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Thread: Help needed please!

  1. #1
    AO's MMA Fanatic! Computernerd22's Avatar
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    Help needed please!

    Primary focus is to provide cost effective computer hardware, software, and support solutions. Your team has received a Request for Proposal (RFP) from a company to supply a plan for facilitating the office move. To make life easier for their employees, Company is relocating their office to the other side of town. This company makes $20,000 a week selling various products. Anyways, the move needs to be completed with minimal impact on the day to day business operations.

    The office is small, consisting of only 2 employees. I need to provide a solution and I cannot run over budget. Budget is at $60,000.00

    So, we need a hardware plan, software plan, cost breakdown, consulting services offered, support fees, hardware costs and software costs. PS; Only Microsoft Office 2010 is running my boss said.

    All help is greatly appreciated. PS; I have a few different ideas but I want to what everyone else thinks.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi CN22,

    Can I have a bit more information?

    The company is obviously up and running as they are moving offices.

    Only Microsoft Office 2010 is running my boss said.
    So they must have at least one computer............ what is the OS? or do they have two computers?

    I am guessing that their other systems are currently manual?

    There is a sort of implication that they want to computerise things?

    My personal experience is that office move time is the worst for major systems changes My approach would be to move what is already there, let it settle, then look at systems changes. Look mate, I have moved office numerous times and it is pretty bloody stressful .......... you have to think about staff welfare and "business impact" (the effect of computerisation on the staff).

    I will need to know:

    1. How many transactions a week
    2. What they want to computerise (if anything) eg: sales order processing, finance, fixed assets, inventory etc.

    If I am right, and there is a requirement to computerise an existing manual system, then don't forget a staff training budget, and probable temporary staff whilst you are parallel running.

    One of the main things I do here is providing "turnkey" systems for small businesses. This is consultancy, hardware, software, training and support.

    Please let me know more details
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
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  3. #3
    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    Yeah - I don't really see what the "move" is - just to move a couple of computers across town - I'd charge them like $150. But if your budget is $60,000, I'm assuming there is more going on here? It sounds like maybe you need to move while keeping their business online? Hard to say without really understanding what all the move entails...
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    @ wiskic,

    I have it sussed mate................

    $150 to move the two computers
    $100 for CN22
    and $29875 for each of us as consultancy fees to spend on

    Seriously though, it does look like two projects, and to attempt to move and computerise at the same time would be suicidal IMO.

    I don't know how big the town is, but it isn't a city, so I guess it would take no more that 30 minutes to move a manual system from A to B. That would meet the minimum business disruption requirement?

    I would move one of the employees first and get them going, then move the other one. OK you would run at half speed for a little while, but not stop entirely .......... or just do it July4 or Sunday, whatever, We don't know ...... maybe just do it at night?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
    AO's MMA Fanatic! Computernerd22's Avatar
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    Sorry about the late response but thank you guys for the response. I have to do a group project our team is a local Information Systems consulting company. Our primary focus is to provide cost effective computer hardware, software, and support solutions. We received a RFP (Request for Proposal). This is where the office move comes in. The office is small consisting of 20 employees. We need to create a viable solution and avoid running over budget. Our budget is set at $60,000

    Here’s is where I need some input:

    I need a hardware plan For example, what computers to go with?
    Software plan?
    Make a cost breakdown?
    Consulting services offered
    All help is greatly appreciated.

    PS; this is just a project of ours the work we do is selling 20,000 a week in products.
    Last edited by Computernerd22; October 25th, 2010 at 05:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    CN22, you are confusing me:

    The office is small, consisting of only 2 employees.
    The office is small consisting of 20 employees.
    Which is it?

    And:

    This company makes $20,000 a week selling various products
    the work we do is selling 20,000 a week in products
    "Make" is a profit concept "selling" is turnover or gross revenue.



    1. Does the budget of $60,000 include the office move. If it does then you need a quote from a local commercial removals company unless the task is so small the outfit can handle it internally?

    2. Who set the budget at $60,000? People who set budgets don't do it out of thin air..........they have an idea of what they will get for their money......... that information is vital, as without it you will not be able to determine your critical success factors and your project will fail.

    3. The company obviously has one computer and probably two? what are they? If they can handle office 2010, then they must be pretty modern and most likely not need replacing. Also, they must have at least one printer, or Office 2010 would be bloody useless! We really do need to know what their existing hardware is, as this should be re-deployed if at all possible, and it sounds as if it certainly could be.

