Holland Consulting Shutdown
Effective February 1, 2005, Holland Consulting has started shutting down
its current operations for existing clients, and is no longer accepting
I have accepted a full time job, which will prevent me from providing
the kind of service my clients have expected from me.
I liked to tell people and tell myself that I grew my business by word
of mouth. Unfortunately, in retrospect, that wasn't really true --
virtually my entire client base was built from referrals by people I was
in loose partnerships with over the years. There were some referrals, but
relatively few. Unfortunately, I have out-lasted all those people who
were feeding me leads, and for the last several years, my business has
been on a downward slope.
When the opportunity to take a good job with a good company came along,
it became pretty clear that this was the right choice to make.
Effective immediately, you should be looking for a new computer support
person for your company. I will still be available until February 27
as usual. After that, I will be working for my new employer.
I will do whatever I can to help ease your transition. I have no
secrets about how I did what I have done, I will happily answer any
questions you or your new service provider has about your existing system.
As a condition of my accepting this job, I requested the ability to deal
with emergency problems at existing clients for the next six months to
aid in transition. I am happy to report that they were very
understanding and immediately agreed to those terms. This gave me very
good feelings about my new employer -- I would not have taken the job if
they had not met that request.
By "emergency", I mean, your entire office is down and you are in
critical need of assistance that your new service provider is not able
to provide yet. This does not mean new machine configuration or virus
or spyware problems, or your DSL connection has failed.
You can contact me in the same way as before, by calling my normal number,
my answering machine will tell you how to contact me (probably by pager),
but also leave a message (I'll be working in a basement office, there may
be issues with the pager operating reliably, though it has worked in all
tests so far).
This does not mean you have six months to not get a new service
provider. I expect within a very short period of time, I will be
assisting your new service provider, not fixing problems myself.
Couldn't you still take care of us on weekends and evenings?
Practically speaking: no. Your business runs the same time I will be
working. My new employer already will be expecting a certain amount of
weekend and after-hours work. Plus, to be honest, I'm kinda looking
forward to having weekends and after-hours that I know I have free from
time to time. I may even take...vacations!
For finding a new support person, I'd recommend talking to your clients,
customers, and business associates for referrals to people who do Good
Work at a fair price.
What should I expect from a new service provider?
Be advised that a lot of my clients are running very old systems. I
have no problems leaving perfectly functional systems in place, but keep
in mind, Netware 3.x that many of you are running is over 15 years old,
and has been no longer supported by Novell for at least five years,
and Netware 4.x is over 10 years old.
There aren't too many people who still know Netware 3 or Netware 4
out in the field
anymore. You will probably end up having to convert to a new platform,
most likely, Windows 2003 Server (most of my clients would not benefit
to upgrading to newer versions of Netware -- Netware 6 lost most of the
simplicity and rapid-repair I loved about Netware 3). So expect that most
people will look at your existing system and say "YUCK!".
You will probably end up paying a new service provider more than you
paid me. Windows servers are higher-maintenance, and most service
providers are much better about billing than I was. This isn't
necessarily a bad thing: you don't need your new service provider
to face the same fate I did, anyway.
I was really underbilling my clients.
You will also find relatively few people support OpenBSD firewalls, so
expect to that your new service provider will probably want to put a new
firewall in place (and expect to pay more, unless you can reduce your
needs to a simple $50 router, rather than a full-featured firewall.
Again, I will happily help your new service provider with anything they
need to know.
What about holland-consulting.net
Well, at this point in time, I am planning on keeping it active and updated
with computer security and reliability commentary and
OpenBSD support that people have
come to expect here.
Holland Consulting home
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