What If All Of Your Business Applications Were Down For 2 Weeks?

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Recently I had a very sobering realization.

Sobering because what I’ve been seeing in the marketplace has led me to believe that many small and mid sized businesses in America are in serious danger.

I’m not kidding or exaggerating one bit. Let me explain.

Here at my company we provide IT infrastructure services and managed services such as cloud, server colocation, connectivity and managed services such as disaster recovery, backup and firewalls.

In other words, we provide services that help keep a businesses critical data and applications protected and up and running 100% of the time.

What I’ve realized is that many small and mid sized businesses in America are totally exposed if they were to have a disaster that wiped out their servers.

Examples of this type of disaster could be a fire, flood or natural disaster or if a server just simply crashes.

Many organizations think they’re covered because they back up their data to tape or disk which is not unusual.

What many organizations may not realize is that if there servers are destroyed or fail it could easily take two weeks or more to get the business back up and running.

Why?

Because even if you have the tape or disc stored offsite (many companies don’t) you still have to restore that data to something that resembles your original environment.

By original environment I mean your original computing and networking equipment like servers & switches. Again, you have to have something to restore that data to.

So in other words you have to order new servers and switches unless you have spare ones on hand. Most organizations don’t.

Then you have to set up and network those servers and switches and then you have to restore all the original data back to the new environment.

In some cases this can take more than 2 weeks. There are A LOT of moving parts here.

If your office had a fire, flood or natural disaster where are you going to set that new environment up? Are you going to quickly lease a new office? How long will that take?

What is your desired equipment is on back order from the manufacturer?

See what I mean. It’s a bit scary.

What if you are a healthcare provider like a nursing home or a large physician practice?

What would happen if you couldn’t get to your EMR systems to access critical patient data for two or more weeks?

For a nursing home how do you know what medications Mrs. Smith gets and when?

You don’t have to be in the healthcare field to experience major business issues.

Think of it this way. What if you couldn’t get to the programs you use everyday in your office like CRM, accounting, operations, inventory, ect. for two weeks or more.

I’m not exaggerating when I say many companies and professional practices would literally go out of business.

So what is the disaster recovery plan for your business?

If you don’t have one your at risk.

If you want help contact me by phone or email for an absolutely no pressure evaluation of your situation. 443-570-0414 ed@edworthington.com.

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Categories: Uncategorized

What is Server Colocation?

September 3, 2014 Leave a comment

With so many IT related buzzwords being thrown around on the internet these days it can be hard to get a good understanding of what these terms mean to you and your organization.

One of these terms is “server colocation” or sometimes referred to as just “colocation”.

Server colocation is the practice of moving your organizations servers, storage and networking equipment to a commercial data center where you rent space.

The commercial data center (or colocation facility) provides space, power, cooling, connectivity and physical security for the equipment of multiple firms thereby reducing the cost for each firm.

The power and cooling aspects are provided in a safe and redundant manner using equipment like surge protectors, power distributions units, and generators.

Redundant connectivity is achieved by the data center hosting multiple telecommunication service providers.

From a security standpoint data centers are locked down from the public using features like key card access and bio-metric scanning. Once inside the data center each companies servers are housed inside of a locked “rack” which provides additional security.

So why would you use a colocate your equipment to a commercial data center?

The first reason is that in order to provide the same levels of redundant security, power, cooling and connectivity you would have to build a your own data center potentially costing your organization millions of dollars in up-front capital expenditure.

But the most important reason is PEACE OF MIND. When you colocate your equipment to a legitimate commercial data center you can rest assured that your equipment will be safe in an environmentally controlled environment with many safeguards in place.

This will free up your time and mental hard drive to focus on other important tasks.

By utilizing a commercial data center you get the best of both worlds. All the features we discussed above without spending large amounts of money upfront to build a data center.

I hope this helps.

If your considering server colocation or a move to the cloud please contact me or fill out the form below to get any of your questions answered and a NO OBLIGATION quote.

My company, Expedient Data Centers, owns and operates 9 data centers in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Boston and Indianapolis. We offer server colocation, cloud computing, connectivity, managed backups, disaster recovery as well as a host of other managed services.

Thanks!

Ed Worthington  443-570-0414  ed@edworthington.com

Copier Service Response Time: What’s Reasonable and What’s Way Too Long

Last week I received a call  from the office manager of a company here in Baltimore, Maryland looking to lease a new copier.

As I usually do when I receive a call like this I began asking this office manager a few questions about their current copier situation and why they might be looking to leave their current vendor.

She gave me a few of the usual answers like the copier is jamming a lot, the copier is regularly down going altogether and they’re not at all happy with the service from their existing copier company.

From there I scheduled an appointment to meet with the office manager and general manager of the compan.

