft Security (1) Beta (1) Storage Replication (1) outlook (1) Hyper-V Setup (3) JBOD (1) Azure (1) PCI (1) PCI DSS (1) PII (1) POS (1) MicroStaff (2) Catherine Barr (2) Third Tier (1) BeTheCloud (1) BrainExplosion (1) LookAWhale (1) Manuel (1) Rayanne (3) SuperSecretNews (1) TechYourBooks (3) Managed Services (1) Training (1) E-mail (1)
RSS Feed
News
Jan
27
Business Guidance Pearls Mentoring Opportunity
Posted by Philip Elder on 27 January 2015 09:30 AM

Original Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Business Guidance Pearls Mentoring Opportunity

Our blog post on Some IT Pro Business Guidance Pearls has generated a _lot_ of questions! Thank you for that. :)

So, how about this?

Third Tier has a special on a block of 3 hours that ends in a few days.

Drop in to the Third Tier Help Desk, register, and purchase a time block. From there, open a ticket: Business Guidance Pearls Mentorship.

I would pick up the ticket and get in touch about scheduling our time together.

The structure would be:

  • 1 Hour: Practice Assessment and Goals

  • 1 Hour: Goals Roadmap
  • 1 Hour: Goals Implementation Steps

I was very fortunate to have a former employer that worked very hard to teach me how to run an I.T. business. By “run” we’re talking about a lot more than just the bookkeeping and cash flow aspects.

Believe me when I say this, you’d not regret any minute spent. We’d look at the big picture right through to the details to facilitate growth in your I.T. Pro practice.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Jan
15
Some IT Pro Business Guidance Pearls
Posted by Philip Elder on 15 January 2015 11:21 AM

Original Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Some IT Pro Business Guidance Pearls

Here are some bits and pieces of business wisdom that I’ve gathered over the years. Much of my initial business formation came from my first employer out here Larry MacDonald while working for Logical Computer Company.

  • Keep a business journal (for me it’s my blog, Twitter, and forum helps)

  • Document everything (take pictures of everything with SmartPhone, use Snip in Windows ALL THE TIME)
  • Create build documentation for everything
    • We have builds for clusters, Exchange setups, Exchange migrations, SBS setups, SBS Migrations, More
  • Be consistent (build documentation helps)
  • Use Tasks in Outlook and on the phone to track everything
  • Be disciplined in tracking, responding, and being present to clients
  • Spend 10%-20% on R&D
  • Spend 10%-15% on lunches, dinners, and such with others
  • Put 10% away for a rainy day
  • Get involved with user groups or start one
  • Get a _good_ accountant and keep them

As far as recurring revenue:

  • IMSNHO, blended is better than full MSP

  • ~$60/User to $110/User for:
    • Server OS patch, Server App patch, and Microsoft App patch/install management

    • Desktop OS patch and Microsoft App patch management
    • A/V Management along with e-mail sanitation (we use ExchangeDefender)
    • Remote Server Monitoring and management included
    • On-site not included
    • Phone and e-mail support beyond 15 minutes not included
  • Offer backup rotation with quarterly full bare metal or hypervisor restore
    • $150-$250 per OS per month

    • Need a dedicated box for this (Intel S1400FP4 with 96GB ECC, and RAID 6 across spindles or SSDs)

Services

  • Non-contract break/fix:

    • $250/Hr immediate response

    • $200/Hr 4 hour response
    • $175/Hr 24 hour response
  • Contract on above
    • 4 Hour response included

    • Immediate response at 1.5 rate
    • Time Blocks offered at discounted rates

*Response being an acknowledgement of the request/ticket.

There are a lot of benefits over time as far as financial stability but also client relationships become a lot more stable and long term with support contracts in place versus a break/fix model.

We soon discover the clients that value our IT services and those that don’t when we move into the above model. What business that runs a fleet does not have a crew of mechanics to maintain that fleet? Why is IT infrastructure any different?

