Small Office Service Helps Users Avoid Computer Problems
September 29, 2003
Reading, Pennsylvania, September 29, 2003-A regional technology consulting firm today announced the launch of subscription-based optimization service for small businesses and home office computer users. ETM Associates' new SOHO service (for Small Office Home Office) maintains computers at optimum performance levels, protects against virus and worm attacks, and offers around-the-clock crisis response. SOHO is currently offered to clients in Southeast Pennsylvania.
"SOHO prevents crises before they happen," said ETM Associates founder Dr. CJ Rhoads. "Our job is to minimize risk while helping people take full advantage of the capabilities they already have."
SOHO is designed for businesses with no more than five computers and families with one or two computers. Subscribers are first given a detailed technology assessment, including evaluation of current hardware, software, needs, skills and projected applications. The assessment is followed by a 'clean and protect' phase and user training, with check-ups scheduled at regular intervals. SOHO also includes on-site troubleshooting of problems.
"Most consulting for small users is like fire-fighting," said Rhoads, noting that big companies have IT departments to provide training and crisis intervention. "Small users don't call until they have an emergency, and although consultants can rush in and put the fire out, very little gets done to prevent the next one." She noted that such crisis-oriented interventions are often expensive because the problems are complicated and take a long time to solve.
"I thought there had to be a better way," she said.
The key to the SOHO service is the subscription format, according to Rhoads. Clients pay an annual fee in monthly installments, no matter how much time ETM consultants spend on their computers during the course of a year.
"SOHO is like insurance," said ETM client Jane Palmer, who runs a small business from her home. "I know that CJ is there whenever I need her. She cleared the mBlast worm from my computer two days before I heard about it on the news."
Sandy Sherman of Food Trust, Philadelphia, said SOHO saved her money by teaching employees how to set up several necessary databases in Access. "It would have cost us much more to hire a programmer. Now we can maintain it ourselves and we get all the reporting we need, anytime we need it," said Sherman.
ETM Associates, Inc. is an affiliation of senior-level IT consultants offering interim and permanent CIO services, technology decision-making support, assessments and project management. Established in 2001, the international organization works virtually, with bases of operation in Philadelphia, New York, Boston and The Netherlands.
Contact for ETM Associates: CJ Rhoads