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I.T Charges

pootas

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#1
Posted the other day as have started up business carrying out IT repairs, network/server installs etc. Anyways got out first client who is basically paying circa £1600 per month for their IT service through a local company. Went to do a site visit and it's shocking...They have a Power edge 2600 running Server 2003 basically doing nothing..and I mean nothing...No Active Directory...No DNS...No DHCP nothing...It just sits there

None of the client workstations have any Anti Virus installed and the state of the network is shocking. The manager wants us to work on a Pay as You Go service to start with...Obviously I'd like to change that to a contract in around 3 months...

What do you reckon a good rate would be to charge...I mean I don't want to undersell myself but at the same time want to entice client into considering a contract with us...

I was gonna suggest £50 call out and £30 per hour which is below going market rates to show client that we are willing to negotiate ...Any suggestions...Would you charge more?

We are going to basically be overhauling the 2003 server..Probably install Active Directory...Re route network cables..Install Anti Virus...Setup Remote Access...Take management of company email system...Install Network Printer...Install Network File Server and continue to manage their network...

I'm hoping in 3 months to have shown we can do what we say and secure them on a contract of circa £1200 per month...
 

MFCGMFC

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#2
Why don't you price per job?

ye know what i mean? like £100 to re route the cables and then install anti virus on 1 of their machines for free and offer them a range of anti virus packages

just summit else to to think about, i'm just going by what i've worked with in different trades but could still as easily be applicable

Cheers
MFCGAVMFC
 

3dfella

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#4
I charge £75 ph in Central London. I also charge a retainer of £200 per month. The £200 covers them for installing updates on the server, checking backups, reading server logs and day to day admin of av. Anything outside that is billable at £75 ph.
 

pootas

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#5
I charge £75 ph in Central London. I also charge a retainer of £200 per month. The £200 covers them for installing updates on the server, checking backups, reading server logs and day to day admin of av. Anything outside that is billable at £75 ph.

See that's along the lines of what I'm thinking...Altho the manager doesn't want to enter in a contract straight away and I understand why they still need me to be on site within the hour if there is an issue...And if I'm working with another client at the time they call me they cannot expect me to drop everything unless they pay some sort of retainer fee...Especially when they have been paying some tw@t £1600 a month to basically install a server with flashing LED's..Because at the moment that's about the extent that the server is used for lol
 

JonMMM

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#6
Are you a one man Band?

If so I can not see how you will retain over clients if you give a 1 hour retention to this one.

i.e. you are at site dealing with a problem I have and drop everything to go to another client, not only would I never use you again but would sue you for loss of income.


Jon
 

3dfella

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#7
1 hour on site response is unreasonable. 4 hours for emergency and anywhere between 4 - 24 hours for non emergency is the industry standard. DO NOT MAKE PROMISES YOU CANT KEEP AS YOU WILL GAIN A BAD REPUTATION.
 

daveleebond

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#9
what version of 2003 is it since I thought it auto installs active directory, is not the whole basis of the server?
 

daveleebond

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#11
what I would recommend is to get a half decent server (dell?) 3-4gb ram and set up some virtual servers to save on costs, one for file, one for web and one for e-mail.
 

3dfella

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#12
what version of 2003 is it since I thought it auto installs active directory, is not the whole basis of the server?
You may be thinking of Small Business Server. Win 2k3 server standard and above dont auto install AD. You have to promote the server using dcpromo.
 

JonMMM

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#13
You may be thinking of Small Business Server. Win 2k3 server standard and above dont auto install AD. You have to promote the server using dcpromo.
Yes but what rhe OP is saying is that the server is sitting on the netwrk doing nothing?
 

3dfella

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#15
Yes but what rhe OP is saying is that the server is sitting on the netwrk doing nothing?
But what does that have to do with the post I was replying to which was asking if server 2k3 auto installs AD?

Presumably they have it set up as a file server in a workgroup and they get their dhcp settings from a router or they have statics. Its not an unusal set up in a Small office where they dont have IT staff on site to administer AD. Ive seen worse.
 
Last edited:

daveleebond

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#16
AD is p*ss easy to admin.
I would set up a decent GP.
Visualization is a must.
find out about their licences since m$ are cracking down on this
their use of 2003 svr sounds odd????
 
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#18
See that's along the lines of what I'm thinking...Altho the manager doesn't want to enter in a contract straight away and I understand why they still need me to be on site within the hour if there is an issue...And if I'm working with another client at the time they call me they cannot expect me to drop everything unless they pay some sort of retainer fee...Especially when they have been paying some tw@t £1600 a month to basically install a server with flashing LED's..Because at the moment that's about the extent that the server is used for lol
Good business plan mate - good luck with it. A few of us used to moonlight doing this sort of work a few years ago coz our main job was so cushty that we had time to privately support our own 'customers' during office hours!

We used to do an initial site visit - then quote them a price to get everything up to our required standard. We'd only take a gig if they agreed that we had to get it up to our basic standards - otherwise we'd walk - aint no point trying to support an already badly configured network.

Prices varied depending on what needed doing and how much work would be involved - we had one smooth talking bastard who we just used to send in to negotiate the deals and he'd always come out with more than we expected! So it was all good!

It used to amaze us how some companies networks & systems had been SO badly configured by their previous I.T people.

We saw it all!

Open relays on email servers!
Windows servers that had never had a single critical/security update applied!
Default passwords being used on Cisco and HP routers - yeah their external facing public IP routers!
Phone hunt groups that didnt ring anyones extension!
Laptops running Kazaa and Limewire but no AV!

Anyway once we had everything running smoothly, finally we'd set up a VPN connection to their network so we could remotely manage everything from wherever we were - we used to use Cisco VPN but you could use freebie VPN software like OpenVPN. We were all field-based engineers anyway so one of us could always get to any of our 'customers' if we really really needed to.
 

pootas

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#19
Cheers for the advice peeps but I think the thread has lost it's direction a bit...All I need is a general concesus on charges:

Call Out
Per Hour
Retaining Fee

The Server I can configure myself same as the HP switches and client machines...

I'm looking for what people would charge considering this is lowly S Wales and not Central London...Plus I want to show a bit of good will so we can entice them into a service contract...
 
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#20
hey mate - i'm from a london/south east background so yeah our prices differ here, i don't know the business scene in south wales but the price rates you mentioned in your 1st post sounded all good to me... especially since you sound like you ain't a cowboy.

You'll probably build most of your business thru recommendations by your customers so it's good that you're being honest and ain't trying to charge rip-off prices for your area.

Check out how much BT are charging for their "I.T Manager" small/medium business support package? As long as you're undercutting them then you should be ok.