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IT Staff for a small company

By Paulstorey ·
Hi, A friend is purchasing an existing business (in events & publishing) with 25 employees. He is taking the entire department and moving to a new office. I am trying to work out how much IT support/budgets per person/what he can do without to save money and other needs he might have to help him out. He wants to run on a budget initially. The systems they currently have are 19 PCs/Laptops, 6 Apple Macs, 1 xServe, 1 File Server, Colour Printers, Copiers, Exchange Email, Blackberrys, VPN, general network stuff (tape drives, ups, switches, Active Directory etc) running XP, OSX, Adobe Indesign, Photoshop etc, Font management utils, Quark (inc licensing server), MS Office, Phone and Voicemail, multiple databases - CRM databases, booking system, event management database. All systems are shared with other departments as well.

He initially wanted me to do the IT support 3 days a week which I will decline but wanted to help him plan it a bit and help with budgeting as a favour. Can anyone help with the questions below:

1. How many staff and how many days a week/month would people have?

2. What sort of per person per year budget would people aim to have for a company to run reliably and well?

3. Is outsourcing the support to an external company a good idea?

4. He has been offered 2 very basic HP servers (ML115s) to run everything from as he likely wont have a server room and can leave these in the corner along with a MacPro to replace the xServe. They currently utilise rack mounted servers with redundant power, Raid, 2 net cards etc). Running everything on 2 ML115s worries me but it is designed as a small business server. Would people run these as the AD controller and FPS server????

5. Anything I should be careful of? He wants to run on as limited budget as possible in the 1st year.

Thanks for any advice, as Im declining the role, I still wanted to make sure he looks to get the right equipment and support.

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I wouldn't get involved.........

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to IT Staff for a small comp ...

If you're going to decline the offer, don't get involved at all, especially because he's a 'friend'. You don't want to be blamed for anything that goes wrong and you have no idea of what would be needed by the person who finally does accept the offer.

Just stay out of it. Your friendship may be at stake.

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Beware - this will not be a standard computer network ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to IT Staff for a small comp ...

Any IT construct that is going to support a system involving Publishing requirements (Quark Xpress, Photoshop, Apple systems, + PCs) is going to require bespoke unorthodox truncating of the network.

There will inevitably also be an 'Estimating/Costing - Editorial Input - Phototypesetting/Scanning - Production Scheduling - Distribution' system buried deep within the network, driven by some form of bespoke software, requiring hands-on overseeing.

Better to walk away now, advising your friend that his requirements are HIGHLY specialised and outwith your present remit.

The biggest bug-bear is that "All systems are shared with other departments as well."

Walk away and protect the friendship.

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