Got GoldMine? Bad Old News, Good News and the “Catches” —- Part 2

Back on November 7, I announced that “Until December 18th 2009, GoldMine Standard  Edition users can upgrade to GoldMine Premium Edition at $355 per seat.  Additional seats for the same price are available if the additional seats are included on the same order.”

Obviously, December 18 is gone.

If you place your order after December 18 but by January 29th 2010 you can upgrade from GoldMine Standard Edition to GoldMine Premium Edition for $405. That’s still a savings over the standard price for GoldMine Premium Edition.

The Catches remain the same:  You must order a minumum of five (5) GMPE licenses with maintenance required on all seats. Orders—which go through a GoldMine partner such as Pequod Systems—must be received by the FrontRange GoldMine partner in time to reach FrontRange by the deadline.

We have a few client tasks to complete over the holiday but are looking forward to spending time with family and friends.  I’m taking some time out to catch up and rest up to be ready for 2010.  Be warm, be safe and remember not to put your cell phone in one hand and your steering wheel in the other as you’re tooling down an InterState at 60 MPH.

Happy Holidays, all!

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Managed IT Services in Plain English: Are you Kidding Me?

Our last blog talked about hardware, and most specifically, hard drives.  Sometimes some really strange, improbable and not quite verifiable stories come to light after a full inventory of computer hardware is made. Consider the case of BROKDLEG.

My office workstation is a modest Hewlett-Packard box with nothing unusual about it…or so I thought until recently.

First, some background. As a contractor on a number of large Federal and commercial projects, I develped a healthy respect for consistent conventions for naming all manner of objects on a network.  Furthermore, you don’t name a product or a version with a name that is disrespectful or spiteful—unless, of course, you want to have your career suddenly cut short.  So imagine my surprise to discover that the model name my workstation was sporting suggested a broken leg! Was there a setting somewhere that could be changed? How did my computer get a model name like that in the first place? There were a number of articles on the Internet that included the model name BROKDLEG. But not one that questioned the model name.  It seemed a very odd model name for HP, for which a far more typical name is Z400.

So we called HP and heard an amazing story that left me scratching my head. It seems that back when HP was merging with Compaq, a disgruntled technician named a number of workstations of a particular model as BROKDLEG. And no, it could not be changed. Whether that technician was already slated for an exit is an open question. We were simply told that the technician was fired when that particular stunt was discovered.

So now the inventory of our network includes an entry for an HP workstation with the model as shown here.

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Managed IT Services in Plain English: II

A while back, I promised that the next blog would talk about inventory of computer hardware, the use of hardware vendor-supplied information about your hardware and what this information can do for you. Today hardware inventory is gathered automatically and remotely with a small piece of well-configured software that simply reads what the hardware is.

In addition to its usefulness for insurance purposes, a complete automated inventory of computer hardware does many things for business.  It’s a great place to begin assessing overall network efficiency and capacity for software upgrades.

Consider the executive faced with a choice of upgrading an old but mission-critical application no longer supported by a manufacturer. (Yes, it does happen!) That’s when  an inventory showing where hard drives with a required amount of space for that mission-critical software can make the difference between an upgrade on pre-existing hardware or purchase of an entire new server.   For the technical support team that assembled this information, providing that information can either be slow, painful and expensive or it can be immediate, easy and offer great return on customer investment.

In the example below,  we see a server that still has 81% of its capacity on a particular drive available to be used for an application. Further information collected by that same, small and remote piece of software about  that server can determine that server’s suitability for upgrade of a mission-critical piece of sofware.

Managed IT Services. Not sexy, but definitely a service with great return on investment.