Aug 21, 2013
Joe, Jerry, and Sam are joined by Allen Hancock of The Orchard Solutions and Watchman Monitoring to discuss Allen's "hybrid" Managed Services model. Allen offers a "Personal Support" option including unlimited quick phone calls and emails for $25/month per person.
- Sam discusses some of the stresses associated with Apple Professional Services (APS) projects; normally as consultants we have flexibility and can work directly with clients to address unforeseen issues; but in the case of APS, due to travel and other agreements, APS gigs must be completed in the allotted timeframe which adds pressure
- Sam updates us on his hiring process; interested consultants in the CT-NY-NJ area should contact @IAMSamValencia
- Jerry reports difficulty with Find My Mac on machines with a static IP address; to be continued
- Jerry brings up the pitfalls of full disk encryption using FileVault 2 on an unattended server; in case of an unexpected or soft restart, the system will boot to the FileVault 2 unlock screen, prompting for the encryption password before the system starts up or any services start; this prevents any kind of remote access via screen sharing or remote login; Apple provides a command line tool (fdesetup authrestart) to perform a one-time restart that bypasses the initial unlock; however, this doesn't help if the machine has lost power or become unresponsive; a KVM-over-IP device can solve that, but typically requires a Java app on the client machine to access the remote machine
- Allen identifies a common problem for consultants: how to track and bill for all those random emails and quick phone calls
- Allen's solution: "Personal Support" @ $25 per month, per person; includes unlimited quick emails or phone calls. He estimates this part of his Support Agreement earns him about $2500/month after 1.5 years, based 100 people who subscribed.
- Clients paying monthly for unlimited quick questions encourages them to call on a whim; this leads to billable work too, since anything over 15 minutes would be a billable consultation
- He also offers a Proactive Monitoring service: collecting $10/month per computer; ($15/month for all the computers in a house) results in more billable work as machines report issues to consultant and consultant notifies client with recommended resolution
- His monitoring service received much more uptake; 350 monitored computers bringing in an additional $3000 a month.
- Had two techs on staff at the time.
- "Death by a thousand 5-minute emails" – Joe