NPC News
Tech support: Don't panic! Servicing your computer just got a whole lot easier

October 13th, 2008

By: Andrew Wahl

Source: Canadian Business

An irony of the information age is how much time we spend managing the computers that are meant to improve productivity. If we don’t have access to a large IT support staff, users have to do a lot of that work—and usually not well. But a Toronto-based company wants to change how businesses think about buying computers by selling them as part of a full-service IT concierge package.

For $130 a month, No Panic Computing (NPC) will courier a specially designed 14-inch or 15-inch business-class HP notebook, complete with carrying case and, most importantly, unlimited 24-7 tech support. The notebooks use Windows XP or Vista and are custom-configured for each client, following a consultation. NPC tech support verbally walks clients through the few steps necessary to get started, such as transferring a My Documents folder from an old machine. The two-kilogram notebook isn’t flashy, and there are just two model choices, but they’re fast and come with security features like fingerprint log-on, and ultra-discreet business-grade antivirus and antispyware software that is remotely monitored.

NPC’s best feature fixes something users don’t do enough of: data backup. A complete image of the hard drive is automatically uploaded once a day when the customer is online, and preserved by data-protection specialist Iron Mountain at a secure off-site location. Files or revisions as much as 90 days old can be retrieved. Lose a notebook? NPC remotely wipes the data and within two business days sends out a new computer with the data restored. In the meantime, clients can access the contents of their C drive online via a secure server.

The monthly fees add up, and they don’t compare well to leasing, but it would cost a lot of money and time to replicate these features yourself.


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