From the desk of: Sam C. Chan

Memo on System Purchases

First published: May 1, 2004
Last reviewed: December 20, 2010
Minor addendum: May 8, 2014  new related article 

This clarifies some of the common confusion over system purchases. It is a subsidized operation as part of the perks for active clients in good standings. Note: Since 1997, clients must meet qualifications, in order to purchase systems from us.
 
Background: Today, the cost of the system hardware amounts to less than 10% of the overall cost of IT operations. Over the lifetime of a system (typically 3 to 6 years), the bulk of the expenses goes toward services, consulting, planning, troubleshooting, repairs, upgrades, and consumable items.

Why should I buy systems from you instead of local/online retailers?

  • Your IT department strategic planning for serviceability, not profitability.
  • No game playing, bait-n-switch, up-selling tricks, or frivolous items
  • Proper configuration from start, less upfront setup costs
  • Ease of maintenance, lower cost of ownership
  • Intimate knowledge: BIOS versions/bugs, driver compatibility & other idiosyncrasy
  • Consistent standards & stability: Retailers incessantly change components to cut costs
  • Selection process optimize for low cost of operations, not advertised starting price.
  • Avoid you having to be involved in the process when things go wrong.
  • Configure per your business operational needs, not to meet their sales quotas.
  • Technical specific reasons:
    • Standardized BIOS
    • approved ICH versions
    • Internal USB port header (for card reader, etc.)
    • Optimal partitioning, per intended usage
    • Reset button
    • Current drivers, and dependable availability of them
    • No pre-installed corruption, adverse interaction among bundles (vendors eager to accept "placement fee" from software vendors)
    • no ads
    • no spyware (yes, legitimate vendors routinely pre-install spyware)
    • general coordination with our IT strategies & processes

Why do you prefer to provide the exact systems?

  • Makes our tasks less risky, stressful & frustrating.
  • Ensure subtle details of the specs will meet our IT requirements.
  • Gives us control: Enforce standards and consistency for strategic IT management.
  • Leverage economy of scale on the time invested to learn about each model.
  • Minimizes need to communicate/coordinate with you. Streamlined process.
  • No finger pointing, no excuses.

What about peripherals, notebooks & PDAs?

For printers, monitors, and notebooks, etc.: we best stay in a purely consultative role and have you order those exact items directly, based on part numbers we researched and provided. If you prefer 1-stop logistics, we'll gladly handle it on your behalf.

How do I qualify to purchase systems from you?

Our system sales operations are subsidized and are strictly for the benefits of our clients. You must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You're an Active consulting clients in good standings, or
  • New clients with clear intentions and commitment to obtain on-going consulting services, with demonstrated abilities and past history.
  • You're referred by an existing long-time client and they vouch for you.
  • Children of long-term clients, who demonstrated good personal character.
  • You're a not-for-profit organization and we like you causes.

What are the options?

  1. Purchase the custom system built by us.
  2. Purchase a retail system and ship directly to us.
  3. Purchase a retail system and deliver to you.
  4. Bravo-assisted Direct Order    added May 8, 2014

For options 1 & 2: We perform all configuration and software installation in-shop on low-priority basis. You'll be billed flat fees for the tasks performed, which are significantly lower than the actual time-and-material rates. You may then pick it up for plug-n-play install at your office, followed by final customization remotely, or we can deliver & install it at standard rates plus traveling fees.

For option 3: We come on-site to perform all configuration and software installation at standard rates plus traveling fees. As with all on-site calls, you'll incur costs for any unexpected delays, such as waiting for vendor tech support to return calls, and all the normal delays (formatting, copying, etc.) You'll also be paying for 2nd or 3rd attempts, including additional trips, on all procedures as required. You're generally shielded from those expenses when performed in-shop, as we'd absorb them. See Cost-Effectiveness memo for details.

Can you assist in the selection process?

Certainly. That's exactly what a consultant is for! If you purchase the system from us, up to 50% of the pre-sale consultation is reimbursed. See Rates & Fees schedule for terms and conditions. If you want to purchase elsewhere, it's highly recommended that you retain us to select the system. The typical $20 to $50 fee is well worth it. The significant savings in avoiding wastes and future labor costs & frustrations more than justify it.

How feasible is the self-install process?

We have perfected the remote branch office deployment scenario over the past 5 years, and have the entire process mastered down to the finest details, and developed many specific strategies, procedures and techniques. We have 100+ success cases from simple workstation adding, to complex SBS domain conversion. Prerequisites:

  1. there is someone at your office with the rudimentary dexterity required to physically hook up a system, using this checklist, and
  2. the infrastructure (premises wiring, network apparatus, etc.) at your site is ready.

Of course, periodic visits by technicians & engineers are still required and available.

Are there any down sides to buying systems from you?

  • We do not accept credit cards. You must prepay for the hardware and software licenses by company check.
  • Our lead time might be slightly longer.  Generally it's between 4 to 10 business days.

 

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