    4.
    I need a hardware plan For example, what computers to go with?
    That will depend entirely on what the customer's expectations and intentions are. If it is business as usual then you won't need any. If they intend to computerise sales order processing, sales ledger (that's accounts receivable to you guys ) and invoicing then you will need a small server. Also, how many people do they envisage having their own desktop machine? You cannot plan or cost anything without knowing the scope of the business requirement.

    If the intention is to computerise what I have suggested, you will probably need an industrial strength printer to support it.That is why I asked you the average number of transactions a week in my previous post.
    5.
    Software plan?
    Same as for hardware..........what are they expecting?

    6. I would be interested to know how the business operates. Do they hold their own inventory and pick and dispatch it, or do they just take orders and pass them on to third parties for shipping? Also, who raises the invoices and delivery notes?

    The answers to these questions will have a considerable impact on hardware and software solutions and their costs.

    You need to do some business analysis before diving into the IT requirements because right now it is impossible to define them. You do not seem to have even a high level user requirements specification? Whoever set the $60,000 budget should have, so maybe you should talk to them?


    7.
    Consulting services offered
    There is a hell of a lot more to it than consultancy, depending on what the customer wants.

    Business analysis
    User requirements specification
    Project plan
    Project management
    Hardware selection
    Software selection
    Data migration (?)
    Training (arranging it)

    This is one where you will have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

    EDIT:

    On the face of it, this could be important:

    Your team has received a Request for Proposal (RFP) from a company to supply a plan for facilitating the office move.
    Well, as they only have two computers maximum, and they are only running Office 2010 the solution is simple. Hire a taxi and a technician to wire them up at the new site. You don't need a plan for that, you just do it!

    Anything else should be handled by a professional office removals company and is not in the scope of IT consultants. However, moving the computer(s) won't even cost $600, let alone $60,000, so they obviously have something else in mind of an IT nature?

    The $64,000 question is "what?"
    Last edited by nihil; October 25th, 2010 at 09:24 AM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  7. #7
    AO's MMA Fanatic! Computernerd22's Avatar
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    CN22, you are confusing me:
    It is 20 employees.

    Who set the budget at $60,000?
    My teacher did. This is a school project. This is my main goal to provide cost effective computer hardware, software and support solutions. This company makes about $20,000 a week selling products.

    The office is small, consisting of only 20 employees. We need to provide a viable solution and avoid running over budget. In addition to the move cossts your desktop support fees needs to be included, For business Nihil what brand of computers would you go with or recommend? Dell, HP, EMACHINE,SONY ETC...

  8. #8
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    For business Nihil what brand of computers would you go with or recommend? Dell, HP, EMACHINE,SONY ETC...
    I have used Digital, Compaq, HP and Dell. Compaq bought Digital, and HP bought Compaq in 1992. That basically leaves HP (who market their lower end kit under the Compaq badge), and Dell. You go for the one you can get the best deal from Both companies have a reasonable track record for producing business orientated hardware.

    Office computers are low end because most office applications are simply a form or forms and a database. They are not capable of utilising the power of even a dual core processor. They are 32bit single core applications.

    You need to find out how many of the 20 need a computer for their work, and what hardware they already have. Do not buy hardware you already have, and do not buy laptops: they are expensive, and totally unnecessary in a static office environment. They are also easily stolen or damaged.

    We know that they must have some hardware and that they already have the Microsoft 2010 Office Suite.

    Most office commercial applications will run from an applications server, which in a small outfit like this will probably double as the file server. Having said that, they do not seem to have any business applications other than MS Office, which is thick client, and won't run off a server. I would still expect them to have a file server for storage purposes.

    You will probably have to settle for a 2.1GHz dual core processor as I doubt if you will find anything cheaper these days?

    I would look for a cheap motherboard with onboard graphics, and you probably don't need a DVD drive? You don't say what OS they are running. [Make them use Linux, then you can rip them off with the support fees ]

    Now,

    This is my main goal to provide cost effective computer hardware, software and support solutions.
    .
    PS; Only Microsoft Office 2010 is running my boss said.
    1. Why do you need hardware when the company is already running with what it has?

    2. Why do you need software when all they are running is Office 2010, for which they will already have licences? What software are we talking about here?

    3. What is the nature of this support? If it is just desktops then I would say $600 per annum each. Based on the fact that when I worked for CSC we charged GBP 275 (about USD 420) that comes to $12,000 per annum if all the staff have a computer.

    4. I really have no idea of removal costs in the US..........I guess it will depend on location? I moved the entire contents of a three bedroomed house from London to East Yorkshire (about 510 miles round trip) for GBP 400. That included more than 20 computers! + peripherals.

