Small Businesses and NPOs Getting Fleeced. Something I See Happen All Too Often.


I was contacted by a NPO in Frederick County.  They need to replace their primary server which does their local authentication and file services and also runs their e-mail services in house.  Unless you have legal requirements this expense is simply unjustifiable.  I see this most often in the Non-Profit area but all businesses are get hammered these days.  I have one client that got taken for 12k worth on network equipment when less than 4k would have done it.  What I am about to show you is not cheap for cheap’s sake, these are the real prices folks should be paying.  Support is not skimped on here.  You do not need a service contract for which you not only overpay for the products but also for time you do not use.  All products I show in my quote have full support available directly from the vendors themselves.  I remain available in an on-call capacity should you need any assistance working with the vendors.

I am going to provide two quotes here.  One is the other vendor who tries to maintain the status quo with some big holes IMO.  Next will be my quote which modernizes their infrastructure, helps them stay within best practices, and finds them the best possible LEGAL legitimate deals.  I do not know who this quote came from as the name of the competitor was scrubbed from the quote forwarded to me…at my request.

First the competition:

Competitor’s quote

I will comment on the important points of this quote:

  1.  This is an existing tower based infrastructure.  This quote converts them to a rack based system(which increases costs).
  2. There are additional hardware upgrades in addition to the server itself to handle the load of Exchange Server.
  3. They are running things as a vm using vmware(which increases costs).
  4. They then use veeam(a good vmware backup software) at additional cost.
  5. Of course there is the expense of the exchange licenses.
  6.  Netgear NAS is acting as the backup target for the Veaam software.
  7. A new networking/server rack is added due to using a rack based server instead of staying with the tower based infrastructure.
  8. TrendMicro licenses are added per client request.
  9. There is no provision for offsite backups for Disaster Recovery.
  10. I am not sure if the hours for installation of this gear is included in this quote.  I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say yes.

Now for my quote:

My quote

There are some formatting errors caused by converting from pdf to docx.  Some bullet point comments:

  1. I first ask for the time to do a network evaluation to make sure overruns are avoided.
  2. Techsoup is an organization that gets large companies to donate software and hardware to reduce costs for NPOs.  The savings are drastic.
  3. I removed the excessive hardware requirements required for Exchange by moving this organization to Office365.  This not only removes their upfront costs for Exchange and its associated hardware costs but it also gives them access to the latest versions of the Office Suite.  Office365 also has 24/7 support provided directly from Microsoft.
  4. The server expense now gets cut by more than 50%.  This server comes with 3 years of Dell’s Prosupport service.
  5. The unnecessary rack is gone.
  6. Software licenses are also cut significantly depending on qualifying for the Techsoup programs.
  7. A specific provision is made for offsite backups and also a NAS with INCLUDED storage is also provided for internal backups.
  8. Trendmicro is replaced with AVG.  The costs are cut in half with no loss in protection quality.
  9. I go the extra step and detail in each area where my time will be required and how much.  The client is now fully informed as the full cost of the project.
  10. Backups to the NAS are handled by the Windows Server Backup built into the Server 2016 software itself.

I do not just do this for Non Profits I do this for every client.  Unfortunately many non-profits do not know of the great deals that can be found.  If you want to get the best possible legit prices you need someone who knows where to look.  ETC Maryland has the knowledge to help you find the best gear at the right price with full support included without overcharging for an unneeded service contract.  Not every quote will be this drastic and not every NPO qualifies for these kinds of discounts.  Contact us for the right gear for your technology needs.