Our (almost) FREE Managed Services Offer

Susan Ellsworth

Here is an offer you can’t refuse. We are offering a two-month free trial of our bronze entry-level Pequod ProActive Managed Services Suites.

This offer is good only through June 30.

We normally charge $199.00 per month for this service. However, if you act now, you will receive a free system inventory and  two free Monthly Reports.

The Pequod ProActive Managed Services Suites are designed to identify, track and report issues affecting the security, performance and reliability of your IT investment. Our Suites inventory the software and hardware on your network.

Why should you care about this?

Is your company really ready for a natural disaster? Flood from a broken dam upstream? It happened to a landscaping firm I know about. Fire caused by a spark from a nearby building? It’s in the news. Vandalism ? An oops resulting in significant staff downtime and replacement of critical parts of your network? Think it can’t happen to you? Stuff happens! You can’t afford the service? When is the last time you calculated how much you earn in an hour? Now calculate how much each employee whose productive work can come to a halt in the case of a downed server. It just happened to a company we know well.

When you approach your insurance carrier for replacements, how current will your inventory be?

While it used to be a daunting, expensive task to collect documentation about every laptop, every workstation, printer, scanner and  hard drive, every version of—and patch for—each software solution, that is no longer the case. Our Pequod ProActive Managed Services Suites do that for you.

The Fine Print

To deliver our service to you, we install a piece of software known as our onsite management reporting software. Therefore,

  • your company must have a true windows server operating system. This includes Windows Server 2003 (any edition), Windows Server 2008 (any edition), or Windows Home Server (not used in Domains).
  • you must have SQL Server 2005 (express, standard, or enterprise edition), or be willing to allow us to install SQL Express 2005 on your server as well as our onsite management reporting software.
  • your server must have a 2.5 Mhz or better processor, 1.8 Gigabytes of  RAM,   10 Gigabytes for our onsite manager software and SQL files
  • your Internet access must have  open outbound ports 9222, 443 and 80.
  • your LAN network requirement is for open ports on managed/monitored devices 22, 23, 80,  (3389 and/or 5900), and others, depending of devices

The only cost to you is one-half our usual setup fee.

NOTE: This offer is good only through June 30.

If any of the above Fine Print makes no sense to you whatsoever,  drop us a note on our contact page.

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The Fine Art of Back-Pedaling on a GoldMine Offer

Susan Ellsworth

On very rare occasions, I have to back pedal on something I said or did. Or did not do. Today is one of those days. In my March 25 blog, some of the data I posted about the latest GoldMine Premium Edition offers were just plain wrong.

Here is what I should have said.

First: All the promotions below expire on April 30, 2010. To take advantage of these offers, please contact Pequod Systems before April 26.

Welcome Back to GoldMine is an offer for GoldMine Corporate Edition Customers who have been off of maintenance for more than six (6) months and who now want to upgrade to GoldMine Premium Edition with a minimum of five (5) seats. All existing seats of GoldMine must be upgraded. Please contact Pequod Systems before April 26 to take advantage of this offer.

The bottom line from Front Range for such a customer with five seats of GoldMine is $2,940. Here are figures showing a sample breakout for five (5) licenses.

The Upgrade from Corporate Edition to GoldMine Premium Edition is for customers who are currently on maintenance, and who will upgrade with a minimum of five GMPE seats. All seats must be upgraded.   This FrontRange offer for five seats at $488.00 per seat includes a required $139.00 annual maintenance.

Then there is the Director’s Special for Standard Edition users. The FrontRange offering is an upgrade at $544 per seat, including $139 per seat required maintainance.  A minimum of six (6) seats is required.  Standard Edition users please note:  GoldMine Premium Edition with multiple users requires a server and workstations.

Once again, the fine print
There is no return for any reason. Clients will be invoiced for renewal at the then current rates. The sale is final and non-returnable.  That includes the End User License Agreement.

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More GoldMine Premium Edition Offers: Gotchas Not Included

Susan Ellsworth

It goes against our grain to lure customers or prospects in with an apparent low price for product or service, and then suddenly hit them up with hidden extra fees. There. I’ve said it.

Here are the latest GoldMine Premium offers from FrontRange, including additional charges that come directly from FrontRange.  Pequod Systems is a GoldMine (FrontRange) partner, so I am definitely not commenting about FrontRange or any other FR partner.

I am talking about Pequod Systems values. We have been told not to lead with price, but with benefits.  Our relationships with our customers have always been built on transparency right from the start.

