What if you walked into your office one day and EVERY piece of technology was taken care of by someone else. If something wasn’t working you just called a number and someone would come and fix it. What I’m talking about is not just your average computer consultant, but beyond this. A company that provides your complete email solution, backup, file sharing and more.
New York, based Sinu provides this service and more by installing a Linux appliance in your office which serves as a control panel of sorts to service your entire IT infrastructure and connect you to Sinu. Another New York company CompuLinx provides a similar service which I wrote about here.
Sinu’s cost is easy to calculate, because it is a fixed price of $125 per month per supported workstation (other pricing options do exist for less-used machines like free-lance or conference room computers). Therefore, a company of 5 could expect to pay about $625 a month for unlimited support and the Sinu Solution platform. A company of 20 would pay $2,500 a month, and a company of 50 could expect to pay $6,250.
As a point of comparison, the Small Business Administration says that, on average, a small business with a full-time IT staffer can expect to pay $575 per month per employee for equipment and staffing costs. A company who opts for an IT consultant can expect to pay $375 per month per employee for equipment and consulting fees.
Sinu sees that there are a few fundamentals of the current IT management environment for small business that are flawed:
Problem #1 Reinventing the Wheel: Too many small businesses build complex IT solutions for problems that someone else has already solved.
Sinu Solution: Build a standardized platform that addresses the needs and problems of small businesses.
Problem #2 Misaligned Incentives: Traditional time and materials IT consultants do not make money unless companies have problems. They have no incentive to be proactive about solving issues or creating long-term strategies.
Sinu Solution: Because our subscription provides unlimited support, we do not do well unless our clients are stable and happy. Our incentives are the same as theirs¬? 100% uptime and maximized productivity.
Problem #3 Too Much Risk: Too many IT solutions include the purchasing of expensive, and rapidly depreciating, hardware and software. Ownership of these solutions puts the risk squarely on the customer.
Sinu Solution: Because our solution does not require the purchase of any hardware or software, we remove that risk, and all the associated headaches, and manage it for our clients.
In addition, there are a number of other ways we differentiate ourselves, and create efficiencies which are perfect for the small and medium-sized enterprise.
Our system is based on monthly subscriptions and more closely resembles other outsourced functions like Paychex in that way. Customers know in advance what their IT costs are going to be, and don’t have any of the burden of the cost of entry and the cost of ownership associated with having their own hardware and software. Now they can have the enterprise-class solutions that have been the standard of the Fortune 500, but out of reach of the small business.
Our system flows through aproprietaryy Linux-based appliance that we install in the customer’s offices. This allows us to have almost total control over their IT environment. This appliance is included as part of the customer’s subscription, they do not own it, nor do they take on the risk of owning it. In this way, the model is similar to the cable company.
This appliance also allows us to add value-added functionality that enhances a company’s productivity. This includes Google-like search capacity of their company-wide data, powerful versioning system for document recovery and remote access to all documents without a cumbersome VPN. This feature list will grow with time, but already we have established this platform for adding value to the customer’s environment.
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