70 staff, 7 days without internet - then 1 phone call

Agile's latest transition of a 70 person Architecture was a piece of cake.  The people are wonderful, they invest in the right hardware and software, they understood our support process right off the bat (including our intra-triage system of shifting priorities as needed).  We couldn't have asked for a better experience with a new client.  As for the IT firm that we were replacing - that's another story.

caveman_6.gif

While Agile was busy cataloging systems info, gaining admin control and preparing the staff for the cut-over - disaster struck, the internet went down.  Well - it mostly went down.  See - they had a backup line that was very slow at 5 megs that was only used for their phone traffic, and that was handling the entire traffic for the firm now - just nobody knew this.

The previous firm spent the next week sending technicians to review the issue, appliances were rebooted, the ISP was called and then there were the meetings, the endless meetings.  Over the course of the next week, with the internet still limping along, this IT firm requested no less than 8 meetings to review the situation.  In their last meeting, with the business owner, account reps and various technicians on the line - they finally conceded to providing Agile with the firewall credentials, said "YOU FIGURE IT OUT" and cut us from the call.

Now day 7 of the outage - after 1 hour of being able to dig around the firewall and then 1 phone call to the ISP, the line was up and folks could work again.  

Over the next 90 days - Agile transformed this clients IT process from one of meetings and support queues, to that of a seamless IT partnership process. We're way past break/fix - we're creating efficiency beasts.

efficiency.jpg

Book a one on one chat today - (30 minute Tech talk)

 

LinkedIn Premium vs. Girl Scout Cookies

The InterWebs are full of Top 10 this and thats, Celebrity Click Bait and countless manner of material that croon for all the eyes on screens. Last month there were 2 clear winners that were successful in separating funds from our wallet. The two could not be much more different in product — so how can we have any quantitatively or statistically relevant study. Well it couldn’t be simpler — we’re just going to have some fun with this.

There will be ground rules though — Agile will spend the same amount of time utilizing each product. This doesn’t mean that we’ll eat all the Girl Scout Cookies while making sales calls — but that should fall under fair game, and to the pleasure of our team. Instead we set aside 10 hours per week to each tactic — and we’ll review the results.

 

 

Both approaches will also be linked (as it were) to another campaign that we have been waiting to explore. Both LinkedIn Premium and Girl Scout Cookies are simply a foot in the door at best, so we have our Trojan Horse campaign ready. There should be enough data on this A|B test to show a clear winner.

 

Benefits breakdown

LinkedIn-Changing-TOS_edited.jpg

ranging from $29.99 to $47.99 per month for job seekers, $64.99 per month for sales professionals, and $99.95 per month for recruiters.

Agile has chosen the LinkedIn Premium’s Sales Navigator Professional version which gives a lead-builder tool, lead recommendations and real-time insights on existing accounts and leads, as well as 20 InMail messages for $80 per month. It can be purchased for $64.99 per month as a one-time annual payment. Sales Navigator Professional also comes in a multi-seat version, Sales Navigator Team, which includes Out-of-Network profile unlocks, PointDrive presentations and more for $99.99 per month.

 

 

gs-cookies-4.jpg

Girl Scout Cookies are offered in 12 tiers of tasty.

Though most of them sell for $4 per box — the upstart S’mores think themselves Premium as well and sell for $5 — but we believe the box is 25% larger thus the increase.

Some of the benefits of Girl Scout Cookies is having coworkers sidle up to yor desk — sometimes even strangers will make multiple passes by you desk working up the courage to ask for a Thin Mint (or 5). Girl Scout Cookies do cause intra-brand loyalties that borders on cult-like followings (Somoas vs Caramel Delights).

The real killer part of Girl Scout cookies though is that if you have the willpower — you can stick them in the freezer an get the benefits for months and stretch the $4 box well into August.


In Early June we’ll post our results and stories that go along with each avenue of contact.

There's nothing wrong with being festive, but

...there's still work to do before New Years.

ugly-xmas-sweater-suits2.jpg

 

It's the holidays and folks are trying to both finish their end of year projects as well as get to the holiday parties.  With it finally snowing, Star Wars back in the theaters, all the outdoor markets, cards to be bought - signed and sent; there're so many distractions that firms miss a few critical things.

So here's your IT Holiday Shopping list

to stay on your Principals 'Nice List"

  • End of Year - Server Backup (some links to sites)
  • Software Licenses
    • Collect all software licenses and renewal dates for 2018
    • Discounts available for early renewal (if you have the budget)
  • Hardware
    • Add RAM, Video Card and/or SSD upgrades
    • Prepare Q1, Q2 Workstation swap or trickle down strategy
    • Replace Wi-Fi if older than 4 years 
  • Create and/or review an emergency policy
  • Have a great time off - you've done your job

Let the countdown to 2018 now commence without further interruption - 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2.....1 Last Thing!!!!!

IMG_0642-2-Edit_large.jpg

No it's not to run out to get this awesome suit.

 

   

-  EVENT  - 

New Years IT Resolution Bootcamp

January 10th - 6pm-9pm @ Agile Networks

60 minute sessions to get your system in shape for 2018.  We're your IT Fiteness Trainer - and we'll show you our toolbox and practices to make your system nice - your Studio Manager won't even recognize it.

QA followup and mentorship provided (wine and snacks too).

Firm Office Managers, Technical Liaisons and Internal IT welcome.

RSVP

We made a Freakin' Rocketship

We pared down the clients servers from 9 to 1.  That's right - they had 9 servers - yet only 10 staff.  They had been sold on having multiple redundant servers - and then backups for those servers.  So the first thing we did was turn off 6 immediately if only to save electricity.   

The ratio of servers to staff was no longer 1:1 but a more manageable 1:10, and we were hoping to combine the rest onto just 1.  A firm of 10 people should only have 1 server.  The normal staff to server ratio should be around 20/30 to 1, perhaps a little lower for Architecture firms.

Spaceship-crop.png

Houston

we have no problems

We got the green light - and gave them a rough estimate based on a similar spec for another Architecture firm - so we should be fine.   But the prices dropped all over the place - so we went back with 3 options costing between $7k - $9k.

They decided to go with the more expensive option.  This took a little bit of convincing and some guarantees on our part.   As we're testing a new hybrid configuration, I wasn't sure if just how fast it would perform, so I promised that if they did not see a large performance increase - I would refund the difference in the hardware cost ($2,000). 


So the countdown of servers started - 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2..............1 server!!!!!
— Blast Off

The result -

1 physical server with 3 Virtual servers instances - that performs 3x faster than the previous system.   The way we setup the server makes it feel that the entire system in on SSD hard drives reading and writing at blazing speeds, with the added benefit of simplifying backups and management.

If you'd like our config and setup of this system we'll post it here - but it was just too technical to put in this post.   Thanks for reading - and thanks to our client for their trust in our solutions.