Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting more done with multiple monitors

If you visit the Internet Solver offices one thing you will notice is that almost everyone here has more than one monitor on their computer. We have found that multiple displays are a great way to work more efficiently. For an example, our technicians can have a remote control session to one of our Complete Support customers on one monitor, a web browser open on another monitor for research, and a third monitor for email.

The cost of large displays have been dropping but purchasing two smaller displays actually gives you more area for a similar or lower cost. For an example, two 19" LCD monitors give you 348 square inches of space to work. A 22" LCD monitor only provides 212 square inches of space to work. Multiple monitors are popular in technical fields, accounting, graphic design, and document editing.

Adding another monitor is inexpensive - as low as $150-200 including the monitor and installation. Contact us today to find out more!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is Mother Nature affecting your business?

We've been getting a lot of calls this afternoon from our telephone system clients asking how to remotely set their auto attendant greeting to let people their offices are closed.
We haven't heard from any of our Hosted Digital Voice customers, however. That's because they can manage their incoming calls from our web portal and redirect customer calls to their cell phones or other office locations.
Don't let the weather affect your operations, contact Internet Solver and see how easy it is to be prepared for the next storm.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tis the season...

To evaluate your technology expenses!

Now that we're getting to the end of 2009, it's a great time to pull out your technology invoices for the year and see what you are currently spending. If you're not already a client of Internet Solver, it could take a little while. You could have up to 6 or 8 varying invoices per month to receive, verify, enter, and pay.

After you get that stack of invoices rounded up, contact Internet Solver and see how we can help you simplify your technology life in 2010.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy (Belated) Birthday!

Internet Solver celebrated our 7th birthday in September 2009. We've changed quite a bit from me working alone in my basement with nothing but a computer, a cell phone, and a fax machine. I had a handful of clients and still have the ones I started with.

We have continued to grow by leaps and bounds throughout the years. Every day our Internet service is used by tens of thousands of people throughout the state, both for enjoyment and for business. In just the last couple years we've provided our Digital Voice service for hundreds of customers.

One of the constants at Internet Solver is improvement, both in honing our skills and adding new products to our mix. Throughout 2009 our Complete Support has provided hundreds of employees access to a well trained help desk, nightly backups, and virus protection.

Technology isn't something that I just stumbled into, I've been working with computers and telephones since floppy disks and rotary dials were commonplace. For a look back in time, I have dug out an article from hometown paper from 17 years ago.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How long should I keep my server?

One of the common questions from our clients is "How long should I keep my server?". There's no set lifetime for a server, but we do have some guidelines that we follow.

When we sell a client a server, we strongly recommend purchasing a three year warranty with same-day parts delivery. Most manufacturers will also sell an extended warranty for years four and five. The reason they won't go any further than that has to do with the "bathtub curve". After a server has been running 24 hours a day for five years, it's very likely that the mechanical components such as hard drives, tape drives, and fans will begin failing.

Major updates to the operating system and other software running on the server generally comes out in a 3 to 5 year cycle. We had Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, and now Windows Server 2008. Even a computer at the top end of the performance scale when Server 2003 was shipped will not provide similar performance running Server 2008.

Some clients base the replacement decision on the depreciation guidelines. I have an arrangement with my tax accountant -- I won't offer tax advice and he won't offer computer advice.

There is a good likelihood that your business needs have changed over the years that your server has been in operation. You have either added or removed staff, increased the amount of tasks your server is used for, or upgraded other portions of your network. Getting a newer server that more closely fits your requirement makes sense.

Internet Solver will recommend to our clients that they plan on and begin budgeting for a new server between the third and fourth years of service for their server. This gives enough lead time to account for a new server in the budget and do the migration process in a controlled fashion instead of during a crisis when your server is having problems and needs to be replaced immediately.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DSL Bonding - More bandwidth in more places

We have a lot of clients that would like a higher speed Internet service than they are currently able to get. We've got a great solution - DSL bonding. This service is available anywhere we provide our Premier DSL or our Standard DSL services.

With this service our customers are able to double the upload and download speed on their DSL service. In addition, the reliability is increased because the service will stay functioning even if one of the two links is damaged.

