Who is handling your IT functions?

In many small to medium size companies the individual who becomes responsible for many company IT functions is usually poorly qualified to do so.  This is due to the lack of funds for a full-time IT staff member.  I have seen everything from the company controller, (a lot of times it falls to a finance person), a sales manager and the manager of the lumber yard. These people just happen to have the most IT skills or were foolish enough to volunteer for the task.

When these individuals end up managing these functions the jobs which they are supposed to be performing can suffer greatly. The controller ends up missing deadlines resulting in fines and the sales manager fails to meet sales quotas. The lumber yard manager fails to keep common stock in inventory resulting in lost sales. This is due to these people being distracted by IT tasks that they do not understand well.  It normally takes them much longer to perform simple tasks due to the lack of professional training.

When these companies finally realize that the bottom line is suffering they need to find an outsourced IT company to assist with their daily computer network functions.  That is where an outsourced IT company comes into play.  Not only can they monitor your systems in the back ground to prevent failures before they happen, they can assist in adds, moves and changes in a timely and efficient manner freeing up your non IT staff to perform their jobs properly.

If you are in a non IT position and need advise on a particular issue you are having on your network, place your post here and we can help you out.

Harry McConchie – Systems Engineer – Carter Information Solutions

cisi@carterinfo.com – 301-576-6456

 

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Are bizarre things happening on your computer network?

Computer networks can be fun, fascinating and totally frustrating.  Things usually roll along just fine until you really need a project to complete or are trying to impress a new client.  I specialize in untangling complex issues that make absolutely no sense until you get to the root of the evil causing the issue.  They get especially interesting when your IT department or an IT person is not involved in the change.

Once upon a time I worked for a  retailer that wanted to move the ordinary piano into the digital age.  They started taking saws to the bottom of VERY expensive pianos and attaching player systems that communicated via hard-wired and wireless routers downloading onto hard drives mounted to the bottoms of the beast.  This was supposed to be experimental and was SUPPOSED to involve the IT department prior to deploying.

The WAN’s we had were based on a 10.1.xx.xx scheme where the third octet would denote the remote store location, (i.e. 10.1.190.xx meant San Antonio), and the remote router would handle DHCP and dole out the IP address’s to the remote PC’s.

One afternoon I received a call stating that the lines must be down since none of the PC’s were able to communicate to the network in Maryland.  I was able to ping the remote router at 10.1.190.1, and could also ping devices with a static IP such as printers.  When I had a user do an ipconfig on his PC he returned an address of 192.168.1.22.  Hmmmmm, something else was handing out IP address’s.  I asked the user if the delivery department had delivered the piano with the player system and he confirmed that they had.

At that point I had a really good idea of the issue and contacted the technician who installed the system on the piano.  I asked him if he had disabled DHCP and he said no.  Go figure that he leases had expired on all of the PC’s in the store at roughly the same time and the piano had started handing out IP address’.  After turning off DHCP on the piano’s wireless router the store PC’s were able to pick up a 10.1.190.xx address after doing an ipconfig /release and renew.

You better believe that the IT department was included in future installations.  Do you have bizarre things happening on your network?  Post here, we may have an answer for you!

Harry McConchie – Systems Engineer – Carter Information Solutions

cisi@carterinfo.com – 301-576-6456

 

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