September 4th, 2008
Source: The IT Forum Exchange
To give The Resource for Online Entrepreneurs (TROE) forum readers better insight into their technology options, IT in Canada asked several laptop suppliers to answer a set of entrepreneur-centric questions about their offerings.
Several leading vendors have agreed to supply information to the TROE forum. First up, No Panic Computing, a firm that was launched specifically to address the needs of professionals working on their own or in small organizations.
TROE: Entrepreneurs have a well-understood set of PC needs. They are mobile, so their technology needs to be, too. They aren’t generally averse to making investments where necessary, but they don’t want to keep making the same investments over and over again – so whatever they buy needs to be built to work over the long term. They typically have no IT support, so the products they buy need to be correctly configured when they are delivered; they need to be compatible with common peripherals, and with the products that they might reasonably expect to encounter in client environments; and they need access to tech support as soon as a problem arises. Lastly, they don’t want to pay more than they have to.
Given this set of requirements – which product within your line is the “best fit” for an entrepreneur?
NPC: Our products were designed specifically for the entrepreneur and small business professional. Today the average small business professional buys his notebook at his local retailer or off the web and then installs all the software himself. Then the typical small business professional spends an average 91 hours configuring and supporting his notebook himself. We have designed our products specifically for ease-of-use. All our notebooks are pre-configured and vetted by NPC so that the customer can simply turn it on and start working out of the box. We have put the technology below the water line so to speak so that our professional services for security, backup and threat management all happen in the background and do not depend on user compliance.
All our products come with unlimited 24/7 help desk support and are never out of warranty. An enterprise class refresh is planned after 36 months. (We know that after purchasing his computer, the average small business professional has not protected his data from hardware failure, theft or loss. A data loss can be catastrophic to a small business. Not only can he lose his proprietary data, but he may be legally liable to all the clients that he has on his notebook with stored personal information. Examples are accountants, lawyers, financial consultants, HR consultants etc. We know that 54% of small business owners that lose their notebooks and data will go out of business within 1 year of the loss. We have designed our products with leading edge technologies so that they are backed up and secure.
Best of all, the payment plan is geared for the small business professional. The NPC product comes with all the services and support for a low monthly lease payment of $129.99 that is easily expensed.
TROE: What are the specifications of this product – and, assuming that entrepreneurs don’t care about such issues as “cores” and “clock speed” and “memory” in isolation, what is it about the product’s configuration that makes it ideal for an entrepreneur?
NPC: Our NPC products are professional-class notebooks that are powered by HP Compaq. They come with on-line backup to a secure data center powered by Iron Mountain. They are fully secure with hardened passwords, a fingerprint reader and encryption. If a notebook is stolen we can remotely destroy the data on the hard drive and if a notebook is damaged, lost or stolen we can replace it with all the data restored from the last back-up. We have installed and monitor the notebook to protect our customers from threats such as viruses, spyware, phishing and malware. Best of all we run and provide these services in the background and do not depend on user compliance.
TROE: As is noted above, tech support is a huge issue for entrepreneurs. What level of support is your product sold with, and what are the options that an entrepreneur might consider, if he or she wanted a more comprehensive support package?
NPC: We recognize that entrepreneurs should not be orphaned or left on their own to make their notebook work properly. Our products are all designed, pre-configured and vetted to simply work properly out of the box. If our customers do have a problem then we want them to simply call us. We put a sticker with our 1-800 number on the keyboard and we post our 1-800 number on the wallpaper. All our products come with bilingual unlimited lifetime 24/7 help desk support and our products are never out of warranty. We know that in today’s day and age, more and more companies consider support an expense and outsource it overseas. We are mavericks in supporting our customers in that we consider support as an opportunity for us to prove to our customers that they made the right choice to buy NPC. We handle all our calls at our Markham call center with highly skilled and trained technicians. We are very experienced and have handled over 4.5 million calls with over 91% first call resolution. Our ability to address issues properly on the first call has kept our customers very happy.
TROE: What is the overall price of the package that you’d recommend for an entrepreneur? And what added-cost options might your recommend – and in response to what kinds of user requirements?
NPC: We keep the options very simple. Our notebooks are high end business-class HP Compaq notebooks that are pre-configured and vetted by NPC. They are built to be fully secure and come with MS Office, on-line data backup, encryption and integrated threat management for a monthly lease of $129.99.
TROE: Lastly, is there anything about your PC or company that an entrepreneur could cite in a conversation, to explain why they feel good about doing business with you? For example, involvement in Canadian communities, takeback programs, corporate social responsibility, green product design, etc.?
NPC: Our products protect the privacy of information for the customers of our NPC users. They also help the NPC user to comply with government regulation.
Articles from Larry Keating's (CEO, NPC) guest blog on the Huffington Post Business pages