Unfortunately, KeyBridge does not provide services for home
computers, but rather focuses its services for corporate computing systems
only. On rare exceptions, KeyBridge will occasionally provide
service for a home computer that has a direct connection with one of
KeyBridge's existing business clients. This policy against servicing
home computers is needed in order to maintain adequate time and focus that
needs to be given to the many corporate clients that KeyBridge supports.
The short answer is no. The long answer is yes, sort of.
KeyBridge Computer Services does not sell computers. But I can certainly help you
to determine exactly what computer to buy. I can even contact the vendor and make
the purchase on your behalf, if you prefer. But I am not a re-seller. There is no
mark-up -- all you pay for is my time. You get exactly the same price for the
computer as I would get if I was purchasing it myself.
Helping people to buy computers is one of the most frequent services I perform.
There are so many different specifications to consider, so many technical terms one needs
to be familiar with, that most people are at best confused and at worst completely
overwhelmed when it comes to buying computers. The expertise and experience which
KeyBridge brings takes the hassles out of buying and enables you to get the computer you
Let's face it -- computers are a substantial investment. If you're going to pay
nearly or more than $1,000 for a piece of equipment, it's important to buy quality and to get the
right equipment to fit your needs. Buying the cheap system on the shelves at the local
mall in order to save several hundred dollars isn't terribly helpful if you 1) end up with
a system which soon breaks, and/or 2) get very poor technical support from the
manufacturer, and/or 3) end up with a computer which doesn't really meet your
needs or needs to be upgraded way too soon.
Even if you've only spent $800, that is still a lot of money for something which isn't
serving you well. In my experience, computers are like many other
products: for the most part, you get what you pay for.
For the most part, I recommend DELL computer systems. DELL has a
reputation in the industry that has consistently out-performed other
vendors over the past 5 years running, based on survey results from IT
professionals such as myself. The quality of their hardware and
their technical support is second to none. And when you are
supporting over 400 computers, as I do, it isn't hard to get a very solid
feel for who's good, who's bad, and who's just plain ugly. DELL
stands at the top of the pack, from my experience.
So my opinion is that it's well worth paying for an hour or two of my time to make sure
that the large amount of money you're about to spend actually buys quality equipment that
you need. Consider it a small amount of insurance for a very large investment.
No, KeyBridge Computer Services does not sell software. But similar to my
approach to computer hardware, KeyBridge is here to help you determine what software
will best address the needs which you have.
Decisions about software are critical. Though software is typically less
expensive than the computers themselves, it is software which ultimately drives
decision-making regarding computers. In fact, the first step in determining what
kind of hardware to buy is to determine what kind of software you will be running on that
I have considerable experience in using and supporting a wide variety of software in
business settings, and I can use that experience to help you to make good, strategic
decisions regarding the software which will best address your business needs. And
once we've determined the product which you need, I can also help you to find the best
price for that product, and can even take care of making the purchase on your behalf if
The real work of "fixing" computers these days really amounts to developing
and fine-tuning the trouble-shooting skills necessary to determine exactly what component
is malfunctioning. Once the problem area has been determined, the next question to
answer is whether the problem is the result of failed hardware or simply a configuration
or software problem. Failed components can typically be easily replaced, either buy
purchasing a new component or by having a replacement shipped from the manufacturer if the
system is under warranty.
Over the past 15+ years I've gained lots of experience trouble-shooting and fixing
malfunctioning computers and computer peripherals. There are plenty of times when
malfunctions are the result of configuration problems rather than failed hardware, and I
get lots of satisfaction solving problems such as these where no additional money needs to
be spent to replace the component.
And then there are viruses, which
are quickly becoming a primary cause of problems for computer users
everywhere. I've swatted plenty of "bugs" in my day.
Of course, hardware does also occasionally fail,
and in these situations the key for most businesses is to get the computer system back up
and running as soon as possible, and KeyBridge can provide that service with
both speed and quality.
KeyBridge Computer Services can also help you to protect yourself against computer
failures. Backup systems can be put into place, disaster recovery plans can be
designed, etc. I always tell my clients that it's never a question of
"whether" a piece of hardware is going to fail, but rather "when."
