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Re: AYT? Support network, anyone up to?

On Fri, 10 Apr 1998, Jim Westveer wrote:

> This would allow the user to quickly see whom they could call NOW to get
> help.
> As to billing... I imagine that many consultants allready have the ability
> to process their own MC/Visa.  Do you invision each person clearing their
> own AP or having a seperate company clear the payments?
> IMHO It would seem easier to have each consultant clear their own charges.
> To have a "central" billing type of concept, someone would have to set up
> bank accounts / buisness licence / etc .
> Just a thought..

I am going to be doing some things in the next few months that might get
the company I work for to start supporting Debian in a limited manner. One
thing I have noticed as a Sys Admin consultant is that there are two
different kinds of consulting and consultants.

First you have Rent-a-Geek where you bring a single individual in for a
specific project. Then you have Geek Inc. where the customer establishes
an ongoing relationship with an outside firm that provides an array of IT

Our company (Capital Technologies Integration) is more along the lines of
the second type where we can maintain Oracle, ClearCase, set up and
maintain an NT, HP-UX, or Solaris shop and we do quick "in and out"
projects too.  I am going to try to convince out management to offer some
fixed-price canned servers based on a rack-mount PC running Debian Linux.
For a fixed price, we would install a DNS server or an SMTP mail server or
a POP3 or FTP server. We would have some proprietary GUI configurators for
these.  I would probably consider an Apache web server as well but for
what I have in mind, the Netscape Fastrack server is probably better
suited. Since these boxes would contain a known configuration, they would
be easy to support. Since they would be Debian based, they would be easy
to upgrade and maintain remotely.

The thing is, when a company looks at putting in a Linux server, they are
going to worry about support.  They do NOT want to hear about mailing
lists and newsgroups or finding consultants from a list on a web page.
They want to know what local consulting COMPANY will support it in many
cases. THey want to pick up the telephone and have someone on-site that
day fixing the problem.  I am talking about companies that normally buy
support contracts for their systems. I intend to convince management that
we can, in a limited number of circumstances, provide linux solutions and
support them. 

We also need to develop a network of Debian consultants here.  The site
where I am working today has facillities in Asia and Europe as well as
North America. If I put together a mail server for their Malaysia
facillity, would I be able to locate someone there that knows debian if it
has trouble? The customer is going to call me, I will do what I can but if
the system failed an fsck and is sitting in single-user mode waiting for
console input, someone is going to have to physically go into that
computer room and fix it or send the entire system back here.  They do not
have that trouble with their NT or Solaris systems. They can find vendor
support locally. Can we turn this into a world-wide "vendor support"

George Bonser

If I had a catchy quip, it would be here.

Debian/GNU Linux ... the maintainable operating system.

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