IT assessment for your office and why it is not an estimate
Are you a business? Is your office in need of IT support and computer repair?
Or are you a new office just starting and need to setup your network, computers, software, phones, cabling, etc.?
Long Island PC Techs can accomplish that for you. I can come on-site and for a fee (deductible from the final quote) I can make an assessment.
What is an assessment and why is it not an estimate?
An assessment can be confused with an estimate but there is a big difference between the two and I will explain below very simply what the differences are and why an assessment is not an estimate.
Although you might know already what an estimate is, indulge me, and follow along:
An estimate is when a service provider comes to your place of business, asks a few questions and offers you a ballpark figure based on what you need.
It is rather a quick process and only delves into the most important aspects.
An assessment instead, actually consists of delving into every possible detail and will require one to two hours. Not only that, but an IT will try to understand your office needs and figure out if you will need any particular equipment/upgrades, how much equipment, etc.
Moreover, Long Island PC Techs (me) will tell you what is the best and most affordable route to accomplish your business necessities if you are just starting. Or, I will tell you what is the best most affordable plan of action to resolve your issues if you have existing problems with your computers/software and network.
In addition, this plan of action is consolidated and translated into an exact quote that will save you money in the short and/or long term.
If you go ahead, I deduct the initial fee from the final quote.
What exactly are you going to assess?
The best way to describe and explain in details what an assessment does, is to offer you an example of what I actually did not long ago for this accounting firm. Before I get to the example, I wish to list below a few of the detailed questions I will need to find the answer to make the assessment.
Note: if you do not know the answer to these questions and many others, I will guide you through on-site in understanding all the differences:
- Are you going to need a server?
- Are you going to need multiple computers networked together?
- Will you need group policies?
- Will you need to share data across the workstations?
- Will you need the server to share a particular software like for example QuickBooks across all the computers?
- Will you want some entry level security at the router for example a firewall? Monitoring? DNS filtering? VPN?
- Will you want to have some antivirus at the computer level?
And on and on and on. When assessing, and when assessing properly, an IT will ask you all these questions and will help you navigate through all these aspects, explain what these measures do, and more importantly if your business and office needs these implementations.
This cannot be accomplished over the phone. I need to look at your equipment, software you currently use, router, and if you are just starting, I need to visualize the space especially if cabling is required.
Are you not convinced yet of the difference between a simple estimate and an assessment?
Well, here is the example I promised to explain and this is based on a real IT assessment and job I performed for an accounting firm:
The owner wanted to network/wire all 5 rooms of his office to make sure that each workstation could get fast ethernet speeds.
Why not Wi-Fi, you might be wondering?
He did have Wi-Fi but due to the structure of the walls and the position of the adjacent rooms, no repeater, booster or antenna was strong enough to offer reliable, steady and fast internet across all of his workstations and employees.
One IT company offered to install access points which would certainly offer each room sufficient and steady speeds; however this required wiring via the ceilings from the router into each room for a total of 3 access points (sufficient coverage).
The wiring obviously requires more work, time and 3 access points to configure into the router and install.
This job was quoted by this IT company at around $5000.
Myself, I went on-site, assessed the situation and elaborated the best most affordable route to resolve this particular issue.
How did I solve it?
I cloned the router into each room, and this is way different than boosting or repeating a signal (which do not do much). By cloning the router, I actually offered the same incredible wired speeds to each workstation for all 5 rooms consistently and efficiently.
I billed the client $3000 for the job. It saved him $2000 in labor and equipment costs. It also saved him more money down the road if problems would arise with those access points, errors, hardware failure, etc.
A simple redirection gave way to the solution, saved him money, got me the job and made everyone happy. This client found my assessment intelligent, and valued the initial fee I billed him for that (and that was deducted too).
There is no such a thing as a free estimate or an estimate in the IT industry
Now, if you read all of the above and you got this far, you will have understood and realized why there is no such a thing as a free estimate in the IT industry.
It would be nice if an IT could come to you, take a few measurements, and in 15 minutes could offer you an estimate (free or not).
As you can see, it is more complex than that and if you only value the bottom line, the money you will spend, you will end up hurting your own business.
The Ambiguity of the estimate and the bad salesman
The other problem with an estimate in the IT industry, is that many companies out there will throw you a curve, after all, an estimate is only an approximation and they take advantage of this ambiguity, more or less like a bad salesman.
A quote is a quote, it is an exact figure and not an approximation like an estimate
That is what you get from me, from Long Island PC Techs, INC. a quote, not an estimate when it comes to a business/office assessment.
Beware of the shenanigans of the IT industry
Next time an IT will tell you he/she can offer you a free estimate, and unless he/she spends hours figuring out all the details and the best route to take, take the estimate with a grain of salt; be skeptic, and ask yourself: why did this IT not ask or find out about all those important aspects?
Shortcuts is the answer, shenanigans is the answer.
Don’t let someone bamboozle you, be smart, hire the right IT company, hire an IT person that is also not afraid to tell you any risks involved.
No one can ever guarantee anything 100% in the computer/electronics/software field just as no one can ever guarantee you will have no breaches, no vulnerabilities and no viruses.
For example, there is no security 100%, and even with the most expensive equipment in the world, the best precautions and best security measures, you are still going to be vulnerable and you are still going to be hacked if you are their target. CIA, FBI, they all got hacked, the biggest companies on Earth got hacked, what makes you think you and I, are safe?
My last point for bringing up this example above, is that you should value someone’s straightforwardness, pragmatic qualities and taking the time to assess before performing an IT job.
Call Long Island PC Techs, INC. to schedule an IT assessment and not an estimate 🙂 and I will figure out the best and most affordable plan of action to resolve any current issues with your network, software and computers or jumpstart your office configuration.