There's no equipment to purchase for our DSL bonding, like all of our other products the hardware is included with the service. Please contact Internet Solver for more details or to get started!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Best of Des Moines Award Winner

The votes have been tallied and Internet Solver was the winner in "Best Technology Equipment Dealer" and runner up in "Best Local Internet Service Provider". The full details are available on the Business Record's site at

We're excited to have won such a great honor and that our customers recognize all the hard work that we do. Of course we were only mentioned in two categories, we'll be back for Best Computer Consulting Company next year!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nortel to Avaya Upgrade Promotion

If you have a Nortel telephone system and are worried about support and repairs in the future due to Nortel's bankruptcy, Internet Solver has the perfect program for you! We are offering additional discounts for our customers that are trading up from Nortel systems including the CICS, MICS, and the BCM. If you are unsure which system you currently use or have other questions, please contact us.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Computer Solver News

We have some exciting news about the Computer Solver store at 1129 42nd Street to share. Effective May 1st the store operations were purchased by HLC Computers.

This will allow Internet Solver to focus more closely on our target customers of small and medium sized business.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bundles, Bundles, Bundles...

In our own economic stimulus package, Internet Solver is offering a 20% discount on top of our already-great pricing for customers that use our Complete Support, Internet Service, and Digital Voice products together. This discount will be good for the entire life of the agreement. There's never been an easier way to get great service at an even better price!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Microwaves and Managed Services

I can remember when my parents got their first microwave oven. They were not technology early adopters so it was a few years into the lifecycle before we purchased one. The benefits of having a microwave such as being able to reheat food in just minutes without heating up the oven was too compelling. You can't find a home that doesn't have at least one now and there's no debate as to the usefulness of the microwave.

Our Complete Support System has some similarities to the adoption of the microwave. We have some early adopters that realized our proactive maintenance and fixed-price service would give them a competitive advantage. We have the same goals in mind as our clients -- to keep the network running with as little downtime as possible.

Internet Solver is offering a free 30-day trial of our Complete Support System to new customers to show them that there is a better way to maintain their network. If you don't love it after 30 days you have no obligation to continue the service. We are very excited about our product and know that the best way to get other people excited about it is to let them try it for themselves.

There's a couple small limitations -- your company must be located in central Iowa and sign a three year service agreement. If you are not delighted after 30 days we'll void the agreement. Please contact us for more information or to get started!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

(Not) Saving money by buying direct

One question we get from our clients is why they should purchase their Dell equipment from us versus calling and ordering or going to to order what they need. The short answer is that in every case whatsoever we've been able to provide the same equipment to our clients at a lower cost or upgraded equipment for the same cost.

For a point of comparison, we ordered some fairly standard desktops for a client at the end of last year. The customer tried to 'save money' by getting a quote directly from Dell. It was $850 per machine not including shipping. We were able to provide them delivered for $750 per machine. It's an even larger difference for a larger quantity, more expensive computers, or servers.

Dell pricing (like many businesses) is based on customer sales volume. We order $200K-250K of Dell equipment per year and receive much better price breaks than any of our customers would get themselves.

Please contact us to see how we can use our buying power to lower the cost of your network.

Monday, March 2, 2009

What's next?

"The best way to predict the future is to create it"
--Alan Kay

The quote above has been inspirational for me. I can't always see what's going to be next so I do my best to decide what's going to be next. As a company Internet Solver has done what others in the industry ended up doing much later. In many cases we've been a year or more ahead of our competitors on advancements that deliver results for our clients.

Metro EthernetMore than one year before anyone else. We still have more customers using this service than our local competitors combined
Extended Area DSLOur clients had DSL in previously unserved locations for 6-12 months prior to the telephone company making it available. We are still the only provider in some areas.
High Speed DSLOur 12 and 20 megabit DSL has been available since 2006, over two years sooner than any other provider.
Complete Support ServiceWe have been using these technologies for six months to keep our clients protected and to solve problems remotely in less time.
Support and Communications BundlingThere is no other provider that offers the full range of services that you can receive from a single provider.

Give us a call and and see how we can apply our leadership to give your company an advantage!