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Feb 26

Free guide to getting the most out of new ITC contracts

Don’t just sign on the dotted line …

 

There are a number of ways IT companies try to maximise your expenditure, so here is our free ten point guide to showing you what to look for, and what to insist on, new or upcoming IT contracts.

 

  1. New Hardware. Unless it’s already part of your plan or budget, be wary of spending on new hardware as part of your upgrade or solution. More often or not, your current hardware can be upgraded at a fraction of the cost.
  2. Reselling. If you really do need new hardware, only let your IT supplier bill you for it if they can demonstrate that they can get it cheaper for you than you can yourself. Some people like to put a healthy mark-up as they are acting as resellers.
  3. What cover do you need? Think carefully about if you need contractual cover for both servers and PCs – would it likely be cheaper for you to look after your PCs in all but the most tricky situations? What’s the local skill level in your office?
  4. Latest software! Sometimes (such as if you are still running Windows XP) you really do have to upgrade – the software is so old and no longer supported, and it is a huge security risk. But make sure it fits the level of IT skill in your general office population, and make sure any systems you currently rely on are compatible.
  5. Scalability, and other offers. Some companies will say, during a meeting or a pitch, that they offer scalability. What they mean by this is if your organisation grows, it is easy for them to increase the users for a small fee each. They might also say that they can review in a year, or reduce user costs on demand.  If they say this, make a note of it and ask them to show you exactly where it is stated in the contract.
  6. Shopping lists. Finally, if you are presented with a daunting shopping list of licences, software programs and hardware, be sure to get someone impartial to check it. Some IT companies can be a bit extravagant with what they think you need.
  7. Support. During any instance of support, ask for an explanation. You may feel confident enough to do some tasks yourself next time the same thing happens, but you should certainly feel comfortable enough to ask!
  8. Charity software partners Plan your spending.  We are sure you know that charities are able to get generous discounts on software. However, there are often rules about how often you can apply. Read the terms and conditions, and plan accordingly.
  9. If in doubt – shout! Never let anyone blind you with science. Ask them to explain anything, in plain English. Double check online or with a friend, especially if it comes with a price tag.
  10. However, if you are still struggling, or don’t feel you are getting satisfactory help, do feel free to get in touch!