Personal Service Comes with a Price Tag

Help!  Recently I embarked on a new endeavor, outside of my comfort zone, into uncharted territory.  In this new endeavor, I found myself learning on the fly and getting along pretty well until the project went awry and I needed help.  I tried to call the vendor but could not get through, so I was forced to send an email for assistance and wait.  And wait.  I felt helpless sitting there waiting for help to arrive.  As it turned out I was only allowed email support. I had to pay extra for actual phone assistance.  I was stunned!  Could this be true – are there companies that force customers to pay extra to get help from a product/service they offer and charge for?  The answer is yes.

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Seven things about outsourcing your CIO wants to know.

Once upon a time the term outsourcing was deemed automatic job loss or loss of control over your critical systems. With technology changing, the lines between consumer and business blurring, security and compliance standards rising and business drivers changing the technology world continually – the role of the CIO has changed and now outsourcing has become an extension of your staff – not a replacement.

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“I Love Cookies”

I love cookies. I love to make them, buy them and eat them…which is why I must exercise! But I digress. I am NOT here to talk about exercise. (Aren’t you glad?) I am here to talk about ‘cookie-cutter’ solutions to ‘non-cookie-cutter’ problems.

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I Like Hats

I like hats…... sun hats, baseball caps, skater hats, Easter Sunday bonnets, hockey helmets and more. I don’t necessarily like to wear them or look good in them, but I like them. Hats allow you to be someone else for a little bit. A baseball cap, for instance, allows you to be athletic and play a game while keeping the sun out of your eyes. A sun hat allows you to be outside and work in your garden without getting sunburn. A hockey helmet lets you be rough, tough and invincible. The hat you are wearing lets you be that person for at least as long as you are wearing that hat.

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The Wizard of Oz

I loved the Wizard of Oz as a kid. I felt the story was interesting and always wanted Dorothy to find her way home. The help she got along the way was interesting and entertaining, however the end of the story made me a bit sad. I wanted to believe in magic. Why did the Wizard have to say “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?” And then when he was found out, I had so many questions. They need a Wizard of Oz part 2. What made the Wizard so special? What was he hiding?

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CIO vs. Capital Expenditures – and the winner is…

For years business leaders have been forced to get creative due to budget constraints.  Today’s IT leaders are in a very challenging position; the business cannot operate without the services provided by the technology team.  Everybody wants the best, fastest technology available but due to capital constraints it is very hard to get new hardware purchases funded.  How can an IT leader provide the latest, greatest, fastest technology with no money to buy what they need?  The answer is easy — work with a private, enterprise-class cloud services provider.

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When Outsourcing Becomes Multisourcing

It starts slow with one vendor, outsourcing one service then we see how much it stress it relieves from internal resources and we start outsourcing more until the list grows and we are multisourcing. Here are a few tips to help you manage multiple vendors:

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Recruiting: The War on Talent

As the technology demand grows and supply stays constant one thing is for sure that FNTS hires great employees for their organization. The job market is getting a bit more competitive with each organization looking for the demand of what’s next in technology. Most employers are going digital and they need the technology experts to take us there!

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Insurance: Fear or Foe

Health, car, house or property, event pet – insurance comes in every form and most of us have it.  The fear of the unknown (and the law) drives us to make sure in the event of an incident we will be able to function and restore our belongings or health back to their natural state.  In fact it is often AFTER we have to use our insurance we learn about everything that isn’t covered….it takes an unfortunate incident to realize we didn’t have the coverage we thought we had.  Now many people are fully covered and walk away praising their coverage and the painless efforts and go back to life as they know it, but what about those that don’t and what does this have to do with IT?

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Cakes in the Cloud

So it’s your sweethearts birthday and being the good partner you are, you are going to bake their favorite cake.  SO you have two options.

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Customer Experience: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

If you want to experience customer service, sit in the middle of the service area in a company and on any given day you will hear the occasional “woo hoo” or “oh crap” identifying the highs and the lows of customer experience.  You hear all the times co-workers come through for one another, the relief of a fire being put out, favors being asked and questions being answered but you also hear the fire drills around issues that come up after routine maintenance, the mumbles and grumbles of slow responding co-workers and even worse – the escalated complaint.

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Why First National Technology Solutions?

This is always a tough question for me.  I personally think First National Technology Solutions (FNTS) has great products, services and exceptional engineers.  I am also an employee of FNTS so it’s possible my judgment is skewed. I asked one of our current customers the question and here are his responses:

Read More Avoiding a Troubled Launch

As an IT professional who works with many corporations that have mission critical websites that cannot experience outages, I am not alone in wondering what went wrong with the site launch. For the amount of time and money that was invested in launching this site, the types of outages and problems encountered should have been significantly less than what was experienced. Not every implementation, especially one on this large of a scale, is flawless but with proper planning and testing many of the pitfalls could have been avoided. A recent article in CIO magazine highlighted areas necessary to be evaluated for other companies to avoid similar problems.

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Ch Ch Ch Changes

David Bowie uttered this memorable phrase back in 1971. At the time he considered it a throwaway song, little did he know it would become one of his most famous lyrics. In the world of IT, change has many meanings just as it did in Bowie’s song of self-discovery.

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