Last week, we had a client decide to go with another I.T. provider for the purchase and installation of a new router and primary network switch. The client bought based on price, and experience that a new hire had had with this provider at previous places of work.
The client has an internally hosted email server and uses a line of business application known as ADP. ADP Has their own Internet connection and equipment in the building which we are not to touch – outside of links to the main office network. The office network has its own Internet connection; so the network configuration is not straight forward.
We knew there were problems with the main router and had recommended replacing it, and had made note of all the configuration.
On Thursday, the client gave the other provider the go-ahead, and things were working. The server was up and the router was functional.
Around 2 PM, the client’s network went dark. The other provider did not review documentation that was on-site regarding the router passwords or the configuration.
Periodically over the weekend, the server was active but the E-mail was inactive. The other provider did not even configure the router to handle the internal server properly.
3 PM on Monday he was asked to leave.
9:30 AM Tuesday morning we were in and working on the problem; I met one of the owners and she wasn’t happy with the situation. We reconfigured a router, re-instated the original switch removing any equipment the other provider had put in place. The e-mail services were back around 10:00 and the entire organization was working as they were previously by 12:30 PM. We even had to re-install software components of the server, which the other provider had removed unnecessarily!
As bad as this situation was for their business, and they DID lose money because of it, I am happy that the client understands we are working to make their technology pleasurable to use, productive, and profitable.
Choosing a provider or solution solely based on price is a mistake. It may seem like a better deal, but more often than not, it ends up becoming a hassle, due to less capable and reliable hardware or software causing a loss in productivity, and costing money to deal with – or replace. Money that could be better invested in better quality solutions from the get-go.
This story also highlights the absolute necessity for keeping proper network documentation. The more the better, and keeping it updated as work and maintenance is done on a regular basis. As a team, we pride ourselves on keeping things organized and information accessible to other Nerds, and to each client. The primary Nerd may not always be available, leaving trusted colleagues to rely on proper documentation to know the history of the work done.
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