Another question which is a favorite of mine is: "If tragedy would strike and your
place of business would burn to the ground tonight, how much money will you lose for every
day that you do not have your computer systems back up and running?" Proper
planning for the possibilities of such failure or disasters can save your business weeks
of work and thousands of dollars. In the most extreme cases, such planning can
literally save your business.
Well, that depends. If you're comfortable getting in touch with the manufacturer
on your own in order to resolve the problem, you should certainly pursue that avenue, at
least at first. The reputable, quality computer manufacturers have good technical
support staff who can almost always resolve your problem. (Technical support from
some vendors is fairly shabby, however).
But here's the rub: you need to be willing to spend a good bit of your own personal or
company time on the telephone talking to the technical support representative. And
often, if a piece of hardware is judged defective, the manufacturer will simply ship to
you a replacement part. Many times you are responsible for removing the defective
part and installing the new replacement part. Again, if you're uncomfortable doing
such work on your own, the manufacturer's technical support staff are usually quite
willing to help you to perform this task by giving you instructions over the phone as you
do the work. However, this is even more time which you will need to spend on the
So the key question is whether or not you want to spend the amount of personal or
company time and energy required of you to repair a computer which is under
warranty. If you do, that's perfectly fine. You'll save a bit of money that
However, you may judge that your time is more valuable being spent on other things.
In this case, it may be cheaper and/or much more convenient for you to have me
trouble-shoot your problem, contact the manufacturer for the warranty support, and install
the replacement part, if necessary. Chances are good that I'll need to spend a lot less
time with the manufacturer because on my technical experience. So though you'll be
spending some money for my assistance on a computer which is still under warranty, you may
still be ahead once you take into consideration the time saved and headaches avoided by
not attempting to do this work yourself.
Indeed, you may not need my assistance in this case. But on the other hand, you
may want to consider it.
Many business which have their own technical staff still have occasions when the
services of an outside contractor can be helpful. There may be one-time, occasional
projects which come up where a contractor can be efficiently utilized. Or there may
be a particular department or workgroup within the corporation for which computer support
is less efficient or practical coming from internal staff than from a contractor.
Or, quite honestly, internal staff may be struggling to keep up with the work-load, and it
would cost less to use a contractor to fill in the gaps than it would to hire additional
I'm very happy to work with the technical staff in a corporation on specific projects
or in an on-going way for a particular department or workgroup. Having the technical
staff on-hand can make my work very efficient, since they can bring me up-to-speed on the
technical aspects of the work more quickly than if I needed to familiarize myself with
your systems on my own.
Give me a call if you believe there may be a role for me to play as a contractor
along-side the technical staff in your organization.
What can the Internet do for you? Well, that depends quite a bit on what sort of
business you're in, what your business plan is, etc. The Internet can 1) provide you
with a valuable communications tool connecting your customers, subcontractors and staff,
2) provide access for you to get to Internet resources provided by your vendors,
customers, contractors, subcontractors as well as many other valuable resources, 3) it can
serve as an efficient and very affordable medium for marketing your products and services,
and 4) it can even serve as an electronic store-front through which your customers can
actually order and purchase your products.
If any of these described uses of the Internet interest you, I can help you set it up.
Give me a call if you're interested in how the Internet might serve your organization.
First, let me say that a regular part of this line of work is coming across something
new which needs to be learned. There are literally hundreds of new products which
are introduced into the computer industry every month. Staying current with
all of that technology is not only challenging, it's downright impossible. They key
is not so much attempting to learn everything there is to know, but rather knowing where
to look to find the answers and information that one needs.
However, there are times when I come across a significant problem or am faced with a
large issue about which I know very little, where another contractor with more experience
in that area may provide my client with better service. My philosophy in these
situations is to be totally honest with my client and to let them know that this
particular task is outside of my work experience. At that point we can talk about
whether they want to pursue another contractor without me, whether they want to retain my
services in brokering services and working along side another contractor, or whether they
would prefer that I take more time and learn the new technology myself in order to
complete the project and provide long-term, ongoing support. There may even be times
when we can negotiate a lower hourly fee if it's my judgment that the new technology is
worth my while to learn at reduced rates.
The key is that I'm always upfront with my client when I run into these circumstances.
You will never find me wasting my client's time and money on a project for which I
do not believe I'm properly qualified.