Q: What hardware and software does TechEvents sell?
A: TechEvents does not sell hardware or software, although on occasion, customers request that we make purchases on their behalf. There is no markup on either hardware or software.
The reason why TechEvents does not sell vendor solutions is to have the flexibility to recommend the best possible product for the customer’s business needs rather than just selling products we represent. You only pay for our professional services.
Q: How does TechEvents charge for engagements?
A: Depending upon the project, engagements can be either on a fixed price or an hourly rate. In general, we use a blended rate so that all work is uniformly priced. Additionally, TechEvents will always suggest alternatives for work that is readily available and not strategic in the project (data entry or network wiring, for example).
Q: Does TechEvents only work on projects for Quick Books and Point of Sale?
A: No, not at all. In fact, our specialties are integrating Office 365 with your business, providing network IT infrastructure support, business process improvement and strategic planning. There are no jobs too small and our clients extend upwards to medium and large enterprise businesses.
Q:What is Office 365
A; Office 365 is a Microsoft cloud offering that provides hosted Exchange Server for email, SharePoint for web portal services and Teams for messaging and video conferencing. It is a very cost effective way to get powerful services without the need to invest in on premise hardware and software yet still have the same powerful systems that very large organizations run on. Not only do you save all those up front acquisition costs, but you also save on setup and maintenance time, have access from anywhere and don’t have to worry about backups and reliability.
Q:What are Power Bi, PowerApps, and Flow?
A: Power BI is a visualization tool to quickly and easily present graphical views of your data from over a hundred different sources. PowerApps is a code-free tool to display and manage data from those same data sources and is useful in creating either ad hoc applications (think data conversion, e.g.) or implementing business processes and procedures, perhaps at the department level or company-wide. Flow controls what actions to take when an event occurs; events can be a scheduled occurrence, a data item being created or changed in the same over one hundred data sources. Flows can automate procedures for business processes or for procedural things like converting data from one format to another (when something changes in DropBox, also change it in SharePoint, e.g.).
Q:Would I need on premise servers and a network infrastructure to use Office 365?
A: No, but if you do you can still take advantage of all that Office 365 offers in a hybrid environment or use your servers for other functions.
Q: Isn’t setting up a network easy? Why would I need TechEvents, or anyone else, to help me do that?
A: Not only have networks become easier than ever to set up, there is much more information to draw upon available to help you. But setting up a network for your business may be far more complex that hooking a few wires together or establishing wireless connections. Here’s why.
It is most common for the local area network at your company to be a private network. In other words, the IP addresses used are part of a reserved set that do not represent reachable addresses on the Internet. The private, local network is connected to the Internet, or the service provider who in turn is, though a gateway or router device. This is often the DSL or cable box from the ISP.
If you have multiple business locations, mobile or remote workers, the computers and devices on your local network will need to be available to those other locations, and vice versa. To do this reliably and securely will take special configurations on the connectors of each of these locations plus modifications and additions to the public names for your network. These tasks are generally not for the faint of heart.
Q: Does my business need special hardware?
A: That depends. If you are going to have a point of sale application, you will probably want to have a cash drawer, receipt printer, and bar code scanner for each check out location. Almost any computer can be used to run the software, but there are some specially designed, very small ones that fit into enclosures that conveniently group all of the equipment into a check out station.
Another option is a touch screen monitor, but none of these are actually required to run point of sale.
Q: How long does it take to set up and install Quick Books and Point of Sale?
A: Answering this question is a bit like asking how long it will take to make dinner. It certainly depends on what you are cooking, what ingredients you have on hand, and your skills in the kitchen. The actual installation of the software just takes a few minutes, but getting it functional in your business depends on many factors.
For accounting purposes, it is probably best to start using QB on the first of your fiscal year. The only requirement would then be to have your year end balances in a few accounts, and perhaps some detail (as in which customers and invoices are reflected in accounts receivable or accounts payable). But starting mid-year is not always a problem, and starting with Point of Sale can be done anytime.
There are many subtle issues to this question, so please contact us to let us help you understand all the issues pertinent to your business.
Q: Small Business Server (SBS) is no longer a Microsoft product. What should I do with my installation?
A: There is limited support for the underlying products in SBS 2011 (Windows Server 2008 R2, Exchange and SharePoint 2010). Not only do they not have the significant new features of the current products, they may have less security than what is now available. And likely your hardware is nearing the end of its useful life.
TechEvents can migrate your email and SharePoint to either cloud-based Office 365 or to newer versions of on-premise servers.