Welcome Back To GoldMine is an offer for GoldMine Corproate Edition Customers who have been off of maintenance for more than 6 months and who now want to upgrade to GoldMine Pemium Edition with a minimum of 5 seats.  All existing seats of GoldMine must be upgraded. Please contact Pequod Systems before April 26 to take advantage of this offer.

The bottom line from FrontRange for such a customer with 5 seats of GoldMine is $2,940.  Below are figures showing a sample breakout.

Welcome Back to GoldMine

Upgrade from Corporate Edition to GoldMine Premium Edition is for customers  who are currently on maintenance, and who will upgrade with a minimum of  five  GMPE seats. All seats must be upgraded. This FrontRange offer for five seats at $449.00 each comes to $2,245.  The FrontRange requirement for $139 per seat annual maintenance upgrade multiplied by five seats comes to $695.00.  Total offer for an upgrade for customers currently on Corporate Edition with only five seats of CE: $2940.00.

Then there is the Director’s Special for Standard Edition users. Evidently there are still a few Standard Edition users out in the hustings. The FrontRange offering is an upgrade  is for $499.00 per seat. That price does not include the $139.00 for maintenance.  Also, there is a minimum of six (6) seats required. Thus, the software investment for six seats would be $3828. Standard Edition users please note:  GoldMine Premium Edition with multiple users requires a server and workstations around it.  Please do not try to use one person’s workstation as a server.

Bottom line for these offers? Don’t be fooled if you see announcements saying “Welcome Back To GoldMine! Flat fee of $500 ! Upgrade for $349 – includes SQL 2008 for WorkGroups !” Think again if you see announcements that say CE to PE $449 includes SQL 2008 for Workgroups.” Ask for the numbers behind the numbers.

Some other fine print
There is no return for any reason. Clients will be invoiced for renewal at the then current rates. The sale is final and non-returnable.  That includes the End User License Agreement.

Remember, you got your numbers and fine print here at Pequod Systems.

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GoldMine Premium Edition Spring Bundles!

Susan Ellsworth

FrontRange has recently announced the following GoldMine Premium Edition offers, which are good only through April 30th, 2010.

Small Business  Bundle Offer : For the small business who want to purchase three (3) user licenses of GoldMine Premium Edition.

A user can buy 3 licenses of GoldMine Premium Edition for $1,995 including new product upgrades for a period of one year.  This offer includes MS SQL 2008 Workgroup, but does not include Crystal Reports®. Renewals after the 1st year will be $695.  No FrontRange telephone support is included in this package. Telephone support will be the responsibility of the partner.

Starter Pack Promotional Bundle: For Company wishing to purchase 5 user licenses of GoldMine Premium Edition

Five (5) licenses of GoldMine Premium Edition for $2,995 including maintenance for one year.  This offer includes MS SQL 2008 Workgroup.

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Got GoldMine? Bad Old News, Good News and the “Catches”

copy-of-susan_headshot4 If you are still using GoldMine Standard Edition, this blog definitely is for you.

Front Range, the manufacturer of all  GoldMine in its various versions, stopped distributing GoldMine Standard Edition some years back.  Users of GoldMine Standard Edition cannot receive technical support for that version directly from FrontRange.

It’s not the GoldMine you started out with on your laptop years ago.  The only officially-supported GoldMine now lives on a corporate server.  Sorry, a local workstation does not count as a GoldMine server.

That’s the bad old—very old—news.

Now the good news—and the catches.

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.

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.

Longtime loyalists from Standard Edition days, GoldMine Premium Edition has a very different “look and feel” from what you are accustomed to working with.  And there are many more new features.  I recommend going to the test drive to check it out.  The Pequod Systems order desk is at 301.445-6206.

The Catches: 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.

P.S. Not sure which version of GoldMine you are using right now? Launch GoldMine and look at the splash screen. It’s written right there.  If you are already in GoldMine, click on HELP. Then click on ABOUT.

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PEOPLE ARE INSTINCTIVELY SELF-CENTERED

copy-of-susan_headshot4 Today’s blog continues my earlier look at Toastmasters International—a 501(c)(3) volunteer-driven membership organization from the perspective of Bruce Temkins’ Six Laws of Customer Experience — The Fundamental Truths that Define How Organizations Treat Customers.  I start from the self-evident premise that Toastmasters International must sell memberships around the globe. Memberships sales occur one at a time when a volunteer recruits another and when a current member renews her or his dues. Membership sales occur twenty-plus-at-a-time when a volunteer gathers together enough prospective members to form a new club.