If you’ve visited this blog before you’ll know that often when I meet with prospective customers and begin asking these types of detailed questions I’m stunned by the answers. I guess I shouldn’t be stunned  any more but it’s kind of hard not to be when you find out how badly people are being taken advantage of by morally challenged (shady) copier companies.

When I arrived at the company and was waiting for the office manager and General Manager to meet with me I observed they had an old Lanier copier right there in the front office. When I say an old Lanier, I mean OLD. At least 12 years old.

After asking my more detailed questions I found out 2 things that really did shock and amaze me.

1) They have been paying a lease payment for their old copier for at least the past 8 YEARS. Yes I said AT LEAST 8 YEARS!

They even suspect that 8 years ago when the copier was first delivered that it was already used. Judging from the make and model of the copier I think they’re probably right.

The issue of paying a lease payment for the same copier for years and years perpetually is one I’ve seen many times before. It’s called “ever-greening”. What it means is that the lease will continue to self-renew until the customer says stop with written notice.

I think it’s called ever-greening because the copier companies bank accounts are becoming greener by ripping off people who are too busy running their businesses to pay attention to whats happening to them.

This practice is very common so I decided to dedicate a whole post to it in the next few months.

Now lets move on to shocking discovery number 2.

2) The existing copier company regularly takes up to 4 business days to service the copier.

No I’m not joking. I wish I was. On more than one occasion this company has been without a copier for 4 days and even at their best this company would take 2 days to get there.

So you have something to compare to my company offers all of our customers a 4 hour service guarantee. From the time you pick up the phone and call us we have 4 hours to get to your location to service the copier. If we don’t get there within 4 hours we will credit our customers $100.00 toward their next service plan invoice.

We rarely have to pay. We’re dedicated to providing top notch service.

While a 4 hour service guarantee may be a bit on the ambitious side I think same day or next day service are totally reasonable expectations. If your copier company is taking longer than that on a regular basis you may want to consider having a polite conversation with them about the issue.

If that doesn’t work it may be time to consider looking into other companies who can service your brand of copier.

I hope this information helps. As always feel free to email or call me with any questions about buying or leasing copiers.

If your business is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

As always you can also ask me any copier buying question you like and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington

 

 

 

Why an Old (Paid Off) Copier Can Easily Be Costing You More Than a New One

 

 

I recently received a call from an organization in Northern Virginia. Someone in the organization had been reading this blog and contacted me because they were curious if there was any way they could get a new copier for anywhere near what they were paying for their existing copier.

The copier they had was an older Cannon Image Runner that printed/copied at 20 pages per minute in black only and had very few of the  features that are available today. The copier was donated to them several years ago (already used) and had been serving them well but they wanted a little to see if they could upgrade to a newer, better copier(maybe even a color copier) for anywhere near what they were currently paying.

The service contract was about to renew for another 12 months and the existing copier company was asking this organization to pay$1,750.00 for 35,000 black copies/prints for the following 12 months. That’s 5 cents per black print/copy. OUCH!!!

5 cents per black copy/print is VERY expensive.

In the existing copier companies defense the Cannon is very old and probably very inefficient in it’s toner use. But 5 cents still seems high.

After asking a lot of questions and making sure I understood their needs I created a proposal for this organization complete with full cost analysis comparing what they have now to what I’m offering.

I have cut and pasted below that actual Cost Savings Analysis I included in the is customers proposal.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Copier Cost Savings Analysis

 

Current Situation

XXXXXX currently has a Cannon ImageRunner 1021F which prints and copies at 20 pages per minute.

The cost for a new 12 month service agreement from your existing vendor, which includes 35,000 black copies/prints, would be $1,750.00.

Proposed Solution

ABS-Toshiba is proposing a brand new Toshiba e Studio 2050c color copier.

The  lease payment will be $92.43 per month for 39 months for the new

Toshiba e-Studio 2050c.

The service plan for the Toshiba would be $784.00 per year ($65.33 per month) for 7,000 color and 28,000 black copies/prints.

The total cost for lease and service would be $157.76 per month or $1,893.12 per year if choosing a 39 month lease.

Conclusion

XXXXXXXXX can upgrade to a brand new Toshiba color copier with more capabilities for $143.12 per year or $11.93 per month more than you are now paying for the Cannon when choosing a 39 month lease.

If you were to choose a 48 month lease you would be paying $91.52 per year or $7.63 per month more than you are paying now for the Cannon.

** If you were to choose a 60 month lease you would SAVE $230.56 per year or $19.21 per month compared to the Cannon.**

Further savings will be realized by using less paper due to duplexing (2 sided printing) capabilities of the Toshiba.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The bottom line is that this organization could get a brand new Toshiba color copier for LESS money per month provided they go with a 60 month lease.

