In This Issue
Greetings and welcome to this edition of Out of the Blue. We hope it finds everyone well and looking forward to the fast approaching Christmas season.
As you probably would have heard by now, we have had some changes in staff over the last month or so. Sadly we have said goodbye to our engineers Ben and Ralph and also our sales consultant, Mitch. Tash has now added the sales duties on to her current role of assistant to the consulting services team and is doing a great job considering the steep learning curve in her additional responsibilities.
We are also very pleased to introduce our new Network Support Officer - Seiko Chogyoji. Seiko will primarily be looking after our new managed services program (MSP) and attending to support jobs that arise from there. We are very happy to have her as part of the Blueprint team and hope you will welcome her as well.
Soren is recovering slowly from his operation. He unfortunately has had a couple of setbacks and we expect that he will continue to be on leave for awhile yet. Our thoughts are with him and his family during his recovery period.
We hope the following articles provide you with useful and interesting information from the IT profession. If you would like any further information please don't hesitate to call, we'll be only too happy to help.
Blueprint Technologies Australia
Introducing Blueprint's Managed Services Program
Over the past few months we have been trialling and gradually introducing clients to our new managed services program (MSP). The MSP is proving to be invaluable in monitoring, maintaining and reporting on our client’s IT systems. We have had several instances of the MSP picking up that a server has gone offline before users have even noticed. This has allowed us to attend to the issue and have the server back up and running with little or in some instances no disruption to staff.
For those of you who haven’t heard about it yet, our MSP provides services such as:
IT asset and inventory management, and basic maintenance
Patch and service pack management
Performance monitoring and alerting
Server disk management
The MSP is customisable to suit your needs and budget and is easily implemented by installing an agent on the servers and desktops to be covered under the program. The agent monitors the machine on a constant basis and feeds information back to our MSP portal. The portal is where Blueprint engineers are able to monitor and respond to any problems that may arise.
A recent news article in the Brisbane Times brought to light an added benefit of the MSP. An IT Support company in Sydney, using the MSP software, were able to track a laptop that had been stolen from one of their clients. Unbeknown to the 18 year old thief, the laptop had the MSP agent installed. The IT support company were able to set up an alert to let them know whenever the stolen laptop was logged on to the internet. From here they were able to monitor what the thief was doing online and were able to report him to police when he finally logged on to his Facebook account thereby giving away his name, date of birth and where he went to school. He was apparently arrested by the police and charged with theft within an hour of logging on.
This is a great example of the many benefits of our MSP – if you would like to find out more give us a call and we will be only too happy to send more information or arrange a demonstration.
Excessive Download Dilemma
This article has been submitted with kind thanks to:
Greg Jamieson - BMM Financial Services
I’ve been a client of Blueprint for many years now – from even before they became Blueprint! A recent experience found that long-term relationship really pay off.
My business has been operating for several years with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) on a 5 Gb monthly usage allowance - which we had been regularly exceeding over the last six months. This had been costing up to an extra couple of hundred dollars or so each month. Less than two weeks from a planned 5-week overseas holiday, the business was suddenly and unexpectedly hit with a $5,900 monthly Internet bill. This bill was for an additional 31 Gb over my monthly allowance. I needed answers as to how this massive bill could have occurred, so I turned to Ron at Blueprint for an explanation and a helping hand.
On that first day, Blueprint had identified that the excessive downloading had occurred due to a malfunction of the Symantec Liveupdate software on my server. Unfortunately, it was also identified by Blueprint that a further 20 Gb had been downloaded after the invoice cutoff date – which meant I was due to receive yet another massive bill from my ISP for about $3000 in the coming month.
I called my ISP and they were not very receptive to my dilemma. They simply told me that I had to submit my dispute in writing.
It was vital that I have this matter sorted before going on leave. Ron from Blueprint took control of the situation and prepared a detailed and impressive report on the facts surrounding the excess usage. Ron’s report included how the ISP had let me down by not alerting me to the extraordinary usage which had continued for 11 days, and how they had taken 8 days to produce their invoice after the cutoff period. Using some tips provided by Ron, I submitted the report to my ISP and commenced negotiation.
The outcome was excellent. The ISP cut the bill by 60% requiring me to pay only about $1700. I renegotiated my contract with the ISP so that I will now have 20Gb usage allowance per month and will only pay $50 more over my usual monthly base. I was permitted to backdate this so that I could bundle the extra high usage which hadn’t yet been billed into my first month on the new contract. I’ll be saving about $250 per month over my previous contract.
Thank you Blueprint for coming to my rescue.
Greg Jamieson - BMM Financial Services
What is it and why use it?
You may have heard of the term virtualisation but do you know what it really means and how it can benefit your IT infrastructure? Firstly the following excerpt from Wikipedia may give you a small insight into how virtualisation has become possible. It is an article on “Moore’s Law”:
Moore's law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware. Since the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958, the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has increased exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. The trend was first observed by Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore in a 1965 paper. It has continued for almost half a century and in 2005 was not expected to stop for another decade at least.
Almost every measure of the capabilities of digital electronic devices is strongly linked to Moore's law: processing speed, memory capacity, sensors and even the number and size of pixels in digital cameras. All of these are improving at (roughly) exponential rates as well. This has dramatically increased the usefulness of digital electronics in nearly every segment of the world economy.
As predicted by Gordon Moore servers available today are much more powerful than servers of only a few years ago. Along with the development of virtualisation software, we can now take advantage of this increased hardware power and run multiple virtual operating systems on the same physical server.
Virtualisation technology allows us to partition one physical machine into multiple virtual servers or machines. Each virtual machine is able to run independently of other virtual machines with users able to access devices, applications and data as if it were a separate physical resource. One advantage of this is that even though each virtual machine is running within a single physical machine, if one virtual machine crashes the others are not affected.
Other benefits include the ability to:
The flow-on effects of these benefits include significant savings to businesses in the following areas:
As with all new technology there are advantages and disadvantages and virtualisation may not be the solution for every situation but it is certainly worth looking into. If you are interested and would like further information please don’t hesitate to call us. We’ll be only too happy to not only save you time and money but also help you make the most of the computer equipment you already have in place.
Change in Freight Costs
We have recently been advised by one of our major suppliers that they have reviewed and subsequently restructured their freight pricing matrix. In the review they found that a large percentage of orders were for single items of a low value. The cost of processing, packaging and couriering these small orders is obviously quite large and results in an inefficient method of delivery both from a business and an environmental perspective. As they still saw the need to provide a small order service and didn’t want to bring in minimum order fees or quantities, they have instead introduced reduced freight rates as a reward for orders over $300. The new freight matrix still depends on where the order is being delivered to but will be a flat rate based on the value of the order rather than the size, quantity or weight.
As an example the new cost for delivery to the Brisbane Metro area will be:
|Order Size||Freight Cost|
Less than $300
Between $300 and $3000
Between $3,000 and $10,000
Greater than $10,000
Please note: not all of our products are sourced through this supplier, however a large majority are, particularly orders placed via our online shop. Before you place an order for an individual or low cost item check to see if there is anything else you need such as toner cartridges, CD-R’s, DVD-R’s or back up tapes. Adding these to your order will increase the value and reduce freight costs significantly.
How to Contact us
Our team are happy to assist with any enquiries you might have.
|Phone||(07) 3852 1250|
|Freecall (QLD Callers)||1800 064 906|
|Fax||(07) 3852 1194|
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