    You have far less stuff in an office than in a domestic residence so I would guess at around 5x.........add some for inflation, and I still don't think it would cost more than $5,000?

    5. Consultancy? well it's an office move so it isn't rocket science. You need a project manager type to plan it and supervise it. $500 per day? for 7 days + expenses.................say $4,000

    That comes to $21,000 + 20% contingency = $25,000. That still leaves $35,000 short of budget so we seem to be missing a requirement or two?
    Last edited by nihil; October 26th, 2010 at 01:48 AM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  9. #9
    AO's MMA Fanatic! Computernerd22's Avatar
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    Sorry for the late response. I have a couple of quick questions. This woman in our group got a invoice for the following:

    Upgrade 20 PCs with new hardware 10.00 (houra) (Rate) 55.00 Amount $550.00

    Install 20 PCs with an OS (windows 7) (Hours) 1 (RATE) 80.00 Amount $80.00

    Data migration from one server to upgrade system (approx) 3.00 (hours) (RATE) 200.00 AMOUNT $ 600.00

    Service call prepay to maintain the system (Retainer) 24.00 (hours) (RATE) 80.00 AMOUNT $ 1,920.00

    Present and install network peripheral (Printer switched and cabling) (hours) 2.00 (Rate) 55.00 Amount $ 110.00

    Subtotal $ 3,260.00

    Tax Rate 6.00%
    Sales Tax $195.65
    Total $ 3,455.60

    This is as much information is on the invoice. This is a group project but I don't know how accurate this looks. Give me your guys/gals opinions. All help is greatly appreciated, Mike

    PS; It doesn't go into detail about the description of each one except what I have posted above.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi,

    #1 Upgrade 20 PCs with new hardware 10.00 (hours) (Rate) 55.00 Amount $550.00

    #2 Install 20 PCs with an OS (windows 7) (Hours) 1 (RATE) 80.00 Amount $80.00

    #3 Data migration from one server to upgrade system (approx) 3.00 (hours) (RATE) 200.00 AMOUNT $ 600.00

    #4 Service call prepay to maintain the system (Retainer) 24.00 (hours) (RATE) 80.00 AMOUNT $ 1,920.00

    #5 Present and install network peripheral (Printer switched and cabling) (hours) 2.00 (Rate) 55.00 Amount $ 110.00
    Item #1 Time and rate look OK to me............it will be adding RAM, a new video card and testing. They will have added some contingency for machines that don't play nice to begin with. The hardware costs are not included.

    [I have just run the Microsoft Windows 7 compatibility tester on this 8 year old machine.

    128Mb Radeon 9700 =OK
    1 GB RAM =OK

    All I need is a new driver for the Realtek AC'97 sound chipset.

    If I wanted to use Windows XP compatibility mode I would need an extra 1GB of RAM. Assuming the hardware supports virtualisation, which it doesn't.

    As we have no details I would budget for 20 x 1GB RAM strips and 20 x 128MB or better videocards. ]

    Item #2 Remote, unattended installation from the server............why should that have a higher hourly rate? The guy installing the hardware should be able to set the job running before he leaves, or the guy doing the data migration?. The OS corporate licence fee is not included.

    Item #3 So, you get $200 an hour for knowing how to use copy file? I am obviously living in the wrong country. Now, if that involved data analysis and data cleansing (particularly of a mature system) that rate would still be excessive. Sure, you are talking about a senior and experienced person, and at contractor's rates, but I doubt if you would get more than £2,000 for a 35 hour week, over here. That's around $3,100 or $88.50 an hour?

    Item #4 No way! If you do work for me, it has an agreed warranty or guarantee period. There is no way I am paying you (particularly a "retainer", which means you have to pay for actual time as well?) to sort out your balls-ups!!! OK it might mean the retainer to provide 24 hour cover for a year, but as 24xrate = total, I somehow doubt that?

    #5 Not sure what "present" means in this context? I would interpret the job as setting up the network printer? in which case the quote seems reasonable. You need to know if a new printer is involved? if so you need to allow for the hardware costs. Probably involve new switches and cabling as well.

    I do have a problem with the whole quotation though. I don't know how things are with you, but over here unless you take something into a repair shop you will most likely be charged for a whole day, as the guy won't be able to find another job? Also, is this a fixed fee quote, or just an estimate?

    You still need to include the moving costs.

    Last edited by nihil; November 4th, 2010 at 11:43 AM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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