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Old 10-24-2006, 12:36 PM   #1
cwb124
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Default IT folks: Hire full-time or contract work out?

A friend of mine works for a small real estate development company. There are 9 or 10 employees and 3 offices all within 10 miles of one another. Right now they have 8 desktops, a couple printers, and nothing connecting the offices together. Each just has cable or DSL for internet. Also no email server, they outsource that.

They also have a need to build a brand new website that will host MLS listings and be the marketing side of their company, and aside from the MLS ads, it won't need to be updated that much.

They are looking to hire a full-time person to do all this, and I think they are silly for doing so. My recommendation would be to contract the web page/hosting service out to a company that specialilzes in that, and contract out the IT work on an as needed basis. The IT work consists of virus updates, PC break-fix, and possibly connecting the offices with site to site VPN over their existing network.

First of all, finding someone who has great web programming skills as well as PC/networking skills isn't that easy. They do exist but usually it's one of the other. Also, once the web page is done, the guy is going to be bored as hell, there isn't much work to do on 8 or so PCs. It doesn't make sense to hire a full time person to do this.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:50 PM   #2
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duh hire aod

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Old 10-24-2006, 12:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwb124 View Post
A friend of mine works for a small real estate development company. There are 9 or 10 employees and 3 offices all within 10 miles of one another. Right now they have 8 desktops, a couple printers, and nothing connecting the offices together. Each just has cable or DSL for internet. Also no email server, they outsource that.

They also have a need to build a brand new website that will host MLS listings and be the marketing side of their company, and aside from the MLS ads, it won't need to be updated that much.

They are looking to hire a full-time person to do all this, and I think they are silly for doing so. My recommendation would be to contract the web page/hosting service out to a company that specialilzes in that, and contract out the IT work on an as needed basis. The IT work consists of virus updates, PC break-fix, and possibly connecting the offices with site to site VPN over their existing network.

First of all, finding someone who has great web programming skills as well as PC/networking skills isn't that easy. They do exist but usually it's one of the other. Also, once the web page is done, the guy is going to be bored as hell, there isn't much work to do on 8 or so PCs. It doesn't make sense to hire a full time person to do this.

Thoughts?

Good luck with your search.
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:52 PM   #4
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Outsource to india, I hear they are easy to communicate with.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:14 PM   #5
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I'll take an order of lamb vindaloo and chicken korma. Plus a samosas for appetizers.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:17 PM   #6
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There are no good web designers that are also great IT infrastructure guys. You'll get a web designer who kinda knows about networking or a network guy who sorta knows HTML. At a minimum outsource the website side. Whether they outsource the network stuff or hire someone part time is up to them.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:17 PM   #7
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Contract out the website... once it's done (if done right) it should only need periodical support, and hire a part-timer to do the rest.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:33 PM   #8
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Outsource to company that staffs web programmers and sys admins.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:36 PM   #9
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IBaodposts
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:37 PM   #10
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Contract out the website... once it's done (if done right) it should only need periodical support, and hire a part-timer to do the rest.
I was going to say similar...except that I would outsource all of it. No sense in paying someone for tech support full time, and hiring a part-timer might work but they may get too much of a sense of "ownership" of the network and computers. He needs someone that he can say "this is what I'm wanting to do" and the contractor just does it.

Look for an IT firm that specializes in SMB support...there are plenty out there and they can provide a one-stop shop.
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:02 PM   #11
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Contract work, definitely, for all of it.

And for god sakes get those poor souls setup with some OpenBSD firewalls and OpenVPN to VPN them together!
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:06 PM   #12
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Contract work, definitely, for all of it.

And for god sakes get those poor souls setup with some OpenBSD firewalls and OpenVPN to VPN them together!
Or SSL Explorer...but I personally agree with aod on this one.

If I were opening a SMB, and the majority of my work was going to be done in some proprietary Real Estate software (especially an internet web based one) I would totally go with Open Source software where I could. I'd still buy Dell computers with OEM XP or whatever on them for the user's sake, but anything behind the scenes would be open source. I wouldn't pay $$$ for Windows Small Business server, etc. for such a small shop. But that's just me...
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:07 PM   #13
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You could contract it out to my company .
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:08 PM   #14
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Or SSL Explorer...but I personally agree with aod on this one.