Keep in mind we are comparing the total cost of ownership of an old Cannon copier that prints/copies only black to a brand new Toshiba color machine with far more time and money saving  features.

They can cut their paper budget by at lease 30% because the old machine doesn’t do two sided printing so every time they print a 2 page document they are forced to use 2 pieces of paper. A 4 page document now requires 4 pieces of paper where their new Toshiba e-Studio 2050c would only require 2 pieces of paper.

You get the idea.

What’s even more impressive is that if they were to lease a Toshiba e-Studio 206L, which is the true equivalent model of to what they have now (20 pages per minute black copier), saving would be considerably more.

I’ve pasted the conclusion of the Cost Savings Analysis for our equivalent model below.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

XXXXXX can upgrade to a brand new Toshiba copier with more capabilities for less money (including lease & service)  than you are now paying for the Cannon.

The total savings realized would $423.88 per year when choosing a 39 month lease.

The total savings realized would $471.61 per year when choosing a 48 month lease.

The total savings realized would $769.60 per year when choosing a 60 month lease.

Further savings will be realized by using less paper due to duplexing (2 sided printing) capabilities of the Toshiba.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

It’s an understandable misconception. Most organizations (businesses, churches. nonprofits, ect) assume that because their copier is paid off that they are saving money over leasing or buying a new one.

The reality of MANY cases like this is that I can provide them a brand new Toshiba copier for less money (including lease AND service) than they are paying now. Sometimes substantially less.

If your organization is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia or Deleware and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will always tell you the truth,  please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

My company carries Toshiba Copiers, HP & Lexmark Printers, Fujitsu Scanners and Dahle Professional Shredders.

In addition to the hardware listed above we provide software and services such as Managed Print Services, IT/Network Services and a full line of document management software.

If you have a general copier buying question or would like a free copy of my book, The Ultimate Copier Buying Guide, just fill out the form below. Thanks for stopping by. Come back often and most of all…… HAVE FUN!

Ed Worthington

Categories: Uncategorized

Save your organization BIG MONEY on printing & copying costs by knowing and controlling who’s printing & copying what, when, where, why and how!

Contact me for more information on PaperCut MF

If your business is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

As always you can also ask me any copier buying question you like and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington

Should You Include Maintenance Plan Costs In Your Copier Lease?

Business saving money Stock Image

 

Recently I met with a prospective copier lease customer located here in Baltimore, Maryland.

The company is what I would consider a mid-sized manufacturing business with 200 employees.

They have 3 copiers and 3 large commercial color printers at their facility.

During our initial meeting I asked the CFO of the company how his billing was set up with his current copier vendor and he informed me that everything was included in his lease.

By everything he meant that the copiers, the printers and the maintenance agreement for all of them were all rolled into one lease.

Just to be clear, when I say maintenance agreement/plan I’m speaking of an agreement that covers toner, all service and repairs as well as preventative maintenance. Basically everything except paper and staples for the copiers and printers.

When I asked the CFO if he’d ever considered having the maintenance agreement billed separately from the lease he looked puzzled.

I explained to him that he was paying interest/leasing fees on the maintenance agreement and that he really didn’t have to do that.

I further explained that all copier companies will bill you separately for your maintenance agreement and that keeps you from paying leasing fees on your copier maintenance plan.

I told him that many copier companies don’t actually hold your lease in-house but instead send it to an outside company. In these cases the leasing company sends you the lease invoice each month for the lease and the copier company will send you the bill for the maintenance plan because they are the ones providing the maintenance.

Then what the CFO said next had me puzzled. He said he likes to keep the copiers, printers and maintenance together in the same lease so he doesn’t have to write 2 checks every month. Huh?

This business does a fairly significant amount of printing and copying so they are paying A LOT of money unnecessarily.

Unlike this CFO many businesses who have the cost of maintenance rolled into their copier lease don’t understand that they’re paying leasing fees on the copier maintenance agreement.

I’ve even had prospective customers tell me that the sales rep of their current vendor told them that there are no fees whatsoever associated with putting maintenance into the lease.

That sounds like a bunch of poo poo to me. There could be many reasons a copier salesperson is encouraging you to do this but my bet is that it benefits the salesperson to do so.

One possibility is that the copier company actually holds the lease in-house and by rolling maintenance plan costs into the lease they make increased profits on that maintenance. Therefore the copier company may be giving the sales rep an increased commission for putting the maintenance costs into the lease.

If the leasing company (whether in-house or not)  is allowing you to have maintenance costs rolled into your copier lease they are charging you for the privilege one way or another.

They are leasing companies, not charities. They didn’t get to be the incredibly profitable entities they are by lending money to businesses for free.

It seemed to me that this CFO was costing his company a boatload of money for the convenience of writing one check per month instead of two. Heck, most copier companies will bill you quarterly or even annually for maintenance so you really don’t even have to write a maintenance check every month.