Temkin’s Six Laws are here and below:

1) Every interaction creates a personal reaction.
2) People are instinctively self-centered.
3) Customer familiarity breeds alignment.
4) Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers.
5) Employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated.
6) You can’t fake it.

PEOPLE ARE INSTINCTIVELY SELF-CENTERED

Temkin points out that everyone has their own frame of reference, which heavily influences what they do and how they do it.

In a Toastmasters marketing situation, prospective members, for instance, care intensely about their own needs and desires but they don’t generally know or care as much about how Toastmasters clubs are organized. Current members have their individual frames of reference that prospects do not.

Consequences of this law in the Toastmasters context include the following:

You know more about the program than your prospective members. You can’t eliminate your biases, but it helps to acknowledge them. Recognize that prospective members may not understand things like our multiple acronyms and service chart.  Simplify your language and cut the Toastmasters lingo!

Don’t sell memberships twice a year when “dues are due.” Instead, help current and prospective members buy them. What value do your current and prospective members believe will come with membership—new OR renewing?

Don’t let the Toastmasters service chart drive all experiences. Just because we have several layers of our organization from club to Board of Directors, that does not permit you to make prospective members jump through organizational hoops to participate as she or he wants to.

The bottom line is: Shift from self-centeredness to member centeredness — both potential and current. You will grow, and so will your membership.

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Toastmasters: Learning how not to Market

copy-of-susan_headshot4 I am an incurable Toastmaster. I joined Toastmasters International in the ’80s and have never looked back. With more than 250,000 members in 106 countries this 501(c)(3) volunteer organization presents  great self-teaching opportunities both for leaders and for speakers from absolute beginners to its volunteer Board of Directors. Only a small World Headquarters staff in California is paid.

About a year and a half ago, the  Board looked at changing organizational governance. Earlier this year, the Board published on its website a proposal which required approval by member clubs. Board members traveled out to local region and district conferences around the world with a mission of marketing to whatever members who showed up  at conferences. The organization’s website carried a summary of proposed changes and commentary by the Executive Director. In March, World headquarters sent out its annual proxy ballots to club Presidents and Education Vice Presidents.  An “Executive Director Communication” appeared on the corporate website. In May, WHQ sent  colorful, heavyweight six-panel brochures to District Governors for District conferences, and opened several social networking sites to members. The International President sent out “Dear Toastmaster” eMail to the membership. The June and  July issues of the organization’s monthly magazine carried ads for “Global Representation and Support.”

But participants in the members-only official LinkedIn Toastmasters International Members group began pushing back.  And talking to others not in LinkedIn. Things were not exactly going according to the Board’s plan. Why ? What had gone wrong?

It comes down to learning from the commercial sector who now is in charge when it comes to buying goods and services. And the fact that while people love to buy, we hate to be “sold” a bill of goods. The lengthy proposal with only two issues for consideration by clubs and many actions by Board members came across like a bill of goods that club members had not contributed to.

Has this not-for-profit organization been paying attention to shifting marketing strategies in the private sector? Not seriously. Has this not-for-profit organization been depending heavily on one-way marketing of a concept written over a two-year period by roughly thirty Board members? Seriously. As of May 3, there were 5,634 Toastmasters participating in the LinkedIn discussions. Where was the International President? Not in LinkedIn, where she could read what was being said about the proposal –or where the Board could have gotten input from those who were unable to attend conferences. Neither were the Second Vice President, or the Third Vice President. Twelve of the current 23 Board members were not taking advantage of opportunities to so much as read—let alone respond to–what members had to say about the proposal before it was presented to membership at large. Many felt left out of the process. And turned off.

The proposal will be voted up—or down—in August. In the meantime, all this outbound marketing reminds me of the technology sales organization that keeps bombarding me with eMails and marketing materials that I have been ignoring for the past year. Some day I am going to return one of those eMails with a PLEASE REMOVE.  As for Toastmasters….it’s also a great place to learn how not to market.

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Answering to Myself

copy-of-susan_headshot4
Sometimes you just have to stand up, take a position and stay with it, regardless of the older (but not necessarily better-informed) voices speaking against your ideas.  A FrontRange GoldMine blog with 666 members may not necessarily be a comfortable place to argue with those who have been in the business  longer than I have. Especially when the group includes some superb, well-known industry experts and one self-admitted grump with a Grumpy avatar who speak as if they were in on the pre-beta tests of GoldMine Premium Edition.  A few of them are actually published authors. In a word, they can claim to be more technically authoritative than I am.  However, remaining silent is worse.  I have to answer to myself just before I drift off to sleep at night.