A major plus is in the routines that we build up. Our schedule gets a lot more stable and predictable. While we are still at our client’s beck and call we now have an established set of boundaries as far as how, when, and where the help would be provided.

We can have a few more evenings a week pursuing other things and _not_ looking at screens! ;)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



May
20
Some Mandatory Reading for Sys Admins
Posted by Philip Elder on 20 May 2014 02:41 PM

Original Blog Post Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: Some Mandatory Reading for Sys Admins

There have been some critical human attributable error related news stories that we have seen lately.

Many of us, if not all of us, have had situations that have had negative impacts on our client’s networks or our own networks due to something we did or did not do.

The following four links come via the Patch Management list serve (Ben S.):

As with anything out there on the Interwebs take a PDF of the four parts to keep them safe. :)

There are many pearls of wisdom contained in the above pages as well as some humorous stories that we _all_ can relate to.

  • Lesson #1: Learn from our mistakes
  • Lesson #2: Keep a detailed history of our mistakes
  • Lesson #3: Learn from our mistakes

When we make a mistake that directly impacts our clients we make sure to apologize and make some sort of restitution offer to them.

Contrary to some folks that claim that admitting mistakes can kill a business we have found over the years that being honest with our clients actually builds up their trust in us.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



May
8
SMB Kitchen ASP Project: Content Posted
Posted by Philip Elder on 08 May 2014 05:50 PM

Original Posted Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: SMB Kitchen ASP Project: Content Posted

I’ve posted a number of items to the ASP Project Knowledgebase.

Client Quote Template

image

This four sheet quote template allows us to create a quote for a server, desktop, storage, laptop, or other system based on expected pricing, current pricing, and then actual pricing to give us full control over our margins and expected sell prices.

The first sheet is where we work. The others are used to present the prospect or client a fully detailed list with price or just a fully detailed list for pasting into a proposal. The Build Sheet is part numbers, distribution source, pricing, and Order/Receive status.

All calculations are handled by this spreadsheet including leasing using the numbers our brokers supply us.

Client Audit Notes Template

In the Documentation link you will find our audit notes template:

image

image

In it you will find what we have built up for the last decade or more to manage our client’s very diverse network infrastructures.

Client E-mail Templates

Finally there are three information templates that we use to e-mail our clients once in a while depending on the circumstances.

image

If you have not already done so please sign up. There is a lot more to come in the way of content produced by Amy, Susan, and myself for the SMB Kitchen ASP Project.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Apr
9
A couple of Published Articles and an ASP Document Published
Posted by Philip Elder on 09 April 2014 06:04 PM
Original Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: A couple of Published Articles and an ASP Document Published

While we have been quite busy I have managed to put some aside to do some writing.

I have also posted the first of many documents to the SMB Kitchen ASP Project that we use for our ongoing day-to-day business here:

image

This document is the foundation on which we manage all of our clients. We track _everything_ in this document. It gets posted to a SharePoint library with versioning enabled for major and minor versions as well as mandatory check-out and check-in.

Soon to come will be some of the quote templates we use to cost out or IT Solution Sets for our clients.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »



Mar
14
Crazy Week – Taking a Break
Posted by Philip Elder on 14 March 2014 11:17 PM

Original Blog Post: MPECS Inc. Blog: Crazy Week – Taking a Break

We have had one of the more challenging weeks in our business and family life this last week. It probably ranks in the top 3 for the most challenging.

On the lighter side we have a new little friend at home:

image

She’s a fuzzy six week old Calico that does not have a name yet. We brought her in because our own Calico unfortunately did not make it giving birth to kittens and neither did the kittens. :(

From pipes bursting at home through to servers crashing and needing our full attention we’ve run the gamut this week.

Time to relax and take a break. Hopefully the weather is nice tomorrow so I can enjoy a cold citrus wheat on the deck.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Thanks for reading. :)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
MPECS Inc.
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business


Read more »




Help Desk Software by Kayako Fusion