If I were opening a SMB, and the majority of my work was going to be done in some proprietary Real Estate software (especially an internet web based one) I would totally go with Open Source software where I could. I'd still buy Dell computers with OEM XP or whatever on them for the user's sake, but anything behind the scenes would be open source. I wouldn't pay $$$ for Windows Small Business server, etc. for such a small shop. But that's just me...
: prepares for flaming geek attack : After reading that, he's going to scream so loud his retainer is going to fly out!
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:14 PM   #15
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You really need 20-25 employees to justify having an IT person on staff, and you will not find someong willing to do this stuff for part-time (at least not someone good).

This is definately in the area of contract work and there are many consulting firms which are a one-stop-shop for businesses like this (web dev to installing printers). Plus, with a contracting company, you can get experts in all areas versus hiring someone who doesn't know much more than how to install Windows XP.
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:24 PM   #16
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You really need 20-25 employees to justify having an IT person on staff, and you will not find someong willing to do this stuff for part-time (at least not someone good).

This is definately in the area of contract work and there are many consulting firms which are a one-stop-shop for businesses like this (web dev to installing printers). Plus, with a contracting company, you can get experts in all areas versus hiring someone who doesn't know much more than how to install Windows XP.
That's exactly what I said. Plus, the company doesn't offer benefits in liue(sp) of fat quarterly bonuses. They won't land a quality candidate to do all that who won't want benefits. When I heard the salary they were willing to offer I went because it's pretty high, but they could contract the work out, get it done right with specialized people in each respective area.

I was thinking of offering my IT consulting skills and would love to do it but damn grad school takes all my time. Plus I still have a couple of legit licensed copies of W2k3 from my old job that I could give them to get started. They also might want to setup a blackberry enterprise server, but they have no idea what's involved with that. W2k3 server, Exchange, and Blackberry server. No idea how much the BB server is, but all the employees have blackberries so it might be worth it. Maybe not.

I just know a webdev guy would be bored out of his mind when the site is done and he is just checking SAV updates and defragging harddrives.
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:38 PM   #17
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Aren't there a ton of software companies who have already written MLS websites?? Is that an option. I'm suring buying & installing one of those apps < hiring a full timer for years.
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:48 PM   #18
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Aren't there a ton of software companies who have already written MLS websites?? Is that an option. I'm suring buying & installing one of those apps < hiring a full timer for years.
I imagine there are lots of webdev companies out there that specialize in Real Estate websites and have the templates already setup. The MLS part is going to be a small portion of it though, they want the website to make a statement and be all profound.
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:00 PM   #19
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I was thinking of offering my IT consulting skills and would love to do it but damn grad school takes all my time. Plus I still have a couple of legit licensed copies of W2k3 from my old job that I could give them to get started. They also might want to setup a blackberry enterprise server, but they have no idea what's involved with that. W2k3 server, Exchange, and Blackberry server. No idea how much the BB server is, but all the employees have blackberries so it might be worth it. Maybe not.

I just know a webdev guy would be bored out of his mind when the site is done and he is just checking SAV updates and defragging harddrives.
1. I wouldn't give him your copies of W2k3 if I were you. Transferring ownership of them might be possible, but why get into that kind of mess just to help the guy out. He should be aware of the costs of doing business.

2. I thought you said that email was outsourced? If so, whoever is hosting the mail server should be able to provide Blackberry services or you can get the "non-exchange" service through the cell provider for syncing email. BB server is a) expensive b) requires config knowledge and upkeep c) requires an Exchange server


If there's one thing I've learned dealing with small businesses, it's that they may think they want corporate style IT software, especially if you talk it up in front of them, but almost all can get by with a simple deployment for a long time. Better to save the costs, unless it is a very tech-oriented place, and spend the money elsewhere on revenue impacting stuff.
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I imagine there are lots of webdev companies out there that specialize in Real Estate websites and have the templates already setup. The MLS part is going to be a small portion of it though, they want the website to make a statement and be all profound.
http://www.agentimage.com/websites_semicustom.htm

Done...no outside consultant needed.
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:48 PM   #21
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+1 Contract.

I used to work for a small real estate company for a college intership/part time work. The place was about 12 computers and a server. I was bored outta my mind 90% of the time there. There just wasnt anything to do! Besides the 1 or 2 monthly computer problems there was nothing. When I look back on it that was a waste of my skills and time.

All the website work was done by another guy so I didnt touch that. He was usually kept busy as new homes/ real estate stuff is always changing.
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