Until recently, my points about integrating social networking with GoldMine Premium Edition at the heavily  technically-oriented members of the FrontRange Community site have mostly been met with pushback.

Not that I did not expect that to happen. It’s just that very often the louder chorus of voices can easily drown out a soloist with the courage to speak up for change.

A fair estimate of the male to female ratio in the FrontRange GoldMine community site is about 10 men to every woman. And when a chorus entirely dominated by men spoke in doubt about the value of integrating social networking with GoldMine, it got rough and tumble. I pictured myself standing up and speaking directly and in person  as a group.  For some people, that might be a rather intimidating experience.

That was when my Toastmasters training kicked  in, making the FrontRange community experience  exhilirating, not daunting; exciting, not devastating.

I first joined Toastmasters in 1981. Since then, I have spoken to thousands at a time. I have spoken in front of strangers and in front of friends. I have spoken to hostile groups. Most recently, and in front of a virtual LinkedIn Toastmasters group of 5,773, I have been debating the value of a proposal being put to all of our voting members around the globe, including the Executive Director and those Board members present. Based on the Toastmasters International profile showing 53% of our members being female, I suspect I have been talking to more women than men. But again, it’s mostly men pushing back in public.  Why that seems to be so, I am not sure.

The experience in each group gets my heart pumping.  Sometimes I just have to speak my truth to power to answer to myself just before I drift off to sleep at night.  Then I’m glad to be a Toastmaster.

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UPDATE: Absolute Rock-bottom GoldMine Prices end 4/28!

Upgrade from GoldMine Standard Edition

to GoldMine Premium Edition

YOU MUST ACT NOW

NOTE: FrontRange announced the end of development and support for GoldMine Standard Edition in 2004.

Until April  28 you can order GMPE 8.5 upgrade from GoldMine Standard Edition through Pequod Systems for $400 per seat. Maintenance is based on list price ($695  per seat per year.)

Upgrade from GoldMine Corporate Edition

 

to GoldMine Premium Edition

Until April  28 you can order GMPE 8.5 upgrade from GoldMine Corporate Edition through Pequod Systems for $299 per seat.  Corporate Edition users must current with maintenance. Maintenance is based on list price ($695  per seat per year).

Other offers

GoldMine Premium Edition and Voice
For a limited time only you can buy a bundle of GoldMine Premium Edition
and IPCM Contact Center Pack for only $1,449.
Must be purchased by April 28th, 2009.
Maintenance is based on list price. Minimum purchase of 10 seats required

Upgrade from GoldMine Corporate Edition to GMPE + Voice
For a limited time only you can upgrade to GoldMine Premium Edition and bundle IPCM Contact Center Pack for only $1,200.
Must be purchased through Pequod Systems by April 28th, 2009.
Maintenance is based on list price.
Minimum purchase of 10 seats required.

Powerful Lease and Finance Programs  through BayTree

More about GoldMine

Re-shaping your (eMail Business) Dream

copy-of-susan_headshot2John Maxwell, author of  Put your Dream to the Test  recently gave a sermon entitled “How to go from Believer to Buyer. ” In this sermon, he talked about the importance of claiming your own dream (rather than someone else’s), and not letting others talk you out of your dream.

Sometimes you have to re-visit and re-shape your dream. And it happens because of the actions of a lot of other people you never knew, let alone met.

For years, a business friend of ours depended upon bulk eMail sent to thousands  other potential business partners to announce the sale of recycled office goods. One day he discovered that his bulk mail was not being sent out. In fact, it was being blocked. And most likely, it was being blocked by his own eMail services provider.

The eMail service provider had finally decided to close the gateway to our friend’s internal  relay. Every time there was a bounce-back because of a changed eMail address or a “please remove” response, a count had been made and our friend had unwittingly and technically become a spammer.

Now our friend has a serious business problem. The cost of calling each of those thousands of eMail recipients to confirm their eMail addresses and formally get permission to send an eMail announcing product sales available for auction is prohibitive. What’s more, recipients of those eMail announcements–just like other people— can change their eMail addresses without notifying every person who ever sent them an eMail. So of course our friend has a high probability of unwittingly sending eMail to bad addresses.

Sending eMail announcements in small batches at a time will take a very long time—perhaps so long that announcements of the product auctions will arrive just as the auctions are over and done with.

Our friend will be re-visiting and re-shaping that part of his business dream. We are confident that he will find a new way.

~~~~~~~~~~~

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