My advice is to have your maintenance agreement billed separately to avoid unnecessary costs to your business.

If your business is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

As always you can also ask me any copier buying question you like and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington.     edworthington@outlook.com.                           443-570-0414

 

 

 

 

How Small Businesses Can Save BIG Money on Copying & Printing Costs

Last week I received a call from a small professional services company located in Bethesda, Maryland. The bottom line of the call was that this company was struggling with declining revenues since 2008 due to the economic downturn and is looking to save money on their copying and printing costs.

My experience in the field tells me that they’re not alone. I seem to be getting more and more calls and emails from small business owners and executives with the same questions and concerns. The owners of these small businesses are feeling uncertain about the future and looking to save money wherever they can.

As a matter of fact, this company wasn’t just looking to save money, they needed to save money to stay in business.

They wanted to know if I could help. I could, and in a BIG way. I’ll explain how I did it in a moment but first here is some important background information.

There are approximately 28 million small businesses (under 500 employees) in America . Approximately 90% of these companies have 20 or less employees and about 96% have 50 employees or less. Chances are pretty good that if you’re reading this you’re one of them.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of  small businesses in America and many of them are unknowingly throwing money away every day by using very inefficient and expensive desktop printers and all-in-one (print,copy, scan, fax) desktop printers. I’m not talking about a few dollars here.  There is much more than that in play here.

I’ve been told by more than one business owner that they’ve always assumed because they have so few employees and do such a small amount of printing and copying that it wouldn’t be cost effective for them to purchase or lease a stand alone copier. That assumption is costing many of them thousands of dollars per year.

When I say thousands I mean that literally. No exaggeration. If that sounds like a lot of money that’s because it is. Especially for a small business.

Many businesses based on the assumptions I listed above go to Staples, Office Depot or go online and purchase multiple desktop printers and/or desktop all-in-one printers.

Although these desktop models are less expensive than a stand alone copier to purchase up front, in the long run they can be considerably more expensive to operate due to the high cost of their consumables such as toner, drums, ect.

It’s important to take a close look at the total cost of ownership of your current copying & printing equipment.

I designed The Copier Cost Comparison Worksheet to give businesses and professional practices like yours a way to assess the monthly cost of your current copier(s)/printer(s) to the cost to the cost of the solution that a prospective vendor is offering.

This worksheet is especially helpful for businesses that are using multiple desktop all-in-one machine like the popular Brother or HP models.

There are many variables that effect the overall costs of copiers and printers so you may have questions about your specific situation. When these questions arise feel free to call me directly or fill out the easy contact form at the bottom of this post.

1) How much do you spend on toner per month for all existing machines? Include all desktop printers and all-in-one printers.

__________

2) How much do you spend per year over the last several years replacing  fax machines, desktop printers and all-in-one devices?  (Divide annual amount by 12)

__________

3) Total Monthly Cost of Existing Copier/Document Management Process (Add lines 1 and 2)

__________

4) Proposed Monthly Investment for Stand Alone Copier (Lease Payment or Purchase Amount Divided by 60 Months)

__________

5) Proposed Monthly Investment for Service Plan on Stand Alone Copier

__________

6) New Monthly Investment for Stand Alone Copier (Add lines 4 and  5)

__________

7) Savings Per Month with Proposed Stand Alone Copier Solution (Subtract line 6 from line 3)

__________

8) Annual Savings with Proposed Stand Alone Copier Solution (Multiply line 7 by 12 months)

__________

9) Savings Over Full Lease Term with Proposed Stand Alone Copier Solution (Multiply line 7  by number of  months of lease term)

__________

Other Considerations:

In addition to the savings shown above, your office staff will now be much more efficient in their daily work. The time invested in repeated workflow processes will be dramatically reduced due to the unique features of a stand alone copier solution. There is a definite savings in cost of man hours due to this increase in office efficiency.

Additionally, if you currently receive a high volume of inbound faxes you can save additional revenues by using the stand alone copier as a fax machine. Each fax printed on a stand alone copier is far less expensive than that of a fax machine.

Also with a stand alone copier you don’t have to print every fax. You can have the faxes routed to an email inbox as a pdf document. Many businesses receive several pages of fax spam per day. You no longer have to pay for toner and paper to print out these advertisements. Just view and delete them right from the an email inbox.

These savings are in addition to the savings on this worksheet.

If your organization is located in the Baltimore, Washington DC, Northern Virginia metro area I’d be happy to perform a cost analysis to see if I can save you money. Chance are good that I can whether you have desktop equipment or stand alone copiers.

It never hurts to get a competitive quote to compare your current vendor to.

If you have any questions feel free to call me or fill out the easy contact form below. Have Fun!

Ed Worthington 443-570-0414